Bob Ley, who joined ESPN the week it launched in 1979 and worked there for the ensuing 40 years, announced his retirement from the network on Wednesday, effective at the end of the month. Ley, 64, who had been on a leave of absence since October, is ESPN’s longest-serving anchor, and long has been a respected journalistic voice at the network.
“To be clear, this is entirely my decision,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “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.”
He also wrote that he has “enjoyed a professional journey unimaginable” when he joined the network, adding, “Each day since has been a unique adventure, one I embraced for the challenge and unequaled fun of a job like no other.”
Ley thanked the network, his colleagues, and viewers.
“In September, I signed off my last show saying, ‘I’ll catch you on the flip side,’ ” he wrote. “Now it’s time to take that vinyl off the turntable [ask your folks], turn it over, and drop that needle on the B-side. There are always great cuts, and hidden gems on the B-side. Thank you for a great run.”
Ley joined ESPN as a “SportsCenter” anchor on Sept. 9, 1979, its third day of operation. In recent years he has been best known as host of “Outside the Lines,” ESPN’s investigative news show.
He won 11 Sports Emmys at ESPN, including for outstanding studio host in 2018.
Ley joined Jeremy Schaap on Wednesday’s edition of “Outside the Lines.”