We talk about players wages all the time. It's an important factor in their team competitiveness due to the salary cap. Coaches wages are most often known too. What about the media covering it?
Stephen A. Smith is one of ESPN's most recognizable and hard-working people. His average day starts with "First Take", more and more he takes part in "Get Up!", has a two hour radio show every day, joins afternoon radio and will often appear on SportsCenter. The man earns his paycheck, and it is about to get bigger.
According to reports by the NY Post, Smith should renegotiate his deal in the $8 - $10 million range, making him the highest paid talent in ESPN history. The highest publicly known contract at ESPN is Mike Greenberg at $6.5 million for hosting "Get Up!"
Smith's current deal ends in 2021 so we can deduce a few things with this renegotiation. ESPN is aware a lot of competition would love to lure him away and want to lock him up before there is any doubt he might leave.
This also confirmes that hot take media is strong as ever. We are in an era of more and more fans not watching the games but highlights, people are more interested in the off-court part of sports and a few clips on Instagram or YouTube.
As Jalen Rose would say, you got to give the people what they want.