Jason Whitlock published a piece in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, in which the thesis was that Deadspin’s critiques of ESPN pushed the Mothership toward liberal politics.
On the Dan Le Batard show today, Le Batard’s co-host, Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, went on a rant about the piece.
“I really don’t care what Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd have to say about ESPN, after leaving ESPN,” Stugotz said. “I don’t care. The audacity of Colin Cowherd to tell everyone that he knew that this day — the bad week that ESPN had recently — he knew it was coming, and knew it was coming years ago. Colin Cowherd — get over yourself man. I don’t even know where you are. I don’t know where to find you. I have no idea.
“And Jason Whitlock — shame on you, writing articles. You had a big opportunity here. You know who blew it? You did, Whitlock. And now you’re somewhere where I can’t find you. I can find both of you on Twitter. But here’s the thing with both these guys. I’m really not interested in what anyone who was with ESPN has to say about ESPN right now. I don’t care. Colin Cowherd predicted this? He told his staff when ESPN signed its recent NBA deal that ESPN is done? Guess who’s not done, Colin Colin Cowherd. ESPN. Guess who’s not done? This radio show. Guess who’s just getting started? Us. Guess who is done? You are. You are finished.
“And Jason Whitlock: You should be ashamed of yourself. Because now you’re buddy-buddy with Colin Cowherd? All the things that I know you’ve said about Colin Cowherd, behind his back. You wanna know how I know you said ’em? Because you said them to me!”
There are obviously multiple things to unpack there. For one — and, in disclosure, this site’s editor-in-chief Jason McIntyre appears on FS1’s Speak for Yourself with both Colin and Whitlock — I would dispute the notion that Cowherd is finished and un-findable. These were the ratings the last week of April — the week of the NFL Draft — of their respective shows on FS1 and ESPN2, based on Nielsen ratings:
The Herd – 120,000
Le Batard Show – 106,000
Speak for Yourself – 69,000
The Herd – 93,000
Le Batard Show – 89,000
Speak for Yourself – 60,000
The Herd – 116,000
Le Batard Show – 85,000
Speak for Yourself – 93,000
The Herd – 111,000
Le Batard Show – 57,000
Speak for Yourself – 62,000
The Herd – 106,000
Le Batard Show – 121,000
Speak for Yourself – 101,000
From there, the numbers of which show has more engagement is tricky to tell. National radio ratings are hard to come by, but Le Batard is on a lot more radio affiliates and likely currently has more terrestrial radio listeners. With digital it is also hard to tell. Currently, The Herd is ranked higher on iTunes, but ESPN has a bigger digital presence on its own than Fox Sports. Last June, for example, Le Batard had 5.4 million podcast impressions (streams plus downloads). Fox Sports Radio sent out a release saying that The Herd had 6.8 million this past April. These are not apples to apples comparisons, because of the disparate dates, and because it’s really hard to compare where all these numbers come from.
Highly Questionable, which Le Batard co-hosts on ESPN with his father and Bomani Jones, ranged between 412,000 and 517,000 viewers for shows during the week cited. Colin Cowherd appears on Fox’s NFL pre-pregame show, which generally has over a million viewers.
Whitlock disputed what Stugotz said he’d said about Colin: