SCOTT FLYNN/AFP/Getty Images and Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM
SCOTT FLYNN/AFP/Getty Images and Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

How Seinfeld Reruns Made Steve Bannon Rich

SCOTT FLYNN/AFP/Getty Images and Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM
SCOTT FLYNN/AFP/Getty Images and Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Today, Steve Bannon is known as Donald Trump’s chief strategist and the controversial former executive chairman of Breitbart News. But in the early 1990s, the former investment banker was more likely to be found having power lunches at The Ivy than meeting with foreign dignitaries in the Oval Office. In 1992, he negotiated a financial stake in the syndication rights to Seinfeld, which was then just in its third season. It would prove to be a smart move.

In 1990, after logging some time at Goldman Sachs, Bannon and several colleagues decided to hang out their own shingle: Bannon & Co. was a boutique investment bank that specialized in media and took a unique approach to financing.

“At the time, investors preferred hard assets—manufacturing companies, real estate—and avoided things like movie studios and film libraries, which were harder to price,” wrote Joshua Green for Bloomberg. “Bannon’s group, drawing on data such as VHS cassette sales and TV ratings, devised a model to value intellectual property in the same way as tangible assets.”

“We got a ton of business,” Bannon told Bloomberg at the time.

Then Westinghouse Electric, a client of Bannon’s, came calling. Westinghouse owned Castle Rock Entertainment—a film and television production company co-founded by Rob Reiner—but was looking to sell. Bannon floated the idea of purchasing the company by Ted Turner, who was immediately intrigued. “Turner was going to build this huge studio, so we were negotiating the deal at the St. Regis hotel in New York,” Bannon told Bloomberg. “As often happened with Turner, when it came time to actually close the deal, Ted was short of cash … Westinghouse just wanted out. We told them, ‘You ought to take this deal. It’s a great deal.’ And they go, ‘If this is such a great deal, why don’t you defer some of your cash fee and keep an ownership stake in a package of TV rights?’”

It didn’t take long for Bannon to put his money where his mouth was, and end up owning a stake in five television series, including Seinfeld, which was then in its third season (and not yet the pop culture icon it would turn into). “We calculated what [Seinfeld] would get us if it made it to syndication,” Bannon said. “We were wrong by a factor of five.”

Though no one knows exactly how much cash Seinfeld reruns have earned Bannon, Forbes did its best to crunch the numbers last year. “It has been widely reported that the show has made $3.1 billion in deals in on-air syndication deals, which have been completed five times since the show’s finale in 1998,” Madeline Berg wrote. “On top of that, in 2015, Hulu paid $875,000 per episode—or about $160 million—for exclusive streaming rights for the show … If Bannon owned only a one percent share of the profits, he would have made about $32.6 million since 1998.” Serenity now!

Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door

Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]


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