Dan Le Batard has ventured off on his own after two decades at ESPN, as the longtime columnist, radio host, and TV personality parted ways with the four-letter on January 4 with an emotional goodbye on Highly Questionable.
In the week-plus since, Le Batard’s radio show has been doing a “pirate” broadcast now that it is independent and while there was ample speculation about where the wildly popular show would land, the answer we got over the weekend was that Le Batard and former ESPN chief John Skipper would be teaming up to launch a new media company. While we don’t know specifics on a launch date for the new outlet or even a name, we do have some details on who they will be targeting to bring on board.
According to Front Office Sports, they are going after a number of Le Batard’s former ESPN colleagues, including Jemele Hill (who confirmed discussions in the story), Bomani Jones, Kate Fagan, and Erik Rydholm — the producer and creator of Highly Questionable, PTI, and much of ESPN’s afternoon block.
“We’re trying to figure out the most productive way to work together,” Hill told Front Office Sports. “Both John and Dan know I have such a deep level of respect for them. So me working with them again always felt like it was inevitable.”
Hill has a number of projects she is working on, like her Vice show Stick To Sports with Cari Champion as well as a Spotify podcast, so it seems the biggest hurdle is figuring out exactly what her role would be and how involved she is. Jones is still under contract with ESPN, having taken over Highly Questionable in Le Batard’s absence among other responsibilities, so swiping him away would be quite the task.
In any case, the Le Batard and Skipper company clearly has a vision for the type of personality they want to bring on board and see themselves as capable of landing some very big fish — which also indicates they will have ample funding behind them.