ESPN Needs New Host Of Monday Night Football After Laying Off Suzy Kolber; Several In-House Candidates Emerge

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ESPN has laid off Suzy Kolber.

Kolber made the announcement on her Twitter page Friday.

Earlier in the day, ESPN also laid off Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, and Jalen Rose.

The cuts come as the network plans to shed $30 million as part of parent company Disney’s cost-cutting strategy.

Kolber’s dismissal opens up perhaps the most sought-after piece of real estate to come from the cuts. She previously hosted Monday Night Countdown, the lead-in and pregame show for the network’s signature NFL package.

It’s one of the most valued positions in the network — and increasing in value.

It will be the host of Monday Night Countdown who fronts ABC/ESPN’s return to the Super Bowl rotation in 2027.

Look for ESPN to consider several in-house options for the role.

ESPN veteran Steve Levy is one. Levy previously called MNF until the arrival of Joe Buck last season. Levy is synonymous with ESPN and a better host than a game-caller.

NFL Live anchor Laura Rutledge could also receive interest. The network has positioned Rutledge as its NFL host of the future.

Rutledge is a talented broadcaster and has done well transitioning from covering SEC football to professional football.

Perhaps Scott Van Pelt is another name to watch. SVP is the second-biggest star at the network after Stephen A. Smith.

And he might need a landing spot.

SVP recently told SI he plans to depart his midnight SportsCenter program in the next three years. His contract expires in two years and ESPN will certainly look to entice him with a gig as good as his last.

Elevating SVP to Monday Night Football would check off that box. And quite frankly, there’s no better host at the network to anchor the network’s first Super Bowl since 2006 than Van Pelt.

ESPN will also need to replace the analyst position on Countdown as Steve Young was also informed he would be cut.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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