UA-59049186-1 What's Going On Didn't Think It Through - Good if it Goes

What’s Going On Didn’t Think It Through

Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter’s “Pardon My Take” got picked up by ESPN2 for a weekly TV show titled “Barstool Van Talk,” which was to air Wednesdays at 1 AM. Many were unhappy about the partnership, given Barstool’s history of saying offensive things. The show got 88,000 viewers with a lead-in of 61,000 from Baseball Tonight. The ratings for the time slot were down from the previous week where “Jalen & Jacoby” got 139,000 viewers with a SportsCenter lead-in that got 174,000. Those are not bad numbers, though the show was cancelled after a week, with ESPN President John Skipper citing Barstool’s image as the reason for the show’s cancellation.

There’s a lot to unpack here:

  1. John Skipper is an idiot. (This is not exactly breaking news.) Peter Chernin is an idiot. Erika Nardini is an idiot. Any one of these people could have said “Let’s maybe not have ‘Barstool’ in the show’s name” and none of them did.
  2. If “Big Brain” Dave Portnoy, Nardini, and Chernin were smart, they would distance PMT from Barstool. Treat it as the Jordan Brand to Barstool’s Nike.
  3. Barstool as a whole gets a bad rap. It’s two guys that are the problem – Portnoy and Kevin Clancy. @SportsTVRatings suggested that Barstool could fire Portnoy. Most companies would do so and it’s probably the right move image-wise for this one, but the damage has probably already been done. In any case, Big Cat and PFT are not the problem.
  4. That said, Barstool has exactly one homegrown talent with any upward potential – Big Cat.
  5. Sam Ponder has no dignity. Mrs. Armpunt accused Katz of saying derogatory things about her in a blog three years ago. The problem was that Katz wrote neither the blog in question nor the editor’s note. The next day, Ponder acknowledged that he didn’t write the post, but said he laughed along on a podcast where Portnoy insulted her. Offensive tweets of her own were dug up, and on the third day of what should have been a zero-day story, she sent out a thread of tweets saying she’s changed as a person and was “saved by grace.” I really hope she’s never watched a Jenna Marbles video.
  6. This incident is why I don’t buy any claims that Barstool is the future of media. They can reach their target demographic and that’s it. That wouldn’t be so bad, except they’re toxic elsewhere.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312



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