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#After Bob Iger Outreach, Shannon Sharpe Inks Expanded Deal With ESPN

After some personal outreach from Disney CEO Bob Iger, ESPN has inked NFL hall-of-famer Shannon Sharpe to a new, expanded multi-year deal.

The new deal will expand Sharpe’s role on the morning show First Take, where he appears alongside Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim. Sharpe will also appear on other ESPN programs to be announced later.

First Take has become arguably ESPN’s signature studio show, thanks in part to the takes and debates led by Smith and Sharpe.

“Being a part of this family has been a blessing,” Sharpe said in a statement. “Everything about this relationship with ESPN, Stephen A., and First Take, has been tremendous. I look forward to expanding my role and showing more of the world what I have to offer. The show goes on!”

Sharpe also hosts an extraordinarily successful podcast called Club Shay Shay.

Sharpe spoke to The Hollywood Reporter last month, where he discussed the podcast and his TV roles. He also said that after an interview with comedian Katt Williams went viral, Disney CEO Bob Iger personally reached out to discuss his future with ESPN.

“Shannon Sharpe has been an incredible addition to the First Take team, enhancing the show’s dynamic with his engaging presence and insightful commentary,” added David Roberts, ESPN’s head of event & studio production​. “Shannon’s chemistry with Stephen A. Smith has elevated our debates and been another key reason First Take is the premier destination for morning sports discussion.”

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