Skip Bayless (born December 4, 1951) is an American sports columnist, author, and television personality who is best known as a commentator on the ESPN2 show, First Take, with Stephen A. Smith.
In 1989, Bayless joined host Dick Schaap as a panelist on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters, and over the next decade, he was a regular on the Sunday morning show. In 1992, Bayless became a member of the original debate team on NFL Prime Monday ’s “Knights of the Roundtable” segments with Mitch Albom and Michael Wilbon.
In 1999 and 2000, he provided commentary for the Golf Channel from the major golf championships.
In 2001 and 2002, Skip Bayless appeared regularly on Jim Rome’s show on Fox Sports Net, The Last Word. He also made frequent appearances during the same period of time on Fox’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period. When Rome moved to ESPN in 2003, Skip Bayless became a fixture on Rome is Burning. He was also featured in a weekly Sunday morning SportsCenter debate segment with Stephen A. Smith, “Old School/Nu Skool”.
ESPN hired Skip Bayless full-time in 2004 to team with Woody Paige of The Denver Post in daily debate segments called “1st and 10” on ESPN2’s Cold Pizza, and to write columns for ESPN.com. In May 2007, the show, which had been produced in the network’s New York studios, was rebranded as First Take and production was moved to the network’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Around this time, Bayless stopped writing for ESPN.com; he resumed writing columns for the website in August 2012.