Featured Commentator, First Take
Stephen A. Smith, along with Max Kellerman, is a featured commentator on ESPN’s First Take weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, discussing and debating the sports topics of the day. He joined First Take on a permanent basis in 2012. Smith also hosts a weekly NBA pregame show on Wednesdays during the season, SportsCenter with Stephen A. Smith (since 2019), as well as several other SportsCenter specials throughout the year (since 2018). Smith is a regular contributor across the network’s studio programming surrounding marquee events.
In January 2021, Smith debuted Stephen A’s World on ESPN+. The weeknight show goes beyond the sports headlines to give the audience an authentic and unique understanding of the stories that matter. Smith brings viewers his entertaining perspective, including deep expertise and unparalleled relationships with some of the most influential figures in sports, entertainment, and beyond. Alongside ESPN, Stephen A. is the executive producer of the show with his production company Mr. SAS Productions.
In September 2019, Smith and First Take traveled to the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Del., to do a show as part of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. Smith – an HBCU graduate – was also named the event’s ambassador by the city. The show saw First Take’s largest in-person audience ever and led in to a college fair that offered on-the-spot acceptance, scholarships and much more for prospective students.
In September 2014, Smith began hosting the daily The Stephen A. Smith Show on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio. In January 2017, The Stephen A. Smith Show moved to ESPN’s SiriusXM channel and simulcast on ESPN’s owned and operated stations in New York (98.7FM) and Los Angeles (710AM), airing 1-3 p.m. In January 2018, the program expanded to the national ESPN Radio network and was available across ESPN Radio stations throughout the country. In August 2018, The Stephen A. Smith Show joined the ESPNEWS weekday ESPN Radio simulcast lineup until the show’s finale in January 2020.
From 2011 to 2014, Smith hosted a two-hour (1-3 p.m.), weekday local show on ESPN Radio 98.7FM in New York. For one year, starting in 2011, he also hosted a local show on ESPN LA 710AM in Los Angeles, covering both coasts.
Smith made a variety of contributions to ESPN from 2003-08. Smith hosted The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio from 2005-08. He was also the host of ESPN2’s Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a one-hour show featuring sports news, commentary on sports issues, and interviews, from 2005-07. Smith joined ESPN in 2003 as an analyst for the network’s NBA Shootaround (since renamed NBA Countdown) pregame show. He regularly appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, First Take and as guest host of Pardon the Interruption and Jim Rome is Burning.
Smith also hosted a morning show on Fox Sports Radio. Previously, Smith held several positions, most recently as a general sports columnist for 16 years with the Philadelphia Inquirer (1994-2010). Prior to joining the Inquirer, Smith was a reporter with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record and the New York Daily News.
After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology for one year, Smith received a basketball scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University, a Historically Black University in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he graduated in 1991.
Smith made his acting debut on the ABC soap opera General Hospital in a cameo appearance as a television reporter on February 2, 2007. Later the same year, he was in the Chris Rock motion picture, I Think I Love My Wife. Smith returned to General Hospital in April 2016 as Brick, a surveillance expert for the Mob.
Since 2014, he has appeared in a series of Oberto all-natural beef jerky commercials as “The Little Voice in Your Stomach,” each time appearing alongside sports figures, such as Richard Sherman, Louie Vito and ESPN’s Dick Vitale.