Rick Bassman is an author, media executive and wrestling promoter who is launching a new podcast. He discussed why now is the time to start a podcast when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily.
"Well, life is quiet and settled and somewhat stable for the first time in 15 years. It's been a tumultuous decade-and-a-half with a lot of cool highs but just some horrific lows. My theme of the past few years has been to get stable which is not a bad goal for a guy my age," said Bassman.
"I wrote an autobiography and finished it back in 2012-13 and I've done nothing with it since because I've been all over the friggin' place. So, I've turned my attention back to how do I give this book the best market possible. With podcasts being what they are these days, it seemed like that would be a great vehicle to build and promote the book.
"That was the initial thought but later when the concept of the podcast began to come together, it just seemed like a really, incredible cool thing to do."
Bassman said he spends a lot of time talking to people about how they achieved success. He enjoys hearing about people who have hit rock bottom and come back to the top and wants to share their stories.
Bassman also worked for Disney as an executive and even won an Emmy award during his time there. He managed to do that without obtaining a college degree and he discussed his path to his Disney executive position.
"I just didn't want to do anything in a conventional way," admitted Bassman. "[In college] I ran for elected office of the dorm I was living in and I became the college dorm president. Then the president of all of the [college dorm] presidents said, 'Hey, who wants to put on an outdoor concert and be in charge' and I raised my hand.'
"That was the germ of the thought that five years later at 25 years old that led to me dropping out of college after less than a year, owning two nightclubs, having my own modeling agency, limo company, security company and owning that market for concerts."
He then noted all the 80s bands he was booking like The Police and The Go-Go's and how much money he made back then.
"I would write letters to entertainment industry leaders on my letterhead," Bassman said before adding that he would pitch himself to work for these leaders. "I sent one to Michael Eisner who was the CEO of The Walt Disney Company at that time. I got a call from Michael's right-hand guy and he and I formed a relationship. Over the next couple of years, he would call me when he found a position that might work for me at Disney. Sure enough, in 1990 we found a match."
Vince McMahon has mentioned that WWE has looked into distributing their content differently with many believing he's open to selling. Disney has acquired major brands such as Marvel and Star Wars and Bassman was asked if it's possible that they could purchase WWE one day.
"Now, yes and for exactly the reasons you just said. They bought Marvel. They bought Star Wars. They just bought 21st Century Fox," stated Bassman. "This guy [Disney Chairman] Robert Iger – he's got a fascinating autobiography if you haven't read it yet – it really talks about his and Disney's mindset for expansion. I absolutely think that could be a match for them at this point. Five years ago, I would have answered differently."
WWE also appears open to selling their PPV rights and Bassman discussed if that's a prudent move.
"I am involved in negotiations that concern both WWE and UFC right now so I'm pretty up on both businesses," revealed Bassman. "It's just part of the gestation of business and new distribution outlets. WWE, as much as anybody, is on the edge of that and if it's a good business move, then why wouldn't they do their due diligence and see if opportunity is there?
"For the average fan, it won't make any difference and they'll still see the product. It's just how it's delivered will change a bit."
He doesn't know if Vince would sell the whole company outright or if Stephanie or Triple H would have interest in taking over.
"I don't know all of his mind or all of his heart. I know he's in his 70s now and is hyper-focused on his new football company. Who knows? Maybe the time is great for him and the shareholders. I don't know," admitted Bassman.
"There are a lot of dynamics in play there with [co-presidents] George [Barrios] and Michelle [Wilson] leaving. How does that fit into the equation? How closely do Stephanie and Hunter want to hold onto the company themselves? These are things that neither you or I could possibly know."
Rick's new podcast, Talking Tough, debuts March 15th on all podcast platforms. You can also follow him on Twitter @rick_bassman. His full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon: by clicking here.