The White House reached out to Barstool Sports and offered up President Donald Trump for a sit-down interview in the Rose Garden. Founder Dave Portnoy jumped at the opportunity. The administration happily promoted it on social media. The internal reaction at Barstool has been less joyful — at least from Dan "Big Cat" Katz who addressed the situation on his SIRIUS XM show today.
Katz's 10-minute commentary is pretty thorough in laying the groundwork for why he took issue with both the editorial direction and execution. His primary complaint was less about Donald Trump and his politics, but that his perspective and opinion mean less to the company than they did previously. His evidence? That he wasn't even asked beforehand.
“It’s been a tough 12 hours or whatever it’s been trying to understand where I fit in now,” Katz said. “There’s only two explanations. One is they didn’t want to talk to me because I would probably be the only dissenting view, which means that when there’s tough decisions to be made and Dan might disagree we just won’t ask him so we don’t have to hear his view. That means my opinion doesn’t matter. Or two, they just said straight up his opinion doesn’t matter. Either way, my opinion does not matter at this company the way I thought it did 12 hours ago.”
Barstool has always existed as a content wheel where conflict could be used as content. Tyler Withers, co-host of the Mickstape podcast, resigned earlier this month following a serious of unfortunate missteps spurned on by Portnoy's reluctance to apologize for years-old content deemed offensive.
Katz's frustrations come through loud and clear here, which has to cause some concern among the company brass. The Pardon My Take co-host is one of — if not the — most talented and palatable voices across the Barstool platform. Even non-fans can easily identify him as one of the most influential sports media members broadcasting anywhere.
All of this to say that the line of suitors would be long and hard at work finding ways to deepen their pockets should the situation become untenable. Losing Katz and Pardon My Take would be extremely detrimental to Portnoy, especially if it sparks more departures.
Something, of course, which may prove to be nothing but knee-jerk speculation in the long run but is worth monitoring in the near.