Max Kellerman has left ESPN (1050) radio in what was described yesterday as a "mutual" decision.
Kellerman had worked middays at 1050 since 2006, briefly teamed with Brian Kenny, on a show that had more than its share of behind-the-scenes drama and controversy. He signed a contract last autumn but asked to be released from it Monday.
"Max's agent called me and said, 'He's not happy,"' 1050 general manager Tim McCarthy said. "And I said, 'I understand.' They asked if we would let him out."
McCarthy did, saying he did not feel "holding him back was the right thing."
"I think he was very upset he was cut back," McCarthy said. "I think if that didn't happen I would not have gotten that call."
Kellerman, speaking through a representative, declined to comment.
McCarthy said that adding Cowherd was a local decision, not one dictated from ESPN headquarters. It was part of the adjustments that followed the extension of Michael Kay's show to 2 to 7 p.m.
"It was just a better fit for the market and the audience," said McCarthy, who plans to continue using a New York-based host from 10 to noon. Brandon Tierney, filling in for now, is a candidate.
Kellerman's availability sparked speculation about him joining WFAN's Mike Francesa, who has been in the market for a younger personality. Francesa declined to comment, as did operations manager Mark Chernoff, beyond noting that several years ago he had Kellerman try out with Sid Rosenberg for a show on 92.3-FM.
Chernoff called Kellerman "talented" and said of that tryout, "It got a little volatile, but they did have chemistry."