As first reported by Michael McCarthy of the Sporting News, Colin Cowherd’s tenure on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself” could be coming to an end. The early evening program which includes Jason Whitlock, premiered in June 2016, and is reportedly being considered for expansion from one to two hours. With Colin having a full plate already with his daily TV/radio simulcast of “The Herd”, and regular involvement of “FOX NFL Kickoff,” an exit from the show might benefit all involved.
The 54-year old Cowherd signed a four year deal to leave ESPN and join FS1 in August 2015. Programming whiz Jamie Horowitz played a huge role in recruiting and convincing Cowherd to change networks, but Horowitz was let go in July 2017. With a little more than a year left on his original contract, might this be a way to ease Cowherd’s workload and keep one of the network’s most important stars happy and fresh? ESPN Radio Senior Vice President Traug Keller confirmed on the Barrett Sports Media Podcast that the door remains open for Cowherd to return to ESPN and FS1 can’t afford at this point to lose one of its most important assets.
If Cowherd does indeed exit Speak For Yourself later this year, the question for FS1 boss Charlie Dixon becomes whether to replace his spot or make Whitlock the star and add a supporting cast around him. FS1 does have access to a number of high profile personalities including Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard, Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzalez, Trent Dilfer, and Jason McIntyre, plus the company has shown it’s not afraid to open up their checkbook to lure quality talent from other places.
McCarthy points out in his piece that the show is likely to feature more news-making interviews with Whitlock in the future. Some of the largest attention to come FS1’s way has been due to interviews on its shows. Conversations which have stood out include Michael Vick talking to Whitlock about Colin Kaepernick needing to get a haircut if he’s allowed back in the NFL, and Terry Bradshaw stating that Mike Tomlin of the Steelers is not a great coach. LaVar Ball’s dust up with Cowherd and Kristine Leahy was another appearance that garnered mainstream media coverage.
While the situation with Cowherd remains in flux, there are other matters to solve too. One pressing issues is figuring out who to replace Leahy with on “The Herd”. Joy Taylor has been mentioned as a possible consideration, but her exit from “Undisputed” would need Skip Bayless’ blessing. If Skip gives the green light, Holly Sonders is seen as a possible replacement for Taylor alongside Bayless and Shannon Sharpe.