Dave Portnoy with Tucker Carlson Photo credit: Tucker Carlson

Barstool Sports is losing a lot of money, but according to Dave Portnoy, he has enough capital to make the company profitable again.

Portnoy is right, he does have a lot of money after he sold Barstool Sports to Penn Entertainment for a total of $551 million and surprisingly purchased the company back for just $1 last month. But three weeks after Portnoy purchased Barstool Sports back from Penn Entertainment for $1, the company is going through a round of layoffs to combat “losing millions.” Thursday night, Portnoy joined former Fox News host Tucker Carlson for an interview to discuss the current state and future of Barstool now that he owns the company again.

Portnoy acknowledged Barstool was losing money under Penn’s ownership, citing the company being in growth mode. When Penn faced the option of partnering with ESPN, they had to choose whether it was worth continuing to lose money with Barstool.

“They would have optimized it and people who weren’t making money probably would have lost their jobs,” Portnoy said, speculating about what would have happened if Penn kept Barstool. “Unfortunately, I have a bigger heart than people give me credit for. I’ve got these idiots at Barstool who have been with me for 15-20 years – the same people. If they don’t work for me, I don’t know, what are they going to do, bag groceries?

“They’re morons, Tucker, they’re truly morons. They fit in our circus in our moronic world. So, I looked at it and Barstool was losing money, I said, ‘I’ll take it back.’ We’re losing a bunch, so I got to fix it, but I know I can save all our jobs, and get us back on the profitability course.”

Maybe he can save most of their jobs, but not all of them. Barstool began laying off employees this week and according to the New York Post, around 100 people will lose their jobs, which equates to about 25 percent of Portnoy’s staff.

Carlson asked Portnoy to estimate how much money the company lost last year, to which Barstool’s founder and owner answered around $10 million.

“It is a lot,” Portnoy acknowledged. “It’s a ton, but I’m rich and I can fix it. So if I have to lose money and pay for it for a month or two, fine, but we’ll get back to profitable. We’ll have some layoffs, but we’ll get back to profitability pretty quick.”

One of the first orders of business Portnoy made when he reacquired Barstool last month was eliminating the ability for employees to anonymously report illegal or unethical activity. “You want to publicly narc on someone, you do it on f**king camera,” Portnoy said. He said it in jest, but realistically, the sentiment is also one way for Barstool to get back to profitability.

Penn had the company in growth mode, they were also highly regulated because of their gaming interests. Prior to Penn, Barstool did not carry those expenses, they probably didn’t even have a robust HR department. The company was previously profitable under Portnoy because it was always streamlined down to its content creators, a business model that Barstool will probably return to.

[Tucker Carlson]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com