One of ESPN's biggest stars is sticking around for at least a few more years. After rumors that he considered a move to SiriusXM, Dan Le Batard has signed a new four-year deal with the network.
Le Batard hosts two major daily shows for ESPN. His ESPN radio show The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is simulcast on ESPNNews from 10 am to 1 pm on weekday afternoons. Highly Questionable, which he hosts with his father, airs at 4:30 pm as a lead-in to the Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption block.
Le Batard has one of the more unique voices on the network. He has created his own mini-culture within the company down in Miami, and is among the more outspoken people at ESPN, both politically, and about issues within the company.
ESPN reached a four-year deal with Dan Le Batard and Jon "Stugotz" Weiner, his radio cohost.
From the network's press release:
Dan Le Batard and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, hosts of the popular daytime ESPN Radio program The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz have signed multiyear agreements to remain with ESPN. The duo will continue to host their Miami-based program, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET, on ESPN Radio (and simulcast on ESPNEWS). Le Batard will also continue to co-host Highly Questionable alongside his father Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard and another of a rotating crop of guest hosts. Le Batard will also conduct six longform interviews each year that will live across multiple ESPN platforms including TV and digital. Weiner will make appearances on SportsCenter and continue hosting and guesting on other ESPN Radio shows.
“ESPN has given us ridiculous freedom to have fun, and made us more popular than we deserve,” said Le Batard. “A whole lot of people have supported our nonsense in a way that isn’t always easy to support but easy to grow. As an added bonus – and we’re especially thankful for this – they also pay us.”
Added Weiner: “I was hoping for the lifetime contract, to be honest. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe next time.”
ESPN VP Traug Keller's description of Stugotz's particular talents is legitimately hilarious.
ESPN Senior Vice President, Audio and Talent, Traug Keller said: “Dan and Stugotz have a chemistry and a viewpoint that is among the most unique in the business. They take what they do seriously, but not themselves, which bonds them with a growing group of loyal listeners. Dan’s sensibilities and intelligence combined with Stugotz’s incredible lack of either quality is a winning combination. I look forward to the stress of having to listen to the show in the years to come!”
Dan Le Batard and his crew are definitely not for everyone, but they've built a dedicated audience over the last few years. Locking him down was a very important move by ESPN.