ESPN Radio hasn’t announced who will be replacing Colin Cowherd in the 10 AM-1 PM slot past a series of guest hosts in August. But if a report from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald is to be believed, Cowherd’s replacement in the timeslot will be a familiar name – Dan Le Batard.
It is not official yet. ESPN has yet to announce it. But readers of this blog were the first to know because I can tell you the popular, ratings-winning Dan LeBatard Show With Stugotz is planning a move from its current afternoon radio time slot to earlier in the day. Barring an unexpected last-minute snag, the show will air 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN Radio in the space vacated by departing Colin Cowherd, still with a possibility of adding a local hour from 9 to 10.
A month ago, SI’s Richard Deitsch reported that Le Batard was the front runner for the timeslot, but there were still questions about whether or not he’d be a fit because of the taping schedules for both Highly Questionable and Around the Horn (which frequently features Bomani Jones) and Le Batard’s established radio audience in Miami.
Le Batard and Jones work on Highly Questionable, which tapes at 12:30 p.m. ET (the slot Cowherd currently hosts). That show is very important to Le Batard and Rydholm, not to mention ESPN’s TV side. Also, keep in mind Le Batard and his radio show have spent years establishing an audience during the drive-time hours in Miami. That’s something that group might not want to screw around with. It also seems inconceivable that Le Batard would make any move that has a negative impact on the television show he does with his father, Gonzalo. As for Jones, he does a lot of spots on Around The Horn (which tapes at 1:30 p.m.) so that’s also a factor with him.
The reported choice of Le Batard seems like the most logical option for ESPN Radio. He’s a popular, established name, and seems to be a perfect fit for the timeslot. Hopefully this doesn’t effect Highly Questionable all that much – it’s one of the highlights among ESPN’s studio programming.