ESPN stalwart Bob Ley took to Twitter earlier today to announce that he would temporarily step away from his role on Outside the Lines beginning in October.
Beginning Oct. 1 I’ll be taking a six-month sabbatical from my @OTLonESPN duties. The idea of stepping back to re-charge is fully 100% mine, and one I’ve been considering for a while. I truly appreciate the company’s understanding and cooperation. -30
— Bob Ley (@BobLeyESPN) August 15, 2018
Ley has been the host of Outside the Lines since it launched in 1990. Jeremy Schaap, Kate Fagan, and Ryan Smith appear with Ley regularly on the show. They will host during Ley’s time away.
Kyle Koster explained what ESPN is losing with Ley taking time off.
Just a few weeks ago, Ley was the subject of a Ringer profile painting him as the most important on-air talent at ESPN, the person most capable of serving as a compass for the company in today’s political climate. It’s tough to argue that conclusion. That mantle falls to someone else for the next half-year.
If the sabbatical does indeed last six months Ley would be due to return on April 1.