Popular “SportsCenter” anchor Neil Everett is reportedly leaving ESPN after 23 years.
Front Office Sports has written that the 61-year-old Everett is leaving, the latest on-air talent to depart the network.
“Bartender…last call,” Everett said in a statement to Front Office Sports. “ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life. Time to write a new chapter.”
Everett’s signature call was “Bartender, Jack” on home runs and musical references. He also costarred in the network’s mockumentary “This is SportsCenter” commercials.
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Before ESPN came callilng, Everett spent 15 years in local TV in Hawaii. He joined the sports network in July 2000.
Everett has also served with the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers for two years, working pregame and post-game shows.
Partner Stan Verrett saluted via Twitter.
“I started at ESPN in 2000, a few months after Neil Everett. We joined up for ‘SportsCenter’ from LA in 2009. For 14 years, he was the best teammate I could imagine. Selfless, caring, generous, and a pro’s pro. He’s moving on now, but we are brothers for life. That’ll never change.”
Front Office Sports said Everett’s departure was unclear. One source said Everett was offered a new deal at a reduced salary, but turned it down. Another said his contract was not renewed.
The ESPN budget cuts are part of the overall Disney budget slashing that has seen the company attempt to shed 7,000 jobs.
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