Scaramucci Unveils Experimental Media Venture

  • ‘Entrepreneurs are capital artists,’ says ex-White House aide
  • Scaramucci Post celebrates going live at New York City dinner

Anthony Scaramucci, the investor and former White House aide who’s selling his stake in SkyBridge Capital, took a step toward reinventing himself after his unceremonious exit from President Donald Trump’s administration.

His new venture, the Scaramucci Post, is a work-in-progress, he said Monday evening at New York’s Hunt & Fish Club, the restaurant he co-owns and where he launched the business with live videos posted to social-media platform Periscope earlier in the day.

Anthony Scaramucci holds court with press Monday evening while doing a live video.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

“We’re just experimenting,” Scaramucci said in an interview at a reception in the club’s glitzy Blue Room, where guests sampled bite-size sliders, pigs-in-a-blanket and crispy Brussels sprouts. “Real entrepreneurs are capital artists. They never know what the canvas is going to look like.”

The event was more subdued than originally planned, he said, because of the Las Vegas mass shooting that claimed at least 59 lives. On Periscope throughout the day, Scaramucci wore an ice pack from a recent shoulder surgery and sipped an iced beverage as he spread the word on his startup. When the stock market opened, he was the only person on camera and the audience stood at about 270 viewers. By late afternoon, he was drawing more than 30,000.

The Post will focus on “decluttering the political rhetoric,” Scaramucci said online, describing the organization as threadbare and cost-conscious. He likened it to beginning SkyBridge more than a decade ago with two-to-three people at a table and no assets under management.

‘Successful Failure’

“Real entrepreneurship is a couple of people with an iPhone building something that people are going to stop at,” he said.

Scaramucci, 53, who was ousted as Trump’s communications director in late July after an expletive-laden interview with the New Yorker magazine, called his 10-day stint a “successful failure” that provided valuable lessons.

He said that when they speak, Trump asks him who his favorite president is. Scaramucci said he answers that it’s Trump, but went on to tell the web audience about the merits of George Washington as well.

His tenure as the impresario behind the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference, held each year at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, was less rocky. That’s where Scaramucci tested the waters as a media figure, reviving the “Wall Street Week” television show and appearing on cable news networks such as CNBC.

Scaramucci’s airtime and visibility increased as he became a surrogate for Trump during the 2016 campaign. Three days before Trump was sworn in, SkyBridge announced an agreement to sell a majority stake to HNA Group Co. and RON Transatlantic EG, clearing the way for Scaramucci to eventually take a White House position.

Proof of Concept

With the deal still pending, those who’ve come to know “The Mooch” have been waiting to see what he’ll do next. Monday, he provided a few answers. The chances of his running for political office in the future are “quite low,” he said.

“What I’m probably going to do, I’m going to take on a portfolio of businesses in a holding company that my family is going to control, and my partners and my friends, and see if I can execute on that portfolio,” he said.

The idea for the Scaramucci Post formed during a recent telephone conversation Scaramucci had with his friend since the 1990s, Lance Laifer, a social media veteran and co-founder of the Sohn Conference who still runs its ideas contest. Laifer recalled a series of calls in early August, while he was on a family trip at Walt Disney World, that led to his Old Forge Media becoming a partner with Scaramucci on the Scaramucci Post. 

Jamie Lewis, the Scaramucci Post’s first advertiser, interviewed by Lance Laifer

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Laifer described his own politics as far to the left on social issues, and said he is driven to work on the Scaramucci Post because he believes there is an opportunity to make the world a better place from the center.

As for monetizing the startup, Scaramucci said Job One is building a community. Knockout Times, an online digital media platform for female athletes, is its first advertiser. Founder Jamie Lewis, who joined the evening event, declined to say how much she is spending.

Advertisers will need to ensure they get the right exposure in an increasingly fragmented media market, Scaramucci told a group of reporters.

“I’ve got to prove my concept,” he said.

Watch Next: Scaramucci Out as White House Communications Director

— With assistance by Simone Foxman

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.