Blogger and journalist Kmarko (aka Keith Markovich) sat down for a conversation with David Portnoy, the "Presidente" of Barstool Sports, for the Oct. 19 episode of The Dave Portnoy Show With Eddie & Co, which aired on YouTube.
During their chat, the two discussed what happened that led Kmarko to get demoted from his role as Barstool Sports's editor-in-chief, and why he still works for the outlet as a blogger.
What happened to Kmarko? Why did he get demoted from 'Barstool Sports'?
A self-described "journalism school dropout" and "spelling bee champion," Kmarko was one of the earliest hires at Barstool Sports. He left his role as the editor-in-chief in 2020. Regardless, he continues to blog for the platform until this day.
In The Dave Portnoy Show With Eddie & Co, Kmarko and David discussed the circumstances surrounding his firing. They briefly talked about Kmarko's career-defining slipups, including an incident that saw him publish a blog post by a writer named Zonker. In the blog post, Zonker offered up corrections on some of the comments Kirk Minihane, a right-leaning radio show host, made after the murder of George Floyd. Kmarko's decision to publish the post garnered criticism.
As Kmarko suggested during the conversation with David, he first learned about his demotion from an episode of his podcast. It appears he didn't get the chance to have an in-person discussion about the drastic changes until he agreed to appear on The Dave Portnoy Show With Eddie & Co.
Kmarko and David spent a few minutes of the episode discussing blog posts that shouldn't have been posted on Barstool Sports.
"I haven't been comfortable here," Kmarko admitted. "I went from working 16-hour days during the pandemic on a real high and putting myself out there and then you just came out of nowhere [and told me] I was lazy."
Barstool Sports fans started calling for Kmarko's removal after Zonker's post was published in 2020. Though he was widely praised for his writing talents, Kmarko attracted criticism for his not-so-good ability to implement a coherent editorial agenda.
"[Kmarko] was important early and is still a pretty good blogger. He is awful working with other people or making judgment decisions on what should or shouldn't be posted. He seriously just is unable to interact with fellow employees or make a good call on something. It's a complete joke he's the editor-in-chief," wrote a Redditor named u/BlazeNuggs. "Don't need to #FireKmarko but demote him to blogger and get a competent EIC in."
"I honestly think Keith would be so much better if he just hammered blogs out like he used to," wrote another Redditor, u/locked_bathroom_door. "If your super important EIC position constrains your time to write cool s---t, then why not share the load or let someone else do it? Make it a council of the limited number of literate people that work there. Maybe another set of eyes could be a decent system of collaboration?"
Kmarko has had public feuds with 'Barstool Sports' employees before.
Kmarko also had a conflict with Michael "Barstool Carl" Sterk, a blogger who turned to the hosts of Barstool Chicago after Kmarko firmly rejected a pitch about Grubhub, one of the companies sponsoring Barstool Sports.
According to The Daily Beast, the tale of the rejected article idea was dissected live on air. Kmarko made his case in a separate episode of the show, explaining that his strongly-worded emails about the pitch weren't supposed to be taken seriously.