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Colin Cowherd isn’t burning bridges as he leaves ESPN

(AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
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Three of ESPN’s biggest names are leaving the network, either by management’s plan or by theirs, and one of them finally has spoken about the upheaval in Bristol, Conn.

So far this summer, ESPN has parted with Bill Simmons and Colin Cowherd and will part soon with Keith Olbermann, saving about $10 million as it complies with Disney’s cost-cutting mandate. Any of the three might be expected to take the Steve Slater approach (“Take two beers and jump”) to leaving, but Colin Cowherd, who is headed for Fox Sports, took the high road on his show, “The Herd,” with a few words that were touching and humble.

[Simmons goes to HBO]

“Yes, I’m leaving ESPN. It’s been unbelievable. I don’t want to get melancholy here. It’s amicable, I’m on the air today talking about it. That tells you the relationship I have with this company and with my bosses, who are friends for life. A little over 10 years ago, I was a local radio guy, and Tony Kornheiser was amazing. He’s a brilliant man, brilliant writer, media icon, and he was leaving. And they could have picked a million guys out of New York, or L.A. Chicago, Dallas, many applied, it was a good job. I was told at the time it was the best syndicated radio job opening in sports in the history of the business.

[Disney is making ESPN do some cost-cutting]

“And they chose me. From a small market, nobody had heard of me. ESPN had guts, they had courage, they rolled the dice. A guy flew into Portland, we got a rare snowstorm, he was stuck there four days, John McConnell listened to me, and he recommended me. It’s been the best 10 years of my life.”

It isn’t clear exactly what lies ahead for Cowherd with Fox and whether he might join the new 11 a.m NFL show that will lead into the “NFL Sunday” show.

ESPN President John Skipper announced that Colin Cowherd, who has helped anchor ESPN Radio’s morning slate since 2003 and also had a presence on the ESPN’s television offerings, is leaving the network. The Post's Matt Bonesteel discusses what that means for the company. (Video: Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

[Keith Olbermann is out at ESPN, for a second time]

“I’ll have a simulcast on Sirius,” he did say, adding that most of what has been reported about his future “is pretty accurate.”

Simmons hasn’t really said a lot about leaving ESPN, either, after feuding publicly with the network while he was there. He did, though, tip his hand with a slurpy tweet about HBO’s tennis mockumentary “Seven Days in Hell,” which was utterly unwatchable despite the presence of Kit Harington:

H/T SportsGrid