Dan Le Batard’s tenure at ESPN has always been an interesting one, as the legendary Miami radio and TV host has clashed with management at times but also lent a unique and fresh voice to their airwaves that’s been of great benefit to the network. In January, their partnership will come to an end, with ESPN announcing on Thursday that January 4 will be the last day for The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on ESPN Radio and Dan’s final day hosting Highly Questionable.
Highly Questionable will remain on the ESPN afternoon show lineup with a rotating cast of hosts, one would think led by Bomani Jones and the numerous other co-hosts that have joined Dan on a regular basis over the last few years. As for Le Batard’s radio show, that will be headed to a new home as the release cites Dan looking to “pursue a new opportunity.” Le Batard also thanked ESPN for his time there and the numerous people that helped create and bring his shows to life.
“Gracias to ESPN for unleashing Papi and Stugotz upon an unsuspecting America, and for lending its substantive credibility to our careening clown car,” Le Batard said in a release. “Can’t believe Stugotz finally achieved his dream of becoming a high-priced free agent. I’m forever indebted to Erik Rydholm, Matt Kelliher and their vibrant team for providing a creative oasis across a decade, and for expanding the Le Batard family to include so many brilliant colleagues who have become forever friends, bonded eternally by laughter and love. Want to also extend my gratitude to Chuck Salituro, Jimmy Pitaro, Traug Keller, Marcia Keegan, Connor Schell, Juan Diaz, Mike Foss, Amanda Gifford, Liam Chapman, Megan Judge, Elizabeth Fierman, the Hialeah-soaked crew at Imagina …and when did this become a droning acceptance speech instead of a quick goodbye? In short, thank you, Disney and ESPN, for a quarter century of absurd blessings. 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.”
Wherever Le Batard goes next, he’ll surely bring his extremely large and loyal following with him, and for ESPN it’s an interesting choice to let him walk given the popularity of his show and the podcasts that came from his network.