Former ESPN chief John Skipper and Dan Le Batard, the former host of ESPN network’s “Highly Questionable,” are teaming up to launch a new sports-focused content company, an individual with knowledge tells TheWrap.
Skipper, who resigned from ESPN in 2017, would remain in his current position as executive chair of DAZN Group but could possibly shift focus away from his day-to-day responsibilities at the company, according to the Miami Herald, which suggested that Kevin Mayer, a former high-ranking Disney exec who now is an adviser to DAZN parent company Access Industries, might take over some of those specific duties at DAZN.
According to Sports Business Journal, Skipper and Le Batard are looking to sell Le Batard’s new podcast, which he launched after his recent ESPN exit, and hire a staff to create sports-focused editorial content for their company, with the expectation that the scope of content could branch out into other topics besides sports.
Representatives for Skipper and DAZN Group did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Le Batard, who was hired by Skipper in 2011 to join ESPN, left his longtime home at the network earlier this month, a decision that was announced Dec. 3. That followed his clash with ESPN executives when the network laid off Chris Cote, a producer on “The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.” Le Batard called the move “the greatest disrespect of my professional career” on air, volunteering to pay Cote’s salary himself.
In a lengthy statement, Le Batard thanked Disney and ESPN for “a quarter century of absurd blessings,” adding: “To our loyal army of concerned fans, and to everyone who walked along and played an instrument in our Marching Band to Nowhere, know that it is a very exciting time for us, not a sad one. And that you’ll be hearing our laughter again soon enough.”
The final episode of “The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz” was broadcast Jan. 4, with Le Batard’s final episode of his weekday commentary show “Highly Questionable” airing that same day.
Le Batard’s weekday commentary show “Highly Questionable” will continue on ESPN with a contributing team including Elle Duncan, Domonique Foxworth, Israel Gutierrez, Bomani Jones, Mina Kimes, Katie Nolan, Sarah Spain, Pablo Torre and Clinton Yates.