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Media Moves

“The Dumb Money Is Gone”: Is the Podcast Boom Going Bust?

Fewer acquisitions, smaller budgets, diminished dealmaking—but it’s not all bad! “There’s been no recession among listeners,” says one audio guru. “There’s still more room to grow.”
Play Ball!

“Baseball Is Just Beautiful”: Pedro Martinez on MLB’s New Era, and Why the Sport Is More than Math

Fresh off an exhilarating World Baseball Classic, and with Opening Day now here, the sport’s most compelling commentator weighs in on the new pitch clock (he loves it), analytics (not so much), the Astros cheating scandal (“People need to move on”), and eternal Hall of Fame debates (let Pete Rose in!).   

Inside the Very Tough Business of Trying to Disrupt Media

Grid News, a one-year-old start-up, shuttered this week after getting acquired by The Messenger, which launches next month. Grid promised a different kind of news. The Messenger has even loftier ambitions. Will this media marriage work?
Hot Seat

“How Fucking Lucky Am I?”: Frank Rich Bids Farewell to Succession

On the eve of Waystar Royco’s final voyage, the executive producer and former Times columnist treated us to a wide-ranging gab session over lunch at Barney Greengrass. (Teaser: He doesn’t buy that Rupert’s never watched the show.)

BuzzFeed, After Repeated Newsroom Cuts, Asks Reporters to Produce More Content

The digital media company’s stock is struggling and revenue is declining, while editorial ambitions remain hazy. 

“It’s Very Easy to Monday-Morning Quarterback”: Kim Godwin Talks Scandals, Shake-Ups, and Success at ABC News

It’s been a turbulent time at the network, from T.J. and Amy setting off a tabloid feeding frenzy to layoff fears under Bob Iger’s new regime at Disney. Vanity Fair caught up with Godwin amid frustrations over her handling of recent crises—and questions about her vision going forward. 

Leaked Messages Call BBC’s Political Impartiality Into Further Question

Britain’s public broadcaster has apparently been pressured by Downing Street on previous coverage decisions, as the BBC's ties to the Conservative government are already under scrutiny.

This Bank Panic Should Not Exist

The most important bank in Silicon Valley has failed, triggering economic uncertainty nationwide. To blame: tough-talking tech dudes, a reckless Congress, contradictory monetary policy, and even Barney Frank.
Levin Report

The Wall Street Journal Goes Full White Supremacist, Blames Silicon Valley Bank Collapse on “1 Black” and “1 LGBTQ+”

A columnist theorizes that the bank “may have been distracted by diversity demands.”

That Sound You Hear Is Donald Trump Shitting Several Bricks Over Michael Cohen’s Grand Jury Testimony

Grand jury testimony from Trump’s former attorney could be the final nail in the coffin when it comes to criminal charges for the ex-president.
The Murdochs

Fox-Dominion Case May Star in Lachlan Murdoch's Defamation Suit Down Under

Crikey is closely following the jaw-dropping legal filings trickling out before next month’s Fox-Dominion trial. The Melbourne-based website believes the explosive US case could “quite significantly” bolster its legal defense against Lachlan in Australia.

“Hell Is Coming”: How Bill Ackman Predicted the COVID Market Crash—And Made a Fortune

In February 2020, the infamous short seller woke up in a cold sweat when he realized the pandemic might spell pandemonium on Wall Street, as Liz Hoffman writes in her forthcoming book, Crash Landing. “We need to either sell everything,” he told his top lieutenants, “or put on a massive hedge.”
Hot Seat

With Her Latest Media Project, Jane Pratt Is Still Telling All

The editor behind Sassy, Jane, and xoJane gives us the scoop on her forthcoming venture, DeedDa, where first-person confessionals will mingle with e-commerce. Pratt’s teaming up with former “Bangle Billionaire” Carolyn Rafaelian, and lining up bylines from Cher to Courtney Love to Cat Marnell.

Inside the New York Times Blowup Over Transgender Coverage

Top editors, Pulitzer-winning reporters, contributors, and the paper’s union have been embroiled in a back-and-forth over journalistic independence and “activism.” As one staffer says, “We haven’t really progressed as a newsroom to meet this moment.”
Media Murmurs

“Bullshit”: Amid the Don Lemon Drama, Sources Knock Down CNN Sale Rumors

Chris Licht’s morning-show reboot is making headlines for all the wrong reasons and fueling wild gossip. One source called the idea of Jeff Zucker making a bid for the network “beyond fantasy.”

The Athletic Taps Into One of the World’s Most Popular Sports: Formula 1 

Despite continuing to lose money, The New York Times–owned sports website is expanding, hiring staff for a new vertical on Formula 1. 

How Richard Rushfield’s The Ankler Took on Hollywood

Rushfield’s sharp-tongued missives have earned him a bold-faced subscriber list. (“I read it the second I see it pop up,” says Richard Plepler.) But can Rushfield and coconspirator Janice Min scale his scrappy newsletter into a big business?

Dozens of New York Times Journalists Hit Staff Union for Its Defense of Trans Coverage Criticism

Some of the paper’s top reporters signed a letter objecting to the Guild’s response to newsroom leaders. “We ask that our union work to advance, not erode, our journalistic independence,” they wrote.

The New York Times Publishes a Defense of J.K. Rowling One Day After Contributors Call Out Anti-Trans Coverage

The Times has defended its coverage of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people. One insider told Vanity Fair that editors saw no reason to hold off publishing Paul’s column after contributors’ outcry.

Nearly 200 New York Times Contributors Are Denouncing the Paper’s Anti-Trans Coverage

The letter, also backed by several celebrities, notes that the paper’s coverage has been cited by state Republicans attempting to “justify criminalizing gender-affirming care.”

Jay Penske's Media Takeover Takes its Next Step With a Major Investment in Vox Media

With its reported $100 million investment, PMC is now the largest shareholder of Vox Media. The deal values Vox Media at half of what it was worth back in 2015, as many in the industry struggle with lagging advertising revenue.