Skip to main content

Kenny Mayne Announces Departure From ESPN After Nearly Three Decades

After 27 years as a broadcaster at ESPN, Kenny Mayne announced that he will be leaving the company.

Mayne, 61, said in a tweet that he was a "salary cap casualty." New York Post media columnist Andrew Marchand tweeted that the move reflects the direction that ESPN is taking with its talent. 

"The seven-figure SportsCenter anchors are either going to take cuts or be forced to leave for the most part," Marchand said. "That's where ESPN is going, outside of Scott Van Pelt." 

ESPN hired Mayne in 1994 as an anchor for ESPN2's "SportSmash" show before he became the host of "RPM 2Night", a weekend auto-racing news program. He assumed a full-time role as an anchor on "SportsCenter" in 1997 and also hosted the widely popular “The Mayne Event” segments on "NFL Sunday Countdown". 

Mayne was also known as the host of "Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports" as well as the star of ESPN's scripted series "Mayne Street" where he played a fictional version of himself. 

A native of Kent, Wa., Mayne made the junior college All-American honorable mention as a quarterback at Wenatchee Valley Community College before he transferred to UNLV, where he played football for two years. Upon graduating, he was signed as a free agent by the Seahawks before pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. 

Known for his deadpan humor and charm, Mayne was hired at ESPN after requesting employment in a letter that asked ESPN executives to check a box addressing his future as a freelance reporter, including one that said: "We'll consider hiring you about the time ESPN5 hits the air."

“During that time, I only pursued one full-time television job. ESPN," Mayne said in his ESPN bio. "I had the ESPN 800-number and called all the time with story ideas. I guess they finally decided it was less expensive to hire me than to keep paying for my phone calls.”

More from SI: