Dave Portnoy on The Kirk Minihane Show Credit: The Kirk Minihane Show

Now that Dave Portnoy has bought Barstool Sports back from Penn Entertainment for $1, he’s begun the process of reversing a financial situation that he says meant the company was “losing millions.”

During a recent appearance on The Kirk Minihane Show, Portnoy admitted that while he didn’t know exactly how much money Barstool was losing under Penn’s ownership, he was aware that they were trending in the wrong direction.

“I knew before I bought the company back it was losing millions,” said Portnoy, who flirted with leaving the company altogether before the sale. “I was pretty checked out mentally and checked out on the business side of things and being involved.

“I can get back in control of this thing—it may be rough for a couple months getting things back to where we’re not getting ****ing smoked, but I think I could make this a good place to work.”

Per Front Office Sports, Barstool had a net loss of $16.1 million for the first six months of 2023 per Penn’s Aug. 9 SEC filing.

That financial situation is what likely spurred the once-again owner of the company to publicly call out employees who weren’t in Barstool’s New York office on his first day back. He’s also continued to call out current employees over their financial decisions. And it’s also certainly what led to a round of layoffs this week.

It’s unclear exactly how many content employees were laid off but it appears to be people who work remotely and would, presumably, be unable to participate in the “pirate ship” atmosphere that Portnoy and Barstool relied on in their early days to generate content and connect with their audience.

Podcast host Will Burge was one of the employees laid off. The Cleveland-based content creator joined the company in February 2022 when it was owned by Penn.

“Dave bought the company back [and] Barstool’s back to being what it is when it’s at its best—and that’s a reality show. To be part of the reality show, you gotta be in one of the offices,” Burge said in a video. “So obviously, it doesn’t make sense to have a remote employee who is not a part of the main product that Barstool is pushing at this point.”

Podcaster Troopz was also reported to have been laid off.

Influencer and YouTuber Expressions Oozing also shared that he had been laid off.

Portnoy’s brand of empire-building was never pretty, but it looks like Barstool is in for some lean and angry weeks ahead as he attempts to restore the company financially.

[Front Office Sports, The Kirk Minihane Show]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.