Tags: dan le batard | lebron james | cleveland | billboard | espn

Dan Le Batard, ESPN Host, Suspended for LeBron James Billboard Stunt

By    |   Friday, 08 Aug 2014 07:05 AM

Dan Le Batard, an ESPN talk show host and syndicated columnist, has been slapped with a two-day suspension from the network following a LeBron James billboard stunt that mocked the NBA star and Cleveland Cavalier fans.

Le Batard, who hosts talk shows on ESPN television and ESPN Radio, first attempted to purchase a full-page ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, highlighting the fact that James — who recently announced he'd be returning to the Cavs — won two championships in Miami.

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"[The Plain Dealer] politely declined," Mike Maleski, vice president of sales and marketing with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, told the newspaper. Maleski confirmed that representatives of the show had called attempting to place the ad in Sunday's newspaper.

But Le Batard did manage to purchase and erect a billboard in James' hometown of Akron, just south of Cleveland, which appeared on Wednesday, stating "You're Welcome LeBron. Love, Miami," signed by Gonzalo "Papi" Le Batard and Stugotz, the Plain Dealer reported. The newspaper said Gonzalo Le Batard is Le Batard's father and Stugotz is the air name of co-host Jon Weiner.



The effort drew the ire of ESPN, which announced in a statement that Le Batard will be off the air until Monday.

"Dan will be off the air for two days, returning Monday," the network said in a statement, according to the Miami Herald. "His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN's standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance."

Le Batard told the Herald that maybe his broadcast employers did not understand the joke.

"I guess ESPN didn't find it all quite as funny as I did," he said.

Le Batard told the newspaper on Wednesday that he believed people were making too much of the billboard and newspaper ad attempt.

"[It was] all meant in fun — which, of course, will turn into Cleveland people getting filled with rage, poison, and irrational hostility and want[ing] to use those billboards as a guillotine," Le Batard said.

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Dan Le Batard, an ESPN talk show host and syndicated columnist, has been slapped with a two-day suspension from the network following a LeBron James billboard stunt that mocked the NBA star and Cleveland Cavalier fans.
dan le batard, lebron james, cleveland, billboard, espn
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2014-05-08
Friday, 08 Aug 2014 07:05 AM
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