Stephen A. Smith has a lot of power.
The Big Lead has published its annual ranking of the most-powerful people in sports media.
Sitting at No. 1 is First Take shouter Stephen A. Smith. The 49-year-old personality has become one of the faces of ESPN.
Stephen A., as much as this may be to your chagrin, is the most visible personality on ESPN, which remains far and away the most significant sports media platform. Part of power is how you wield it: When First Take ratings were in decline, the program got moved to ESPN. It was given a platform during halftime of Monday Night Football. His recent return to ESPN Radio displaced Dan Le Batard from the terrestrial New York market, and Russillo & Kanell from ESPN’s primary Sirius XM channel. You can make an argument that all of this, in addition to his omnipotence during the NBA playoffs, will leave Stephen A. overexposed. Heavy is the head that wears the crown?
Smith's former co-host, Skip Bayless, came in at No. 3.
You can read the full ranking here.