Dan Le Batard is a loyal man, but no one knew how loyal he truly was until the situation with producer Chris Cote.
Late last week, news hit that ESPN would have a large round of layoffs, and Cote announced that he had been laid off. “I’m saddened to announce that I was part of the ESPN layoffs that took place last week. I’m forever grateful for the genuinely good people I got to know and work with over the last 5 years…” he said on Twitter. “It goes without saying but I can’t thank ESPN management and the entire @Lebatardshow family enough for all the opportunities they have given me. Stay tuned for what’s next.”
On Wednesday, La Batard made the shocking announcement that Cote is back on the show, serving as his personal assistant, and will receive a raise with his salary paid by Le Batard himself.
“We were blindsided by him being let go. It’s the greatest disrespect of my professional career that I got no notice, no collaboration,” Le Batard said on his show today, via Kevin Draper of The New York Times. “That Mike Ryan told me that Chris Cote had been let go. I would’ve loved to have worked 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.
A dysfunctional, pirate ship/clown car that shouldn’t exist inside this machine but is so sticky with you guys because you, at least in part, because you, the discerning among you, recognize, in a way that is totally overwhelmingly—I can’t tell you how you the audience, with your support, and your loyalty, somehow made the worst professional weekend of Chris Cote’s professional life, better.”
“I am going to hire Chris Cote as my personal assistant, to fill the role, with a raise on his present salary, to fill the role vacated by Allyson Turner,” Le Batard went on to explain. “I will cover the raise, I’ll cover the entire thing… It means that Chris Cote is still going to be on the show.”