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Sunday, June 16, 2024

A Social Media Prankster Is Narrating Several of Dov Kleiman’s TikToks

  • A nameless person, who isn’t Kleiman, talks over clips on an account bearing Kleiman’s name and avatar.
  • There appears to be a connection between DTX Management and Kleiman’s social accounts, said two sources with knowledge of the situation.
FOS Illustration

Front Office Sports reported Wednesday that Dov Kleiman had sought $75,000 in December for his NFL aggregator account on X. Kleiman has not returned messages, outside one early last week: “Respectfully, I can’t comment on that Twitter account.”

Kleiman also didn’t return questions about a recent TikTok account that bears his name and avatar, but which features somebody who certainly isn’t Kleiman in more than a dozen posts. On May 7, as a floating head superimposed on one of Kleiman’s X posts (which has generated 502,000 views), the nameless person talks about The Roast of Tom Brady that debuted on Netflix last month. While neither the clip nor the account on TikTok makes this person’s identity clear, there were enough digital breadcrumbs to find the individual. 

Jonathan Skurowitz, a resident of Miami in his early 30s who also goes by Yoni Skurowitz, is the person appearing on TikTok, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told FOS. Skurowitz is best known within the sports world as the guy who tricked many on X in October 2018 with fake news that then Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was going to end his holdout. (Bell didn’t play for Pittsburgh in ’18, and he left in free agency in the offseason.)

Skurowitz bragged about that fake scoop last year on the Pinky and the Brain podcast, although the Instagram account where that conversation was posted has since been made private.

“I had him on my fantasy team and I was pissed [Bell was holding out],” Skurowitz said on the now deleted episode. 

The podcast Skurowitz cohosted also has been erased from the internet and the YouTube channel for it is now bare. Skurowitz’s personal X account that tweeted the Bell “news” changed usernames at least twice and is currently pretending to be Florida Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling. (That account is now set to private.) Skurowitz’s LinkedIn account doesn’t have a profile photo, and his YouTube channel had one video as of publication. 

FOS left text, voicemail, email, and direct messages with Skurowitz. None were returned. 

How does a social media prankster become the face of the Kleiman TikTok account that debuted in March? The reason why it’s Skurowitz specifically is unclear. But the reason it is not Kleiman is because another company could be running the account. There appears to be a connection between a company called DTX Management (also known as HypeCheck) and the Kleiman X and TikTok accounts, said two sources with knowledge of the situation.

One of those sources who runs a popular social media account said they had a discussion with Levi Gottlieb and somebody else at DTX. Gottlieb’s LinkedIn page notes he’s the owner of DTX LLC, which launched late last year and claims the “X sports management company” generates “1B+ impressions monthly.” 

“So they’re like, ‘We can go 100% buyout, which takes it off your hands and we take it over completely,’” the source said. “They also discussed partial ownership where I’d retain as little as 10% and still have control over the account.

“I said, ‘Oh, have you guys done that with people in the past?’ And they kind of referenced Dov and how he still owns a small portion of his account. They said he doesn’t touch it anymore. He doesn’t run it day to day. He’s completely taken a step back.”

As recently as late last week, HypeCheck’s X page promoted just three accounts: @casualtakeking (Mark Jackson’s Burner), @Leg_baseball (Baseball Legends), and @NFL_DovKleiman. After FOS reached out to DTX Management/HypeCheck to ask about Kleiman’s account on X and TikTok on Friday, HypeCheck’s X account took out any reference to Kleiman, and @NFL_DovKleiman no longer follows HypeCheck. 

Gottlieb declined comment when reached by FOS.

Kleiman’s X account was divisive well before it erroneously toasted Mark Davis on a pregnancy that is unrelated to the Raiders owner last week. Questions began to swirl about who controls the account after the now deleted post went viral.

While he has been mum on whether he sold the account, two sources within the NFL aggregator space—who noticed a change in verbiage in Kleiman’s posts since the Super Bowl—told FOS that he did sell earlier this year.

Snapback Sports founder and CEO Jack Settleman told FOS last week that Kleiman had sought to sell his account for $75,000, and that’s how much Settleman said he got for it.There’s likely a reason for the silence from DTX/HypeCheck and Kleiman. Selling and buying accounts is against X’s terms of service and could lead to the account being banned. It’s unclear how X would view a partial sale of an account since the company’s media relations email still only auto-replies: “Busy now, please check back later.”

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