After a nearly three-decade-long stint on ESPN, Kenny Mayne has now decided to go off on his own. Indeed, the longtime host made his final appearance on May 24, 2021, with a contract termination date officially set for May 31, 2021. Kenny joined the network in 1994 and has since gone on to become one of its most well-recognized faces.
With that being said, it comes as a bit of a shock to many ESPN fans that Kenny has opted to leave the network that he has called home for a large portion of his career. So, why exactly did Kenny opt to leave ESPN, and has he elaborated on what his plans are going forward? Here's what we know so far.
Why did Kenny Mayne leave ESPN? The contract they offered him wasn't to his liking.
Although Kenny has been a major face on the network for decades, at the end of the day his time on the air all comes down to money, and he claims that ESPN offered him a substantially lower salary that he simply couldn't accept. While speaking to The Athletic, Kenny elaborated on exactly what that offer consisted of.
"It was a significant pay cut," he led off by saying. "It was a big pay cut to do essentially the same job. It was a 14 percent reduction in time worked and a 61 percent reduction in money earned. I thought the variance was too much. I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. It's my choice to stay or not stay. It was still a good amount of money in the real world."
Kenny maintained that he isn't looking for sympathy either, adding, "I'm not trying to frame this as woe for me. Nothing like that. I just think I can do better elsewhere. So I told them that I feel like you've got a certain over-under on my worth and I'm going to go play the over. They did not seem to care that I made that choice."
Despite the circumstances, Kenny says he has no hard feelings toward ESPN.
Kenny may have felt undervalued when it came to his most recent contract, but he bears no real hard feelings toward the network or anyone who works within the company. "I wish them well," he said. "Most of my friends are there. I'm not bitter or in some big battle with ESPN. It didn't work out for me.
"They made a choice. They put a number on my worth to them. I've been pitching many other things and to do more things for them, and they weren't interested in those things. So it was just kind of time."
As for the future, Kenny has yet to announce what his next career move may be, but he isn't done in the world of sports yet. Likely, he'll take on another role as a sports commentator in a different capacity, work in commercials, or maybe a mix of both. Regardless of where he goes from here, we wish Kenny luck in his future endeavors!