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“WITH THE FIRST PICK, ESPN SELECTS …
… Jimmy Pitaro!”
This diaper dandy has all the intangibles and an unmatched pedigree to fill the shoes of John Skipper as President of ESPN. He’s a homegrown talent, having been in the farm system at The Disney Channel since 2010. Before being called up he led the consumer and digital groups at the home of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to $4.8B in revenue.
Pitaro may be inheriting a toxic clubhouse, though. ESPN’s struggles continue as cord cutters continue to drop pricey cable packages. Previous contractual obligations continue to deplete The Worldwide Leader’s resources and limit their cash flow. As a result, they have had to make significant roster cuts, and have been very quiet in the free agent market.
ESPN and Pitaro’s Hail Mary will be the launch and growth of ESPN+, a subscription-based direct-to-consumer streaming app. Pitaro and Co.’s successful integration could be the first step in turning around the franchise and undoubtedly put him in the MVP discussion.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “This is a perfect opportunity to embrace my favorite corporate mantra: underpromise, overdeliver. Plus, it can’t get much worse at ESPN than it already is so Jimmy’s got that going for him.”
DO YOU EVEN LIFT, (PHARMA) BRO?
Apparently, the answer is yes. Martin Shkreli continues to play out the plot of Get Hard in real life. And a new ruling contends that he must pay $7.36M to the federal government as part of his upcoming criminal sentence.
Shkreli’s lawyer claimed that his client was broke AF last year, so he must forfeit his interest in a set of ‘substitute’ assets. Besides the $5M he “forgot” he had in an E-Trade account, an unreleased Lil Wayne record, and various other assets, Pharma Bro will be forced to part ways with his one-of-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’.
Shkreli originally paid $2M for this album back in 2015, which made it the most expensive record ever sold. Karma certainly has a funny way of being a b*tch, as there are questions about the album’s authenticity.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “How incredible would it be if his Wu-Tang album was fake and the government wouldn’t accept it as payment to settle his debts, thus plunging him further into debt?”
Poor little rich family. The Nordstroms got some bad news when a special committee to the board rejected a plan to take their namesake retailer private in a bid worth roughly $8B. The board committee was having none of the $50 per share offer which came in below the latest closing price.
Unlike the families of backwoods Appalachia, the Nordstroms didn’t have much of a choice but to keep it in the family. The first family of depressing department stores left as much as $550M on the rich mahogany table as the buyer group led by Leonard Green & Partners planned to snatch up approximately 21% of their current stake.
If nothing else, the Nordstroms can be LinkedIn endorsed for stubbornness as this isn’t the first time Bruce and Anne have tried to cash in on their grandfather’s life work. An attempt in October went about as well as you’d expect for a debt-laden victim of Amazon’s proverbial smallpox blankets.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “You know whats worse than selling a stock at $50 per share? Selling at $3 per share. Who better to know to get out while the getting’s good than the family whose name is on the door?”
IN OTHER NEWS
- In its bid to take over the world Amazon’s next frontier appears to be checking accounts. The program will be in partnership with JPMorgan. Because those without bank accounts should be able to waste their money frivolously on Amazon too.
- AXA will buy property and casualty insurer XL Group for $15B. Could there be a more boring way to spend $15B?
- Google will sell its Zagat restaurant rating site to restaurant discovery platform The Infatuation for an undisclosed sum. Google bought the OG rating system in 2011 for $151M. Your mom going to the library to check-out print versions of Zagat review guides hasn’t exactly bolstered the bottom line.
- Apple plans to cannibalize its own Beats by Dr. Dre with Apple-branded high-end headphones following the success of their Airpods. This just screams: “no one’s buying iPhone X’s, send help.”
- US indices were up yesterday:
- DOW: +1.37%
- S&P 500: +1.10%
- NASDAQ: +1.00%
Professional motivation, tips, tricks, hacks & resources carefully-curated by yours truly. Something you’d like to see featured? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
IT’S IN THE GAME
They say it’s just as important to know what you don’t know as it is to know what you do know. So we aren’t afraid to remind you that we’re only experts in most things, not all things.
And when it comes to sports we’ve assembled the murderer’s row of sports business and media resources which we’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks. Up first …
- JohnWallStreet is located at the intersection of sports and finance. Their free daily newsletter offers up up the most relevant sports related business news, in easily digestible bites, with commentary from both the sports money and sports fanatic perspectives. You can sign-up at johnwallstreet.com/sign-up.