John Skipper and Dan Le Batard not work at ESPN, however that received’t hold them out of the scrum to dominate the world of sports activities content material.
Skipper, the previous ESPN chief, and Le Batard, as soon as one of many Disney-backed firm’s hottest hosts, are launching Meadowlark Media, an unbiased content material firm that can initially give attention to sports activities, with an emphasis on particular person creators. Skipper will stay an an government at DAZN Group, an organization that has snapped up rights to stream boxing and mixed-martial preventing matches, amongst different contests.
The 2 be a part of a crowded subject of entrepreneurs attempting to problem conventional media giants on the sports-content subject. The Ringer, a sports-and-entertainment targeted outlet based by former ESPN producer Invoice Simmons, was bought in November by Spotify. In the meantime, different former ESPN content material personnel — together with high executives like Connor Schell and Libby Geist — have left the sports activities big in current weeks. Jemele Hill, a former ESPN on-air anchor, has launched a number of ventures since her departure.
ESPN and Le Batard parted methods late final 12 months, a part of what ESPN executives described as a “mutual” resolution. “I’m thrilled to be again in enterprise with Dan, one of many main and most unusual voices in sports activities media,” mentioned Skipper, in a ready assertion. “We’ve got so much within the works, however the first order of enterprise will probably be to discover Dan a brand new residence for his wildly standard audio packages.” Le Batard’s radio program, “The Dan Le Batard Present with Stugotz,” generated a lot consideration, notably when the host railed in opposition to his employer for not specializing in a few of the political issues which have lately change into a part of the sports activities enterprise.
“We hear the time period ‘free company’ so much, however our followers, as loyal and rabid as any in sports activities, simply gave us the liberty to exert the company,” mentioned Le Batard, in an announcement. “John Skipper is a visionary, an trade chief and likewise probably the most highly effective particular person in sports activities throughout the last decade when our present rocketed to nationwide acclaim. I can’t wait to see what he builds, and what we construct collectively.”
Entry Industries, a privately held funding group based by Len Blavatnik, is a backer of the brand new enterprise. Meadowlark will start to announce extra data within the coming weeks and months ,the corporate mentioned.