Flo was started as a somewhat romantic notion operated out of a van and funded by donations.
It grew through the efforts of the Brothers Flo and others including Bader and Joe, eventually adding Willie, who was fresh off of being named wrestling media guy of the year. Willie brought to Flo the editorial chops and rankings presence it did not have before then.
Will later brought in Pyles, Holmes, and others.
Then the Flo brothers (understandably) wanted to monetize and allowed VC in. With VC came lawyers, one in particular by the name of Paul Hurdlow has been particularly damaging to Flo.
Hurdlow insinuated himself into management and put his imprint on Flo’s culture, and that meant using the lawyer’s tools. Contracts. Non-competes for already-employed people. Lawsuits. Then Flo started suing everyone in sight. From individuals taping their kids at Flo events, to putative competitors, to corporate “partners” (Oklahoma State) to Martin Flo and Willie. No one is safe from Flo’s litigious bent.
You wonder why Flo is not given access by many programs? Why they, the biggest wrestling media outlet, have an antagonistic relationship with their fans, wrestlers and coaches? Because people aren’t stupid that’s why. Flo’s sharp practices have not gone unnoticed.
One of the few Flo partners remaining is USA Wrestling which (a) is desperate for money and (b) has historically terrible leadership with poor judgment.
Flo is indeed a sinking ship, at least in the wrestling realm. Their business model is built on exclusive event rights, and those are dwindling. If USA Wrestling pulls the plug on Flo in favor of CBS/Track, they will be done.