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John Clayton out at ESPN, but staying on Seattle radio

Clayton has been an NFL reporting staple in Seattle since 1986.

ESPN broadcaster John Clayton smiles prior to the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime Puget Sound-based NFL writer and reporter John Clayton is being let go by ESPN, but will still be on the airwaves in Seattle.

Clayton confirmed the news on Twitter Wednesday after The Sporting News first reported it as part of the many layoffs at ESPN.

Clayton, a Pennsylvania native, began his career covering the Pittsburgh Steelers before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1986 to become a Seahawks beat writer for The News Tribune.

Eventually, the man nicknamed "The Professor" was a regular on the national NFL beat for ESPN.

He also hosted a Saturday morning show on 950 KJR-AM. When KIRO-AM became affiliated with ESPN and went to an all-sports format, Clayton moved over. He continued his Saturday morning show on the new station and now hosts a weekday morning show.

Clayton says he will keep his radio gig. Even though KIRO Radio is affiliated with ESPN, it is owned by Bonneville International.

Clayton was presented with the Dick McCann Memorial Award in 2007, inducting him into the writer's wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Casual sports fans may know Clayton best from his "This is SportsCenter" commercial in which he wraps up an interview, lets his hair down, cranks up his stereo, breaks out his "Slayer" t-shirt and eats Chinese food on his bed, yelling "Hey, mom! I'm done with my segment!"

Clayton alluded to the ad in his announcement Wednesday.

ESPN announced in April it was laying off about 100 people, including some well-known on-air names. They include NFL reporter Ed Werder, college basketball writer Andy Katz, NFL analyst Trent Dilfer, MLB writer Jayson Stark, and auto racing and college football commentator Dr. Jerry Punch.

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