Longtime ESPN announcer Kenny Mayne will be leaving the network after 27 years.
The popular "SportsCenter" anchor revealed his departure on Monday afternoon, claiming that he was a "salary cap casualty."
"I am leaving ESPN," he tweeted. "Salary cap casualty. Thanks for the opportunity Vince Doria & Al Jaffe & for taking my solicitations Herman/Stinton/Lynch. I will miss the people. I will miss the vending machine set up over by the old Van Pelt joint. We had everything."
ESPN made Mayne an offer but it was a pay cut, the New York Post's Andrew Marchand stated, citing a source.
Another insider confirmed to The Washington Post that Mayne had turned down a multi-year offer of unspecified terms.
Mayne joined ESPN as an ESPN2 "SportSmash" anchor in 1994. He initially delivered five-minute score and news reports every half-hour, and also served as a feature reporter for "SportsNight," according to his official bio on ESPN's site. In 1995 he began hosting ESPN2’s weekend auto racing news and highlights programs and also occasionally anchored "SportsCenter." He finally assumed the role full time in 1997.
In addition to hosting, Mayne also starred in TV commercials and competed in ABC-TV's "Dancing With the Stars" in 2006, USA Today noted. From 2008 to 2011, he produced and starred in an original scripted series on ESPN.com, "Mayne Street," in which he played himself in a fictionalized version of life at the center of sports television.
Prior to joining ESPN, Mayne worked as a freelance reporter for the network from 1990 to 1994.
"During that time, I only pursued one full-time television job, ESPN," he said. "I had the ESPN 800-number and called all the time with story ideas. I guess they finally decided it was less expensive to hire me than to keep paying for my phone calls."
A native of Kent, Washington, Mayne first gained interest as an All-American quarterback while attending junior college in 1978 at Wenatchee Valley Community College. He went on to play football for two years at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he graduated in 1982, and later signed as a free agent with the Seattle Seahawks.
Monday's surprising news had social media buzzing as fans mourned Mayne's departure from ESPN. Network employee Dave McMenamin also had a heartfelt message for Mayne on Twitter.
"Meant the world to me to be dialing in from Cleveland, staring into a camera lens and hearing your voice in my ear," McMenamin tweeted. "You possess a rare mix of gravitas and comedy as a broadcaster. Was a pleasure to get to work with you. Go live it up."
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