Recode Media with Peter Kafka

Recode Media with Peter Kafka

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

December 7, 2023 38 mins
Peter Kafka, soon to be formerly of Vox, reviews the year in media with Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw. What did we learn from the strikes? Is the bundle back? Are movies back? What’s going on with whatever the NBA is doing right now? And what’s up with Bob Iger saying he didn’t say something he definitely said on live TV? This is the last episode of “Recode Media” in its current form, but stay subscribed to this feed! Peter and this show ...
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After a wild series of events, Sam Altman is back as CEO of OpenAI… with more power than ever before. The Verge’s Alex Heath worked sleepless nights covering every twist and turn of this saga. He updates Vox’s Peter Kafka about where we are now, what all of this means moving forward, and how tech journalism can drive someone to mistake alcohol for water. Then, we continue with artificial intelligence talk as News/Media Alliance Pre...
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November 21, 2023 29 mins
The board of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, ousted CEO Sam Altman on Friday. Since then, the board has appointed not one, but two, interim CEOs. And Altman and his OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman got snatched up by Microsoft. The New York Times’ Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) joins Vox’s Peter Kafka to talk about what we know and what we don’t about this whole situation. Host: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at Recode More to ...
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November 16, 2023 34 mins
SiriusXM makes money by beaming music and talk radio - especially Howard Stern - to your car using satellites and selling monthly subscriptions. That turns out to be a surprisingly resilient business: The company has 34 million subscribers and $9 billion in annual revenue. But CEO Jennifer Witz knows she has to adapt to the streaming world, so she’s refreshing the company’s brand and app, with the hopes that you’ll keep listening w...
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It’s a double shot of media business takes, with conversations about the Walt Disney Corporation and Fox News, with references to “Succession” in both. First, CNBC’s Alex Sherman (@sherman4949) joins Vox’s Peter Kafka to talk about Disney’s strategy, or lack thereof. What does it want to do with ESPN? ABC? Marvel? Star Wars? And although it plans to buy the remaining third of Hulu… what the hell does it want to do with Hulu? Plus, ...
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This week, an episode of the latest season of Land of the Giants: The Twitter Fantasy, hosted by our own Peter Kafka. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe! Twitter began life as an accident. In the beginning, even its founders weren’t sure what it was: the internet’s town square, a real-time information source, or the next Facebook, maybe? Twitter's power has always been misunderstood -- by its leaders, by its users, and...
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When Sam Reich bought CollegeHumor from Barry Diller’s IAC for pennies in January 2020, the comedy site was long past its heyday. A few months later, the pandemic hit. It wouldn’t have been a surprise if CollegeHumor had vanished entirely. Instead, Reich pushed the company to lean into Dropout, the subscription streaming part of the business, and create more improvised comedy content that lent itself well to viral clips on TikTok a...
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The New York Times issued a rare editors’ note Monday: a mea culpa for a headline repeating unverified claims from Hamas that a Gaza hospital explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike. Vanity Fair media reporter Charlotte Klein (@charlottetklein) obtained internal Slack messages from the Times’ editors which reveal an internal debate about the framing of the original headline. Vox’s Peter Kafka talks to Klein about her scoop. Ho...
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The war in Israel and Gaza is hugely complicated - dangerous, horrifying, and moving fast. Which means it’s a huge job for those who have to cover it. The Washington Post’s international editor, Douglas Jehl (@jehld), joins Vox’s Peter Kafka to discuss how a major news operation covers the conflict between Israel and Hamas. How do you weigh the need to keep on top of the story with the need to fact-check everything in the fog of wa...
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October 12, 2023 42 mins
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an interconnected series of movies and TV shows that produced four of the top-grossing movies of all time and changed the way Hollywood works. It also may have a hard time sustaining the cultural and business dominance it has enjoyed for the last decade-plus. Here to discuss the superhero’s journey is writer and podcaster Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis), co-author of MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios....
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October 5, 2023 35 mins
Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) is the person who told you what “cheugy” means, what a “content house” is, and basically anything else you want to know about young people, the social media they use, and the people who make that media. Now the Washington Post journalist has a book out explaining all of this: “Extremely Online”, which is a history of social media told from the POV of the influencers/creators who made social media work....
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When Robert Kyncl (@rkyncl) worked at YouTube, he made deals with companies like Warner Music Group. Now, he’s the CEO of Warner Music Group. Vox’s Peter Kafka interviewed Kyncl live on stage at the Code conference. Kyncl explains how Warner Music Group approaches AI both as a tool and as an intellectual property concern, and why he wants Spotify to charge more. And even though the blockchain and NFT craze has passed — Kyncl is sti...
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The Hollywood writers’ strike is over and there’s hope the actors guild and studios will also settle their differences soon. So people like HBO and HBO Max Content boss Casey Bloys (@caseybloys) may be able to start making shows again shortly. But how will new deals affect what he makes… and what he doesn’t make? Bloys talks to Peter Kafka about that and much more: TV’s attempt to re-bundle the bundle, why “Max” makes sense as a br...
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After a historic strike that went on for almost 150 days, the studios and the Writers Guild of America have a (tentative) deal. What’s in the deal, and why did it take almost half a year to get there? And what does this mean for the Screen Actors Guild strike, still in progress? And what happened to the AI issue we were told was existential? Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw (@Lucas_Shaw) joins Vox’s Peter Kafka to break down what we know so ...
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One of the most powerful people of the 21st century says he’s retiring. Rupert Murdoch, 92, will hand over control of News Corp. and Fox Corp. to his son Lachlan, in November. What does that actually mean? And what happens next? Here to offer some very informed speculation is longtime Murdoch family watcher Brian Stelter, who wrote one book on Murdoch and Fox News and has another one on the way. Up for discussion with Vox’s Peter K...
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Once the domain of the nerdiest of sports fans, these days fantasy football analysis is on primetime TV. Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) comments on fantasy football for NBC Sports (and before that, ESPN) and founded the website fantasylife.com. It's the culmination of a career that, for many people, would have already been a fantasy: serving as George Carlin’s assistant and writing for Married with Children. Berry joins Vox’s Pet...
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September 14, 2023 38 mins
Wait a minute. For a couple of years there - 2020 through 2022 - everyone acted like bitcoin and even weirder crypto things were worth trillions of dollars. And cartoon apes were on Jimmy Fallon? And now none of us want to pretend that happened at all? Zeke Faux (@ZekeFaux) wants to talk about it with Vox’s Peter Kafka. Faux is an investigative reporter for Bloomberg, and his new book Number Go Up chronicles the crazy crypto bubble...
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September 12, 2023 26 mins
Taylor Swift is on one of the most successful concert tours of all time, but what's her secret? Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding (@charlieharding) sits down with Peter to discuss the business of Taylor Swift. How her music, her fans, and her industry expertise catapulted her to being one of the most profitable singers of this generation. Host: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at Recode More to explore: Subscribe for free to R...
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September 7, 2023 25 mins
The US and China are in a sort of cold war, and the tech industry is caught in the middle. But it’s complicated: Ask TikTok, the Chinese-owned app that dominates entertainment in the US. Or Apple, which couldn’t exist without the Chinese supply chain that makes the iPhone. Here to explain the state of play to Vox’s Peter Kafka is The Information’s Jessica Lessin (@JessicaLessin) who just returned from a trip to Beijing and Shanghai...
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August 31, 2023 26 mins
David Zaslav sent up the white smoke, marking the selection of a new CNN CEO. Mark Thompson comes from The New York Times and the BBC, and has his work cut out for him to dig CNN out of the hole dug by his predecessor - but really, the hole that every TV news operation is in. Puck’s Dylan Byers (@dylanbyers), who broke the news of Thompson’s hire, returns to tell Vox’s Peter Kafka all about Thompson and CNN’s second big streaming p...
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