Television personality Sal Masekela has announced his future plans, but they do not include the X Games.
Masekela has signed a multi-year agreement with Red Bull Media House, according to a statement released by Red Bull on Monday, effectively ending his 13-year stint with ESPN and the X Games."The reaction [to departing X Games] has been far more than than I expected and humbling. At a certain point I think the network wanted me to make a choice, but the best thing to do was to make that choice and move on." Masekela said to ESPN.com. "The Signature Series had already been so much fun and what was put on the table for the next two years, it allowed me to say you know what, now's a good time to move on to something greater."
Since Masekela made his X Games debut at the 1999 Winter X Games, he has worked on every X Games and Winter X Games in a variety of capacities, including skateboarding and snowboarding host and X Games reporter. In 2001 he became the overall host of ESPN and ESPN2's coverage of the summer and winter events.
"With the expansion of X Games globally, things are moving in a different direction and we are very excited about bringing the X Games brand to a global stage. We thank Sal and appreciate his tremendous contributions over the years and wish him well in the future," ESPN said in a statement.
In addition to his X Games hosting duties, Masekela worked at ESPN as an NBA sideline reporter and was a correspondent during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He also worked at Transworld Publications and hosted a show on the E! network.Masekela's Red Bull agreement is an extension from his work with NBC Sports this year, producing approximately 35 hours of programming for the Red Bull Signature Series.
"This past year working with Red Bull Media House has been an incredible global adventure and far too much fun," Masekela said in a statement released by Red Bull. "I'm looking forward to our continued partnership with an eye to presenting a truly spectacular platform of action sports events coupled with innovative storytelling. I feel lucky, at this point in my career to be a part of this groundbreaking team."
Masekela will continue his work on the new NBC Sports channel as well as develop original content for Red Bull Media House across their platforms, according to the statement. Red Bull Media House has also agreed to support his music, specifically with his band Alekesam. Masekela's father Hugh Masekela is a South African jazz icon.
The new X Games host has not yet been announced.