After more than 14 years with 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis, Dan Dakich has exited the station and the admittedly controversial sports radio host offered his own spin on what happened.
News broke Thursday afternoon that Dakich was out after Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star obtained and shared an internal email from The Fan’s operations manager David Wood. Doyel tweeted a screenshot of the email, which informed staff that Dakich was no longer with the station. Less than 10 minutes later, Dakich tweeted his own statement to announce he parted ways with The Fan. While Doyel definitively reports Dakich was fired, the radio host more carefully described his exit as a “choice” Friday morning on his weekday digital show for Outkick, which he retained.
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) December 9, 2022
“Yesterday, I had to make a choice,” Dakich said on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me. “I knew this was coming. I had to make a choice. I was doing two shows, I was doing an afternoon show and I was doing a morning show…but I made the choice, the choice was OutKick.”
“As my wife said, ‘You know what? That’s played out,’” Dakich added of his terrestrial radio show. “So when we were discussing what are we gonna do when the time came, when I was asked to make a choice, there really was no choice. I love the people at Radio One, it was great, but I really loved the people at Emmis. Emmis is home to me…we changed ownership. I got a new job, I’m here, I’m on OutKick. I like starting things. So yesterday, after my show, it was presented to me. I said ‘Look, I’m going to OutKick’. They said, OK.”
Six months ago, Emmis announced they were selling their Indianapolis radio stations, including 107.5 The Fan, to Radio One and parent company Urban One. Shortly after assuming control of the cluster, Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins said no decisions were made on the future of Dakich, who signed an extension with The Fan in February. 10 months after choosing to sign that extension, Dakich says he chose to leave the station.
“It’s time for a new chapter. Outkick is starting up,” Dakich continued. “There’s nothing here. There was no show! There was nothing going on here! Well there is something going on here now and it’s us.”
Dakich might be new to Outkick, having started his tenure there last year, but the platform launched more than a decade ago and features several shows. Not only is Outkick not new, but founder Clay Travis had already established its conservative media presence and sold the company to Fox before Dakich signed on with the site.
.@dandakich claps back at the haters who are ecstatic he is stepping down from his radio show at 107.5 The Fan!
— OutKick (@Outkick) December 9, 2022
“That firing thing, there’s nothing I can do with that. I told ya, I had to make a choice,” Dakich said in response to reports that he was fired. “You get fired from a radio show after 14 years, I guess, or you make a decision to change jobs. Why am I always the guy, why am I always the guy, when he changes jobs, everybody says ‘he got fired?’ I don’t know.”
Part of the reason people are saying Dakich was fired is that the Indy Star, which obtained the curt internal email announcing Dakich’s exit, reported he was fired. It’s also odd that a radio host would choose to end their tenure with a station on a random Thursday in December, 10 months after signing an extension to stay there. However as of late Friday, Dakich had posted a notification that seemed to suggest that the Indy Star was maybe retracting that categorization.
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) December 9, 2022
Either way Dakich had a long list of controversies at the station during his tenure.
Dakich served a five-day suspension in 2019, which was handed to him by Emmis, citing “a failure (in 2018) on Dan’s part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis.” The radio host found controversy again in 2020 when he called a high school basketball player a “meth head” and threatened to “beat the hell out of every school board member.” And in 2021, ESPN investigated a Twitter feud between Dakich and a college professor who accused him of misogynistic comments and doxing her. Later that year, Dakich parted ways with ESPN as a college basketball analyst for the network.
“Sure we made you mad. Sure we ripped the media,” Dakich said Friday. “Sure we went after people fairly or unfairly. Absolutely! You don’t like it? Hey, we’re strengthening the nation. That was our motto.”
Controversy aside, and regardless of whether Dakich was fired or made his own choice to leave The Fan, 14 years as the midday host of a mid-market radio station is a long run considering the frequency of turnover within the industry.