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Another ESPN Host Defects to Fox: ‘I’m Taking Off the handcuffs’

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“Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful,” says the outspoken host, who leaves the Disney-owned network after 12 years for a new show that will launch Sept. 6.

Skip Bayless says his move to Fox Sports 1 — with a new daily program that is set to bow Sept. 6 — will allow him to remove the “handcuffs” he’s been compelled to wear at ESPN, where he hosted the popular ESPN2 program First Take with Stephen A. Smith.

“Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful,” Bayless tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview officially revealing his move. “It’s a Disney network. There are just certain boundaries that you can’t even tiptoe along. Not that we won’t have boundaries at Fox, because we will. [But] they will trust me to go a little deeper. I can be completely honest on everything.”

The long-rumored announcement is expected to be made Monday from Fox Sports National Networks president Jamie Horowitz, who had oversight of First Take while he was a vp at ESPN. And Bayless’ FS1 show will air from 10 a.m. to noon, going head-to-head with First Take. (Max Kellerman debuted July 25 as Smith’s new co-host.) – READ MORE

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