Peter Morris, a former exec at Imax and Funny or Die, is joining online upstart Barstool Sports to lead partnerships, distribution and business affairs.
In the new role, Morris will be charged with expanding audiences for the Chernin Group-backed company’s podcasts, video and branded content.
Morris was most recently EVP of entertainment at Imax. Before that, he was general counsel as well as head of business affairs and strategy at Funny or Die, where he oversaw negotiation of talent agreements, television, film, editorial, commercial advertising and partner content deals, along with distribution strategy, strategic partnerships and equity financing agreements.
While at Funny Or Die, Morris secured financial investments from AMC Networks and Turner, grew the production slate to 29 television programs, launched a branded entertainment division. “Funny or Die D.C.,” the Emmy-winning political branded entertainment division whose rollout Morris helped execute, produced campaigns including President Obama: Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.
Prior to Funny Or Die, Peter headed up business affairs and distribution for Quarterlife, a ground-breaking web series created by Academy Award and Emmy winners Marshall Herskowitz and Edward Zwick. The show was the first ever web series to transition to TV, on NBC.
The Chernin Group, a key Barstool backer, recently invested further into the brand to enable new hires and ventures such as a just-launched SiriusXM channel.
Barstool is an intentionally provocative brand that has scaled quickly by disrupting established networks’ dominance of sports conversation and channeling the male-dominated fan ethos across digital platforms. Its popular podcasts include Pardon My Take, hosted by Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter.
A recent New York Times Magazine profile detailed the company’s continued rise after it abruptly parted ways last fall with ESPN. Sam Ponder, an on-air host at ESPN, had been among the network’s staffers pointing to misogynistic and offensive comments on Barstool blogs.