Page Six Doesn’t Deserve a Reply, But Howard Schultz Responds Anyway

TheWrap debunks a ridiculous, totally unsourced item by Richard Johnson

It’s way too late in the day to teach Page Six how to do journalism, so why should I be surprised that it publishes some made-up report from “reliable sources” about TheWrap?

Richard Johnson, the aging gossip, reports that Howard Schultz tried to sell his (non-existent) shares to Variety and Deadline-owner Jay Penske.  For starters, Schultz owns no shares in TheWrap. Maveron, the venture capital firm that was co-founded by Schultz, is an investor in TheWrap. Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, does not make investment decisions at Maveron.

I spoke to Howard Schultz on Saturday, who told me that the unfounded Post story did not merit a response, but said this for the record so there’s no confusion:

“I’m really proud of what Sharon and her team has built at TheWrap, and look forward to seeing the company continue to thrive and grow.”Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 1.38.54 PM

Also read: TheWrap Achieves All-Time Traffic High in September 2013

So the story is ridiculous, but silly me for thinking Johnson  – who I know – might be courteous enough to check this report with me or Howard Schultz before publishing.

I have one email from Johnson (see image) on Friday that reads: “What’s your phone number?”

TheWrap, as we have been letting you know continually, is on a growth tear of late. We redesigned and relaunched the site in September, a month in which we reported 150 percent growth in our traffic, year over year. We have been cash flow positive for two years in a row, and will be profitable again this year.  We are headed for more intensive growth in the next six months so watch this space.

Thanks, Howard. We’re really proud too.