Matthew Berry, ESPN’s fantasy guru, is leaving the network

Matthew Berry, ESPN’s longtime fantasy sports guru, is leaving the network, Berry and ESPN announced Monday.

“Here is a sentence I never thought I’d write. I can confirm that after 15 amazing years, I am leaving ESPN,” Berry tweeted Monday. He added that when he came to the company in 2007, fantasy football was “a niche of a niche,” and ESPN was struggling to keep up.

“Now, many years later, I am so incredibly proud of all the work we have done together to bring fantasy football into the mainstream and, specifically, make ESPN the leading game and content destination for fantasy players everywhere,” he wrote.

Berry, whose title was Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst, did not say what his next step would be after ESPN.

ESPN followed up Berry’s statement with one of their own, praising Berry and his work helping grow fantasy sports.

“Matthew Berry expressed a desire to explore new opportunities beyond ESPN. After discussing it with him, we agreed to support it,” the network said in a statement Monday. “Since joining 15 years ago, Matthew has provided a distinctive and creative voice and been a catalyst in the proliferation of fantasy sports.”

Berry’s departure represents the end of an era at ESPN. Fantasy sports is a lucrative business for the network, and Berry was, in many ways, the face of that enterprise. Berry’s takes on fantasy sports drove eyeballs and traffic to ESPN airwaves, digital platforms and podcasts.

For example, “The Fantasy Focus Football” podcast, which Berry hosted alongside Field Yates and Stephania Bell, has been the company’s “top-rated podcast on a yearly basis,” according to ESPN.

The network added that even though Berry is leaving, it is still “committed as ever to fantasy sports.” ESPN also said that it will announce “details about programming, personalities, and our games in the weeks ahead.”

Berry ended his statement on Monday with a thanks to the millions of fans and fantasy players who have followed him over the years.

“May your Flex plays always hit, your trades never get vetoed, and your Monday Night miracles all come through,” he wrote.

The-CNN-Wire
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