Report: ESPN’s Chris Berman retiring after ’16 season

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ESPN’s Chris Berman is retiring after the 2016 season, TheBigLead.com reported Thursday.

Berman, 61, is an original ESPN employee and the host of two of the network’s most popular NFL-related shows, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown.

The report said Berman is in the final year of his contract and will retire sometime after the end of the season that starts this September and ends with the Super Bowl next February. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz declined comment to TheBigLead.com on the report.

The report lists Trey Wingo and Suzy Kolber as potential Berman replacements. Wingo hosts NFL Live daily, and the report said there’s a “strong internal push” for Kolber to replace Berman.

ESPN has made other changes to its extensive NFL coverage in recent weeks. Ray Lewis and Cris Carter are out at ESPN, and Randy Moss and Charles Woodson are among the new analysts set to join the network’s NFL coverage.

153 responses to “Report: ESPN’s Chris Berman retiring after ’16 season

  1. They forced him out …
    Also NFL primetime has been dead ever since nbc took over Sunday night football. The NFL actually forbids ESPN from putting on a full high light show that would take away from nbcs horrid pre game show which also shows game recaps that last only about a minute.

  2. Sounds like a forced retirement to me. It’s about time ESPN started cleaning house…..they still have a ways to go before I become a regular viewer again.

  3. Mixed feelings on this one. Good for Berman, got in with ESPN on the ground floor and went for the ride. Often felt like the effort was to snag some spotlight. Stuck with same material for 30+ years but he seemed to genuinely want to inform and entertain at the same time. Would love to learn who he worked with that absolutely couldn’t stand him.
    Hope it’s Suzy Kolber who replaces him cuz Trey Wingo is a little too cool for me. He’s a host who always has to analyze and would prefer he just host.
    Oh who am I kidding I pretty much hate all of them over there at this point come to think of it.

  4. I know all the millennials will bash him, they bash absolutely everyone in the internet era, but I always thought he was alright. And I’ve been watching ESPN since their first day.

  5. I’m a traditionalist and generally hate to see change on sports broadcasts….but Berman had become unwatchable.

  6. chris berman was a good announcer ABOUT 25 years ago.

    In the past 20 years… berman has been beyond annoying.

    So… berman will retire almost a year after espn settled a berman related sexual harrassment claim.

  7. As far as I’m concerned, this is long over due. Berman was funny for about the first 5 years of his career, then he became completely unwatchable and especially unlistenable.
    Berman stole his whole schtick from Howard Cosell, and he spawned hundreds of other jerks who think they are the story instead of the games and players being the story.
    Good riddance Berman. Don’t come back any time soon.

  8. Please let it be Suzy that replaces him, she’s one of the few things worth watching on ESPN.

  9. Oh great another Kobe-esk retirement parade for the whole entire season…… How about you just anounce your retirement at the end of the year, appreciate the appropriate applause then go play some golf.

  10. Translation….they weren’t renewing his contract. Disney is dumping salary at ESPN. Lucky for us…don’t know anyone who doesn’t rank him on the Dick Vitale level of annoying.

  11. People may have tired of his shtick, but Im gonna miss him. I grew up watching him and Tom Jackson on NFL Primetime, which might be the best post game highlight show of all time. The man has been with ESPN from day one, literally. Enjoy retirement Boom.

  12. I love Berman because you can really tell he loves football. It’s not all about him, like some of the former players and coaches that litter tv. He actually talks about the games and the matchup.

  13. Once Berman leaves, the withering shell that is ESPN, will have completely no validity or be fun to watch. ESPN is a dying and that’s why it’s parent company wants to jettison them. Poor reporting, dwindling viewership, talking heads without a clue, and being a whipping boy for Roger Goodell and the NFL has only hastened the exodus of people from it.

  14. Chris “Boomer” Berman IS espn. His wordplay on names, along with ” HE COULD GO ALL THE WAY!” and “Back back back” are iconic. It just won’t be the same without him. As a start-up, we all watched espn to see Mr. Berman. You will be missed. Just ask Bert Be-home-Blyleven.

  15. Good to see Berman finally stepping down, his act grew tiresome after the 1990s. Undoubtedly, his connection with the beginning of ESPN helped his longevity, but the stale references really grew old.
    Even worse, his preparation seemed to be lacking during the annual NFL Draft coverage in recent years.

  16. wow this shocked me I thought Chris would be there for at least four more years until he was 65…I going to miss him he’s funny..back back back gone!!!..that was funny so was him giving names to the players..guess this is the end of C’mon Man since Cris Carter and Mike Ditka are already gone..I might be crying at the Super Bowl knowing it’s the last time I see him

  17. It’s funny. I never would have guessed he was only 61. He looked like a 50 year old man in 1980. But, seriously, what a ride he has seen for ESPN. No one took them seriously in the early days of cable.

  18. Retire heh? More like ESPN telling him it may be time to ride into the sunset. Too many changes at the network to not think otherwise.

  19. The most stunning part of this to me was that he is only 61. With his corny schtick and musty references, I thought he had to be at least 75.

    Dude lost his fastball in the 90’s. It’s time.

  20. If you have cable, the most expensive non-premium channel is ESPN. People will with a three-day old episode of “Breaking Bad,” but they will not watch a three-day old baseball game.

    Sayonara, Señor Berman! I’ll miss you, but I know ESPN has wielded the axe lately, including Olbermann. As for me, if I could shave $8 from my cable bill monthly and a-la-carte, I would gladly go without ESPN, as it costs about $8 a rooftop.

    Why not go to a bar or restaurant for a Monday Night Football game if you need to see it?

  21. Berman actually retired over a year ago and left a hollow shell of himself to sit in his seat during broadcasts / funereal, moribund death march shows.

    It was fun many years ago, but it’s time.

    With respect to ESPN being sinking ship, it’s more like a German U-boat since they’ve been doing some despicable things the last couple if years….many people will cheer if it blows up, me included.

  22. Loved him in the 90’s. revolutionized the industry.

    Enjoy retirement Chris.

  23. ESPN is Making room for Brady in 2017. It’s going to be insane at MNF desk.

  24. ESPN sucks. The morning shows are unwatchable. Berman, however, was entertaining.

  25. Thank the lord!

    He has single-handedly made the Home Run Derby unwatchable for the last 15 years.

    Not to mention he adds absolutely nothing of substance to NFL Draft Coverage.

  26. Even though Berman was getting tough to watch the last few years,there are plenty of others that should NOT be broadcasting,Lets see,,,,Collinsworth,Gruden,Harrison,and others.Did hear that Namath is pulling hard for that Kolber lady.

  27. it has been over a year since i watched ESPN, It was good a decade ago but the NFL Network, MLB Network and NHL Network and regional sports channels have better sports specific programming. Berman was an icon at ESPN, wish him well.

  28. Wow. This is the sports TV equivalent of the original MTV veejays signing off. For anyone over 40 years old, who grew up with ESPN, he is a legend.

  29. Berman used to be OK with his nicknames like Mike”your in good hands with” Alstott or Bert “be home” Blyleven. I think it is time though, he has been unwatchable for awhile.

  30. I always liked Boomer, but fact is, they’re already getting rid of all the other talent on the network.

    Take it easy Boomer!
    He. Could. Go. All. The. WAY!

  31. Met him on a plane nearly 20 years ago. To be polite I will only say he was a drunken, pompous ass.

    Suzy deserves the job, but it is ESPN…

  32. Sad what Disney has done to ESPN.

    I always enjoyed Boomer and as a die hard Bills fan, I really appreciate his contributions to Bills culture.

    I know his on-air performance has been in decline but I am hoping he can pull through and have a great final season. Because, no one circles the wagons like Chris Berman!

  33. I remember that beige polyester blazer and stupid ESPN badge on the pocket. I loved how you did the NFL draft when no one else cared. Lately, however, it seemed like there couldn’t be a less prepared person talking football that wasn’t a former player.

    It was time.

  34. Surprised Disney isn’t head hunting for a transgender to take over their crappy NFL swill.
    JFK and Democrats put men on the moon. Obama and the new Democrats put men in women’s bathrooms.

  35. Used to love Berman but he’s lost it over the last few years. Maybe he can do some features for them once in awhile. Suzie would be a great choice to replace him.

  36. Lot of negative comments here…unbelievable. If you grew up watching sports, you grew up watching Berman. Yeah, he’s been bad for a while, so has ESPN, but give credit where credit is due.

    Any time I see somebody make a killer deke, all I hear is “WHOOP”

  37. Finally, thank goodness. But please do not pick Suzy Kolber to replace him. I don’t watch much now but if she gets that job I am totally done with ESPN on Sundays.

  38. This comment has nothing to do with Berman or Suzy Kolber. I actually kind of like Kolber. But the reason ESPN sucks is because they try too hard to be liked by everyone. I wanna watch sports. NFL, MLB, NHL and I tolerate the NBA. Instead it’s sandwiched between fluff pieces about these heartwarming stories and pandering to women. I’m pretty liberal and support everyone but there’s something to be said for making entertainment that’s great for the segment who like it instead of mediocre but reaches a larger audience.

  39. Nobody circles the wagons like…

    I gotta admit I’ll miss some of his football stuff, but it is a good day to find out I’ll never hear his back back back back back at every ball hit at every home run derby.

  40. A very saddening day. I must be one of the few but I love bermans whopppp whoppppp whopppp highlights, dude always just felt like he belonged on ESPN

  41. And Berman goes rumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’ into retirement!!!! So long jackass. Haven’t enjoyed ANYTHING he’s done since I was in high school back in the early 90s

  42. marvsleezy says:
    May 26, 2016 9:18 PM
    They forced him out …
    Also NFL primetime has been dead ever since nbc took over Sunday night football. The NFL actually forbids ESPN from putting on a full high light show that would take away from nbcs horrid pre game show which also shows game recaps that last only about a minute.
    _________________________________________
    I agree. I always felt espn made a mistake taking mnf over sunday night. To me, that was their downfall.

  43. “Primetime” with Berman and Tom Jackson was one of the greatest shows ever. I brought a generation of football fans to the game with excellent insight and humor along the way. Sunday night football killed Primetime with contractual language that eliminated extended highlight packages during the 7 pm (eastern) window. ESPN then destroyed their coverage by adding too many voices, many of whom can’t grasp the English language (may I ax you a question?) and I find myself never watching their pre and post game shows. Berman was a legend in his time, but father time remains the undefeated, heavyweight champion in all things. It’s time for him to step aside.

  44. Goodbye, and boy have we been waiting for this….however, no Wingo or Kolber, just give us the games and leave all that other pre/post game BS elsewhere, nothing more annoying then a bunch of wanna be’s yacking about nothing for hours on end.

  45. Thank the Lord. His schtick was old 10 year ago.

    Plus I got winded listening to him run out of breath and trying to force out 4 more words at the end of every sentence.

  46. Always liked Bommer

    The real travesty is NOT having “Prime time” highlight package it was the best part about Sunday nights.

    And to be honest Sunday nights are lacking now, NFL NTWK Sucks as does NBC

  47. Boomer is beloved by his ‘Powder Blue’ Chargers, especially when he wears one of his 1984 multi-colored looks like a Kandinsky-painting too narrow half-windsored neck-tie; please ESPN keep’em until the next millenium; but PLEASE, never pair him with Trent Dilfer in the booth again, EVER!!! I’ll miss the ball-spinner ‘Key, but again, keep Dilfer on the outdoor set next to Steve Young and Steve Levy both of whom can keep his knee on the back of Trent’s neck, and never darken the Chargers stadium as a ‘color’ man again. That was brutal last year! “Guys in white jumping on guys in black! WTF Trent?

  48. The guy couldn’t speak anymore without running out of breath. Save it Chris, what was coming out wasn’t worth hearing. Way too late, he was awful. Old fools getting all sentimental over Berman are laughable. Get a grip. I watched him from the start too. NFL football will be able to survive with this overpaid fathead.

  49. Boom was there long before the four letter network went crazy liberal. Being under the Disney umbrella may have brought financial stability at one time but it was also a castration to the “guys” channel. Remember fellas, at one time, that was our space. Now they give awards away for dudes dressing up like women..

  50. Can the blowhard go now? I agree with taking Tom Jackson with him; the other 2 blowhards, Carter and Lewis are gone too, thankfully.

    IT’S A BLOWHARD CLEARANCE!!!

  51. I didn’t mind Berman or Jackson, and yeah I “grew up” with them so to speak on primetime highlights.

    The NFL network guys are constantly talking over each other like panelists on a CNN, MSNBC, or Fox show and that gets really tiresome after awhile. Michael Irvin anyone? Or Deion?

    And the NBC crew is lacking as well, how often do we have to be subjected to a patronizing gaping orifice like Bob Costas? Or Tony Dungy? Both networks are as pleasant as getting a colonoscopy, a root canal, and having a cheese grater ran across your forehead all at once by Roseanne Barr in the nude.

    Suzy Kolber is annoying. Surely there are other options to select from. But as another poster said, this is a different network now and they give awards to science projects gone awry.

  52. As far as ESPN leaving sunday nite for mnf, it wasnt their call- the owners wanted their sunday nite game on free tv and they got mnf as a consolation prize.

  53. Berman looks awful in front of a camera. Get these old guys off the set and let some of the kids have a chance.. Tired of all this old, decrepit on air talent staying on looking like death warmed over.. NBC, the same thing.. Bob Costas and Tom Hammond, get them outta here..

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