Dan Le Batard has a new home for the pirate ship. According to The Wall Street Journal, “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” is moving to DraftKings after the sports gaming company agreed to a multiplatform partnership with Meadowlark Media.
Le Batard and former ESPN president John Skipper’s content company has made a flurry of moves over the past few weeks. The deal is for three years and a reported $50 million, although the Miami Herald has reported the figure to be $40 million. This is Meadowlark’s first major licensing deal since its inception earlier this year.
“The thing that I chose was freedom,” Le Batard told the Miami Herald. “Every time I’ve negotiated anywhere was for freedom, not money. This allows Meadowlark to be profitable from the start and have total freedom to do what we want.”
DraftKings will begin distributing the show on radio, television, podcasts, and social media in June or early July. The show is currently being released in podcast form but will be broadcast live on Twitch, YouTube, and Draftkings own channel that they are creating. It was important to Le Batard that the show remained accessible for all fans.
“I’m overjoyed to team with a fearless creative partner who sees the future and wants to help us change it. DraftKings believed in us,” Le Batard said to the Miami Herald. “Our principles and our mission enough to give us a freedom no scared corporation or traditional media partner ever could or ever would. To our fans, know that DraftKings is the reason you aren’t behind a paywall.”
In a press release distributed by DraftKings, Meadowlark Media CEO John Skipper added, “We’re thrilled to find a collaborator in DraftKings that shares our vision to grow Dan Le Batard’s already wildly popular network of shows in non-conventional ways. With the freedom to widely distribute these programs, we’ll be able to reach the largest possible audience and provide incredible content to DraftKings.”
SiriusXM, iHeart Radio, and Peacock were all bidding on the project, but Le Batard ultimately went with the Boston-based sports gaming company. On top of the flagship show, DraftKings can now develop different content with Meadowlark, like documentaries and original programming. DraftKings “got” the show, and they are ready to captain the ship into uncharted waters.
Bobby Valentine Tells Boomer & Gio Donald Trump Photo Sunk Him
“Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the Stamford mayoral race.”
Former MLB manager and ESPN baseball analyst Bobby Valentine joined WFAN’s Boomer and Gio this week to discuss his mayoral campaign in Stamford, Connecticut.
Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the race. He claims that a decades-old picture with him and former President Donald Trump sunk his chances.
“We had a photo taken together in 2000 for the World Series and so the last day of the campaign all around the neighborhoods, a picture of Donald and Bobby with the quote ‘only poor people and dumb people pay taxes,’” Valentine told Boomer and Gio about the photo that circulated around the town on Election Day.
“That really helped with the minority vote in my town,” Valentine said sarcastically.
It wasn’t all bad news for Valentine, who was enamored with the campaign-building process, among other things.
“Built it [the campaign] from scratch, which was a wonderful experience” Valentine explained. “Figuring out how to get volunteers together, and money together, and office, and headquarters together. We actually ran a six-month—perfectly clean—campaign. Not one negative word mentioned the entire time. Got 14,000 votes, more than any non-Democrat ever got in our city, and almost won that thing.
“I’m glad that I was the candidate, and I’m also glad that I’m not the mayor because it’s really a tough job. I got four years of my life back when the votes came in.”
Valentine worked at ESPN for a few years in the early part of the 2010s before re-entering the managing circuit with the Boston Red Sox. He famously managed the Mets to one of their two World Series appearances this century in 2000.
“It’s a little bit of the seven-year itch,” Valentine said when asked why he’s always looking for the next obstacle. “I did seven years in Texas; seven years in New York; seven years in Japan; seven months in Boston. Then I did seven years at Sacred Heart. So, yeah, it’s all about the sevens.”
Tony Rizzo To Baker Mayfield Critics: I Hope You’re Happy
“850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield hasn’t looked like much of a franchise star so far in 2021, and it has all the attention of sports radio in The Land.
850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.
“You happy?” Rizzo said to his co-host, Aaron Goldhammer. “Are you Baker [Mayfield] haters? Are you guys happy? Baker looks bad, and you wanna jump down his throat. I’M A BROWNS FAN! I’M A BROWNS FAN. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE ROOTING AGAINST OUR QUARTERBACK!”
Mayfield has struggled with shoulder and knee injuries throughout this season and ranks 25th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN’s QBR metric (42.9 out of 100).
“You want him to fail,” Rizzo continued. “To prove what? You were right? Do you realize what happens if this kid isn’t the right guy? WE’RE GONNA SUCK, AGAIN. You don’t find quarterbacks. It took you 20 years to find a guy to win 11 games. Now you don’t think he can take you the rest of the way? Are you happy?”
The Browns went on the road this past weekend and the New England Patriots stomped them 45-7. The loss meant Cleveland still hasn’t won in Foxboro since 1992, when, ironically, now Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held the same role with Cleveland.
“I hope you’re all happy,” Rizzo declared. “I hope you’re happy; so you can draft some quarterback in the 30s and try and pray…Don’t you understand? If Baker fails it’s back to the drawing board for my franchise.
“We know that everything has to be right for Baker to win. Sobering stuff for me. This year has been sobering; however, he’s got a bad shoulder, he’s got a broken bone. Now he’s got a bum knee and bum foot. He’s getting beat up. Maybe he can’t play the position.”
Watch the full clip from ESPN Cleveland above.
Kraig Riley Named Brand Manager Of 93.7 The Fan
“He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010.”
There’s a new leader in Pittsburgh and Audacy did not have to look too far to find him. Kraig Riley has been promoted to brand manager of 93.7 The Fan.
Riley is a familiar face in the building and voice on the air. He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010. He has served as producer of the station’s afternoon show The PM Team with Poni & Mueller. He also was the host of the station’s pre and postgame coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The opening was created earlier this year when Jim Graci exited The Fan and sister station KDKA New Radio. Audacy hired industry veteran Dave LaBrozzi, who most recently served as Vice President of Programming for WABC Radio in New York City, to lead the news talk station.
“As both KDKA and The Fan continue to evolve into full multi-platform operations serving our listeners in new ways every day it is clear that both stations need focused leadership,” Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy Pittsburgh, said in a press release. “The addition of Dave and promotion of Kraig will help us continue that evolution. There is an expectation of excellence at both stations from the city of Pittsburgh that I have no doubt Dave and Kraig will continue to build on every day.”
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