Dan Le Batard will rehire and pay salary of producer who was laid off by ESPN

Liz Roscher
·4 min read

ESPN announced a massive wave of layoffs last week, a direct result of COVID-19’s effect on sports media, and they touched every part of the company. That includes “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” on ESPN Radio. Beloved producer Chris Cote was laid off last week, but host Dan Le Batard announced on Wednesday that he’s found a way to keep Cote on and will personally pay his salary.

Anger from host, fans

Cote announced on Sunday that he was part of ESPN’s massive layoffs last week.

On Wednesday’s show, Le Batard broke down the whole situation, including how upset he was that he wasn’t consulted or even alerted that a key member of his “family” was being laid off.

Le Batard’s show has a fiercely loyal fanbase, and it stepped in to do what it could to help. In this case, that meant flooding ESPN’s numerous support outlets with requests to reinstate Cote. In a thread on Reddit, fans chronicled the many calls and emails they sent to the company, as well as the chats they had with fan support.

The support and loyalty their fans showed “somehow made the worst professional weekend of Chris Cote’s professional life better,” Le Batard said.

‘We are an accounting error’

Le Batard emphasized on Wednesday that he understands that his show is just a small part of ESPN’s giant operation, and that their “dysfunctional pirate ship/clown car” team is essentially just “an accounting error” in the big picture. He knows that corporations don’t act human and don’t take human feelings and emotions into account.

Le Batard couldn’t accept that, though. He announced on Wednesday that after some creative brainstorming, he’s hiring Cote back as his personal assistant so he can continue to be part of the team. To make that happen, Le Batard will personally pay Cote’s salary and give him a raise.

Le Batard’s move earns widespread praise

Within minutes of announcing that he was rehiring Cote and paying his salary, Twitter was full of heartfelt praise for Le Batard and his fans, who couldn’t imagine leaving one of their own behind.

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