Barstool Sports sells majority stake at $10-$15M valuation, moving to Manhattan

Governor Charlie Baker wearing a "Free Brady" shirt that drew the ire of Barstool Sports head honcho David Portnoy.
Governor Charlie Baker wearing a "Free Brady" shirt that drew the ire of Barstool Sports head honcho David Portnoy.

One of Boston’s most bizarre media startups is heading to the Big Apple.

Barstool Sports, a website headed by David Portnoy, has sold a 51 percent stake to media investment firm The Chernin Group and will be relocating to Manhattan.

Portnoy, who goes by the moniker “El Presidente,” announced the deal in an “emergency press conference” video filmed in Times Square.

He later held a live Q&A session on the video service Periscope, in which he said the deal valued Barstool Sports at between $10 million-$15 million.

Barstool Sports offers a mix of pugnacious sports blogging, recycled Internet ephemera, and scantily clad women to its audience, which are referred to as “stoolies.” The website also was the subject of a blistering Sports Illustrated report on Thursday detailing in part how its fans revel in using social media to bombard women with misogynistic insults.

Last year, Portnoy actually got Governor Charlie Baker to apologize for wearing what Portnoy said was a knockoff “Free Brady” Deflategate T-shirt.

In his Q&A Thursday, Portnoy said moving to New York was the right move because it would allow Barstool Sports to grow much bigger. “There’s more people to make fun of, more media, more events, more ways to create unique content,” he said.

In an interview with Re/Code, Chernin Group digital president Mike Kerns said the investment firm wouldn’t pressure Barstool to tone down some of its more offensive content. “Barstool has 100 percent control of editorial, we’re never going to pressure them to do anything. Nothing to add beyond that,” Kerns said.