Recode Media

Recode Media

What happens when media, entertainment, and technology collide? Peter Kafka, one of the media industry's most acclaimed reporters, talks to business titans, journalists, comedians and podcasters to get their take. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Episodes

August 11, 2022 41 min
Democrats have a complicated relationship with social media - sometimes they think it’s a huge help; other times, not so much. Which is why it’s interesting to hear from Nell Thomas, the chief technology officer for the Democratic National Committee, who previously worked on data science for… Facebook. Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to Thomas about how working for Facebook helped her understand the platform; how her current role at the...
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This week, we bring you an episode of Recode and The Verge’s latest season of Land of the Giants: The Facebook / Meta Disruption. To check out the first two episodes, subscribe wherever you subscribe to podcasts! This episode explores Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012. Mark Zuckerberg promised he would be hands-off with the company’s curated aesthetic and simple features. But as Facebook scaled the startup into a social m...
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B.J. Novak has starred on TV, written a best-selling kids’ book, and tried his hand at app-making. Now he’s written, directed, and starred in his own movie: Vengeance, about a self-obsessed podcaster, red/blue state divides, and much more. He talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about making the movie during a pandemic, what it was like to be on The Office when it was on NBC and then on Netflix, and why streaming is a “wasteland for comed...
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People have been talking about the metaverse for years. But they’re talking about it much more these days, spurred by Mark Zuckerberg’s full-fledged embrace of the… actually, what exactly is the metaverse again, anyways? Investor, analyst and metaverse explainer Matthew Ball, who’s already tried explaining this stuff to Recode’s Peter Kafka, has written a whole book about it, so he’s back again: Ball talks about what he thinks the ...
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20 years ago the New Yorker’s Ken Auletta wrote a seminal profile of famed and feared producer Harvey Weinstein - with one glaring omission. Now Auletta has written a book about Weinstein — Hollywood Ending — and this time he’s able to cover the full story. Auletta talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about the two works, and why it took so long for Weinstein’s much-rumored sexual abuses to come out in the open. Featuring: Ken Auletta (&...
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Caryn Mandabach produced some of the biggest hits in TV history — like The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and That ’70s Show. Now she’s thriving in the Netflix era, with Peaky Blinders — a historical crime drama that just ended a six-season run and is a global success story. She talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about the way the TV business has changed, and the risk and reward of owning your own shows. Featuring: Caryn ...
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Three interviews! One pod: First entrepreneur and investor Zach Weinberg tells Recode’s Peter Kafka why he’s accidentally become Twitter Famous as a crypto skeptic — and explains how you can do it, too. Then two talks from the recent Collision Conference: Substack CEO Chris Best on the growth of his company, and about an unsuccessful attempt to raise a funding round (this was recorded before Substack laid off 14% of its workforce);...
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Today, CNBC’s Alex Sherman joins Recode’s Peter Kafka to ponder several media mysteries: Why did Netflix lose 2 million subscribers? Why was Disney executive Peter Rice unexpectedly fired? What’s going on at Warner Bros. Discovery? Is someone gonna buy VICE? Why is Wall Street meh on BuzzFeed? Featuring: Alex Sherman (@sherman4949), Media and Tech Reporter for CNBC Host: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at Recode More ...
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The Bill Simmons Podcast is, by its own description, "the most downloaded sports podcast of all time." This week, it hits its 1,000th episode. Bill Simmons began his career as a Boston sportswriter and went on to found ESPN's sports and pop culture blog Grantland. After ESPN shut down the site, Simmons started the Ringer — which he sold to Spotify in 2020. In this wide-ranging conversation, Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to...
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June 9, 2022 42 min
TikTok isn’t just funny dances and glow-ups anymore… it’s also for venture capital!!! Logan Bartlett, managing director at the VC firm Redpoint, reaches out to startups via the socials. He also hosts a podcast called Cartoon Avatars. Bartlett talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about wooing the next generation of tech entrepreneurs, the VC world’s abrupt shift to restraint, and, of course, more crypto stuff. Featuring: Logan Bartlett (&...
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Software engineer Molly White has emerged as one of Web3’s most high-profile skeptics. Her website “Web3 is going just great” chronicles scams, bugs, “rug pulls” and thefts plaguing the world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), and other blockchain technologies. She and Recode’s Peter Kafka discuss her take on all things Web3, why she took on this project in her free time, and how the feedba...
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Lots of people will tell you that misinformation is a big problem online. But exactly what the problem is, and what tech companies can and should do about it, is up for debate. It’s also what Bloomberg reporter Davey Alba covers every day. In this conversation, she talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about the recent massacre in Buffalo, which the shooter promoted on Discord and live-streamed on Twitch; copies of his manifesto and clips ...
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The markets are crashing - and that includes both Netflix and the media companies that wanted to be Netflix. What’s next? Wall Street analyst and investor Rich Greenfield weighs in. Then, Recode’s Peter Kafka has a conversation with Tony Fadell, who helped bring the iPod and iPhone to life, and then built and sold Nest, the smart home company. His new book is “Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making.” Fadell talks ...
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Ronan Farrow’s latest investigative work for The New Yorker looks into the surveillance technology Pegasus — spyware that gives remote access to a smartphone’s camera, microphone, and contents. Be sure to power your phone completely off after you listen to the episode; Farrow will tell you why. Recode’s Peter Kafka also asks Farrow about his career — what it’s like to have his work put under a microscope, the impact of his Pulitzer...
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Design genius Jony Ive was Steve Jobs’ chief collaborator at Apple. But Ive didn’t run Apple after Jobs’ death: That role went to Tim Cook, the supply chain guy. Now Apple is a company that’s increasingly interested in making money from services and is less dependent on jaw-dropping devices. And Ive doesn’t work at Apple anymore. Journalist Tripp Mickle, who covered Apple for years at the Wall Street Journal, has a new book about t...
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Wesley Morris wrote his first review when he was 15 years old, about the movie “Cape Fear.” Since then, he’s become one of the most celebrated cultural critics of our time, and has two Pulitzers to prove it. Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to Morris about his work as a critic at large for the New York Times and the new season of his podcast, “Still Processing.” Other topics discussed in this very fun and thoughtful interview include The...
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It’s been a big week for media events involving tens of billions of dollars: Elon Musk is buying Twitter for $44 billion, meanwhile, Netflix lost more than $50 billion in value. First, Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to The Atlantic’s Charlie Warzel about the multiverse of possibilities of how Musk’s Twitter might operate. Will we enter the “darkest timeline” of supervillain nihilistic world-burning, or revert to Twitter’s pre-2016 stan...
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April 19, 2022 46 min
Elon Musk loves Twitter and also thinks it’s broken. So he wants to buy it. Can he, really? And who would help him? And why? And wtf does it mean when the world’s richest man is also one of its best shitposters? Bloomberg's Kurt Wagner and the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson try to help Recode’s Peter Kafka figure it out. Featuring: Kurt Wagner (@KurtWagner8), tech and social media reporter for Bloomberg Derek Thompson (@DKTh...
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April 14, 2022 53 min
Within the past few months, Disney CEO Bob Chapek managed to piss off his shareholders, the LGBT community, and right-wing conservatives. Today we talk about how he did it, why it happened, and what’s next. First, Puck’s Matt Belloni joins Recode’s Peter Kafka to compare Disney’s old and new Bobs, Iger and Chapek. Belloni details the inner turmoil at Disney over the company’s initially tepid response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” la...
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April 7, 2022 61 min
It’s time to check back in on the state of the streaming wars, with two binge-worthy conversations. First, Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to analyst Michael Nathanson about Big Media’s new problem: TV ratings are plummeting because all the good stuff is streaming — but now Wall Street doesn’t just want streaming, it wants *profitable* streaming. Then, we travel into the time stream to talk about the past, present and future of the stre...
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