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Dan Le Batard: ‘ESPN Could Have Done a Great Deal of Damage To My Career’

“A lot of people don’t understand, they just don’t understand the deal we made,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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Dan Le Batard is a couple months away from being two years removed from his run at ESPN, and the former radio host turned podcaster is thankful he didn’t have any down time.

Talking to Jimmy Traina on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Le Batard said the worldwide leader could have easily bought out his contract and put him under a noncompete until the true end of his deal.

“A lot of people don’t understand, they just don’t understand the deal we made,” he said. “But we got our intellectual property. We got our feeds. ESPN could have done a great deal of damage to my career and my business in the early stages of buyout negotiations when the Disney lawyer suggested ‘We’ll just pay him all the money and sit him’. But that’s not the way they wanted to do it. They were willing to do it in a way that was closer to amicable.”

Dan added that the fact that the transition from ESPN to the independent version of his show without any interruption for listeners was a miracle in and of itself. All of that on top of him being able to bring his cast and crew along with him.

“That’s specific to this time and this place, and I do not think that I’m so unique in this market to not be surprised that all of those people came with us or that any of that was available to us,” he said.

The show since becoming independent has joined forces with both DraftKings and Meadowlark Media, giving the production both a larger platform and reach, as well as much needed financial backing.

But Le Batard’s show and podcast network continues to be a hit with fans. Dan said he routinely hears from listeners who want even more content than what is already being churned out on a daily basis.

“I can’t believe that we get to do any of this,” Le Batard said. “I can’t believe that it gets to be a career, that it gets to be a play pen, that I’m 53 years old and that any of this is stuff that can be profitable.”

Sports Radio News

Don La Greca: Jon Heyman Getting Aaron Judge Report Wrong A ‘Borderline Fireable Offense’

“You can’t have a bunch of people relying on your information — as a respected journalist — to throw out that information and then walk it back a couple of minutes later.”

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MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman made waves throughout the baseball world yesterday by tweeting that free agent outfielder Aaron Judge “appeared headed” to the San Francisco Giants. Actually, Heyman had to send another tweet after sending out “Arson” Judge would be headed to the Giants. During The Michael Kay Show, Kay and co-host Don La Greca disagreed about Heyman’s culpability for his erroneous report.

Peter Rosenberg interrupted Kay mid-sentence to read Heyman’s report on the air that Judge would be departing New York. After they discussed the misspelling, Rosenberg asked “Are we taking this as law since it’s coming from Heyman?”

“Heyman doesn’t make that many mistakes,” responded Kay. “I’d bet on Heyman with this stuff.”

After taking a commercial break, the show rejoined with a follow up from Heyman walking back his report, saying he had “jumped the gun”.

“I’m gonna sit this out — because Jon Heyman happens to be a close personal friend — but that’s a bad look,” Kay said. “I’m not gonna drill the guy.”

“I will,” Don La Greca interrupted.

“In a world where everybody has to be first, this is gonna happen,” countered Kay. “And it could still end up being right because Susan Slusser, who works for the San Francisco Chronicle, says the buzz in the lobby is that Aaron Judge is going to the Giants.

“Here’s what I think happened: Heyman heard something that made him think Aaron Judge was signing with the Giants. Then he called the Giants and they said ‘Woah, woah, woah. We haven’t signed anything’, because they don’t want Hal (Steinbrenner) to jump in and say ‘Whatever they gave you, we’ll top it’. (The Giants) wanted to get Judge’s name on a contract before it gets out there, so now Heyman backed off. But we’ll see where it turns out.”

“I really like Jon, too, but there’s a certain responsibility that comes with being a journalist and a reporter,” La Greca rebutted. “And we live in a world now where getting it first is more important than getting it right. And you can just see by his tweet, ‘Arson Judge’, that he’s so quick to get it out there first on this big story — would it have killed him to call the Giants first? You can’t have a bunch of people relying on your information — as a respected journalist — to throw out that information and then walk it back a couple of minutes later. I’m sorry, Michael, but it’s a borderline fireable offense. Honestly.

“I don’t understand the importance of getting it first anyway. What? You’re gonna be first for 30 seconds and then everyone else is gonna jump on it? He’s got the contacts. Follow the story. You’re not a cub reporter. You shouldn’t be just walking around the lobby hungry for information trying to get it before everybody else. I’m sorry. It’s a bad job.”

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Sports Radio News

Jonathan Peterlin Takes Over Night Show On 92.3 The Fan

“”Being the guy that you turn on after a day of listening to Ken and Anthony or Andy and Jeff or Nick and Dustin is truly an honor and a privilege. I won’t take that for granted.””

Jordan Bondurant

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92.3 The Fan in Cleveland now has a permanent host for its nightly show in Jonathan Peterlin.

Peterlin wrote in a post for the Audacy station’s website on Tuesday that his show will be called Overtime with Jonathan Peterlin and will air each night starting at 7 p.m.

“This is a dream job,” he said. “Being the guy that you turn on after a day of listening to Ken and Anthony or Andy and Jeff or Nick and Dustin is truly an honor and a privilege. I won’t take that for granted.”

Peterlin had been the afternoon update anchor at 92.3 The Fan since 2016, even hosting on weekends and on a fill-in basis. Prior to that, he spent three years in a similar role at Yahoo Sports Radio.

He wrote that listeners in Cleveland will not need an introduction or reintroduction to who he is.

“You know me and I know you,” he said. “We’ve spent the past nearly 7 years getting to know each other on a daily basis…We were there for each other. Along the way I hope that I’ve earned your trust. Through the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs.”

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Sports Radio News

Layoffs Hit Pro Football Focus

“The reduction in workforce comes less than 18 months after securing a $50 million investment from Silver Lake.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Pro Football Focus has laid off 16 employees, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

The reduction in workforce comes less than 18 months after securing a $50 million investment from Silver Lake.

The company, which Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth owns a majority, still employs just over 200 people.

NFL reporter Doug Kyed was among the layoffs. Kyed had been at PFF since July 2021.

Additionally, 11 interns were also let go.

While PFF remains popular and profitable from a football analytics perspective, there had been a shift since the Silver Lake investment into attracting more sports betting and fantasy football customers. The FOS report indicated a chunk of the $50 million funding was used to develop an iPhone app.

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