ESPN’s Bob Ley Retires After 40 Years

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Bob Ley
February 19, 2012 - Bristol, CT - Studio D: Host Bob Ley on the set of Outside the Lines.(photo by Rich Arden/ESPN Images)

One of the iconic names in broadcast history and a staple at ESPN since it’s inception is calling it a career after 40 years in the business.

ESPN’s Bob Ley has announced his retirement, according to ESPN.

Ley, ESPN’s longest-tenured anchor, took a leave of absence back in October of last year, said that he would be retiring at the end of the month in a statement.

“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 said.

Ley joined ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor back on September 9th, 1979, which was the third day of the network’s operation.

“Through the decades, and my innumerable experiences at ESPN, I have built many deep and fulfilling friendships. You know who you are. I hope you also know how much you mean to me. We have shared an American story unlike any other. And we will continue to do so in the years ahead,” Ley said.

“I have been gifted by our viewers and consumers with a precious commodity — your trust. To be invited into your homes was a privilege I never took for granted, one I worked each day to uphold. Thank you for that.

Ley won 11 Sports Emmy Awards during his career at ESPN, including an Emmy for outstanding studio host back in 2018.

“In September, I signed off my last show saying, ‘I’ll catch you on the flip side.’ Now it’s time to take that vinyl off the turntable (ask your folks), flip it over, and drop the needle on the B-side. There are always great cuts, and hidden gems on the B-side.

Ley and Outside the Lines won four Edward R. Murrow Awards, among many others.

“Thank you for a great run.”

Ley was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame earlier this week.