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Chris Berman To Step Down From Hosting Duties After Super Bowl

Chris Berman will no longer serve as host of ESPN shows like Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL PrimeTime after the upcoming Super Bowl.

Back in May, it was reported that Berman would be retiring after the 2016-17 football season. That was refuted shortly after it was published, but now it is official that "Boomer" will be moving on to a reduced role with the network after this football season wraps up.

Sports Business Daily reporter John Ourand broke the news earlier today.

Chris Berman will step down as the host of ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown," "NFL PrimeTime" and "Monday Night Countdown" after this year’s Super Bowl, ending a 31-year run as ESPN's primary NFL studio host, during which time he became the net’s most recognizable face. Berman, who has been at ESPN since '79 and has been an instrumental part of the net’s growth over the past three decades, also will stop hosting such marquee events for the net as the NFL Draft and Home Run Derby. The moves come as part of a new multiyear deal that will keep 61-year-old Berman at ESPN in a reduced role.

ESPN has since put out a release, confirming the news, and adding some detail on what Berman's new role will entail.

Berman will make appearances on-air and will also serve in public-facing roles on behalf of the company, stepping away from his longtime position as the face of ESPN’s NFL studio coverage, NFL Draft and Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby.

Berman will continue to host ESPN’s NFL PrimeTime highlights show from the field after the Super Bowl as well as the NFL Conference Championship games. He will also offer opinion and perspective on historical events in the NFL, including still appearing weekly on Monday Night Countdown. In addition, he will handle play-by-play for ESPN Radio during the MLB Divisional Playoffs and participate in ESPN’s annual ESPYS Awards.

Berman has faced criticism from many fans for his style and shtick over the last few years, but he has been with the company since its inception, and is in many ways, the enduring face of ESPN. He'll likely have a role at the Worldwide Leader as long as he wants one.

[SBD; ESPN]