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Dan Le Batard Rehires Chris Cote Personally To Keep Him On Air

“Le Batard and the rest of the show made sure to thank the listening audience for their support as complaints have been sent to ESPN by this decision.”

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Last week, the producer of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,  Chris Cote, announced that he was being laid off at ESPN. Today, on The Big SueyLe Batard addressed the situation with the local listeners and shared the pain that the people on the show have been feeling since the news. 

Amidst the pain that was felt at the beginning of the podcast, Le Batard told the audience that the crew had been trying to come up with a way to keep Cote on staff and with creativity involved, they were able to come up with a way to make it happen.

“I’m actually happy to report that I am going to hire Chris Cote as my personal assistant with a raise to fill the role vacated by Allyson Turner,” the host said. “I will cover the raise, the entire thing. It means that Chris Cote is still going to be on the show”

When the crew wondered if that move could happen, Le Batard took a shot at ESPN since the show has since moved solely to ESPN+ this week.  

“Since we are on ESPN+, I am not sure anyone is going to notice for 6 weeks. It’s going to be so confusing. This is a big sprawling corporation. The people who see us don’t understand what we do. We missed our big unveiling at ESPN+ because we were so wounded by all of this.”

Before the exciting news, Le Batard made it clear that he felt that ESPN had blindsided him by not having him be involved with the company’s decision. He understood that the recent layoffs have affected everyone, but it felt personal to him. 

“Chris Cote, we were blindsided by him being let go. It’s the greatest disrespect of my professional career that I got no notice. I would have loved to work something out if somebody had told me to protect him because anyone who knows, Stugotz, what we do around here understands that we are a family. 

“This time at the company has been horrible. So many people have been affected. We have been affected far less than anyone else…No matter how hurt I am about this, I very much understand that this is the product of a very dangerous and brutal time for the company. The part that makes it so hurtful to me is that you blindsided me”

The executive producer of the show, Mike Ryan Ruiz, mentioned how this isn’t the first time their show has dealt with ESPN layoffs and they feel the network is trying to change them, which adds to the frustration in their mind that the company doesn’t see why people like the show.

“You see the writing on the wall. The show is shrinking. We are now on ESPN+.” 

On the podcast, Cote made an appearance and talked about how his dad, Greg, had him on his podcast to talk about the layoff and let’s just say Chris was not too happy about that, but he was thankful for the support shown by the crew and the fans. He even mentioned he got a call from Tim Kurkjian. 

“My dad is the worst. He for sure made this weekend worse and more stressful for me. That’s just a fact. I’m so moved right now by the support from you guys and the rare, terrifying heartwarming weekend. I am so grateful for everything.”

Le Batard and the rest of the show made sure to thank the listening audience for their support as complaints have been sent to ESPN by this decision.

“I just want to tell the audience how grateful we are for your outpouring that has inundated and continues to inundate ESPN to explain to them that you don’t understand that this is a family. You don’t understand what Chris Cote meant to our entire group…The part that I was stunned by is that it is a producer on a radio show and ESPN has never been flooded with more complaints by anything they have done than this.” 

As the cast mentioned numerous times, the family aspect of The Dan Le Batard Show is what makes it unique. It was a great act by Le Batard to keep the show family together and a producer that people enjoy listening to employed. 

Sports Radio News

Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys

“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

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97.9 ESPN Hartford host Rob Dibble helped collect more than 5,000 frozen turkeys and over 8m000 pounds of non-perishable foood items last week.

The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.

“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.

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Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement

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Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.

“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”

Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.

After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.

Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.

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Sports Radio News

Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week

“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

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Tom Rinaldi

It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.

“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.

“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.

They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.

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