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Stephen A. Smith admits he wanted Max Kellerman off First take

"It wasn't a great partnership anymore."

Photo: Getty/Jesse D. Garrabrant

First Take host Stephen A. Smith has admitted to wanting former co-host Max Kellerman off the show.

Last month, ESPN shockingly announced Kellerman would be leaving First Take and would get his own show, sparking rumors of personal problems between the two television personalities. While Smith has confirmed he wanted Kellerman gone, he insists they have a good relationship and pushed for the split because the chemistry was simply no longer there.

“The rumors are accurate in terms of me wanting him off the show. Let’s get that out of the way,” Smith said on Ebro in the Morning.

He added:

“Sometimes it just stalls. And the audience lets you know that it is what it is, and you feel the need for something fresh, you feel the need to retool. … It’s not like I wanted the guy to be fired or anything like that. I knew that there were landing spots for him available at this network that would generate just as much, if not more, revenue for him and all of that other stuff.

“It wasn’t really about asking him to be off the show. It was about the fact that we, together, as far as I was concerned, was not a great partnership anymore, and that was something that needed to change.”

As mentioned above, Kellerman has been given his own show, called This Just In, while Smith will have rotating panelists sitting on the other end of the table during First Take.

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