After spending the last 40 years working for ESPN, Bob Ley announced his retirement from the network Wednesday morning. Ley had been ESPN’s longest-tenured anchor as he began working with the network on September 9, 1979, its third day of existence. He had been taking a leave of absence since last October.
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Legendary @espn Anchor Bob Ley has announced his retirement after a 40 year career at ESPN. . . . . Ley joined ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor on Sept. 9, 1979 — the third day of the network's operation. In 1980, he hosted the first-ever NCAA selection show and live broadcast of the NFL draft and continued in that role for the next nine years. . . . . He was the host of Outside The Lines, ESPN's investigative news program, since the show launched in May 1990 and also hosted ESPN's weekly E:60 show on Sunday mornings, leading the coverage of several important stories. As host of OTL, Ley was a leader in reporting on concussions and CTE and the NFL's handling of domestic violence cases. . . . . #bobley #espn #anchor #legend #40years #oneofthebestever #outsidethelines #sportscenter #jamonboltonshow #sportspodcast #podcaster #podcasting
In a heartfelt tweet posted at 9:31 a.m. on June 26, Ley stated “I will be retiring from ESPN, as of the end of the month. To be clear, this is entirely my decision. I enjoy the best of health and the many blessings of friends and family, and it is in that context that I’m making this change.”
Ley, 64, is most known for his time as the host of ESPN’s Outside the Lines. The show, which focuses on investigative reporting, had been hosted by Ley since its premiere in May 1990. He also spent many years hosting the feature reporting show E:60 on Sunday mornings.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ley is credited with giving the first live news report after the earthquake that rocked the 1989 World Series, leading ESPN’s 9/11 coverage and serving as a lead reporter on CTE and the Penn State football scandal.
According to ESPN, Ley won 11 Sports Emmy awards and four Edward R. Murrow awards for his reporting and work on Outside the Lines. He was also inducted into the NSMA Hall of Fame for Sports Broadcasting earlier this year.
In a statement, ESPN’s president Jimmy Pitaro said, “Bob was there for all of it and, over the years, his unwavering commitment and unparalleled work ethic drove our journalistic ambitions. The best way we can thank Bob for what he’s meant to ESPN and to sports fans is to continue to uphold the journalistic integrity and principles he’s instilled in ESPN for nearly 40 years.”