CM – Kenny Mayne Leaves ESPN Calling Himself a « Salary Cap Casualty »


Kenny Mayne, a longtime presenter and correspondent for ESPN who also had a wise presence at the network’s annual pre-launch, is leaving the company after 27 years.

« I’m leaving ESPN, » he tweeted in a laconic style that matched his on-air demeanor. « Salary cap victim. » Among the people he thanked in the tweet was current anchor Scott Van Pelt. « I’ll miss the people, » Mayne wrote. “I will miss the people. I’m going to miss the machine that old Van Pelt Joint set up. We had it all. « 

In a subsequent tweet, Mayne said he would continue to appear on the network until May 24th.

The response came on Twitter. Former ESPN presenter Mike Golic spoke for many, when he tweeted, « We’re about to start a new network with former ESPN employees shown the door. » Former SportsCenter host Jemele Hill, who left in 2018, tweeted a wordless clip from The Shawshank Redemption in which Morgan Freeman’s character has been released from prison. « See you on the other side, » she said to Mayne. Even ESPN rivals Bleacher Report and Barstool Sports expressed their preference.

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Not only was Mayne a visible part of ESPN’s rise in the 1990s and years of dominance beyond, but it also became a highly anticipated attraction ahead of the Disney network. Often at the Minskoff Theater on Broadway, the same morning as ABC’s afternoon showcase at Lincoln Center, the pitch for advertisers was soured by Mayne’s pounding at marketers and the network itself. While Jimmy Kimmel’s similarly modulated set has long been a highlight at ABC, Mayne developed a parallel following for his riffs on a variety of themes, rendered in his signature dry style.

In 2018, he took the stage in a floor-length white yogi robe and screwed up meditation and spiritual exaltation, relying on the irony of doing so for a space full of advertisers. « When I climbed the last 500 feet of Mount Rainier, I was never alive, » he said as the screen behind him filled with a bucolic mountain image. “I looked at the perfect creation in front of me and imagined how some 30 second spots could be converted in 15 seconds and run with autoplay in the ESPN app. Namaste. Be the best you are Find your authentic self, even if you have to lie to yourself to find it. “

This was the last year ESPN was held as a separate event in advance. Disney has consolidated the various events under its roof, especially after it took control of Hulu and networks like FX after it bought most of 21st Century Fox.

In addition to his ESPN tenure, Mayne did a few too Experience outside of sports news including a stint on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in 2006. He also produced and starred as himself on Mayne Street, a scripted digital series set in a fictional version of the sports network.

Without ever to improve his jocking skills, as so many sports personalities do, Mayne could draw on his college football experience at UNLV. He signed as a free agent with his home state of Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, but television quickly became his true calling. Working in the Seattle-Tacoma market and in Las Vegas eventually led him to ESPN.


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