Behind the Mic: ESPN Sends Contract Extensions to Bomani Jones, Pablo Torre; Emmanuel Acho Jumps to Fox Sports’ Speak For Yourself

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, ESPN re-ups two notable names, a former NFL linebacker makes the leap from ESPN to Fox Sports, and more.

ESPN has reached a multi-year contract extension with host and commentator Bomani Jones. Jones will continue to lead his popular ESPN Podcast, The Right Time with Bomani Jones, twice per week (Tuesday and Thursday). In May, The Right Time was downloaded more than 650,000 times, a 60% increase over last year.

His ESPN Audio presence will also include regular guest appearances across ESPN Radio sports talk programming.

Jones will play a significant role on Highly Questionable alongside Dan Le Batard, appearing three or four days each week. He will also continue to be a key contributor across ESPN’s television studio lineup, including SportsCenter, Get Up, Outside the Lines, and as a panelist on Around the Horn.

“I’m thrilled to continue my tenure at ESPN,” Jones said. “The Right Time is growing, and the ability to share my voice on many shows and platforms is exciting in this moment.”

“Bomani’s voice is impactful and resonates across platforms,” says Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor, production. “He is an important member of our team and we are very happy he will continue to help us serve sports fans.”

Known for insightful sports commentary and thought-provoking conversations on social topics, Jones joined ESPN full time in 2013 as a co-host of Highly Questionable and launched his podcast, The Right Time with Bomani Jones, in April 2018. He hosted ESPN Radio’s The Right Time with Bomani Jones from 2015-17. From 2018-20, he co-hosted High Noon on ESPN. Jones has contributed to ESPN across a variety of platforms since 2004…

…ESPN commentator Pablo Torre will become the new, full-time host of the ESPN Daily podcast in August – beginning the transition by working select shows in July – as part of a new, multi-year contract extension with the network. With new editions every weekday morning, ESPN Daily brings sports fans an inside look at some of the most intriguing stories with ESPN’s industry-leading journalistic resources and deep roster of reporters, producers and commentators.

Torre will continue to evolve the successful podcast, which launched in October 2019. Mina Kimes, the original host, will be joining the network’s NFL Live team as an analyst and will host The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny football podcast. Kimes will continue to be a key contributor to ESPN Daily.

Torre will also continue to have a presence on ESPN’s weekday afternoon studio shows Highly Questionable and Around the Horn and make appearances on the network’s other studio shows.

Torre joined ESPN from Sports Illustrated in 2012 as a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. His writing has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Boxing Writers Association of America, the Association of Health Care Journalists, GLAAD, Mental Health America, and The Best American Sports Writing.

In addition, Torre has been a contributor to the network’s ESPN Films projects, including appearing in the 30 for 30 “Broke” – based on his own reporting of athletes’ financial health – in 2012, and writing and producing his first 30 for 30 short film “Friedman’s Shoes” in 2016. From 2018-20, he co-hosted High Noon on ESPN with Bomani Jones…

…Former NFL linebacker and celebrated broadcaster Emmanuel Acho joined Fox Sports as co-host of Speak For Yourself on FS1. Acho is partnering with Marcellus Wiley for a revamped version of the show airing weekdays at 3:00 PM ET on FS1 that began on the week of Monday, June 22.

Acho was taken in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns after a four-year college career with the Texas Longhorns. After spending four seasons in the NFL, largely with the Philadelphia Eagles, he transitioned into broadcasting as an analyst for the Longhorn Network in 2016. Acho quickly emerged as one of the sport’s preeminent voices and made the leap to ESPN in 2018, appearing on college football Saturday programming as well as the network’s studio shows. In 2019, he was recognized for his exemplary on-air work as a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree.

Outside of broadcasting, Acho is well known for his advocacy work, most recently producing a video series titled Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, which opened a virtual conversation with white America to educate and inform on racism and social injustice. The series has been a resounding success, debuting with over 22 million views across social media platforms and garnering widespread media coverage. Acho also takes an active role in his family’s non-profit organization, Living Hope Christian Ministries, which provides medical care to rural communities in Nigeria.

A Dallas native, Acho holds a bachelor’s degree in sports management and a master’s degree in sports psychology from The University of Texas at Austin…

…One of the best in the business has come on board as Sportsnet welcomed award-winning broadcaster – and one of Canada’s most recognizable hockey voices – Chris Cuthbert to the Sportsnet family.

Bringing more than 30 years of broadcast excellence, an undeniable passion for the game, and an unwavering dedication to Canadian viewers to the network, he is set to join the NHL on Sportsnet team as play-by-play announcer upon the league’s return to play.

Having started his broadcast career in 1979, Cuthbert has not only called NHL hockey and the Stanley Cup Playoffs for many years, but also various Olympic sports, and the CFL regular season and Grey Cup Championships. Amongst his most memorable and career-defining calls is Sidney Crosby’s “golden goal” from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Cuthbert is a five-time Canadian Screen Award (formerly Gemini) winner for his broadcasting work as well as a Sports Media Canada Broadcaster of the Year honoree. He is also a member of the Football Reporters of Canada Hall of Fame…

…Veteran broadcaster Charles Davis has joined CBS Sports as a game analyst for the CBS Television Network’s coverage of The NFL on CBS. He will team with Ian Eagle, along with reporter Evan Washburn, to form the Network’s No. 2 NFL on CBS announce team.

Davis also will contribute with analysis and commentary to all the CBS Sports platforms including CBS Sports Network, as well as CBS Sports HQ and various CBS Sports digital platforms, during the Network’s coverage of both the NFL and college football.

A member of Fox Sports since 2006, Davis moved into the NFL on Fox booth fulltime in 2015 where he served as analyst on the No. 2 announce team and called his first NFL playoff game in the 2018 NFC Divisional Playoffs.

Previously, Davis served as the lead analyst on Fox’s college football coverage. He was on the call for three consecutive BCS National Championship games between 2007-09, also covering the 2008 Sugar Bowl and 2009 Orange Bowl. In addition, Davis served as an on-course reporter during Fox Sports’ inaugural golf coverage of the U.S. Open Championship in 2015.

Prior to joining Fox Sports, Davis worked five seasons as the lead analyst for TBS’ college football game coverage of the Big 12 and Pac-10 conferences. During that time, he also worked as a game analyst for NBC’s coverage of the Arena Football League from 2003-06. Davis has covered the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for CBS (2001-02), the NBA playoffs for TNT, and both BIG EAST and Conference USA basketball for ESPN Plus’ regional coverage.