There might be a new player on the block in the competitive sports journalism and commentary space, this time from past ESPN employees. A “politically progressive” company formed by former ESPN president John Skipper and former network host Dan Le Batard have been in early talks with Jemele Hill to join the new startup.
As reported by Front Office Sports, the unnamed venture from Skipper and Le Batard is framed as the polar opposite to Outkick, a right-leaning sports outlet that has featured the writings Jason Whitlock, who has since moved on as a partner and contributor.
Front Office Sports reached out to Hill, who offered in a statement that the discussions are still ongoing but that she looks forward to a potential partnership
“We’re trying to figure out the most productive way to work together,” Hill shared with Front Office Sports. “Both John and Dan know I have such a deep level of respect for them. So me working with them again always felt like it was inevitable.”
Outkick’s founder, Clay Travis, proudly boasts on his bio on the site that he’s been banned from both ESPN and CNN for, in his words, being “too honest.”
Via Twitter, Travis’ trademark honesty was on display after he seemingly lashed out at the news of the unnamed company’s formation and took a dig at so-called “woke” sports media.
This is definitely what the sports marketplace needs, voices that are so left wing even ESPN won’t employ them. Sports fans definitely want more woke programming. They don’t get it enough currently,” Travis tweeted on Tuesday (Jan. 12) in a quote tweet featuring an image of Front Office Sports senior writer Michael McCarthy’s story.
He added, “Good luck to them. I welcome anyone who wants to start their own media business. Yay, capitalism. But this will just make @outkick even more successful because it pushes the rest of the sports media industry even farther left. It’s a woke knife fight to see who is the purest.”
Le Batard left ESPN in January to pursue new opportunities, which came after the network made major cuts to programming across the board. Hill is currently the host of the Unbothered podcast and a contributor to The Atlantic.
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) January 13, 2021