It was apparent from some time that the split was inevitable. Shannon had taken the lead role in the show, but Skip Bayless had been the one to invite him on board, leading to some tension. Things reached a boiling point during the Demar Hamlin incident, and while it seemed like Sharpe and Bayless had reconciled, it was too little too late to salvage. the partnership
Here is the update via NY Post.
Shannon Sharpe’s partnership with Skip Bayless is coming to a conclusion soon.
Sharpe and Fox Sports, the parent company of FS1, which airs “Undisputed,” have reached a buyout agreement, sources tell The Post.
Sharpe’s final show is expected to be after the 2023 NBA Finals conclude in June.
Sharpe’s popular “Club Shay Shay” podcast, which draws a big audience on social media and YouTube, will also be leaving Fox Sports, a source said.
People close to Sharpe said privately that he did not seek to be the unquestioned leader on the show, but wanted to be an equal with Bayless in the program’s topic selection.
Another element that seemed to bleed over between the two was that Sharpe is close with LeBron James, whose performance Bayless has been a hard grader of over the years.
Sharpe, 54, was the unquestioned choice to join as Bayless’ cohost on “Undisputed” after Bayless left his ESPN “First Take” partnership with Stephen A. Smith to join FS1 in 2016.
Sharpe had filled in for Smith in debating Bayless on the program, and the two had dynamic chemistry, plus, in what was a rarity, the “First Take” viewership numbers did not fall off with one of the hosts off the set.
It’s unfortunate that the duo is parting ways as they made a great team. A balance of opposing views is often necessary for successful shows.
It will be interesting to see if Bayless takes a similar approach to Stephen A. Smith by having a rotating group of co-hosts for debates instead of a permanent one.
Sharpe’s final performance is scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the NBA Finals.