It’s not exactly a secret that Stephen A. Smith is the biggest personality at ESPN – and their highest-paid personality at that. But what we haven’t exactly been able to pin down – until now – is just how much The Worldwide Leader in Sports pays him.
According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, sources have told him that Stephen A. Smith earns around $12 million per year in total compensation. Deitsch says that mark is “the current ceiling” for ESPN’s on-air talent and what agents and representatives will use as the ceiling in negotiations.
It’s an incredible amount of money for an on-air personality to be sure. Some of ESPN’s other top personalities reportedly make less than 10-percent of that amount.
Clearly ESPN believe that Stephen A. Smith brings a ton of added value to their network. That might be why they’ve given him so many different shows and responsibilities on a regular basis.
But that isn’t stopping people from pointing out how crazy that amount is.
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the salaries/salary demands of ESPN personalities. Per sources: Stephen A. Smith is around $12 million annually in total comp. That’s the current ceiling for on-air talent at ESPN and what agents/reps would be using as the ceiling.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 9, 2021
“Yet another reminder that [Alabama head football coach] Nick Saban ($9M) is in fact grossly underpaid,” Stewart Mandel of The Athletic said in a retweet.
“Stephen A makes more money annually then anyone on the back to back tampa bay lightning by almost 4 mil a year. #ridiculous” one fan wrote in the comments.
“This is actually below minimum wage given how many hours a day they have Stephen A on,” another fan joked.
You’ll be hard-pressed to go more than three hours a day without seeing Stephen A. Smith’s face or hearing his voice on an ESPN broadcast.
Good for him.