The executive who oversees Hearst's ESPN interest (Hearst is the publishing company that owns—the often forgotten!—20 percent of the network) has quit his job amid an odd horndoggery scandal.
Scott Sassa, the Hearst executive (pictured above at right), resigned after a stripper forwarded colleagues a series of sexts, reports Page Six. According to the report, the sexts were "steamy," "illicit" and Sassa was using language "you absolutely would not want your bosses to see." This is code for: It was probably a pretty standard series of sexts and Page Six didn't see the screengrabs. Here's where the story gets a little weird, though:
But the LA stripper, helped by a boyfriend, then tried to blackmail Sassa — a single father of two daughters — saying she’d expose their raunchy messages if he didn’t give her money. A second source said, “She made a list of demands.”
When Sassa didn’t pay up, the boyfriend e-mailed the sex-text exchanges to horrified Hearst honchos, including CEO Frank Bennack Jr., Hearst Magazines president David Carey and Michael Clinton, president of marketing for the magazines.
According to the report, his bosses called him into a meeting and asked him to resign. Which seems...pretty fucked up? If it's true, it means that the "LA stripper" sort of won on the whole "pay up or you'll be sorry" extortion front, which means that there must be more to this story. Page Six tries to explain away the weird way Sassa got canned by quoting a source who said that Hearst "prides itself on being a very ethical, clean-cut company." Let that statement also serve as a reminder that, right, Hearst only owns 20 percent of ESPN.
If you know anything else about Sassa's misdeeds, email me.