ESPN has made a major financial investment in covering the UFC. It cannot be happy to hear that the promotion’s boss and the network’s top reporter have no relationship, but that is the case according to Ariel Helwani.
Dana White doesn’t seem to have any moral dilemmas about making Helwani’s life difficult. The two have been in multiple public spats with Ariel Helwani at one point telling Sarah Spain that all he wants is the ability to do his job without White “messing with” his career. He went so far as to say that “the fans are smart. They see what’s messed up” about the situation.
Helwani was a guest on the most recent episode of Oral Sessions with Reneé Paquette on Colin Cowherd’s The Volume network. When Paquette asked about how Helwani and White interact, the reporter said that they don’t and added that it wasn’t always that way.
“It was once supremely close and good and healthy and the kind of relationship that any journalist would want to have with arguably the most powerful person in the sport,” he said. “Now, I don’t interact with him, we don’t text, we don’t talk on the phone, and what I have often said to people is that it doesn’t necessarily bother me. Of course I would love to have a great relationship with him, but I will say if he doesn’t want to talk to me, if he doesn’t want to do interviews, text, all that stuff, I can live with that.”
The bad blood goes back to 2016 when White banned Ariel Helwani from covering UFC events because he reported news about Brock Lesnar’s return that the promotion didn’t want made public. Despite White’s absurd reaction, Helwani says he ended up being the one to try and make peace.
“I vividly remember where I was sort of, not asked, but nudged to reach out via text to try to get the lines of communication open, but I never got a reply. So, you know I can make a very strong case that the olive branch should be reached out to me. You know, I’m not worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He is. I have lost money as a result of some decisions that he has made.”
Dana White rarely says Ariel Helwani’s name. Helwani isn’t the only member of the media White has been confrontational with. He said recently on an episode of Colin Cowherd’s podcast that while he has respect for the job, he will not put up with members of the media being unprofessional.
The UFC is a different world from the rest of pro sports and this is the perfect proof. The promotion’s boss considers his most important media partner’s top reporter a problem for trying to report on the sport.
Dave Portnoy Tells Business Insider CEO He Is ‘Piece Of S*** Coward’
“Despite objections from the moderator, Dave Portnoy got out his entire question before his mic was muted.”
Dave Portnoy is not going to move on from his hate of Business Insider. The Barstool founder joined a Twitter Spaces session on Thursday night where the public had a chance to talk to Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget.
The event was hosted by the New York Times. Blodget was part of a panel discussing issues facing the business community.
“So yeah, I saw that piece of shit Henry Blodget’s on there,” Portnoy said when his mic went live. “My first question’s why would a piece of shit who’s been banned by the SEC from talking about stocks be on there. My second question is hey Henry, you f***ing coward, you know everything you wrote about me was bullshit. Why don’t you ever sit down with me you f***ing piece of shit coward. That’s my question.”
Despite objections from the moderator, Dave Portnoy got out his entire question before his mic was muted. No answer came. The moderator apologized to Blodget and ended the event.
The accusations of Blodget being banned by the SEC from discussing financial advice are true. Portnoy was referncing fraud charges that Blodget settled in 2003 when he was a Wall Street analyst.
Business Insider has ran a salacious piece about Portnoy’s sex life in November. It included accusations of misconduct from three women that claimed consensual sexual encounters with Portnoy took a dark turn without their consent.
Dave Portnoy has maintained the story is not true. He has also threatened to sue Blodget, Business Insider and the story’s author Julia Black.
Mile High Sports Acquires Colorado Preps
“Mile High Sports adds Colorado Preps to a portfolio that includes a radio brand broadcasting on 98.1 FM and 107.5 FM HD-3 in Denver, a magazine, and MileHighSports.com.”
Mile High Sports has acquired the Colorado Preps brand, including ColoradoPreps.com and the company’s radio and podcast networks. The deal is effective immediately.
“I am proud of what we’ve accomplished through 19 years of the Colorado Preps Network and very excited about the future with Mile High Sports,” said Kevin Shaffer, owner and founder of Colorado Preps. “The MHS crew is poised to bring additional and expanded coverage to high school sports across the state and we’re honored to stay involved with the network and help its growth.”
He will remain on the staff and continue hosting and producing radio and digital shows.
“With the elimination of the Rocky Mountain News, and shrinking budgets across most news outlets, local high school sports coverage has often and unfortunately become the casualty,” said Mile High Sports Editor-in-Chief Doug Ottewill. “But there will always be kids playing sports and parents wanting to read about those kids playing sports. I think ColoradoPreps.com fills a need and a niche that will never go away, no matter what’s happening on the bigger sports landscape in Colorado.”
Mile High Sports adds Colorado Preps to a portfolio that includes a radio brand broadcasting on 98.1 FM and 107.5 FM HD-3 in Denver, a magazine, and MileHighSports.com.
Barstool Sports To Eliminate Some Podcasts
“We almost created a model where we started with all the resources, we didn’t start with the idea or the people and as a result, we have a lot of things that weren’t necessarily going in the right places.”
Barstool Sports is doing some internal re-organizing. As a result, some shows are being cancelled.
Talking on her podcast Token CEO, Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini said the company has looked under the hood the past few months and are trying to clean things up.
Nardini also stated that the company’s spending needs to be reined in. She feels like too much has been invested in content that hasn’t been delivered, and creative freedom has become more of a curse than a blessing.
“We almost created a model where we started with all the resources, we didn’t start with the idea or the people and as a result, we have a lot of things that weren’t necessarily going in the right places,” she said.
In the podcast space, Barstool has 94 different offerings to choose from. Nardini said it’s just become too much, and they’re going to have to scale things back.
“No company of our size should have 94 shows,” she said. “What was my mistake and our mistake? We treated all 94 shows equal.”
Nardini realizes that means tough decisions are going to have to be made. Good, talented people will either have to move on or their jobs will be re-purposed.
“I’m bummed that it impacts people’s jobs,” she said. “I think that is a really, really serious thing when a role gets impacted and things change. You have to take that with a little bit of a heavy heart.”
Erika didn’t specify which shows, in particular, would be getting the ax, but it’s believed that the show Podfathers will be among them.
Show co-hosts Michael McCarthy aka “Large” and Justin Clemenza aka “Clem” took to Twitter and to the Barstool blog to announce the parenting podcast was no more.
Jordan Demcher aka “Jordie” tweeted a couple of thoughts on the situation but then clarified his podcast would carry on.
Keep your eyes on social media over the next few days for more details on this situation from Barstool’s personalities.