Dan LeBatard is taking Colin Cowherd’s old radio slot. The Dan LeBatard Show, which previously aired from 4-7 p.m. Eastern weekdays on ESPN Radio, will now air live from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern (with an early 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. hour airing only in Miami). The move had been in the works for a while, with the only apparent holdup a new deal for co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, but it seems that has been solved; Stugotz will continue to be a part of the show, and LeBatard mentioned him prominently in his comments about the move.
“We continue to be flattered and flabbergasted by the amount of unrelenting support ESPN gives our absurd little circus,” said Le Batard. “We can’t believe that even more of ‘Sports America’ will now be able to laugh, think and call us fat. We look forward to making fun of the powerful, the cliché and ourselves. We are going to enjoy ourselves daily in a way that we hope people find contagious and try not to notice that this time slot gives us more markets than ever in which we can be wrong. We’re excited to bring our Miami flavor to an even broader audience. And we can’t wait to unleash the mighty Stugotz like a hot-take-snorting rodeo bull upon an unsuspecting country. This is going to be fun.”
What about those who like watching LeBatard on television? Interestingly enough, his radio show (which is separate from the made-for-TV show Highly Questionable, formerly known as Dan LeBatard Is Highly Questionable ) will be simulcast live on ESPNU and will also still be televised on Fusion, but on tape-delay, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern. Highly Questionable, with LeBatard, his father, and Bomani Jones, will continue in its 4:30 p.m. Eastern timeslot on ESPN, so it no longer overlaps with the radio show and someone could theoretically spend most of their afternoon (all but 4 to 4:30 p.m. Eastern!) watching LeBatard on one of the two shows.
How will LeBatard do as a replacement for Cowherd? That’s going to be interesting to see. Despite his oft-criticized socioeconomic takes, which eventually landed him in some hot water and sped up his departure for Fox, Cowherd had substantial value to ESPN, especially on radio. It’s why many figured Bristol would spend big to keep him, even in an era of budget cuts. LeBatard did quite well on radio in the 4-7 p.m. slot, but he’s under a bigger microscope now; his show won’t be preempted for local shows as frequently now, and he now has the West Coast morning drive. (Fortunately, he’ll only briefly have to go head-to-head with Cowherd, whose show will now air from 12 to 3 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Radio.) Cowherd leaves big shoes to fill in ESPN’s 10-1 slot; we’ll see if LeBatard is up to the task.
[Update: This post initially had the ESPNU airing of LeBatard’s radio show tape-delayed. It will be live; only the Fusion airing will be tape-delayed. Thanks, Jeremy!]