SBJ Media: Dan Le Batard, John Skipper Teaming Up
Some breaking news for this Super Wild Card Saturday…
Former ESPNers Will Launch New Entity Focused On Sports
Dan Le Batard and John Skipper are getting the band back together. The two former ESPNers will launch a content company in the next couple of weeks that, at least initially, will focus on sports.
Skipper will remain part of DAZN Group in his current role as executive chair, though he will not spend as much time on day-to-day operations. There is speculation that former Disney exec Kevin Mayer will take over some of Skipper’s duties. In November, DAZN parent Access Industries hired Mayer as an advisor focusing on media-related businesses. Skipper will devote an undetermined percentage of his time to the new venture. Access Industries is believed to be supportive of Skipper’s move, particularly after the past several months when DAZN launched a global platform and surpassed its pre-pandemic subscription numbers.
Neither Skipper nor Le Batard could be reached for comment. Skipper’s first order of business: sell Le Batard’s show to a media company, like SiriusXM or iHeartRadio. Then the duo will look to hire reporters and editors that initially will focus on sports. Their belief is that Skipper’s editorial background is well-suited to grow this type of company.
One of ESPN’s most popular on-air figures for the better part of the past decade, Le Batard’s future has been the subject of much conjecture since his final show with ESPN Jan. 4. Le Batard launched a podcast in the week after leaving ESPN and found success -- his first podcast show after leaving ESPN topped the iTunes ranking of sports podcasts and it finished the week as the No. 7 Apple podcast across all categories.
Skipper and Le Batard have a close relationship. Skipper always has been supportive of Le Batard, who cried on his radio show the day Skipper left ESPN in 2017.
The Miami Herald first reported the news on Skipper and Le Batard.