America rejoices as Twinkies head back to store shelves

http://twitter.com/#!/ibeasmart1/status/311594963379040256

If all goes well, Twinkies and Ho-Hos will return to store shelves by summer, as private equity firm Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. submitted a $410 million bid to buy the bankrupt Hostess Brands. The news might disappoint Michael Bloomberg, Michelle Obama and anyone who had stashed boxes of Twinkies in the freezer as an investment, but for the most part, Americans are thrilled that Twinkie-pocalypse wasn’t necessarily the end.

Just heard a rumor floating around #SXSW that Twinkies are going to be back by summer!!!

— SiteGoals Web Design (@SiteGoals) March 12, 2013

Hopefully they aren’t playing with my emotions….but the twinkies are making a comeback?!!!? #Yes!!

— Rachel McKoy (@MzMcKoy) March 12, 2013

Twinkies are returning.All is well in the world.

— Alan (@cuppingmaster) March 12, 2013

First, the soda ban was overturned. Now, Twinkies are returning.

— EMP_Waldangerous (@waldangerous) March 12, 2013

HALLELUJAH! I may get to finish the Twinkie stash in my office. cnnmon.ie/Y7SEKo

— Jigbie Aguirre (@CMPLICATD) March 12, 2013

Twinkies are coming back this summer!!! I repeat, TWINKIES ARE COMIN BACK!!! Lol

— Mr. 100 Bottles (@boobiegotti2) March 12, 2013

So I can start eating my stash? RT @kfyi Twinkies may be back on store shelves by this summer. That’s the word from the new owner of Hostess

— Kristen Jarnagin (@krisjar) March 12, 2013

Twinkies are coming back!!! Thank the good Lord above! :)

— Erik Lyons (@3ML21) March 12, 2013

@moviepastor We serve a great and powerful God…Twinkies are coming back!!!!

— Chris Elrod (@ChrisElrod) March 12, 2013

Hah told my mom twinkies are coming back she felt pretty dumb for freezing 40+ twinkies in our freezer

— Sam Moreno (@Sam_iAM12) March 12, 2013

The news isn’t good for unions either. The New York Post reports that Apollo will outsource production to existing bakeries and distribution to third-party drivers rather than reopen shuttered Hostess plants.

Twinkies are back! The market got rid of one set of entrepreneurs and replaced them with no government bailout! news.yahoo.com/owners-hope-tw…

— Mark Thornton (@DrMarkThornton) March 12, 2013

Billionaire buys Twinkies; will restart production. Won’t rehire union workers who drove company out of business. bit.ly/15KMUbL

— Brian Faughnan (@BrianFaughnan) March 12, 2013

Twinkies are back, dude.But the unions lost big. Apollo will use third-party groups to bake and distributenypost.com/p/news/busines…

— Dustin Tate (@dustintate) March 12, 2013

Will Twinkies taste better when they are NOT made by union thugs with pensions that outlast the product? nyp.st/10AAWhX via @nypost

— Georgette Orwell (@Orwell_2012) March 12, 2013

Hostess gets $410M for Twinkies brand and union thugs get pink slips. I love America #p2 #tcotmy.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/ar…

— Nathan Hale (@NathanHale1775) March 12, 2013

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/03/12/america-rejoices-as-twinkies-head-back-to-store-shelves/


Someone Said Twitter’s CEO Is Going To Lose His Job, And The Stock Is Soaring

The rumor mill that Dick Costolo’s time is running out continues to churn.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo with Cameron Diaz Stephen Lam / Reuters

Another week, another rumor that Dick Costolo is losing his job.

This time, the mention comes from Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust who said, “There’s a good chance he’s not there in a year.” Peck made the call on CNBC earlier today.

Indeed, the whispers that Costolo’s time is running out have been getting louder. Twitter has gone through three heads of product in a year, not to mention the ouster of COO Ali Rowghani. In recent weeks, the rumor mill turned to Costolo, suggesting he may be the next one to be shown the door. Shortly after Peck made the call on CNBC, Twitter’s shares rose by around 3%.

While Twitter’s business continues to churn along — monetizing the service has never been Twitter’s big problem — the company hasn’t yet found a way to reignite user growth. Earlier, BuzzFeed News reported that after Rowghani’s ouster, Twitter’s growth team was reorganized into a central unit. Meanwhile, Daniel Graf — a Google alumni — was given the job as head of product. He promptly lost his job, with Kevin Weil, a longtime Twitter employee, getting the role.

Many observers and people close to the company attribute the shortfall to Costolo, who is seen largely as an operational CEO and not a product visionary — hence the revolving door at the product role. Costolo, however, is savvy and thus far has been able to navigate turmoil at the company. Still, investor patience is waning: Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal wrote a scathing story that demonstrated some of the community’s frustration with Costolo, which sources close to the company described as “spot on.”

Costolo is beloved by a segment of employees at the company, and it’s possible that his upper-management changes have bought him enough time to see the company through the Super Bowl — an event where Twitter will no doubt see a frenzy of activity.

Still, as is often the case in technology, rumors have some element of truth behind them, and the truth seems clear to both observers and investors: Costolo is running out of time.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/someone-said-twitters-ceo-is-going-to-lose-his-job-and-the-s


A Rare Look Inside The Sausage Factory Of Media Consolidation

Modern media is dominated by a handful of giants, each with Byzantine internal structures. Here’s why.

Ursula Coyote / AMC

The media industry has been in a state of never-ending consolidation for decades, with conglomerates being swallowed by conglomerates, and others being chopped up and resold in a vast game of corporate Lego. As a result, the giants that now dominate the business are often incredibly complex: Take a look at the corporate maneuverings of John Malone’s Liberty Media empire, or the leviathan that is Comcast.

In late October, bankers at UBS tried to throw a couple more ingredients into the sausage grinder. In a pitch to film and TV giant Sony Entertainment, they proposed taking over AMC Networks, the owner of cable channels including AMC, Sundance, and IFC.

But this is media, so the deal couldn’t be that simple. Sony shouldn’t outright buy AMC, the bankers said in a presentation leaked alongside millions of others in a hacking attack late last year. Instead, the bankers said, Sony Pictures should be spun off from its Japanese parent company, into a new company, which would then be merged with AMC. Existing Sony shareholders would own 80% of the new business, and AMC would own 20%.

The convoluted exercise — never followed up on by Sony — is an example of how the complicated and sometimes baffling structure of the media industry leads to deals that are designed to satisfy needs beyond simple economic rationalism.

It’s also an example of the media consolidation arms race currently under way, as huge players look to get even bigger to remain in a similar weight class as Comcast, which is already the country’s largest cable company, and has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable, just a few years after swallowing up NBC/Universal. Telecom giant AT&T, has agreed to buy DirectTV, one of the nation’s biggest pay TV operators.

“Scale [is] becoming increasingly critical with recent wave of cable consolidation (Comcast / TWC / Charter, AT&T / DTV) and large scale content M&A expected to shortly follow,” the presentation says.

A Sony spokesperson declined to comment; AMC and UBS did not respond to requests for comment.

The presentation, which was included in a trove of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton’s emails leaked by hackers last year, was prepared by UBS investment bankers. The rationale for the complex deal was Sony Pictures was “missing valuable U.S. cable network portfolio” that would turn Sony into a “leading television business with content production and distribution across all platforms and geographies.”

The proposal envisioned Sony purchasing AMC at a 30% premium to its then-price of $58.44 (the stock is now at $63), a $8.48 billion deal including AMC’s $2.8 billion in debt. A person close to Sony said that the presentation wasn’t solicited by Sony executives and wasn’t considered by Lynton, although such proposals are often prepared by investment bankers and presented to companies they have relationships with.

AMC Networks, which broadcasted the Sony-produced Breaking Bad on its flagship channel, has a “proven original programming model, secure distribution, valuable brand for advertisers and strong international channels,” the pitch said, and would, importantly, provide “significant cash flow generation for Sony.”

Many analysts consider companies with a library of high-quality original serialized content ready for broadcast — like Time Warner’s HBO and AMC Networks’ AMC — as increasingly valuable thanks to the ability to distribute shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones more widely to devoted fans throughout the world.

Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, said he didn’t think AMC was a good buy, and wouldn’t be purchased by anyone in 2015 because two of its three must-watch shows, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, have ended or will end. On top of that, TV advertising is still under pressure, the cable TV “bundle” is being gradually picked apart, with only truly must-see “appointment” TV holding up pay TV’s expensive pricing. And if cable bundles shrink in size — like Dish Network’s new streaming Sling TV service — AMC could be left on the outside (it’s not included on Sling TV).

But with a cable network, Sony would also have a natural destination for the shows it produces, international distribution through Chellomedia, the overseas cable business AMC acquired from Liberty Media in 2013, and would get access to steady revenue from AMC’s payments from cable providers.

AMC has long been rumored to be an acquisition target, and its recent success with Don Draper and Walter White added to the sheen. Investors and analysts have also long pushed some kind of reorganization of Sony and making its entertainment and movie assets somewhat independent from the company.

Activist investor Dan Loeb advocated for listing a 20% stake of Sony’s entertainment business so that it could get its own stand-alone from investors. Sony executives have long said they don’t have any interest in splitting up the company. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai told Variety last year, “I’m not entertaining even the notion of selling our entertainment assets.”

Like many deals dreamed up by finance types, the numbers behind the proposed tie-up are more complicated than just adding up all the cash the businesses generate on their own. UBS projected that the deal would generate $3 billion in value from the combined companies, just by taking a piece out of Sony — the assumption being that investors would pay more for a pure-play entertainment company than they would for one locked up inside a sprawling consumer electronics business. The bankers also projected some $100 million in “synergies” — essentially, money saved by getting rid of work that is duplicated — between the two.

UBS estimated Sony’s television and movie business had revenues of $8.4 billion, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $752 million, and a multiple — meaning the ratio between a company’s per share earnings and its overall value and a measure of investor’s estimate of growth of future revenues — of 8X. The new company with AMC would have revenues of $10.7 billion, EBITDA of $1.47 billion and a new multiple of 10.5X.

Sony Pictures, the bankers estimate, is worth $10 billion, and the two companies together would have an enterprise value of $18.5 billion. The value of AMC’s stock when the presentation was given, however, was $5.6 billion. AMC today has a market capitalization of $4.45 billion.

An additional complication in the proposed deal was how to treat the Dolan family, which controls two-thirds of the shareholder votes at AMC through their ownership of the company’s class-B shares, which carry extra voting power.

An all-cash acquisition of AMC, the bankers said, would mean a hefty tax bill for the Dolans. If, however, Sony Pictures and AMC were combined into a new company, the Dolans would own 3.4% of its stock and pay less in taxes than if they received cash or Sony stock.

Odd structures to reduce taxes are common in this kind of dealmaking. In March, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced a deal to exchange 1.6 million shares of Graham Holdings for cash, Berkshire shares, and a TV station. The deal structure helped the companies avoid nearly all taxes.

And the diverse holdings of media tycoon John Malone, the Michael Jordan of media dealmaking, contain many complex corporate structures that have helped avoid hundreds of millions in taxes.

The leaked emails show that Sony executives, including Lynton and Sony Television chief Steve Mosko, have relationships with AMC CEO Josh Sapan and have discussed deals with the companies in the past. In June, Mosko emailed Sapan to inquire about a deal to acquire some Chellomedia assets, “Are you considering spinning off pieces of chello? If so …we may be interested,” Mosko wrote. Sapan responded, “We’re currently holding on to all of it” but added “If you ever identify opportunities for us to pursue together that are new, we would like to examine.”

The emails also indicate that UBS banker Sam Powers, who is the co-head of the bank’s technology, media, and telecommunications practice, met with Lynton in the middle of October. The presentation came back to Lynton on Oct. 30.

On the night of the Emmys, Lynton emailed Sapan congratulating him on the network’s wins, including Breaking Bad‘s five trophies, and asked if he could get a copy of Boyhood, the Richard Linklater film produced by AMC-owned IFC.

“If we could get a copy I would, for just a day, be a star around my house,” Lynton wrote. “See you soon I hope.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/a-rare-look-inside-the-sausage-factory-of-media-consolidatio


Twitter has fun creating socialist band names

http://twitter.com/#!/ChrisBarnhart/status/192769502302318592

We know that Twitter should only be for serious business and all… but we can’t resist highlighting the best #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist tweets.

https://twitter.com/#!/adamsbaldwin/status/192767755257253888

#ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist Lenin Skynyrd

— Holly Jaunese (@hjaunese) April 19, 2012

#ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist Guns 'n' Rosenbergs

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/amish1979/status/192770624714833920

Alan Grayson's Project #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— RJC National (@RJCHQ) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/MotherBreitbart/status/192771060733722626

Rage against the 1 percent #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— Ragin' Cajun (@PolitiCajun) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/bryansiegfried/status/192771298596884482

Chris Brownshirts #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— Kevin (@kevswords) April 19, 2012

Barackman Turner Overdrive #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— Eric White (@EricTheWhite) April 18, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/AndrewJKiss1/status/192770095578234880

Huey Long and the News. #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— ن Miké Ramoné ن (@ThePantau) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/echo4H/status/192765011549110273

https://twitter.com/#!/FirstTeamTommy/status/192768782014496768

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/04/18/the-best-of-replacebandnamewithsocialist/


L&T bags orders worth Rs 1,458 crore

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has said that its construction arm has bagged orders worth Rs 1,458 crore across business verticals. “The construction arm of L&T has won orde

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/lt-bags-orders-worth-rs-1458-crore/article9065019.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication


Empowerment? Cosmo editor: Self-defense for women is ‘icky’

http://twitter.com/#!/elisabenson/status/475851310567526402

Hey “crazies,” don’t you dare hold Cosmopolitan social media editor Elisa Benson responsible for her own words! What did she say? Well, as Twitchy reported, the winner of the Miss USA pageant was asked a question about sexual assault on college campuses. She suggested women learn how to defend themselves. The horror! Cue feminist freak-out, natch.

Cosmo’s Ms. Benson enlightened everyone with her thoughts about Miss Nevada’s answer: Oh so “icky.”

http://twitter.com/#!/elisabenson/status/475829677148631040

Icky old guns and stuff. That’s for boys, huh Ms. Benson? Wow, you’ve come a long way baby.

http://twitter.com/#!/JohnEkdahl/status/475853127837822976

And their forgetfulness:

http://twitter.com/#!/GPollowitz/status/475846205164257280

Oops.

Twitter users rightly gave Ms. Benson the business.

http://twitter.com/#!/redsteeze/status/475855679673356288
http://twitter.com/#!/redsteeze/status/475856378876411904
http://twitter.com/#!/BiasedGirl/status/475853343685091328
http://twitter.com/#!/chelseagrunwald/status/475850542900445184

Bingo. Empowerment? Not so much.

http://twitter.com/#!/redsteeze/status/475863003871838208

Yep. Once again, it is feminists and the Left who have a war on women. Defend yourselves? Heaven forfend. Just let them pat you on the head while you scurry to make them some sammiches.

And an exit question for Cosmopolitan:

http://twitter.com/#!/redsteeze/status/475847935100338176

Related:

‘Rape culture wins’: Feminist freakout after Miss Nevada dares suggest self defense training for women

Fight like girls: Conservative women explain how gun ban zealots wage real war on women

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/06/09/empowerment-cosmo-editor-self-defense-for-women-is-icky/


Sick death-wish Dem triples down on the depraved; He’s a martyr, you guys

http://twitter.com/#!/allanbrauer/status/381846847309885440

He wasn’t forced to resign because he is depraved and unhinged. No, no! Totally his choice and he did it because he’s such a caring giver. All about the party, baby! He’s like a martyr and stuff.

As Twitchy reported, Allan Brauer, the foul former communications chair for the Sacramento Dems, wished death on the children of Amanda Carpenter, Ted Cruz’s speech writer. Twitchy then exposed his history of revolting hate and misogynist attacks. Brauer was then forced to resign. But, did he learn any lessons? Is he even the slightest bit remorseful?

Evidently not, as his Twitter feed proved on Sunday. Take a gander:

http://twitter.com/#!/allanbrauer/status/381819068652593152

Wow. Just when you thought he couldn’t get any more shameless or shameful.

http://twitter.com/#!/DocNelson_68W/status/381819506512785408

Ding, ding, ding!

http://twitter.com/#!/allanbrauer/status/381823542611832832

Look at him, look at HIM!

http://twitter.com/#!/allanbrauer/status/381831228623568896
http://twitter.com/#!/allanbrauer/status/381846410028539904
http://twitter.com/#!/allanbrauer/status/381847341218557953

Didn’t you hear him, guys? Move on. It was just mean words or something.

http://twitter.com/#!/robtr2/status/381959562263162880

Just “mean words!”

Those with a moral compass continued to rightly give the cretinous Brauer the business.

http://twitter.com/#!/mplatt00/status/381905958420508672
http://twitter.com/#!/HG_Pennypacker/status/381950562230480898
http://twitter.com/#!/chrismcm66/status/381861171025817600
http://twitter.com/#!/jenniferglynn/status/381840081960460288
http://twitter.com/#!/MichelleInCAL/status/381932511690887168

Bingo.

And some exit words of wisdom:

http://twitter.com/#!/BellJV/status/381899335795228673

Yes. Please do.

By the way, Brauer also retweeted this post, which knocks Amanda Carpenter.

http://twitter.com/#!/allanbrauer/status/381843522699018240

But, you know, he’s totally altruistic and stuff. Sorry? HA!

Once a hate-filled misogynist, always a hate-filled misogynist.

Related:

Death-wish Dem Allan Brauer forced to resign

Ace demolishes Allan ‘Death Wish’ Brauer, communications director extraordinaire

Exposed: Death-wish Democrat official Allan Brauer’s long history of online hate, misogyny & GOP kid-bashing

#AllanBrauerProWritingTips: Inside the mind of ‘gibbering homicidal’ Dem official

Calif. Dem spox: Comms. chair’s death wish was wrong, but Ted Cruz is the real problem!

Comms. Chair of Sacramento Dems apologizes to Amanda Carpenter for ‘may all your children die’ tweet

‘May your children all die’: Comms. Chair of Sacramento Dems attacks Amanda Carpenter

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/09/23/sick-death-wish-dem-allan-brauer-triples-down-on-the-depraved-hes-a-martyr-you-guys/


But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

Read more: https://imgflip.com/i/awhc9


Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky explains why conservative women are so dumb

http://twitter.com/#!/hboulware/status/453915496396488705

That’s the least he could do.

Yesterday, Kirsten Kukowski, an RNC press secretary, appeared on MSNBC to discuss the so-called gender wage gap. The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky got a big kick out of it, because conservative woman:

http://twitter.com/#!/kakukowski/status/453909933810270208

According to Tomasky, conservative women are better off being seen and not heard:

http://twitter.com/#!/mtomasky/status/453863661233135617

Here are some highlights:

OK, on reflection, I do feel a little sorry for her. That she had only gibberish to spout in response to that question isn’t really her fault. It’s the fault of her party, all those men in her party, all those Southern men and their Southern beliefs and ways. One is tempted to believe that Republicans vote against things like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act because of the demands of their corporate contributors, and that’s undoubtedly true, to some extent. But it isn’t corporate benefactors who make Todd Akin and some of these other men say the batshit crazy things about women they say. That’s culture.

Kukowski had nothing to say because George W. Bush sat in the White House for eight years, six of them with a compliant Republican Congress, and never passed or that I can recall even introduced or even talked about one bill aimed at workplace gender fairness. She had nothing to say because since Barack Obama became president, the Republicans have voted no no no on any measure of this sort. Four Senate Republicans did vote aye on Lilly Ledbetter back in 2009. Yep, you guessed it: the “girls”—Collins, Hutchison, Murkowski, Snowe. Not a single man. In the House, Ledbetter got three.

It’s partly a corporate thing, a business thing. But mostly it’s cultural. Women just aren’t supposed to be that pushy. “All Republicans support equal pay for equal work,” claimed the first sentence of the memo Kukowski and two colleagues released Tuesday. Of course, they have to say that. But obviously, all Republicans do not, or they’d have done something, on their terms, during those six years Bush and Denny Hastert and Bill Frist were running things. Very few Republicans do. Especially the Southern ones, who by and large run the party, or at least provide its cultural ballast. It isn’t how they were raised, and it doesn’t feel right to them. They think the Paycheck Fairness Act has its origins in that night when a likkered-up Mickey Gilley slashed Johnny Paycheck’s tires.

Shorter Tomasky: Damn sexist southern Republicans … Also, can you believe conservative women are so stupid?

http://twitter.com/#!/hboulware/status/453915024948330496

Very impressive.

http://twitter.com/#!/whignewtons/status/453876103929921536
http://twitter.com/#!/seanspicer/status/453906953786626048
http://twitter.com/#!/whignewtons/status/453874420361482241
http://twitter.com/#!/KatiePavlich/status/453891304217665536
http://twitter.com/#!/KatiePavlich/status/453891606320803840
http://twitter.com/#!/hboulware/status/453916263186571264
http://twitter.com/#!/hboulware/status/453916976125992961
http://twitter.com/#!/hboulware/status/453917683025580032
http://twitter.com/#!/hboulware/status/453918390600482816
http://twitter.com/#!/hboulware/status/453919461838290944
http://twitter.com/#!/jones4440/status/453918521966096384
http://twitter.com/#!/EllieWallace/status/453914196900872192

Michael’s quite a catch.

http://twitter.com/#!/DLoesch/status/453918946136059904

Guess he got shot down one too many times. Color us surprised.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/04/09/abominable-doucherocket-daily-beasts-michael-tomasky-explains-why-conservative-women-are-so-dumb/


Source Notes For “The Rise And Fall Of Chuck Blazer, The Man Who Built — And Bilked — American Soccer”

Here is the source material for the profile of Chuck Blazer, the man who transformed American soccer while pocketing millions of dollars.

This post provides documentation for facts in the article on soccer executive Chuck Blazer.

The story is based on public documents; court records; historical press clippings; blogs and other social media; biographies, histories and monographs on soccer; and interviews with more than three-dozen people from the world of sports or from other aspects of Blazer’s life. Many other individuals were contacted for the story but declined to participate or did not return calls. A small number of sources requested anonymity out of concern that their comments or recollections could damage their careers.

Some American soccer officials who worked with Blazer over the past several decades declined or did not respond to requests for comment, including Alan Rothenberg, former president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and ex-president of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Hank Steinbrecher, former general secretary of the USSF. Jack Warner, longtime president of CONCACF and for many years widely viewed as Blazer’s closest ally, commented only to deny all allegations against him. Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, who remains in close contact with Blazer, would not comment for the record.

Source Notes

In the middle of 1989, suburban soccer dad Chuck Blazer had just lost his job, had no income, and was struggling with debtDeposition in White Plains, N.Y., July 24, 1989.

He’d never actually played the game — Interviews with numerous current and former soccer officials including Kevin Payne, Doug Logan and Hugo Bandi.

Multiple professional leagues had flopped — Numerous histories of soccer in America detail the financial struggles and ultimate disappearances of professional leagues prior to Major League Soccer.

TV networks couldn’t even figure out how to fit commercials into the 90-minute, timeout-free games — Broadcaster ABC interrupted North American Soccer League games with commercials during play, often missing goals. Games were also interrupted with interviews.

The U.S national team hadn’t qualified for a World Cup in nearly 40 years — The U.S. played in the 1950 tournament in Brazil. It did not qualify again until the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

He helped win Major League Soccer’s first real TV contractNumerous press accounts.

Last month the MLS inked a $720 million TV dealNumerous press accounts.

Ranked higher than powers such as France and the NetherlandsFIFA rankings as of June 5, 2014.

More people in America are playing soccer than any team sport save basketball — United States Census survey of sports participation, published 2012.

He helped organize the Gold Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Club World Cup — Interviews with soccer officials including Kevin Payne, Doug Logan, Jeff L’Hote, Richard Motzkin and many others, as well as press accounts.

The first American in almost half a century on the executive committee of FIFA — United States Soccer Federation archives; FIFA records.

Persuading it to take control of its own television rights, turning the money-losing organization into a profit machinePress reports.

He has raked in more than $21 million from the sport, much of it paid to offshore shell companies — The CONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation, released April 18, 2013, extensively details Blazer’s finances at the organization, including his total compensation and use of offshore companies.

Flew around the world in the first class cabin –CONCACAF annual 990 tax filings, 2007-2011; filed retroactively, Dec. 2012. Blazer’s flying habits were also described in interviews with several former CONCACAF employees, including Jill Fracisco, Mel Brennan and others, who called his plane trips “Air FIFA.”

Lived in an $18,000-a-month apartment high above the glitziest stretch of New York’s Fifth Avenue, and relaxed in a luxury condo in the Bahamas — CONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation, detailed the confederation’s payments toward Blazer’s living expenses. Blazer’s apartment is on the same block as the Tiffany & Co. flagship store.

He palled around with the globe’s glamorous and powerful — Personal accounts and photographs contained on Blazer’s personal blog and his online photo library.

It entitled him to 10% — under his unilateral interpretation — of just about every penny the organization brought in — Signed copy of Blazer’s original CONCACAF contract, detailing terms. The CONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation found he laid claim to 10% of revenue that did not appear to fall under the terms of the contract.

Ultimately would be called a swindler by the very organization that he led for 21 yearsCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

An unforgettable nickname: Mr. Ten PercentPress reports.

FIFA said it was suspending its own investigation into Blazer’s activities — FIFA news release, Aug. 2, 2013.

“I’m perfectly satisfied that I did an excellent job” — Blazer quoted in May 2012.

Blazer has maintained repeatedly he was entitled to everything he got under the terms of his contract, and that CONCACAF still owes him millions of dollars — The CONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation found that Blazer believed he was “entitled to the compensation he received” and that “he believes he is entitled to” $7 million more.

“Chuck is one of the most important people in the history of soccer in this country”Press account of remarks by MLS Commissioner Don Garber at a 2006 MLS gala reception in which Blazer received the commissioner’s award.

Every member nation is granted exactly one voteFIFA Statutes.

Soccer from Panama City to the Arctic Circle, including the U.S., is overseen by CONCACAFCONCACAF was founded in 1961 with nine original member nations. It now has 41, 35 of which are also FIFA members.

Brought the unemployed Blazer in November 1989 to Port of Spain — Interview with soccer executive Kevin Payne; detailed account of the trip in Jack Warner’s biography, Upwards Through the Night: The Biography of Austin Jack Warner, by Valentino Singh; Lexicon Trinidad Limited (1998).

A legendary Paul Caliguiri goal known as the Shot Heard Round the World — The looping 35 year old goal ensured a 1-0 victory for the U.S. team and its first World Cup appearance since 1950. Trinidad was eliminated.

The two first met in 1984 — This and other details of the November 1989 meeting, including quotes, are taken from Upwards Through the Night as well as interviews with Kevin Payne and Lasana Liburd, who were in in Trinidad for the soccer match.

Would come to call the diminutive former schoolteacher his “best friend” — As quoted in Upwards Through the Night.

Warner won with three times as many votes as the incumbent — The final vote, not including abstentions, was 18-6, according to Upwards Through the Night. It also details Warner’s appointing Blazer: “I went to the USA and told Chuck Blazer, one of the top international businessmen in that country, that I wanted him to be my General Secretary.”

Unlike his predecessors, who focused on organizing rinky-dink tournaments — Prior to Blazer’s time at CONCACAF, the confederation had far fewer tournaments, mostly focused around World Cup qualifying. The U.S. rarely participated.

On July 31, 1990, he signed the contract that would guide the rest of his career — Date of signing and subsequent details of contract terms taken from signed copy of CONCACAF retainer agreement with Sportvertising.

A seven-month old New York Company he founded and controlled with the unlikely name of Sportvertising — New York state corporation records.

Brought in scarcely $140,000 a yearnumerous press accounts.

Who Called Blazer “one of the top international businessmen” in the U.S.Upwards Through the Night.

Warner, in remarks last year, recalled that Blazer’s wife initially paid CONCACAF’s rent — Warner mentioned the rent in a public response to CONCACAF’s investigation last year.

He grew up working behind the counter at his family’s stationery store and newsstand, Blazer’s, in Rego Park — Interviews with numerous classmates, including Sherwood “Woody” Salvan; Murray Vale; Phyllis (Fuhrman) Lerner, and Amy Zakheim. Additional information from Michael Perlman, chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council.

He went to Forest Hills High School — This and subsequent information about Blazer’s school activities obtained from a copy of 1961 Forest Hills High School yearbook as well as interviews with contemporaries.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were Forest Hills grads — Info on FHHS alumni taken from various biographical references and press clippings.

Married his high school sweetheart — Interviews with numerous high school contemporaries; Susan Blazer, née Aufox, declined comment.

Two brothers from Philadelphia helped create a national crazePress accounts; interview with Bernard Spain.

Blazer ran a button factory in Queens owned by his father-in-law — Interviews with Sherwood Salvan, Marvin Lieberman, Bernard Spain, Robert Slater, and Peter Grit.

Turned to selling other promotional and marketing items — According to interviews with Lieberman, Spain, Slater, Grit and Fred Singer, Blazer spent at least 15 years in what’s known as the “premiums” business, selling and distributing marketing and promotional items, including to corporate clients, cruise operators and other businesses.

In 1976, Blazer’s son, Jason, started playing youth soccer — Press clippings, including this profile.

Scarcely 100,000 children were even playing the game in America — From a survey of youth soccer participation, “Youth Soccer in the United States,” published in the Gamma Theta Upsilon Geographical Bulletin, May 1994.

The New York Cosmos had just paid Brazilian megastar Pelé millions of dollars — Numerous accounts of the NASL, including the documentary “Once in a Lifetime.”

Blazer began coaching his son’s team, with his flexible sales work giving him plenty of free time to get deeply involved in the sport — Press reports and interviews, including with Fred Singer.

Blazer soon moved up the ranks of Youth Soccer of New Rochelle — Various biographical capsules.

Perhaps the first time Blazer leveraged soccer to his financial advantage came in 1981 — Information on Blazer’s consulting, loan and subsequent lawsuit come from interviews with Fred Singer and the court record from the lawsuit, filed in Westchester Supreme Court in 1984.

Would huddle over Blazer’s imposing IBM 5120 — Interviews with Fred Singer; info on IBM, including the price of the computer, from various sources.

Singer drew up the papers and transferred $27,332.40 to Blazer’s company — A copy of the promissory note is in the court record.

In 1984, the United States Soccer Federation — Information on 1984 elections and Blazer’s campaign culled from numerous press reports, books (cited below) and interviews with soccer executives including Doug Logan and Kevin Payne.

The body had no revenue strategy, almost no money — Press coverage.

A tournament he was organizing — The U.S. beat El Salvador 3-1 on Oct. 9, 1984 and Colombia 1-0 on Oct. 11 before a combined audience of 53,000 people.

Between 1981 and 1983, the team played only two matches — The national team played a total of 56 matches in the 1980s; that increased to 199 matches in the 1990s.

Blazer played a central role in deciding to bid to host the 1994 World Cup — Lists of Blazer’s successes while at the USSF from various press reports.

But perhaps most important, Blazer’s position required him to sit on the board of CONCACAF, where he would meet Warner — Press reports and Upwards Through The Night, which details the first meeting of Blazer and Warner at a CONCACAF Congress in Tobago, the country’s smaller island.

Blazer’s tenure at the USSF ended quicklyPress accounts of Blazer’s defeat as well as an interview with Hank Des Bordes.

He co-founded the American Soccer League — Blazer launched the league with Clive Toye, former General Manager of the New York Cosmos. Accounts of founding of league and its finances from Blazer’s blog, and numerous contemporary press accounts.

Five teams plunked down the $10,000 startup fee — Press reports.

The ASL had imposed a salary cap limiting each team to $50,000 — Press reports.

He initially paid himself $48,000 a year — Blazer discussed his compensation at the ASL, as well as pay and benefits at the Miami Sharks in his July 1989 deposition in the loan dispute with Fred Singer.

This one was called New Markets International — Blazer discussed his use of a shell corporation or DBA to receive compensation as commissioner of the ASL and president of the Miami Sharks in his 1989 deposition.

The ASL began play in April 1998 — On April 8, 1988, the New Jersey Eagles played Miami Sharks, in the first ever game of the short-lived league.

Blazer quit under pressure from owners — Blazer’s departure as ASL commissioner and subsequent arrival as president of the Miami Sharks is detailed in various press accounts.

Blazer paid himself $72,000July 1989 deposition.

He hired away the coach of a rival team and made wholesale roster changesPress coverage of the Sharks.

CONCACAF took offices on the 17th floor of the Trump Tower — CONCACAF’s initial New York headquarters were in a small office in a building at 715 5th Avenue, across the street from the Trump Tower, but the confederation soon found space in the luxury building. A detailed account, with Blazer’s comments, is in Upwards Through the Night.

He devised a new regional competition — There are numerous accounts of the history of the Gold Cup, including a Q&A with Blazer and press reports.

CONCACAF brought in just over $1 millionCONCACAF Integrity Report of Investigation.

CONCACAF had $60 million in revenue on just $31 million in expensesCONCACAF annual tax filings.

Between 1991 and 1995, he took in more than $1 millionCONCACAF Integrity Report of Investigation.

The next day, July 18, 1994, he and Warner signed a new one with nearly the same terms — Details of Blazer’s second contract and the Sportvertising entity in the Cayman Islands from the CONCACAF Integrity Report of Investigation.

More than two-dozen state and federal tax liens — Based on liens registered in New York state against Blazer and numerous entities he controlled, including CONCACAF and the New York corporation En Passant Ltd.

He admitted in a deposition to not having filed personal income taxes for at least three consecutive yearsJuly 1989 deposition.

The IRS revoked CONCACAF’s status as a tax-exempt organization — Internal Revenue Service records.

Created multiple layers of holding companiesCONCACAF Integrity Report of Investigation as well as numerous public records. A partial list of Blazer controlled DBAs includes En Passant Ltd, En Passant Inc., Windmill Productions, Sandcastle Distributors, Sunset Lighthouse Ltd., Fornacis Ltd., Geminorum Ltd, Blazer Entertainment, Sports & Talent Management Inc., Blazer Entertainment, Sports & Technology Inc., and Multisport Games Development.

The confederation’s controller, who had no formal training in accountingCONCACAF Integrity Report of Investigation.

Between 1991 and 2011, when he left the confederation, Blazer made nearly $22 millionCONCACAF Integrity Report of Investigation.

His take of the pot was nearly twice the compensation of all other CONCACAF employees and directorsCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation and CONCACAF 990 tax filings indicate that Blazer made roughly $5 million in 2011, while all other salaries and compensation at CONCACAF were scarcely $3 million.

His pay was brought up only three times before CONCACAF’s executive committeeCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

After his second contract expired in 1998, Blazer never signed anotherCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

FIFA Gave $3 million to CONCACAF to build a TV studioCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

He was named to FIFA’s executive committeePress reports.

He traveled to the Kazan Kremlin to meet with the president of Tatarstan — From Blazer’s personal blog and from a Tatarstan government press release.

In 2008 he attended the Republican National Convention as a friend and family guest of Sen. John McCain — Blazer’s personal blog.

Blazer traveled to the Kremlin for a personal visit with Vladimir Putin — Blazer’s personal blog.

He said he chose Russia — Blazer spoke to the press following the vote, explaining his decision.

His social circle included showbiz figures such as Law & Order creator Dick Wolf and TV sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer — Information on Blazer’s friends comes from interviews with numerous former CONCACAF employees, including Jill Fracisco and Mel Brenna, as well as several others whom requested anonymity because they still work in the soccer industry; photos of Blazer with Westheimer and Elaine Kaufman on Blazer’s blog.

He once took 40 people to dine at Spago — Interviews with Jill Fracisco and two former CONCACAF employees who requested anonymity.

Blazer had CONCACAF pick up not only his work expenses but many personal ones as well — Information on Blazer’s handling of expenses is detailed extensively in the CONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Blazer has lived in three different apartments in the Trump TowerCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Much of which CONCACAF covered — CONCACAF paid $6,000 of Blazer’s monthly rent as a business expense, and the remaining $12,000 was deducted from fees owed to Blazer. CONCACAF checks were made out directly to the landlord and signed by Blazer.

In 2011 alone, he received $259,000 in “personal residence expenses”CONCACAF 990 tax returns.

CONCACAF also bought, for Blazer’s personal use, a $48,500 Hummer SUVCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Would deduct personal expensesCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

CONCACAF remitted at least $1.4 million toward the purchase of a time share — Information on the Bahamas apartment — including Blazer’s accounting decisions and his use of an offshore holding company — is detailed in the CONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

The confederation also paid $810,000 for adjoining South Beach apartments — Details of the Miami apartments are found in the CONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

He at times used for companions to accompany him when traveledCONCACAF 990 tax filings; interviews with former CONCACAF as cited above.

In 1995, Blazer’s wife, Susan, filed for divorce — New York Supreme Court records.

He frequently has been photographed with Miss Universe contestants — As detailed extensively on Blazer’s blog.

Actress and author named Mary Lynn Blanks — Her TV career is detailed on IMDB.com. Blazer uploaded some of her commercials to Youtube.com. Blanks appears many times as a travel companion times on Blazer’s blog, and a prior blog he maintained; in addition, interviews with numerous soccer officials, including former CONCACAF employees Jill Fracisco and Mel Brennan, as well as others that requested anonymity, confirm them having a long term romantic relationship.

Was given office space in the CONCACAF headquarters free of charge — Interviews with Jill Fracisco, Mel Brennan and two other former CONCACAF employees who requested anonymity.

CONCACAF employed Blazer’s son, Jason, a physical therapist, as director of its medical department — Jason Blazer lists his CONCACAF employment on his LinkedIn page; his pay is detailed in CONCACAF’s 990 tax filings.

Blazer’s daughter, Marci, an attorney, served on FIFA’s legal committeeList of FIFA committees, 2002-2006.

One check, to IndyMac Bank in the amount of $1,827.70CONCACAF check made out directly to bank.

In 2000, worldwide TV rights to the World Cup were owned by a German company, Kirch Media — Press accounts, and this press release.

Using a DBA called MultiSport Games Development Inc. — Blazer created Multisport in 1999 and registered it at his home address. In 2000, he formed Global Interactive Gaming along with Kirch Media. It licensed the betting technology.

CONCACAF commissions were paid directly to MultiSportExamples of such checks are here.

Blazer also raised at least $1.5 millionFederal court records show an investment by Mexican businessman Alejandro Burillo. He did not respond to requests for comment.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addressed Blazer’s ventureA news report in the UK press followed journalist Andrew Jennings’ disclosure of the venture.

Kirch declared bankruptcy — News reports.

Blazer advised FIFA to manage its television rights in-house — Numerous press reports.

In 2010, Blazer was named chairman of FIFA’s Marketing and TV committeePress reports.

He persuaded the FIFA ExCo to block an agreement to sell NBC the U.S. rights — Numerous press accounts of Blazer’s maneuvering to secure a TV deal for the MLS.

Had actually been paying ESPN to show its matches — Press reports.

The MLS signed eight-year deals with ESPN, Fox Sports, and UnivisionPress accounts.

Allegedly engineered the sale of 60% more ticket than there were seats — Numerous accounts in Trinidadian press; a fuller account is also in Upwards Through the Night.

Almost 35,000 people managed to squeeze into a stadium built to hold 28,500Upwards Through the Night and press reports.

Warner was also accused of making upward of $1.3 million — Numerous reports in UK and Trinidad press, particularly by journalist Andrew Jennings.

Allegedly appropriated nearly $200,000 donated to aid HaitiNumerous press accounts describe as much as 440,000 British pounds being sent to Haiti; at least $250,000 was wired through the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation, controlled by Warner, but Haiti’s soccer federation reported receiving only $60,000 of that.

He called the 1989 ticket scandal “a lot of noise and press”Blazer interview with Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal.

Chalked it up to changes in ticketing policies, saying, “it sounds worse than it was”Blazer interview with Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal.

He complained that while Australia had given him a pricey gift bagAccounts in UK press.

Blazer reversed an earlier plan to acquire adjacent condos for him and WarnerCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

On May 24, 2011, Blazer informed FIFA of an alleged attempt by Warner — There are many accounts of the bribery investigation, and the non-profit site History Commons provides a timeline.

A secret videotape — The video of Warner’s speech is available here, along with a transcript.

Resigned his positions at FIFA and CONCACAF — FIFA release; press reports.

The Court for Arbitration of Sport ultimately annulled that ban — Full ruling, dated July 19, 2012, found here.

Who would collect nearly $5 million from CONCACAF that yearCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Blazer learned that CONCACAF’s new leadership planned to terminate himCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Announcing that he would resign from CONCACAF that December — Numerous press reports; quote from interview with Inside World Football.

He instructed CONCACAF’s Florida bank to pay $1.4 millionCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

He continued to access his office at the confederation until the following AprilCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Warner unleashed his own allegations — Warner spoke to the BBC and other outlets, making a number of accusations.

CONCACAF appointed a retired U.S. federal judgeCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Contacted by investigators, Blazer said the confederation owed him $7 millionCONCACAF Integrity Committee Report of Investigation.

Blazer announced he would not seek reelection — Press accounts.

Initially said he would usher in new transparency by disclosing his FIFA compensation — Gulati told the Associated Press in April 2013 that he would reveal his pay.

FIFA suspended Blazer for various breaches of its code of ethics — Press reports.

Congratulate his Russian friend Valery GergievMost recent entry in Blazer’s blog, dated Feb. 9, 2014.

Gergiev, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, is close to Putin and has publicly sided with the administration’s stances on homosexuality and Pussy RiotPress accounts.

Blazer underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness — Brief telephone conversation with Blazer, who declined further comment and subsequently did not respond to phone messages, emails and a couriered letter.

On a February evening in 1986 — Details of the Collin Fowles’ death in press reports. Numerous outlets, and particularly the South Florida Sun Sentinel, covered the game extensively. Blazer’s decision to charge the 10% fee was the subject of an editorial. “We’re not trying to take money away from anybody,” Blazer told the paper. “But the rule does not provide for exceptions.”

Partial list of books consulted

Singh, Valentino. Upwards Through the Night: The Biography of Austin Jack Warner. Lexicon Trinidad Limited, 1988.

Jennings, Andew. Omerta: Sepp Blatter’s FIFA Organized Crime Family. Transparency Books, 2014.

Jennings, Andrew. Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals. HarperSport, 2006.

Hopkins, Gary. Star-Spangled Soccer: the Selling, Marketing and Management of Soccer in the USA. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kenbensinger/source-notes-for-the-rise-fall-of-chuck-blazer-the-man