ESPN Radio is considering dramatic programming shakeups that could see the eventual exit of Dan Le Batard along with the “imminent’ departure of Will Cain to Fox News, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports.
The programming shift could also see Mike Greenberg return to ESPN Radio, where he hasn’t had a presence since leaving “Mike and Mike” in 2017.
Marchand reports that Le Batard’s morning radio show “does not mesh with the tastes of” ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson. Le Batard has ruffled feathers of network executives on multiple occasions by refusing to stick to sports.
Le Batard’s conflicts with management
Last July, Le Batard criticized the network for muzzling its personalities from discussing politics and condemned President Donald Trump for his lack of response to racist chants by his supporters at a rally directed toward Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
A day later, Le Batard was conspicuously absent from the first hour of this weekday three-hour radio show. Williamson told Front Office Sports later that month that he agrees with network president Jimmy Pitaro’s policy of avoiding political discussions that don’t have direct ties to sports.
Le Batard, who also hosts the daytime TV show “Highly Questionable” and has a network of podcasts on ESPN, is under contract through next year and makes $3.5 million annually, according to the Post.
How an exit from ESPN Radio would impact his podcast and TV deals is not clear.
Greenberg sticks to sports
Like Williamson, Greenberg also told Front Office Sports last year that he agrees with Pitaro’s edict to avoid politics.
He is being considered for an afternoon radio slot that wouldn’t conflict with his TV duties hosting “Get Up” in the morning. Le Batard’s radio show airs at 10 a.m.
Will Cain expected to join Fox News
Cain, meanwhile, is expected to sign a contract with Fox News and Fox Nation soon, according to the report. ESPN’s most predominant conservative voice, Cain is a natural fit with the politics of Fox News.
Marchand also reports that Trey Wingo may leave early-morning ESPN Radio show “Golic and Wingo.” The Big Lead reported in November that Wingo, who is also a host of ESPN’s NFL studio programming, wanted off the radio show.
Marchand noted Wingo’s Twitter bio that reads “not really a morning person” as a potential source of his displeasure with hosting the show. “Golic and Wingo” airs from 6-10 a.m. on weekdays.
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