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Dan Le Batard Says Losing An Hour On ESPN Radio Feels Like Demotion

” If ESPN is going to tout a reimagined emphasis on Le Batard’s show as a digital product, he wants to see them put effort into growing the platform.”

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Dan Le Batard

With a long list of changes about to take place on ESPN Radio, the one constant is Dan Le Batard, but it’s going to be with a smaller platform. Going from three hours on national radio and television down to two looks like a demotion from the outside, and despite ESPN assuring him it’s not, Le Batard acknowledged the reduced time feels like a demotion. 

Being on vacation this week, Le Batard took time to pre-record a podcast addressing the reports and rumors about his show’s standing with ESPN. The 20-minute podcast was released Wednesday, after ESPN Radio’s new lineup became official. 

“I myself viewed it, and said to people above us ‘hey, this feels like a demotion,’ and the answer I’m getting is ‘no it’s not,’” Le Batard said near the start of the podcast. 

“If you guys are afraid of hurting my toddler feelings and you want to say it’s part of a digital push, I will agree with you once those resources come about that digital push that we’ve been promised,” he added. If ESPN is going to tout a reimagined emphasis on Le Batard’s show as a digital product, he wants to see them put effort into growing the platform. 

Cutting a third of Le Batard’s terrestrial show comes shortly after The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported ESPN Radio was considering removing the show from its lineup altogether. Le Batard quickly responded to that report in April, calling it weird, false and ridiculous. It seemed unlikely, considering he has more than two years left on his contract with ESPN, but after seeing his terrestrial content get cut by a third, Marchand’s story appears more plausible. 

While ESPN says making Le Batard’s third hour digital-only is not a demotion, it’s also not a promotion. But the shift comes as Le Batard, Stugotz and the Shipping Container already have a large digital following. He’s never shown a desire to just ‘stick to sports’ which usually doesn’t align with the thinking of ESPN, but The Worldwide Leader has exemplified a shift on that front recently. Moving an hour of his show off the terrestrial airwaves might inspire Le Batard to focus even less on adhering to the requests of Mickey Mouse. 

If ESPN is starting to transition Le Batard to their digital platform, he will have to decide if it’s the best location for his show going forward. Le Batard is the type of personality and show that could succeed on an all-digital platform. Joe Rogan recently landed a $100 million deal with Spotify, and The Ringer was sold to the same company for nearly $200 million earlier this year. If and when Le Batard puts his show on the open market, he’ll have other suitors.

Sports Radio News

Joy Taylor Says Aaron Rodgers Is More Likeable After Pardon My Take Appearance

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said.

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Joy Taylor

On Monday, the Pardon My Take podcast dropped their latest episode which featured an interview with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Big Cat, one of the show’s co-hosts, is a Chicago Bears fan and has spent a lot of time not liking Rodgers publicly.

Colin Cowherd saw one of the many clips that the show shared and brought up how much he thought that Rodgers took ribbing from Big Cat and the podcast in stride. That’s when Joy Taylor offered that the interview could help Rodgers in the long run.

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said. “When you can show that you don’t take yourself that seriously, all of the animosity that people have towards you just kind of starts to wither away.”

She added that the disarming quality helps if people don’t perceive Rodgers as thinking he has all the answers.

“When people feel like they are projecting ‘I know more than you’ and ‘I’ve got it all figured out’ energy, people are like: ‘you got to be the smartest guy on the room all time time? You’re not.’

This is so likeable,” Taylor said. “It’s really funny.”

Cowherd agreed and even said he is probably going to go listen to it after the show.

“Aaron is genuinely laughing as they make fun of him and that is an incredibly endearing quality.”

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Sports Radio News

WNSR Debuts ‘Power Hour’ with Sami Kincaid

Nashville’s WNSR debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

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Power Hour with Sami Kincaid

Nashville has a brand new voice to listen to on WNSR and her name is Sami Kincaid. On Saturday, the station debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

The debut show featured Associated Press writer Teresa Walker, Vanderbilt women’s basketball guard Jordyn Cambridge and North Georgia assistant softball coach Alea White. The show is focused on women that are operating inside sports.

The show airs Saturdays from 9-10a CT.

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Sports Radio News

Toucher and Rich: Dennis Eckersley’s Retirement a “Huge Loss”

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley announced that he was going to retire from the Boston Red Sox television booth at the end of this season. The current NESN analyst is leaving after twenty years on the air with the team.

The news broke during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 the Sports Hub and it gave show co-host Rich Shertenlieb a chance to mention the news and praise the departing personality.

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

The show spent the rest of the segment talking about what Eckersley offered that made him so unique. That’s when Matt McCarthy, fill-in for Fred Toucher, said that Eckersley was exactly what you wanted in an analyst.

“You want someone that’s going to give you an opinion,” McCarthy said. “Eck gave you an opinion. He’ll be missed.”

McCarthy also pointed out that this is the latest major shakeup that has happened to the television broadcast in recent years.

“There’s no doubt this is a blow,” McCarthy added. “This is a tremendous loss to that Red Sox broadcast to which has taken a lot of hits over the years with the loss of Jerry Remy, the decision to move on from Don Orsillo and now Dennis Eckersley retiring… they are going to have to find an entertainer in there. Matt McCarthy

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