On Monday ESPN announced that Max Kellerman will join Stephen A. Smith as the co-host of First Take, taking the seat most recently occupied by Skip Bayless.

Kellerman will step into the role starting July 25, joining Smith and moderator Molly Qerim.

It’s a safe — and I’d argue smart — decision by ESPN. Kellerman is a pro, having worked on numerous television shows for ESPN. He’s also used to the debate format, as he’s done Around the Horn and currently hosts Max & Marcellus on ESPNLA 710AM. (His last radio show will be this Friday, July 15.)

He can talk, he’s smart, he won’t back down from Smith, and while I’m sure the takes will run plenty hot, Kellerman can provide some needed context and subtlety to a program that’s been lacking in it.

What all this means for the ratings, we’ll have to see.

For The Win
Max Kellerman a safe — but smart — replacement for Skip Bayless on 'First Take'
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