For over a year and a half, Rogowsky was the regular host of HQ Trivia’s live mobile trivia games that doles out real cash prizes to winners — before the New York-based comedian parted ways with the startup last month.
Rogowsky in late March started a job hosting a weeknight Major League Baseball show on DAZN (pronounced “da zone”), the sports-streaming service headed by executive chairman John Skipper, former head of ESPN. Rus Yusupov, CEO of HQ Trivia parent company Intermedia Labs, wanted an on-air personality dedicated to HQ Trivia and turned down Rogowsky’s request to stay on as host of the weekend games. Rogowsky’s official exit from HQ Trivia was first reported by TMZ.
Rogowsky’s duties hosting “ChangeUp” began on March 28, MLB’s opening day for 2019. The show, co-hosted by Adnan Virk, streams Monday-Friday starting at 7 p.m. ET until the night’s games have concluded. DAZN’s subscription service costs $100 per year or $20 per month.
Rogowsky’s Twitter bio now reads “Quiz Daddy Emeritus”; his last appearance on HQ Trivia was March 24. Intermedia had hired him in the summer of 2017 through an open casting call. “He was very funny and he made me laugh,” Yusupov told Variety in a 2017 interview. “He has a great energy and voice.”
HQ Trivia has now named former guest host Matt Richards as its regular primetime host and is looking for other personalities to take on hosting slots, as first reported by TechCrunch. Richards, who’s also a stand-up comedian, has appeared on TV shows including CBS’s “2 Broke Girls,” Disney Channel’s “K.C. Undercover” and Nickelodeon’s “School of Rock.”
In a statement, HQ Trivia said, “We’ve come a long way since Scott Rogowsky’s first trivia game and we’re grateful for everything he’s done for the platform. This is a team that creates products for talent to really shine — we’re just getting started at HQ Trivia, and as he makes his next move, wanted to take a minute to thank him for being part of our journey.”
Rogowsky told TMZ, “Nothing in my decade-plus entertainment career has meant more to me personally and professionally than my involvement with HQ.” He added, “I am delighted to begin this next chapter in my career with the amazing people at MLB and DAZN.”
HQ Trivia says it draws “hundreds of thousands of players to the platform daily” and has landed several big sponsorship deals, including with Warner Bros., NBC, Universal Pictures, Google, GM, and Nike. But by all accounts, HQ Trivia’s audience well off its highs a year ago. The app in March 2019 was installed by approximately 160,000 first-time users, down 92% from 1.97 million in March 2018, according to research firm Sensor Tower. HQ Trivia was the No. 6 app in January 2018 by downloads, per researcher App Annie, then dropped to No. 585 in August 2018 — and vanished from the ranking of the top 1,500 apps last month.
Since launching, HQ Trivia has spawned several copycat rivals, including Facebook’s Confetti. HQ Trivia’s games run weekdays at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET and on the weekends at 9 p.m. ET. In the game’s regular format, players must correctly answer all 12 multiple-choice questions (with a 10-second time limit, to thwart cheating).
Last December, HQ Trivia co-founder and CEO Colin Kroll was found dead in his New York City apartment on Dec. 16 of an apparent drug overdose. The company is now led by Yusupov, who together with Kroll was one of the founders of Vine.