The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz could be in the process of finding a new home. According to a report by TheBigLead, the radio show is in discussions with SiriusXM.
According to the report, Le Batard's contract with the Worldwide Leader expires in the early summer. The news comes just days after new ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro has stepped into his new role.
Dan Le Batard has had discussions about the possibility of moving his ESPN radio show exclusively to SiriusXM, The Big Lead has learned from two people with knowledge of the news. Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, they requested anonymity.
Le Batard is an outspoken supporter of former ESPN president John Skipper. That has led to some speculation about the occasionally-controversial radio and television host's future with ESPN.
TheBigLead does acknowledge that the most likely scenario is probably that Le Batard re-ups with ESPN Radio. From Ryan Glasspiegel's report:
Undoubtedly, he would have more freedom of expression on satellite radio. Nevertheless, in reporting this story, the indications I got were that the people in charge of content at ESPN are in Le Batard’s corner when it comes to continuing to do his show his way, which is more latitude than nearly everyone else at the company. However, we’d have to observe when push comes to shove how they respond to circumstances when Le Batard treads near the ever-roaming line of what they’d prefer he’d not do. If the NFL powers that be ever took direct issue with him to his bosses like Manfred did, what would happen?
A move to SiriusXM could bring Le Batard more freedom to do what he wants on his show. The radio giant could also build an entire station around him.
Dan Le Batard leaving ESPN would potentially leave major holes in the network's broadcast schedule.
The radio show is currently simulcast on ESPNU from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET during the week. It is preceded by a radio-only local hour that is focused on Miami sports.
Dan Le Batard is also the host of the popular ESPN show Highly Questionable, which airs at 4:30 p.m. before the Around The Horn/Pardon The Interruption block. It is unclear whether the radio show would move but Le Batard would stay on air for ESPN in other capacities.
Two of his most frequent guests and co-hosts, Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre, have a new show coming to the network this year. Jones was previously the full-time co-host of Highly Questionable, along with Le Batard and his father Gonzalo "Papi" Le Batard.
He is at the center of a group of younger, more outspoken ESPN personalities like Jones, Torre, Sarah Spain, Domonique Foxworth, Mina Kimes, and others, that frequently appear on each others' shows. Leaving ESPN could have a major impact on that arrangement as well.
There are plenty of big changes on the horizon at ESPN, with a new president in tow. This would definitely be among them.