Peter Chernin’s tech investment firm Chernin Group of Santa Monica has taken a 51 percent stake in raunchy men’s website Barstool Sports.
Chernin is planning on investing further into Barstool of Milton, Mass, hiring additional staff, increasing content production and adding a production studio in New York.
Barstool Sports is comedy, sports and lifestyle website launched in 2004. The site’s content includes sports gossip and photo galleries of scantily clad women. It seeks to emulate the vulgar sports conversations that male fans have among themselves at home, in stadiums and at bars.
“Barstool Sports has made its mark with an extremely strong voice among a young male-skewing demographic and a very engaged audience across all digital platforms,” Chernin wrote in a statement. “Barstool Sports' impressive reach and engagement are a function of the team's unique editorial tone that speaks to this audience — a tone that is similar to how people talk literally while on barstools.”
Barstool Sports founder and President David Portnoy has gotten criticism for his website’s misogynistic tone, which includes calling a female sports reporter a “slut” and advocating for the use of other female-specific slurs. Though buttoned-up investment firm Chernin now owns a majority of Barstool, it has pledged Portnoy will keep “complete editorial autonomy.”
As part of purchasing a majority stake, Chernin Group President Jesse Jacobs and President of Digital Mike Kerns will join the Barstool Sports board of directors.
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