A growing number of sports media talents and executives are indulging their entrepreneurial instincts and going independent.
In the most recent development, former ESPNers Dan Le Batard and John Skipper are forming their own content company.
The move represents a logical next step for the host of “The Dan Le Batard Show” — who left on Jan. 4 — and Skipper, currently executive chairman of DAZN, known for its subscription sports streaming service.
Other big names have moved on from ESPN to form their own multimedia companies:
- Dan Patrick left in 2007 to host his own eponymous radio/TV show.
- Bill Simmons founded The Ringer, then sold it to Spotify for $200 million.
- Anchor Jemele Hill launched a Spotify podcast, Vice TV talk show and production company after her departure.
- Josina Anderson, the first female NFL insider in ESPN history, founded her own video/podcast platform.
- Connor Schell, formerly ESPN’s top content executive, left in December to start his own production company.
Skipper spent 27 years at ESPN, the last six of them as president. Le Batard, with Skipper’s help, is expected to find a new radio home for his show. The podcast he launched after leaving ESPN is ranked in the top 10 nationwide on Apple Podcasts.
“We approach this scary cliff together to take quite the leap of faith,” La Batard said on the final episode of his ESPN TV show. “Are you ready to jump with us?”