After a 40-year career at ESPN, Bob Ley has announced his retirement from the network.
Ley, ESPN’s longest-tenured anchor, announced in September 2018 that he would be taking a six-month sabbatical as host of Outside the Lines. In May, he said he was extending his sabbatical indefinitely. Ley said today he will be retiring at the end of this month.
“To be clear, this is entirely my decision,” Ley wrote on Twitter. “I enjoy the best of health, and the many blessings of friends and family, and it is in that context that I’m making this change,” he said.
Ley thanked ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro and the network’s senior leadership team “for their understanding and patience over the past months.”
“Through the decades, and my innumerable experiences at ESPN, I have built many deep and fulfilling friendships. You know who you are. I hope you also know how much you mean to me. We have shared an American story unlike any other. And we will continue to do so in the years ahead,” Ley said.
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“I have been gifted by our viewers and consumers with a precious commodity — your trust. To be invited into your homes was a privilege I never took for granted, one I worked each day to uphold. Thank you for that.
“In September, I signed off my last show saying, ‘I’ll catch you on the flip side.’ Now it’s time to take that vinyl off the turntable (ask your folks), flip it over, and drop the needle on the B-side. There are always great cuts, and hidden gems on the B-side.
“Thank you for a great run.”
Ley won 11 Sports Emmy Awards during his time at ESPN, including an Emmy for outstanding studio host in 2018. Ley and OTL won the DuPont Award in 2014 for reporting on issues in football at the youth level. Ley and OTL also won four Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Ley will join Jeremy Schaap on Wednesday’s episode of Outside the Lines at 1 PM ET, ESPN said.
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