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#pounditFriday, February 26, 2021

Jason Whitlock explains why he left ‘OutKick’

Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock’s departure from emerging media venture “OutKick” was announced last month, but few details were given regarding the longtime journalist’s reason for leaving. Now we have an idea.

Whitlock spoke with “Front Office Sports” reporter Michael McCarthy for an interview published on Thursday. In the interview, Whitlock said he left “OutKick” in December over a business dispute.

Whitlock and founder Clay Travis were the faces of the OutKick brand, but Whitlock seems to have had issues with a third business partner, Sam Savage.

Whitlock says he was dissatisfied with the way the equity stakes for the three business partners were divided. Whitlock also said he disagreed with the way the equity stakes were earned. He says he earned his equity stake through the work he provided for the company, such as his popular columns and videos. Whitlock says Savage’s equity stake was supposed to be contingent upon a $500,000 investment, which OutKick later determined was no longer needed due to the company’s financial success. Whitlock also questioned the value Savage brought to the company and described some of the contributions Savage’s consulting firm made to OutKick as “amateur.”

Whitlock disagreed with the decision to not hold Savage to his $500,000 investment. Whitlock described his situation with OutKick as a “bad business deal.”

OutKick responded to Whitlock’s claims with the following statement issued to FOS:

“Outkick provided Jason access to all information necessary to make an informed business decision regarding joining the company. Nothing at all was misrepresented to him — or his lawyer — in any way whatsoever. He chose to leave after a short tenure and as we said over a month ago on the site when we announced he was leaving, we continue to wish him well.”

Outkick The Coverage was originally a website started by Clay Travis. Last year, Travis partnered with Savage to help turn OutKick into a major media player. Whitlock left FS1, where he hosted “Speak for Yourself,” to join Travis’ venture, and even moved to Nashville, Tenn., where Travis is headquartered. Travis and Whitlock attracted immediate attention and fandom for taking a conservative view of the cross-section between sports, race, politics and culture. Their divergent approach was well-timed, as it came during COVID-19 lockdowns and period of racial unrest when most sports outlets only offered a left-wing view of matters.

Travis and Whitlock formed an excellent team content-wise. Unsurprisingly, OutKick became an instant hit with many fans, as the site began racking up millions of visits, and their audio/video content received millions of views and listens. Sadly for their fans, and the ones who subscribed to the site’s VIP membership, Whitlock will no longer be a part of the venture.

Whitlock is likely to leave for FOX News or Blaze Media, which are both viewed as conservative/right wing outlets. Whitlock does not regard such a move to be a departure from sports to politics, because he believes “sports, politics, culture and race are all in the same lane now.”

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