What started out as a small time fantasy sports newspaper in Massachusetts, Barstool Sports, a popular online blog has now been sold to the media conglomerate The Chernin Group for an estimated $15million dollars.
In a video press conference released by the site, David Portnoy (the creator of the newspaper referred to by his readers as ‘El Presidente’), still retains,”complete and total creative control” but is no longer the majority owner of the company. Portnoy, who started distributing tangible newspapers door to door and at the entrance of South Station in Boston, has transformed the company over the last ten years into a highly visited, highly profitable website which touts over 5 million readers monthly. The content and overall scope of the company has moved on from its earlier days of fantasy sports to covering current events pertaining to sports, entertainment, politics, and other viral occurrences. Traditionally, Boston was the major market for Barstool, but now New York, hosted by Kevin Clancy (KFC), and Chicago, hosted by Dan Katz (Big Cat), are gaining active readers as well.
Portnoy has promised the fan base that although there is major changes to the ownership, that the content will stay true to what it has been in prior years. He granted readers a chance to propose questions about the acquisition through a reddit server.
As an active reader of the website and a potential intern in the future, I am on the side that this is a great decision made by the team. This acquisition allows the company to be bigger, better, faster, and more connected on a daily basis. Their daily rundowns, which covers the most important topics of the day, frequently suffer from connection issues and other annoyances that truly deter from the viewer’s experience. With their location being changed and centrally located in Manhattan, the team will now be able to brainstorm ideas with one another to bring greater content to the stoolie nation.
While some stoolies are irked by the recent purchase, describing Portnoy’s decision as, “selling out”, I firmly believe that this is not that moment. Others believe that this will change what many have grown to love about the site; the attitude. What has made me come back everyday to view content is not necessarily the information I am taking in, but more importantly is the voice of the writers. They are relatable, true to their beliefs, and never afraid to voice their opinion. When larger networks tame voices of journalists, Barstool encourages its staff to be as gritty and human as they can be. I am excited to see what is in store for the brand, and I am here to tell stoolies- have no fear, elpresidente knows what is best for us. VIVA LA STOOL!