Listen to the future of media, today. Re/code’s senior editor Peter Kafka talks to the most interesting people in media and technology, to find out what happens when those two things collide. Tune in for smart, thoughtful, BS-free interviews.
PandoDaily CEO Sarah Lacy talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about her new book "The Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug," which is part memoir and part feminist guide to "overthrowing the patriarchy." Lacy explains why she rejects the type of "careerism feminism" advanced by books like Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In." Amusingly, Facebook rejected ads for Lacy's new book because the title contains the word "uterus." She also talks about her relationship with PandoDaily co-founder Paul Carr, why she hasn't spoken to her former friend and Pando investor Peter Thiel since last year and why she's spending most of her time now on a new company, Chairman Mom.
Comedian Dana Gould talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about his comedy-horror television series "Stan Against Evil," which just returned for a second season on IFC. Gould says the show never would have made it to the air when there were only three networks on TV and praises the fact that nearly "all programs are niche programs" in 2017. He also explains why it's important for content creators to be adaptable but not slaves to new modes of viewing TV, and reflects on the seven years he spent writing for "The Simpsons." Plus: Why he still does stand-up comedy and how he sneaks his politics into shows without turning them into lectures.
Author Joe Hagan talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about his new book, "Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine." In the book, Hagan traces Wenner's rise as an eccentric, spendy and sometimes barbaric media mogul and how Rolling Stone became the "entire internet" for the music world before the internet existed. Wenner — who commissioned the biography — publicly denounced the book when he found out that Hagan had also written about his drug use, sexual escapades and business failings, but the author explains how the two men have reached a sort of peace and why he sympathizes with Wenner's "tragic" later years.
Michael Barbaro, the host of the New York Times podcast "The Daily," talks with Recode's Peter Kafka in front of a live audience at Joe's Pub in New York City. Barbaro explains how "The Daily" gets made and what it signifies as the once-omniscient and authoritative tone of the Times has softened, allowing journalists to talk about their reporting process and admit when they don't know something. He also talks about what makes "The Daily" different from print stories, why podcasts are succeeding at the Times when video did not and how the paper is integrating audio into its journalists' work.
"Full Frontal" host Samantha Bee and TBS President Kevin Reilly talk with Recode's Peter Kafka, recorded in front of a live audience at Joe's Pub in New York City. Bee dissects how her show has approached the sexual assault scandals rocking Silicon Valley and Hollywood, particularly that of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, and why her show is able to cover them so well. She also talks about "Trump fatigue" and why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's excuses for the lack of diversity among the company's top executives "sound like such fucking horseshit to me." Reilly talks about how Turner approaches Bee's comedy show as a business and why it's not worrying about where people are watching the show — unlike some of the traditional broadcast networks.
Scroll CEO Tony Haile talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about his company's not-yet-launched product that will let news consumers pay once for a clean, ad-free experience across multiple news outlets and across all platforms. Haile says Scroll, which has taken funding from companies like News Corp, Axel Springer and the New York Times Company, is trying to solve the media business model for the vast majority of casual visitors who don't currently pay for content. Previously the CEO of Chartbeat and still an adviser to that company, he discusses why he left and explains why it still makes sense for media professionals to monitor real-time data about who’s consuming their work. Haile also talks about leading polar expeditions in his 20s and how he faked his way through his first year of business meetings with media companies.
The eponymous host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” tells Recode’s Peter Kafka how speaking out about political issues on his show has affected his life online and on TV. Kimmel says he agrees with Disney CEO Bob Iger that he should try not to get political too often and stay “in the middle” by default. He acknowledges that politics may turn off some of his show’s viewers, but that issues like health care and gun violence are “too important to ignore.” Plus: Why comedy shows initially shied away from talking about the Harvey Weinstein story, and how late-night TV is changing (or not) in the YouTube era.
Brit + Co CEO Brit Morin talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about launching a media and commerce company aimed at millennial women when she was 25. Brit + Co has since raised about $40 million, and has branched out beyond online content to include education, merchandise and live events. Morin explains how she fought against the sexist assumptions of investors that she was merely “Dave Morin’s wife” (The answer: Data!), why she named the company after herself, and why Brit + Co has intentionally not raised as much money as it could have.
Wall Street Journal sports columnist and Vogue contributor Jason Gay talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about the raging debate over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans. Sports have always been political, Gay says, and the football players who have taken a knee are especially brave given the NFL's lack of loyalty to players. He also talks about how he got into writing about sports for the Journal, and why his editors let him get high on marijuana gummies before covering the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor boxing show. Plus: How a Vogue cover story featuring celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna or Nicole Kidman comes together, and why the world still cares.
Jad Abumrad, the co-host of WNYC Studios' hit show Radiolab, talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about the new season of More Perfect, a spinoff podcast about the Supreme Court. Abumrad says he was getting "restless" a couple years ago at Radiolab, and so dispatched his team to find interesting stories from the judicial system. He also talks about the intense process of making Radiolab — episodes can take a year to report and cost $100,000 — and why, in the heat of the political protests in Charlottesville last month, his team decided to pull down a controversial episode. Plus: The "really weird" way Abumrad was informed he'd won a MacArthur "genius grant," which he initially suspected was a Nigerian email scam.