Dan Le Batard Took Something Important When He Left ESPN

Details about Le Batard's exit from The Worldwide Leader are starting to emerge

Dan LeBatard arrives at Shaq's Fun House in Miami, Florida.
Dan LeBatard arrives at Shaq's Fun House in Miami, Florida.

When radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard left ESPN last week, it was unclear what the audience of The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz would have to do in order to keep receiving the program’s podcast.

As it turns out, nothing.

While negotiating his severance from The Worldwide Leader, Le Batard was able to secure the rights to the RSS feed to his podcast, according to Sportico. That has allowed the 52-year-old’s followers to continue to hear him without requiring them to re-subscribe to a new show.

“The RSS feed, in layman’s terms, is the podcast’s connection to its audience,” according to Sportico. “When listeners subscribe to a podcast on iTunes or Spotify, they’re committing to have new shows delivered to their phones via the RSS feed. By retaining it, Le Batard was able to maintain his loyal—and sizeable—audience. He’s also kept the 23,000-plus reviews that give his podcast a valuable 4.8-star rating on iTunes.”

Other high-profile ESPN personalities who left the network for new outlets or to go solo, including Bill Simmons and Colin Cowherd, did not leave the company with the rights to their feeds, according to Awful Announcing.

Le Batard, who is teaming up with former ESPN boss John Skipper on a progressive sports media venture that will reportedly be the liberal equivalent of Clay Travis’s Outkick, put the feed to work nearly immediately and posted a new episode of his show one day after his final ESPN program.

While it won’t make or break him going forward, having the rights to that feed and the pre-built audience and data associated with it will be useful as Le Batard and Skipper begin to negotiate with distribution partners with regard to their new venture.

“Modern talent negotiations are all skewed by the fact that powerful talent have their own independent social media following on places like Twitter and Instagram, and that’s their property not their employer’s,” John Kosner, a media consultant and former ESPN executive, told Sportico. “Whether you’re Stephen A. Smith, or Bill Simmons, or Dan Le Batard, that’s a valuable asset that you have going forward, and it weakens the positioning of your current employer.”

In related news, eight-year ESPN employee Amin Elhassan is leaving the network to go work with Le Batard in Miami. Elhassan was a regular contributor on The Jump, Highly Questionable and Jalen & Jacoby. He also appeared on Le Batard’s show.

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