Dan Le Batard's run at ESPN will come to an end next year. On Thursday, ESPN and Le Batard announced he would be leaving the network on Jan. 4. Le Batard is known for being the host of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz and Highly Questionable.
“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 statement. “Can’t believe Stugotz finally achieved his dream of becoming a high-priced free agent." Le Batard also thanked several people in his statement for helping him along the way. He also thanked "Disney and ESPN for a quarter-century of absurd blessings. To my loyal army of concerned fans, and to everyone who walked along and played an instrument in our Marching Band to Nowhere, know that it's a very exciting time for us, not a sad one."
Le Batard leaving is ESPN is not a huge surprise as Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote last month that the two were heading for a breakup. ESPN laid off one of Le Batard's producers, Chris Cote, and Le Batard was "blindsided" by the news. He also said it was the "greatest disrespect of my professional career." Highly Questionable will still air without Le Batard. However, his final ESPN episode of the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will air on Jan. 4.
"It was mutually agreed that it was best for both sides to move on to new opportunities and we worked together closely to make that possible," Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president and executive editor, said in a prepared statement as reported by Variety. "We thank Dan for his many years and contributions to ESPN and wish him all the best going forward."
Le Batard, 51, is one of the most respected sports journalists in the country, working for the Miami Herald for more than 25 years. He began doing sports radio in 2004, and ESPN Radio picked up his show in 2013. With Le Batard leaving, Mike Greenberg's show Greeny will move to the 10 a.m. to noon ET radio shot held by Le Batard's show. Le Batard has not announced if he will join another network.