Peter Nelson is the executive vice president of HBO Sports, but he’s made headlines in the past for being the boyfriend of Sofia Franklyn from the Call Her Daddy podcast. The two hosts original hosts of Call Her Daddy, Sofia Franklyn and Alexandra Cooper, were reported by the New York Post to have a falling out about the podcast’s direction and Nelson’s involvement. In August 2020, it was reported that he had left his position as the president of HBO Sports.
Call Her Daddy is a podcast owned by Barstool Sports, which featured Franklyn and Cooper sharing explicit details of their sexual exploits and close friendship. It became the top-rated female podcast on iTunes, but the Post reported that when they began receiving new offers, they argued over their existing contract with Barstool Sports. “They’re not speaking to each other anymore. They’ve completely turned on each other and started arguing over who was the real talent and who did more of the heavy lifting [for the podcast],” the outlet said, as per an insider.
The insider added that a lot of the tension and the feud between the original co-hosts had to do with Franklyn’s rumored boyfriend, 38-year-old Peter Nelson.
Here’s what you need to know about Peter Nelson:
1. He Was Reportedly Advising the Pair Behind the Scenes & Looking for a New Contract for the Duo Despite Their Existing Contract
The Post’s insider source revealed that the feud was enhanced by the actions of Franklyn’s new boyfriend, Nelson. The Post reported that the HBO Sports executive vice president had been advising the hosts behind the scenes and shopping the podcast to new owners despite their existing contract with Barstool Sports. The insider added that thanks to Nelson, Franklyn and Cooper were offered a deal with a podcast network called Wondery: “He was quietly shopping them even though they were still under contract with Barstool.”
Social media was unhappy with Nelson’s supposed involvement, blaming the executive for “ending Call Her Daddy.” One user wrote: “If 2020 was a year, It would be Peter Nelson. @callherdaddy #suitman.” Another said: “Peter Nelson ruined HBO Boxing and now Call Her Daddy. Great track record. Enemy of success.” One tweet read: “peter nelson has hurt me more than any guy ever has.”
2. Nelson Had Been Dating Franklyn For at Least a Year & Was Apparently Acting as a ‘Manager’ for Her
Nelson had been dating 28-year-old Franklyn for at least a year. Franklyn apparently began referring to Nelson as “suitman” on the podcast from early 2019. The two were pictured together at the 6th annual Village Fete in Brooklyn, New York, on April 27, 2019. It’s unclear if the two are still together at the time of this writing.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy spoke about their relationship on the podcast, saying that Nelson was one of the main reasons the situation escalated. Portnoy said, “I was starting to hear whispers, and [Cooper] confirmed it, and this is a big part of the story, [Franklyn’s] new boyfriend … Peter Nelson, HBO executive, probably greenlit a hit piece on me not too long ago, [came] into the mix not too long ago. He was the one who brought in all these lawyers.”
He continued, “[Nelson] was openly shopping Call Her Daddy. He was acting almost as a manager, and he got a deal with Wondery. They were going to call the podcast The Fathers.”
3. Nelson Became the Executive Vice President of HBO Sports in 2015 After Joining the Business in 2011
Nelson joined HBO Sports in 2011 and quickly rose through the company, eventually receiving a promotion to run the sports division in 2015. According to an ESPN piece on his promotion, it came as “a bit of a surprise” due to his “stunningly fast rise.”
The HBO president of programming, Michael Lombardo, said of the appointment:
Peter Nelson is the ideal choice to spearhead our groundbreaking programming initiatives as well as our commitment to world-class boxing, which have made HBO Sports an acclaimed franchise for the network. He has a comprehensive understanding of boxing, a key programming staple for our subscribers for more than four decades. We enjoyed a terrific 2015 season and can’t wait to present the best collection of fighters in the world on our platforms in the new year.
On August 10, it was reported that Nelson left his position as the president of HBO Sports “on his own terms.” Portnoy posted on Twitter soon after the news broke, writing “RIP SUITMAN” alongside a video of himself on vacation.
4. He Oversawn Some Significant Projects During His Time at HBO Sports
Nelson has overseen significant projects since becoming the executive vice president of HBO Sports, including “the Peabody-and Emmy Award winning Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, the nine-time Peabody Award-winning documentary team behind Andre the Giant, the partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s media company Uninterrupted, that has produced the acclaimed conversation series The Shop: Uninterrupted, and the landmark reality franchises Hard Knocks and 24/7 as well as The Shop.”
HBO was also recognized in 2019 with the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Long Documentary for Momentum Generation. Nelson also orchestrated a long-term renewal of Hard Knocks with the NFL and expanded the 24/7 franchise to college football and surfing. In 2019, the Sports Business Journal named Nelson a “Forty Under 40” member.
In his interview, he said:
We’re constantly looking for stories that are high profile and high access, but also seeks out a greater ambition in terms of the story that it seeks to tell or the point it’s trying to make. The word storytelling is used so much these days so as to almost begin to lose its meaning. We really have a deep respect for the storytellers themselves and we really take seriously our job in terms of empowering them to go make art.
5. He Was Born in Newton, Massachusetts & Graduated From Harvard Before Pursuing Journalism
Nelson was born in Newton, Massachusetts. He transferred from Oberlin to Harvard University, where he studied ancient Greek and graduated magna cum laude from the bachelor of arts program. While in university, he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon, and after graduation, he pursued a career in journalism.
According to his LinkedIn, he was involved with the humanitarian nonprofit the International Rescue Committee for two years as well as the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. His “Forty Under 40” profile indicates that he supports the American Ballet Theater.