ESPN President John Skipper Defends ESPN First Take and Explains Why the Network Keeps It Around

ESPN President John Skipper Defends ESPN First Take and Explains Why the Network Keeps It AroundSteve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

Do you hate ESPN First Take? You're not alone. There are a lot of sports fans out there—some of us at Complex included—who can't stand Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. But, we've got news for you: It's not going anywhere. At the Raptors/Knicks game in New York City on Wednesday night, Newsday caught up with ESPN president John Skipper and asked him about ESPN First Take. And, he defended it and talked about why he thinks so many people dislike it.

"My guess would be that, for people who are critical of it, it's somewhat symbolic of a general dislike of that genre," he explained. "For us, it's slightly puzzling, because we're doing 50, 60, 70,000 hours of live TV. We're trying to do a bunch of different kinds of TV. This kind of TV works, to some extent."

He also acknowledged the recent controversy caused by Rob Parker but said that he's happy with the way the show operates on a day-to-day basis.

"We've gone over the line a couple of times, which I didn't like," he said. "But, as long as we can sort of be smart about it, it's just a nuance relative to what the difference is between First Take and PTI. And, I think it also gets attention because it's a big block of programming. But, it's been a show that has helped us solidify the morning on ESPN2. We've been working on this show since Cold Pizza back in about 2003 or 2004. So, we finally have a formula where people are actually tuning in."

That said, don't expect it to change anytime soon—whether you like it or not.

RELATED: The Most Ridiculous Arguments in ESPN's First Take History

[via Newsday]

LIKE COMPLEX SPORTS ON FACEBOOK

Stay Connected with
Complex Sports
Tags: espn-first-take, first-take, skip-bayless, stephen-a-smith
blog comments powered by Disqus