Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead broke the story:
How dense are the folks running the Akron Beacon-Journal? Last month, ESPN radio host Dan LeBatard approached the paper and tried to buy a full-page ad thanking LeBron James for his time in Miami.
Key word: BUY.
The paper, unbelievably, passed on the estimated $90,000 LeBatard’s ad might have cost.
Fast-forward to this week: LeBatard, rebuffed by the paper, decided to buy a billboard in Akron thanking LeBron for his time in Miami.
Smart, humorous, and the kind of thing more radio hosts should be doing (in Boston, this is the garbage they peddle). Come on, you had to smirk at the usage of Comic Sans. It’s the sort of thing social media devoured this week.
Guess who’s covering this story of the billboard on the front page of its paper?
The Akron Beacon Journal.
It seems ESPN wasn’t amused at Le Batard buying a billboard to make a statement. From ESPN’s Josh Krulewitz:
“Dan LeBatard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday. His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”
His latest stunt comes on the heels of Le Batard giving his Baseball Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin last year. He was roundly criticized for that move.
Le Batard won many awards as a columnist for the Miami Herald. Now as a radio and TV personality, he seems bent on doing stunts to call attention to himself. Perhaps necessary, but also disappointing.