Thursday November 8, 2018

Discovery Communications reported mixed third-quarter results, but executives during a conference call with Wall Street analysts pointed to expanding skinny-bundle distribution and growth overseas. Six months after closing its $14 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of 52 cents, which fell short of Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 59 cents. Total revenue reached $2.59 billion, which met expectations. On an apples-to-apples basis, minus Scripps, revenue inched up 1% over the same quarter a year ago.”

Here’s David Zaslav defending 90 Day Fiance. Shhhhhhhhh.

Shahs of Sunset wraps up another season tonight.

Travel Channel‘s has given a December 4 premiere to Legends of the Lost with Megan Fox. During each of the 4 one-hour episodes, Fox will meet with experts and archaeologists in an attempt to answer unsolved questions about some of the world’s greatest mysteries, including the Trojan War, Stonehenge and female viking warriors.

Hasan Minhaj returns to Netflix this weekend with a brand-new episode of his series Patriot Act. Minhaj [wa]s asked if there was ‘a moment or political event’ that made him realize he had to create Patriot Act, and he reveals that back in his Daily Show days, an experience he had at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 played a big part in it — specifically when Bill Clinton rallied Muslims in the crowd to ‘help’ find terrorists. ‘I remember standing there and being like, “Bill, I hate to tell you this … I don’t know any terrorists.” I’m not Terrorist the Bounty Hunter,’ Minhaj says. ‘He thought our only value was to help find terrorists, right?’ Minhaj adds that while he considered writing an ‘angry internet post’ about it, ultimately he went another route: ‘I was like, “Look, I’m not gonna get my humanity from Bill fucking Clinton. He’s just not gonna get it … He will never understand where I’m coming from, my POV, the things my community has had to go through. We have to claim that shit on our terms.’ So I just started working on the show.’”

“#ImWithCoco veterans, assemble: Conan O’Brien will debut his new podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Monday Nov. 19 with guest Will Ferrell, Team Coco and Earwolf announced Thursday. ‘After 25 years of extensive market research we have learned that people want to hear my voice without seeing my face. So rejoice, America,’ O’Brien said in a statement. ‘It’s a chance for me to just be me,” O’Brien adds in the preview to his podcast, which you can listen to below. “I get to have a really intimate conversation with these people.’ The podcast will launch an initial 36-week run with a lineup that includes guests like Kristen Bell, Bill Burr, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Marc Maron and Wanda Sykes.”

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Per Engadget, “Comcast hasn't been completely averse to cord cutters, but there are now hints that it might design hardware with those people in mind. CNBC contacts say Comcast is planning a streaming set-top box for internet-only subscribers that would unify Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube and other services. It wouldn't quite be a direct rival to devices like the Apple TV or Roku players, since you wouldn't have an app ecosystem -- Comcast wouldn't want to risk you leaving for DirecTV Now or Sling TV, you see. It would come with a voice-controlled remote, however, and would double as a smart home hub.

“The company hasn't decided how much it would charge for the box, although it's implied that you'd pay a monthly rate like you would for a modem or cable box. The sources said the hardware would be available sometime in 2019.

“There's a big gamble involved. When your TV, game console and other dedicated devices already have access to many of these services (including Comcast's own), why would you pay for a Comcast device that does the same things but won't let you install the apps you like? If this device does ship as planned, though, it would represent Comcast further acknowledging the changing nature of its business. It's still bleeding conventional TV customers even as it adds broadband subscribers. This would give it a device to sell or rent to those internet-only viewers and soften the blow of people abandoning traditional TV service.”

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Per PEOPLE, “For the last 11 years, Jenni Pulos has been a fixture on reality television, sharing personal heartache and joy on Bravo’s home design show, Flipping Out.

“All that changed when, last May, she says Lewis fired her from his company Jeff Lewis Design over an explosive lunch that will air in an upcoming episode.

“‘I had no idea it was coming,’ says Pulos, 45, who started on the show as Lewis’s assistant and then rose to executive producer of Flipping Out. ‘I didn’t decide. He decided he was going to terminate me from his business and so then in turn, the decision was made. I always saw myself seeing the show through.’

“‘It was puzzling to me. He said he wanted me to go and do my thing,’ she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. ‘We see things very differently. I believed I had been an asset to his business and he believed differently, I imagine.’

“Pulos says Lewis, 48, floated the idea of appearing on the show in a supporting ‘friend’ role, a proposal she denied. ‘I was not going to fake a friendship.’

“‘After the final disagreement, I decided I was not going to continue a friendship with someone who thought of me the way he did,’ says Pulos, who remains, for now, an executive producer, though Flipping Out, which is currently airing its eleventh season, has not yet been renewed for a twelfth. Lewis said on his Sirius XM radio show that his contract with Bravo was not renewed before an Oct. 15 deadline. He later clarified, claiming the show has not been canceled.

“Pulos was shaken by the incident, and when PEOPLE broke the news of their split months later, even more stunned by Lewis’ public reaction.

“Lewis crossed out her face with a red X on social media, and on his radio show, claimed that Pulos hadn’t worked for him for “years” and that their working relationship had been faked for the show. He also alleged that Pulos filed claims of wrongful termination and abuse and victimization against him, which she vehemently denies.

“‘Citing wrongful termination claim, wrong. Citing abuse claim, wrong. Citing victimization claim, wrong.’ says Pulos. And as for their relationship on the show, ‘it was very real,’ she says. ‘I was his employee and I worked for him. It was very authentic, and that’s important.’

“Still, Pulos, who says she has not spoken to Lewis since the termination, had refrained from hitting back. ‘My engaging would not have been the right move,’ she says. ‘What good is that going to do? All I know is my own truth.’

“When it comes to Lewis, she says, ‘I’ve always wished him the best, and will continue to wish him the best. He’s a wonderful designer and has so many talents. I learned a lot and I’m proud of what we built.’

“Now, the mother of two (she shares daughters Alianna, 5, and Georgia, 17 months, with husband Jonathan Nassos) says she’s staying positive about the future and looking forward to a fresh start.

“‘My message to my daughters is to focus not on the disappointment, but on the next triumph,’ says Pulos. ‘Change can be difficult, but I’m embracing it. I am grateful for as far as this journey could take me and just so excited about what lies ahead.’”

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[Rob] McElhenney talks to Deadline about the personal inspiration behind [last] night’s [It’s Always Sunny] finale, about keeping a show sharp for 13 seasons, and about the worse-than-we-knew threat to Sunny posed when original cast member Glenn Howerton landed his NBC sitcom A.P. Bio. And we talk about McElhenney’s body. 

“This interview has been edited and condensed, but remains a pretty deep dive into Sunny history and lore. Skip over the references you don’t get – or better yet, check out It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia on FXX or Amazon Prime. You have a 13-season binge just waiting for a dance:

I think it’s fair to say this season’s finale was unlike anything we’ve seen on Sunny before.

Very rarely do we have any kind of a real emotional resonance. We’ve been working on this show for 14 years and we want to just try different things, see what works and what doesn’t work. We like to stretch and do things that are a little bit scary.

I can think of a couple moments where Sunny showed emotion – the tear falling down Charlie’s cheek after the Waitress slept with Frank, the look on Mac’s face when Dee gave birth [McElhenney and Olson had just become parents in real life, and the baby in Dee’s arms is their son Axel]. But it’s a long jump from those little moments to this finale. Was there any nervousness about taking fans where they weren’t used to going?

We stopped very early on trying to predict what people will respond to from us. We’ll be in the writers room and say, This episode is going to crush, or this particular joke or that particular moment, or this is something they’re going to talk about and want to see more of. Then it airs and you never hear from it again.

Then there are these other things that we just write not really even thinking too much about, and for whatever reason they resonate comedically or emotionally and you don’t even realize it until you see it on social media or you’re talking to people in public or we do a live show and you see how they’ve responded. We have absolutely no idea how to predict those things.

Examples?

One big example specifically for my character was in the Night Man episode, Season Four. And I had nothing to do with this. Glenn and Charlie wrote a scene in which I was talking about how I’m going to cross the stage [during the gang’s musical The Nightman Cometh], and I said, I think I’ll do a little karate as I cross the stage – because I feel like Mac is somewhat of a ninja, and I had been training with a sensei on the side.

We shot it and didn’t really think that much of it again.

Later that year, we did a live performance of The Night Man Cometh here in LA and then we wound up doing it on a tour across the country. Every time I said “I’m going to do some karate across the stage” people went bizarrely nuts. I would come backstage and be, like, Did you guys hear that? What were they were cheering for? Glenn and Charlie were, like, maybe they think it’s funny.

So that became a character trait for Mac, literally something that we had just put in as an afterthought. When three thousand people are cheering for something in six major cities across the country, you’re like, oh, wow, maybe that really is resonating.

At what point over the past 13 seasons did you realize your audience would go with you just about anywhere? And have there been times they refused?

We’ve had episodes that had almost a resounding negative response, where the vast majority of fans would say “swing and a miss.”

The Gang Cracks The Liberty Bell (in which the gang tells a Revolutionary War-era tale) divides people. I think it’s one your best.

There was an episode in Season 6 about Frank’s brother, and it went back in time and tracked Frank’s relationship with his brother. That one got a resounding rejection. At least it did at the time. Charlie and Glenn and I, when we talk about that season, that to us is one of our funniest episodes. Some people say they’ve gone back and watched it a second time years later and appreciate it so much more.

So let’s talk about the dance at the end of tonight’s episode. The gang has always danced – from the dance marathon to Night Man to the high school reunion – but this was different. You were really dancing, ballet dancing. What made you think you could pull it off?

Well, the impetus was twofold. I wanted to do something with my character in regards to his sexuality, something that wasn’t just played for jokes but that would resonate emotionally, and I wasn’t 100 percent sure what that would be. We didn’t want it to seem pandering or off-tone or off-brand or just un-Sunny. So, how do we find a way in which it feels like you’re still watching the same show and yet we’re addressing something that is so important to our culture right now?

Now, couple that with the fact that I’ve always found myself to be a terrible dancer, and everybody says that I’m a terrible dancer including my wife and all of my friends. So thinking about wanting to do different things – and things that scare me and things that I’m terrible at – I thought wouldn’t it be fun to learn something new, use the show as an opportunity to grow and to learn something new? And that’s what we came up with.

Mac’s being gay is a subject that means a lot to you, yes? Your mother is gay. How do personal experiences filter into your storytelling?

I was partly raised by two women, and I have two brothers who are gay, so I have always been part of the gay community. It’s just always been a part of my life. Mac’s sexuality wasn’t obvious to us in the beginning. Slowly but surely we realized we had an interesting opportunity. Mac was showing a lot of signs of being a closeted homosexual, and it could be interesting to have him come out. That’s something we wanted to address this year. And, yes, it was something that was important to me.

He came out last season to the gang, but in this season’s finale he comes out to his dad. But we didn’t get the expected I Love You Son moment. Quite the opposite. Given your personal history, was it difficult to see that potential bonding moment just vanish?

It would have felt inauthentic otherwise. Ultimately that’s why fans will come along with us for the vast majority of what we do – because anything we do has to feel authentic to the show. Even if we play with tone from time to time, and certainly content, certainly comedic structure, it all has to feel authentic to the show. It would have felt inauthentic to have Mac’s father have some sort of revolution emotionally and then to have Mac experience some kind of catharsis through that.

But we also wanted to make sure the episode didn’t end on a down beat, that it wasn’t sad. So what we realized in breaking the story down was that Frank really is the gang’s surrogate father, for better or worse. He is a terrible, terrible parent and he is a terrible father and he is a terrible, terrible role model, and ultimately a terrible person. And we have him throughout the episode not understanding Mac being gay, and having him reiterate over and over again “I don’t get it. I don’t judge you but I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I don’t get it.” All we wanted him to do in the end was to just wrap his mind around it and say to his ostensibly surrogate son, “I get it.” That’s it. We didn’t need him to say I love you or everything’s going to be okay. It’s just “oh, my God, I finally understand.”

So, Rob, your body. You got incredibly buff for this season, and I read your tweet about how you achieved it, which might be the most honest thing a celebrity has ever said about getting in shape.

Back when I pitched [the idea] to Charlie and knew it was something I wanted to do for the season, I wanted to make it abundantly clear that there is nothing inherently funny about somebody getting legitimately ripped. Ripped people aren’t inherently funny unless the joke is about how they worked so long and so hard to look a very specific way, literally changing their entire lifestyle, only to find that no one around them cares. I thought that would be really, really funny.

I also thought it would be funny if, in a meta sense, an actor worked really hard in the same way that the character did to look a certain way, and then the television show he’s working on only lets him take his shirt off twice, basically rendering all of that work and the inability to enjoy one’s life almost completely useless, save for what amounts to about four minutes of content over the course of a year.

I just got to a point where it seems like every time you go to the movies or turn on a television show now, a man takes his shirt off and he’s inexplicably ripped. I don’t mean Hemsworth because he’s playing a Greek god, or Superman. I’m talking about the pizza delivery guy or the insurance salesman, and it’s because actors now read in the script that they have a sex scene and they have five months to prepare and they just get inexplicably jacked to the point where it just has to be your profession to look like that. I was getting sick of watching that, and I thought it would be funny to address that in a way that was true, which is that you have to devote everything to it, and you have to have the money, the resources, the time, and the ability to actually pull it off.

Like Ross on Friends, the science nerd who kept getting in better shape with each season.

You find yourself watching shows in which people who are well into their 30s and 40s start to get better looking and you realize it’s because in real life they have more money, they have a personal trainer, they have the studio paying for the chef. If your face is plastered everywhere, you start to not be so happy with your teeth, or how pale your skin is. So you get a spray tan once a week. It’s so completely the opposite of what real life is, which is that as you grow older you do not look better.

Essentially, our characters on Sunny are alcoholics and treat themselves horribly and eat horribly. They would not look good. They would not look like Hollywood actors unless they devoted their entire lives to it, which I thought would be funny – for one season.

After the Mac-gets-fat Season 7, you lost the weight pretty quickly, which regardless of money or studio backing, shows that your body responds pretty well to whatever it is you do to it. There’s some genetic stuff going on there too.

Sure, that’s an aspect of it. I have a certain kind of metabolism that allows for a certain kind of body type, and that made certain things easier and certain things harder.

This is a silly conversation to be having on a phone, but I have to ask, what do you look like right now?

I am a normal person, although I’m doing a new show in a few months and I realized I should probably put on a few pounds, so I’m basically just drinking alcohol again and living normally.

Getting jacked also played into the gay storyline, didn’t it, with Mac wanting the kind of muscle body he might see on a gay pride float. And you had a better haircut this season.

Thank you. And yes, we were just playing into the stereotypes that Mac would have about gay culture. That’s what I think is ultimately funny about him. What I’ve seen so many times with a gay character is that the joke is that he or she is gay. Oh, isn’t it funny that he or she is gay or bisexual or transgender? Obviously we wanted to distance ourselves from that. We’ve always wanted to figure out what was funny about this character being gay. Well, he is a hardcore Christian conservative and he is intensely homophobic. Now that’s something you can write to. That’s something where you can find the humor. Because clearly everybody around him – except him – knew that Mac was a gay man, and yet for so long he would not admit it. That gave us some runway for comedy.

Then we thought, now that he has come out of the closet, let’s have him embrace every gay stereotype, because that’s what he believes it is to be a gay man. Ultimately, what’s funny about Mac is that the characters around him, all of his friends, they don’t give a shit at all. It’s not that they don’t like Mac because he’s gay. They don’t like Mac because he’s annoying. And that is what we always thought was ultimately really funny.

When Sunny first started, I think people had a hard time making the distinction between politically incorrect characters and a politically incorrect show. While there’s always been a progressive underscore to Sunny, there must be some things you wish you’d handled differently over 13 seasons. And you probably know what I’m getting at here.

There are things that, as we grow as a culture and as people, we understand a little bit more about ourselves and about humanity, and a little bit more about what is and isn’t offensive to people, and what’s demeaning or humiliating or just mean-spirited. There are certain things in Sunny‘s past – we can’t go back and ameliorate – but we probably would have handled differently. The quest of the show was always to be satirical, not trying to be profane for the sake of being profane or offensive for the sake of being offensive. We’re just exploring American culture and the human condition and using all of the tools in our toolbox. Our intention has never been to be offensive or mean-spirited. We oftentimes try to make the characters mean-spirited, homophobic and racist, but the joke is always on them.

Flirting with that line is dangerous and oftentimes in retrospect you look at things and think, I didn’t realize at the time but calling somebody a tranny is demeaning. Knowing that now, we would have handled that differently. It doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t have used the transgender character of Carmen in the same context, because if you watch those episodes Carmen is actually a paragon of morality. She is someone who ultimately the gang decides their baby is better off with – she will raise the child correctly, and Dee and Mac and Charlie and Dennis and Frank won’t. So the joke is never, Isn’t it funny that this woman is transgender? The joke was always that our characters are such pieces of shit that they can’t even see that this woman in front of them is a much better human being than they will ever be.

Since we’re in a reflective mood, let’s talk about this season’s clip show. It started out like a traditional clip episode, and then got very weird, with fake clips and mis-remembered episodes. And Danny DeVito with very long legs, one of the show’s funniest visuals ever. At what point did you decide to do a clip show, and then at what point did you decide to subvert that very idea?

We’ve talked about doing a clip show for years, and what always came up was that it felt derivative. Or it felt lazy more than anything else. But I would always beg Glenn and Charlie to just watch some clip shows with me because I promise you it is an incredibly enjoyable experience. So this year I finally got Charlie to sit down with me and watch the Roseanne episode where they did clips, and the Seinfeld episode when they looked back on the series. What you realize is you’re watching these shows because you like spending time with these people, and you want to spend time reminiscing and thinking about past events and talking and joking and sort of reflecting. So why wouldn’t we do that with these characters we’ve played for 13 seasons?

But we’ve always tried to subvert the paradigm of the sitcom, so what would be our version of a clip show? Once we started talking about it like that, we realized a clip episode was something we could do.

You had the Sunny characters mis-remembering themselves in the Seinfeld episode “The Contest.” Now, once you’ve taken the comedy to a place that bizarre, where can you go next? Does it ever enter your mind what you’ll do for Season 14?

No. Not even a little bit. I made a concerted effort very early on to not think about Sunny at all once the season is over, and then I wait until the very first day in the writers room to open that part of my brain back up and restart the conversation. I willfully keep it out of my head for the better part of a year.

Deadline: How big of a challenge was it this year to have Glenn Howerton splitting his time between Sunny and his other show, NBC’s A.P. Bio? I was expecting him to have much less of a presence on Sunny – he wasn’t gone nearly as much as I had expected.

That was our intention. Very early on we were pitching ideas on how we would do the season without him completely and it just didn’t work. We went back to Glenn and ultimately back to NBC and said we want to figure out a way to get you involved because we don’t think the show works without you. But his schedule being what it was – and NBC not really letting him do all 13 [Sunny episodes] – we wanted to find a way in which it feltlike he was there all season. I’m glad to hear you say it felt like he was there more than he was, because that was very much intentional. The show just doesn’t work without him. We thought we could make it work and we just can’t. If you take one element out of the equation, everything falls apart.

The season is over so you’re not thinking about Sunny now. What’s the next period of your life going to be like?

I’m working on another show right now that will be premiering sometime next year. It is for a new streaming service and the platform is also going to launch sometime next year. That’s all I’m really allowed to say about it. I think it’s going to be a pretty big deal, a pretty big endeavor and I’m happy to be a part of it.

But don’t you have a movie coming? [Editor’s Note: McElhenney previously was attached to direct a big-screen adaptation of Minecraft.]

No. That’s no longer happening. The movie business is brutal. Everything just keeps getting pushed and pushed and pushed and you’re just supposed to sit around and wait for the opportunity to go devote two-and-a-half years of your life to something that ultimately will seclude you from anything else in your life. I wound up taking almost a year off from Sunny and eventually I said I have to go back to my show. It was the best decision I could have ever made.”

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Per TheWrap, “Don’t put words in Larry King’s mouth, or he just might drop a lawsuit in your lap.

“Former Shark Tank contestant Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Holzapfel was hit with a lawsuit on Wednesday by Larry King Enterprises and ORA Media, accusing Holzapfel of wrongfully using a ‘mock interview’ that King agreed to do with Holzapfel as a favor.

“The suit, filed in federal court in California, alleges that Holzapfel ‘used false pretenses to obtain Larry King’s participation in a mock interview, then infringed Plaintiffs’ common law trademarks and rights of publicity to make it appear that Larry King endorsed Defendants’ commercial activities when, in fact, he has not done so.’

“According to the complaint, King agreed to do the mock interview, conducted in 2013, ‘as a favor to a family member.’ The suit goes on to say that King agreed to provide Holzapfel with a copy of the interview, ‘for the limited and sole purpose of using excerpts from it in a “sizzle reel” that Holzapfel could privately submit to a few television producers and others, in the hopes that those producers would hire Holzapfel for a television program. Holzapfel agreed to use the recorded Mock Interview only for that limited purpose.’

“However, the suit says, Holzapfel stepped beyond that agreement.

“‘Defendants later began using footage from the Mock Interview, as well as still images of Larry King taken from the Mock Interview and elsewhere, and combining those images with words falsely attributed to Mr. King, to make it appear that Mr. King endorsed Holzapfel and to otherwise publicly promote Defendants and their services,’ the suit reads. ‘Defendants prominently included Larry King’s name, image, and a quote of him saying that “you’re selling me on laughing” taken from the Mock Interview in an “electronic press kit.”’

“The suit continues, ‘Defendants also used Larry King’s name to falsely imply Mr. King’s endorsement and promote themselves and their services in another part of that electronic press kit which falsely states that ‘Larry King…loves Nate because Nate makes everyone feel like they are the most important person in the room,’ statements Mr. King never did and never would make.’

“The complaint adds that it was made to seem that Holzapfel had appeared on Larry King Now, when in fact he did not.

TheWrap has reached out to a representative for Holzapfel for comment on the suit.

“Holzapfel appeared on three episodes of Shark Tank from 2013 to 2014, successfully pitching the Mission Belt. He also appeared on the companion series Beyond the Tank.

“Alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition and other counts, the suit seeks unspecified damages.”

I’ve met this Nate guy before. Seemed like a loser then. Seems like an even bigger one now.

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Speaking of which . . . “Lindsay Lohan may have ever so slightly overestimated the value of her endorsement.

“A rep for the Mean Girls star went trawling for deals on a Facebook group for publicists and marketers on Tuesday, writing that interested parties should ‘reach out if you rep a brand that is interested in endorsement opportunities with Lindsay.’

“They also rather grandly announced that ‘acceptable brands include: fashion, beauty, car, lifestyle, CPG, fitness/lifestyle, food/drinks, entertainment/media, tech. Must have a substantial budget.’

“The response was, er, underwhelming.

“The post got three responses: one alerting a New York Post reporter to the gauche cash grab, and two from industry types asking for a ‘ballpark’ on what ‘substantial’ means.

“Since demand for her acting services took a nosedive circa 2010 — and since struggling through some legal troubles — Lohan has reinvented herself as a businesswoman and a (bizarro) philanthropist.

“She put her name on Lohan Nightclub in Athens in 2016, and opened the Lohan Beach House in Mykonos this summer, where she has filmed an MTV docuseries. A source described it to Page Six as ‘a cooler, hipper, edgier Vanderpump Rules.’

“She also claims to have plans to launch an island resort in Dubai called ‘Lindsayland.’

“Other business endeavors include an appearance in Diesel’s ‘Hate Couture’ campaign and her work as a spokeswoman for Lawyer.com.

“‘When Lawyer.com first reached out to me, I was confused and a little scared because I thought I was in trouble,’ she said in an ad.

“‘Lawyer.com is just about helping people. From getting a DUI — let’s not forget I got one, or two or three . . . ‘

“Lohan was punched in September while trying to take a child — whom she mistakenly believed was being trafficked — away from its family.”

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And while we’re at it . . . “Popular New York City sports radio host Craig Carton was convicted of fraud by a federal jury in Manhattan on Wednesday for his role in running a multi-million dollar ticket scam.

“Carton was found guilty on all charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. He faces up to 45 years in prison, a spokesperson for Carton told TheWrap.

“Carton ran an elaborate Ponzi scheme, bilking investors out of more than $4 million to buy tickets in bulk, prosecutors argued. Carton said the money was being used to later sell tickets at a marked-up price, but was really using the money to pay off gambling debts and previous investors, prosecutors argued. Carton started working with two co-conspirators, Michael Wright and Joseph Meli, to expand his operation in 2016, prosecutors argued. Wright plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and faces up to 20 years behind bars, while Meli is in prison for a separate fraud charge.

“Federal authorities also submitted evidence Carton had manipulated emails from major firms like Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Barclays Center, to dupe investors into thinking he had connections in the ticket business, according to the New York Post.

“Before being arrested by the FBI last year, Carton was the co-host of a successful morning show alongside former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason on WFAN in New York City. He was booted from WFAN, but returned with a digital radio show earlier this year.

“‘I need to let it sink in now,’ the 49-year-old told reporters outside the courthouse on Wednesday, according to Newsday. ‘I’ll have nothing else to say other than my plans….I’m going to go home and hug my kids and let my lawyers deal with the rest of it.’”