Recode Media with Peter Kafka

Recode Media with Peter Kafka

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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.
Don’t ‘lean in,’ fight back (Sarah Lacy, author, ‘The Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug’)
Nov 16 • 53 min
Pando 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”…
How to make a ‘comedy-horror’ TV show (Dana Gould, creator, ‘Stan Against Evil’)
Nov 9 • 44 min
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…
How Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner built and lost a rock and roll empire (Joe Hagan, author, “Sticky Fingers”)
Nov 2 • 60 min
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…
NYT’s Michael Barbaro explains why you love ‘The Daily’
Oct 28 • 38 min
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…
Samantha Bee on Harvey Weinstein, Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump (Live)
Oct 26 • 47 min
“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…
How blocking ads can save the media industry (Tony Haile, CEO, Scroll)
Oct 19 • 52 min
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…
Jimmy Kimmel on the intersection of comedy and politics
Oct 17 • 19 min
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…
How to start a company when you’re 25 years old (Brit Morin, CEO, Brit + Co)
Oct 12 • 44 min
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,…
Sports have always been political (Jason Gay, columnist, Wall Street Journal)
Oct 5 • 49 min
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…
Why podcasts are better than radio (Jad Abumrad, co-host, Radiolab)
Sep 28 • 36 min
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…
When is the internet going to change TV ads? (Dave Morgan, CEO, Simulmedia)
Sep 21 • 70 min
Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the future of TV advertising, which has historically been “not so broken that it’s had to be fixed.” However, Morgan’s company is betting that big advertisers will want their TV ads to start…
Why Ken Burns won’t leave PBS for HBO
Sep 14 • 43 min
Documentarian Ken Burns talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new 18-hour documentary, “The Vietnam War.” Burns says he sought to upend conventional wisdom about the war by rewinding the iconic images, stories and music of the time and telling history…
How to pay for serious journalism (Clara Jeffery, editor in chief, Mother Jones)
Sep 7 • 45 min
Mother Jones Editor in Chief Clara Jeffery talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how the progressive magazine made its business model work on the web, with more than $15 million in revenue per year. Jeffery says the media put itself in an economic crisis…
How to compete against Google and Facebook: Go around them! (Tim Armstrong, CEO, Oath)
Aug 31 • 51 min
Tim Armstrong, the CEO of Verizon’s media properties Yahoo and AOL, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how those sites — collectively known as Oath — will survive and evolve. Armstrong, previously an early sales exec at Google, says competing directly…
A guided tour of the pro-Trump media (Oliver Darcy, CNN; Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed)
Aug 24 • 55 min
CNN’s Oliver Darcy and BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel talk with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how they report on the many facets of the far-right media, which has exploded in prominence thanks to President Trump. They talk about how ideas, memes and conspiracy…
Chuck Klosterman talks about Nazis, Taylor Swift and the future of journalism
Aug 17 • 71 min
Writer Chuck Klosterman talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new book, “Chuck Klosterman X,” a collection of essays and profiles he wrote for such outlets as Esquire, Grantland and the New York Times Magazine. Klosterman says he wants people to talk…
Patreon will help fans pay artists more than $140 million this year (Jack Conte, CEO, Patreon)
Aug 10 • 36 min
Patreon CEO Jack Conte talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about why the current version of the web, where content is mostly free and supported by ads, is not necessarily the “best version.” Conte’s site makes it possible for subscribers — or “patrons” — to…
Everyone still wants to be on TV (Tonia O’Connor, chief revenue officer, Univision)
Aug 3 • 44 min
Univision’s new Chief Revenue Officer Tonia O’Connor talks with Recode’s Edmund Lee about how the company has grown from a handful of Spanish-language TV channels to 17 TV and digital channels. O’Connor says TV is still the hot ticket for everyone, even…
How food became cool (Larry Fitzgibbon, CEO, Tastemade; Helen Rosner, editor at large, Eater)
Jul 27 • 52 min
Tastemade CEO Larry Fitzgibbon talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about building a digital media company around food-as-lifestyle that reaches more than 200 million people per month. Fitzgibbon, who was previously an executive at Demand Media, says quality…
How to make a bestseller that lasts (Ryan Holiday, author, ‘Perennial Seller’)
Jul 20 • 42 min
Writer, marketer and self-proclaimed media manipulator Ryan Holiday talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new book, “Perennial Seller,” which explores “the art of making and marketing work that lasts.” He argues that creators over-value how their work…
Shari Redstone, Vice Chair, Viacom (Code Conference 2017)
Jul 13 • 27 min
Viacom and CBS Vice Chair Shari Redstone talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka at the 2017 Code Conference about the venture firm she co-founded in 2011, Advancit Capital, and why it operates outside of her other companies. She says her biggest mistake there…
Podcasting is growing up (Nick Quah, founder, Hot Pod)
Jul 6 • 49 min
Nick Quah, the founder and writer of the podcasting industry newsletter Hot Pod, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about where podcasts are headed next. Quah says two events in 2014 — Apple’s decision to make the Podcasts app a default one on iOS and the…
Why Hillary Clinton won’t admit that she made mistakes (Rebecca Traister, writer at large, New York Magazine)
Jun 29 • 55 min
New York Magazine’s Rebecca Traister talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about covering the intersection of gender and politics and her recent profile of Hillary Clinton’s post-election life. Traister explains how she gradually convinced Clinton’s campaign to…
What Peter Thiel’s war against Gawker can tell us about Trump (Brian Knappenberger, director, “Nobody Speak”)
Jun 22 • 27 min
Director Brian Knappenberger talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new documentary “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press,” which premieres on Netflix on June 23. In it, Knappenberger connects venture capitalist Peter Thiel’s successful lawsuit…
BONUS: Dean Baquet, Executive Editor, The New York Times (Code Conference 2017)
Jun 17 • 38 min
In this special bonus episode from the 2017 Code Conference, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how the newspaper’s journalists are covering President Donald Trump and why there are so many leaks coming out…
Meet the Wall Street analyst the big media companies love to hate (Rich Greenfield, analyst, BTIG)
Jun 15 • 56 min
BTIG’s Rich Greenfield talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about being an outspoken media and technology analyst who has made enemies throughout Hollywood and much of the big-media landscape. Greenfield has advised clients to bet on Netflix and against Disney…
BONUS Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix (Code Conference 2017)
Jun 10 • 34 min
In this special bonus episode from Code Conference 2017, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the video-streaming platform’s continuing push into making original TV and movies. He says current windowing practices, in which…
BuzzFeed chairman and HuffPost co-founder Ken Lerer on the future of media
Jun 8 • 45 min
Media mogul Ken Lerer — the chairman of BuzzFeed, a board member at Viacom and a venture capitalist — talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the media landscape in 2017. Lerer, who previously helped start MTV and co-founded HuffPost with Arianna…
‘Better Call Saul’ actor Michael McKean doesn’t care how you watch
Jun 1 • 38 min
Michael McKean, who plays Chuck McGill on AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and has previously appeared in films such as “This Is Spinal Tap” and “Clue,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the process of acting and comedy. McKean is currently appearing in a…
Why this four-hour Grateful Dead documentary took 14 years to make (Amir Bar-Lev, director, ‘Long Strange Trip’)
May 25 • 33 min
Amir Bar-Lev, the director of the new documentary “Long Strange Trip,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka. The four-hour film, which traces the history and cultural impact of the Grateful Dead and its fans, will be released in theaters and will stream via…
Information doesn’t have to be free (Jessica Lessin, CEO, The Information)
May 18 • 52 min
The Information CEO Jessica Lessin talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about why her news site, which reports on tech and business, puts its content behind a $400-per-year pay wall. Lessin says the default assumption should be that news is paid for because it…
W. Kamau Bell talks about Trump, racism and podcasting
May 11 • 35 min
Comedian, author and TV host W. Kamau Bell talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the second season of his podcast, “Politically Re-Active,” and his CNN show, “United Shades of America.” Bell explains why his podcast persona is seemingly different from the…
Tracking a drug boss across the web (Nick Bilton, author, ‘American Kingpin’)
May 4 • 48 min
Journalist Nick Bilton talks with Recode’s Jason Del Rey about his new book, “American Kingpin.” It tells the story of Ross Ulbricht, the programmer and “criminal mastermind” who founded the Silk Road, a notorious online black market where everything from…
The New York ‘Startup’ scene gets a novel (Doree Shafrir, author)
Apr 27 • 40 min
Doree Shafrir, a writer at BuzzFeed News and the author of “Startup: A Novel,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about updating the coming-of-age-in-New-York story for the modern media scene, where working at a print magazine is not the holy grail.…
How Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ finally made it to TV
Apr 20 • 41 min
Author Neil Gaiman talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the TV adaptation of his novel ‘American Gods,’ which debuts April 30 on Starz. Gaiman says ‘American Gods’ is a ‘big, sprawling’ story that could have never been made when the book came out, in…
Inside the Trump White House (Mike Allen, co-founder, Axios)
Apr 13 • 48 min
Axios co-founder Mike Allen talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about demystifying the chaotic news of the world in his daily newsletter, Axios AM. Allen says the palace intrigue in the White House is more complicated than it may seem at first blush and…
Why TV is different from YouTube (Reza Izad, CEO, Studio71)
Apr 6 • 36 min
Studio71 CEO Reza Izad talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how the business of online video has changed in recent years. Izad came to Studio71 when the German TV station ProSieben bought an earlier company that he co-founded, Collective Digital Studio,…
Uber investor Jason Calacanis doesn’t want to hear your idea
Mar 30 • 69 min
Angel investor Jason Calacanis talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his media company Inside, and why it plans to launch a new email newsletter every week in 2017, for a total of more than 60 by year’s end. He also chats about his past companies,…
How to be a rock musician in 2017 (Craig Finn, ‘We All Want the Same Things’)
Mar 23 • 47 min
Singer, songwriter and The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new solo album, “We All Want the Same Things.” Finn still enjoys the life of a touring musician but explains why it’s unlikely that The Hold Steady will…
Glenn Beck doesn’t care if he alienates Trump voters (Live at SXSW)
Mar 16 • 41 min
Former Fox News commentator and TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about being a conservative media personality at a time when a Republican he hates, Donald Trump, is president. Speaking in front of a live audience at South by…
The Huffington Post wants to reach Trump voters (Lydia Polgreen, editor in chief, The Huffington Post)
Mar 9 • 52 min
The Huffington Post’s new editor in chief, Lydia Polgreen, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about turning the liberal news site founded by Arianna Huffington 11 years ago into a destination for a larger audience — including some of Donald Trump’s…
‘Why is this on Mashable?’ asks Executive Editor Jessica Coen
Mar 2 • 44 min
Mashable Executive Editor Jessica Coen talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about taking the reins of the 12-year-old site last year and how she’s working to focus its writers on the stories it can do best. Coen previously spent two years editing Gawker.com…
Making a superhero movie for adults (Scott Frank, screenwriter, ‘Logan’)
Feb 23 • 33 min
Screenwriter and novelist Scott Frank talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about writing a superhero movie for people who don’t like superhero movies: “Logan,” an R-rated sendoff for Wolverine, Hugh Jackman’s iconic “X-Men” character. Frank explains how he…
The New York Times wants to become like Netflix (Gabriel Snyder, journalist)
Feb 16 • 29 min
Wired contributor Gabriel Snyder talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his recent cover story for Wired magazine, “The New York Times Claws Its Way Into the Future.” Snyder profiled how the storied newspaper is trying to adapt to the fast-failure-friendly…
Here’s the secret to making things popular (Derek Thompson, author, ‘Hit Makers’)
Feb 9 • 49 min
Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic and author of “Hit Makers,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new book, which explores the “Science of Popularity in the Age of Distraction.” Thompson says contrary to conventional wisdom, content is…
Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget says Trump is pushing ‘anti-American’ policies
Feb 2 • 48 min
Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about why he sold the company to German publisher Axel Springer and why BI is moving toward paid newspaper-like subscriptions. Blodget says digital media is “as different from print and TV…
The future of advertising is ‘fewer, better ads’ (Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus)
Jan 26 • 40 min
Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about why the digital advertising world is due for a shake-up. Schafer says he’s skeptical of the branded content studios being created inside big media companies because he doubts they can…
How the press can save itself in the age of Trump (Jay Rosen, professor, NYU)
Jan 19 • 49 min
NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how the media, and the reporters who cover the White House in particular, should react to President Trump, who has frequently been hostile to their profession. Rosen says media…
Fox’s digital ad guy wants you to use an ad blocker (Joe Marchese, president of advanced advertising, Fox Networks Group)
Jan 12 • 41 min
Fox Networks ad boss Joe Marchese talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about why he, an online advertising executive, encourages consumers to use ad blockers. Marchese argues that the relationship between advertisers and the public needs to be reset because…
How to make $11 million by failing (James Altucher, founder, Choose Yourself Media)
Jan 5 • 58 min
Choose Yourself Media founder James Altucher, an entrepreneur and author of several advice books, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the importance of learning from failure in life and business. Altucher twice went from being a multimillionaire to…
Why is there no fake news on LinkedIn? (Daniel Roth, executive editor, LinkedIn)
Dec 29, 2016 • 42 min
LinkedIn Executive Editor Daniel Roth talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about overseeing the editorial branch of the career-networking site. Roth says LinkedIn users police themselves in ways they don’t on Facebook because they know their bosses and…
Kara Swisher: Journalists must be ‘tougher on everybody’
Dec 22, 2016 • 55 min
Recode co-founder and Executive Editor Kara Swisher talks with Peter Kafka about why the media needs to be tougher and more skeptical in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Swisher says journalists too often behave like “stenographers,” lazily relaying…
Trump will blow up political journalism (Margaret Sullivan, columnist, the Washington Post)
Dec 15, 2016 • 41 min
Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan, formerly the public editor of the New York Times, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the effect of the incoming Trump administration on the world of political journalism. Sullivan says she initially…
Making viral videos before YouTube (Burnie Burns, co-founder, Rooster Teeth)
Dec 8, 2016 • 50 min
Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how the early viral video hit “Red vs. Blue” evolved into a thriving media company. Burns says Rooster Teeth, which predated the launch of YouTube by several years, has succeeded…
Did racism motivate Trump’s voters? (Stephen Dubner, co-author, ‘Freakonomics’)
Dec 1, 2016 • 45 min
Journalist and “Freakonomics” co-author Stephen Dubner talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how behavioral economics can explain Donald Trump’s victory, arguing that racism and xenophobia are symptoms of a deeper-felt economic resentment. He also…
Trump-related ‘terror and hysteria’ isn’t justified (Ken Kurson, editor-in-chief, Observer)
Nov 23, 2016 • 44 min
Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about running the online newspaper published by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Kurson says Kushner has no day-to-day influence on the Observer. He argues that reactions to his…
Musicians who fight Spotify are ‘so f-cking dumb’ (Bob Lefsetz, author, Lefsetz Letter)
Nov 17, 2016 • 60 min
Bob Lefsetz, author of the influential music industry newsletter the Lefsetz Letter, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the winners and losers in the modern music business. Lefsetz says the traditional music label model was one of artificial scarcity,…
The ‘Star Trek’ reboot could have naked aliens (Jim Lanzone, CEO, CBS Interactive)
Nov 10, 2016 • 42 min
Jim Lanzone, the CEO of CBS Interactive and chief digital officer of CBS, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the balance between free broadcast TV and paid online subscriptions. CBS has so far convinced more than a million people to pay $6 a month for…
You’ve outraged the internet? Here’s how to apologize. (Bryan Goldberg, CEO, Bustle)
Nov 3, 2016 • 41 min
Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about launching a site aimed at millennial women — and why having a man at the top made a lot of people wary. Goldberg bragged a bit too aggressively and had to spend several months explaining his…
How tech PR works (Brooke Hammerling, founder, Brew Media)
Oct 27, 2016 • 42 min
Brew Media founder Brooke Hammerling talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how she created a PR firm for some of the biggest names in tech and why she sold it to Sigmund Freud’s great-grandson. Hammerling has no plans to leave Brew, however. She says she…
Smosh and ScreenJunkies boss Keith Richman: We’re looking into TV
Oct 25, 2016 • 35 min
Defy Media President Keith Richman, who oversees popular YouTube channels Smosh, ScreenJunkies, Clevver and others, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how Janet Jackson’s breast-baring “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl inspired him to get…
BuzzFeed’s video boss Ze Frank on going viral at scale
Oct 20, 2016 • 54 min
BuzzFeed Entertainment Group president Ze Frank talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how his newly re-organized video team is developing shows for YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat — and also TVs and movie theaters. Frank says online videos are crossing…
Ex-Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau: I’m afraid of a ‘smarter Trump’
Oct 18, 2016 • 35 min
Jon Favreau, former speechwriter for President Obama and the host of The Ringer’s podcast “Keepin’ It 1600,” talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about how he got to the White House and why he can never totally quit politics. He predicts Hillary Clinton will win…
Donald Trump is still a ‘short-fingered vulgarian’ (Kurt Andersen, co-founder, Spy)
Oct 13, 2016 • 31 min
Kurt Andersen, co-founder of Spy magazine and host of WNYC and PRI’s Studio 360, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about branding Donald Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian in the 1980s and how Trump has changed (or not) since then. Andersen says the real…
Behind the scenes of ‘Vice News Tonight’ (Josh Tyrangiel, executive vice president, Vice)
Oct 11, 2016 • 31 min
Josh Tyrangiel, executive vice president for content and news at Vice, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the company’s new weeknightly TV show, “Vice News Tonight” on HBO. To distance itself from traditional newscasts run for decades by the likes of…
Keith Olbermann: Covering Donald Trump is like covering a tsunami every day
Oct 6, 2016 • 39 min
“The Closer” host and former ESPN and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the 2016 presidential race and the rise of Donald Trump. Olbermann says Trump is not a totally new phenomenon, noting that political demagogues like…
“Call Your Girlfriend” co-host Aminatou Sow on how to make a hit podcast
Sep 29, 2016 • 34 min
Aminatou Sow, who co-hosts “Call Your Girlfriend” with Ann Friedman, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about why she started podcasting: A man said that “women don’t make podcasts.” Sow explains how she and Friedman leveraged their network of media…
Skip Bayless: Why I left ESPN for Fox Sports 1
Sep 22, 2016 • 47 min
Skip Bayless, the co-host of Fox Sports 1’s “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” talks about his recent decision to leave ESPN after 12 years on the air for its smaller Rupert Murdoch-owned rival in Los Angeles. He tells Recode’s Peter Kafka that he needed to…
CNN’s Brian Stelter: No, CNN is not biased for Trump
Sep 15, 2016 • 43 min
Brian Stelter, host of “Reliable Sources” on CNN, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about being a cable news host during the historic 2016 presidential election. He argues that the media needs to re-evaluate how it treats politicians’ lies, pointing to the…
Gigaom founder Om Malik on the virtues of a heart attack
Sep 8, 2016 • 44 min
True Ventures partner Om Malik talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his varied career in tech journalism, including the launch and eventual shutdown of his eponymous site Gigaom. Malik describes himself as a workaholic journalist, but a heart attack in…
The New York Times has to think like a tech startup (Sam Dolnick and Clifford Levy, editors, New York Times)
Sep 1, 2016 • 50 min
New York Times associate editor Sam Dolnick and assistant masthead editor Clifford Levy talk with Recode’s Edmund Lee about how the 164-year-old newspaper is modernizing for the web. Levy reflects on the now-defunct NYT Now mobile app, which showed the…
Skift CEO Rafat Ali: Small media companies are beautiful
Aug 25, 2016 • 38 min
Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how media entrepreneurship has evolved since he launched his first company, PaidContent, in 2002. Ali left PaidContent after an acquisition by the Guardian (that went nowhere) and…
Gawker wasn’t always mean (Elizabeth Spiers, founding editor, Gawker.com)
Aug 18, 2016 • 38 min
Elizabeth Spiers, the first person to write and edit Gawker.com, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about launching the site in 2003, and reflects on how it has evolved since then. Now that Gawker Media has been sold to Univision for $135 million, many…
James Andrew Miller examines Hollywood’s top agents in ‘Powerhouse’
Aug 11, 2016 • 39 min
James Andrew Miller, author of the new book “Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka. Miller says the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA, transformed the entertainment business forever, led by the…
We’re not startup bros anymore (Ilan Zechory and Tom Lehman, co-founders, Genius)
Aug 4, 2016 • 34 min
Genius co-founders Ilan Zechory and Tom Lehman talk with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how they and their business are maturing. Genius, which started as music-annotating service RapGenius, is now striking deals with major media companies to let users and…
So, you’ve been shamed by Twitter (Virginia Heffernan, author, “Magic and Loss”)
Jul 28, 2016 • 39 min
Virginia Heffernan, author of the new book “Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the physical things we risk losing as we digitize more and more of our lives. She praises Snapchat’s “brilliance” for preserving…
Gary Vaynerchuk can’t wait for the startup armageddon
Jul 21, 2016 • 22 min
Investor and VaynerMedia co-founder Gary Vaynerchuk talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about how he parlayed early success on Google AdWords and YouTube into an agency that helps other brands succeed online. A social media celebrity in his own right,…
Donald Trump is bad for democracy (Jacob Weisberg, chairman, Slate Group)
Jul 14, 2016 • 36 min
Slate Group Chairman Jacob Weisberg talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his podcast Trumpcast, which obsesses over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and his following. Weisberg says Trump will leave a big mark on American politics even if he…
Documentarian Alex Gibney says the Stuxnet virus was a “new kind of weapon”
Jul 7, 2016 • 32 min
“Zero Days” director Alex Gibney talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new film’s focus on the Stuxnet virus, which sabotaged the Iranian nuclear program. He compares Stuxnet’s attack to the first nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and…
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber: “I’m a writer first and a businessman second”
Jun 30, 2016 • 39 min
Daring Fireball founder and sole employee John Gruber talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about running a one-man media company. Gruber has been writing about Apple since 2002 but he estimates that his podcast — which started in 2013 — now represents half of…
​Steve Jobs “literally caught me with my pants down” (Brian Lam, founder, The Wirecutter)
Jun 23, 2016 • 36 min
The Wirecutter founder Brian Lam talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about creating a modern update to Consumer Reports that makes best-in-class buying recommendations across a range of products. He also discusses his previous life as editor in chief of…
Malcolm Gladwell wants to make you cry
Jun 16, 2016 • 35 min
Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker columnist and author of “The Tipping Point,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new podcast, “Revisionist History.” Gladwell thinks his new foray into audio will have a more emotional effect on listeners than his…
The Ringer editor Sean Fennessey on ending Grantland, starting again
Jun 9, 2016 • 34 min
Sean Fennessey, the editor in chief of Bill Simmons’s new site The Ringer, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the decisions that go into launching a media business in 2016. Fennessey reflects on the slow death of Grantland, the site Simmons launched…
“Warcraft” director Duncan Jones: Don’t watch this movie on an iPhone
Jun 2, 2016 • 26 min
Duncan Jones, director of the new movie “Warcraft,” talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about pleasing both gamers and non-gamers while adapting a popular video game to the big screen. He describes “Warcraft” as a spectacle that should be seen in theaters,…
You have to fight robots to see Beyoncé (Michael Rapino, CEO, Live Nation)
May 26, 2016 • 50 min
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the challenges and opportunities for live music and events in 2016. He says concerts have changed dramatically in the past 10 years, becoming spectacles rather than just vehicles to sell…
How email saved Jason Hirschhorn’s life
May 19, 2016 • 62 min
Jason Hirschhorn talks with Peter Kafka about his past jobs at Viacom, Dish Network and MySpace and at his new startup Redef. Expanding on the Redef Media email newsletter, which Hirschhorn started in 2006, Redef now has more than 50,000 subscribers in…
Samantha Bee says hiring more women = better comedy
May 12, 2016 • 29 min
Samantha Bee talks with Peter Kafka about leaving “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” launching her own late-night comedy show “Full Frontal” and what she’s doing to make the new show unique. One of the priorities from day one, Bee says, was making a…
Why Larry Wilmore used the N-word at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
May 5, 2016 • 43 min
“The Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore talks about his instantly controversial roast at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He mocked Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzer and Barack Obama, among many others, and not everyone was laughing. Wilmore also…
The NYT’s Jenna Wortham just wants to “write about people who look like me”
Apr 28, 2016 • 37 min
New York Times Magazine staff writer Jenna Wortham talks with Peter Kafka about covering the intersection of culture and technology at Wired magazine and then at the Times. Wortham has also pursued several side projects, including the…
“Veep” Producer Frank Rich: Trump Can Win
Apr 21, 2016 • 39 min
“Veep” executive producer and New York magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich talks with Peter Kafka about the 2016 election, why he underestimated Bernie Sanders and what future candidates can learn from Hillary Clinton’s gaffes and Donald Trump’s…
Snapchat Should Start Paying Its Users (Hunter Walk, Investor, Homebrew)
Apr 14, 2016 • 38 min
Venture capitalist Hunter Walk, the co-founder of Homebrew, talks with Peter Kafka about his pre-investing career at Second Life, YouTube and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.” He also joined Google in 2003, when the 1,000-employee company was only known…
From Fake Steve Jobs to HBO’s “Silicon Valley” (Dan Lyons, Author, “Disrupted”)
Apr 7, 2016 • 39 min
Dan Lyons, author of the new book “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble,” tells Peter Kafka how he came to work at a “cult-y” unicorn where “grown-up” meant anyone experienced enough to have worked somewhere else. He traces his career from…
Millennials Aren’t an Alien Species (Philippe von Borries, co-CEO, Refinery29)
Mar 31, 2016 • 37 min
Refinery29 co-founder and co-CEO Philippe von Borries talks with Peter Kafka about how his company morphed from a New York-focused fashion guide to a globally recognized powerhouse with 150 million readers and followers online. He explains how Refinery29…
Can Donald Trump Be Stopped? (Nate Silver, Founder, FiveThirtyEight)
Mar 24, 2016 • 38 min
FiveThirtyEight founder and Editor in Chief Nate Silver talks with Peter Kafka about the 2016 election, and why his site was one of many that didn’t see Donald Trump coming. He calls Trump a “demagogue” who has succeeded under extraordinary circumstances…
Digital Brands Are a “Sh*t-Ton of Work” (Troy Young, President, Hearst Magazines Digital)
Mar 17, 2016 • 34 min
Hearst Magazines’ Troy Young talks with Peter Kafka about his efforts to unify the legacy media company’s magazines under one digital strategy. He calls himself “incredibly optimistic” about the future of the medium as it moves away from monthly timelines…
Peter Gould, Co-Creator, “Better Call Saul”
Mar 10, 2016 • 30 min
“Better Call Saul” co-creator and Executive Producer Peter Gould talks with Peter Kafka about getting his first big break after the age of 40 on the hit AMC television show “Breaking Bad.” Gould says that show and “Saul,” its currently-airing prequel,…
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, theSkimm Co-Founders
Mar 3, 2016 • 31 min
Co-founders of theSkimm Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin talk with Peter Kafka about how they built up an email newsletter that gets opened by 1.5 million people, and why they want more. TheSkimm’s mission is to make its readers (predominantly young,…
Adrian Wojnarowski, Editor of The Vertical
Feb 25, 2016 • 34 min
Yahoo sports columnist Adrian “Woj” Wojnarowski talks with Peter Kafka about how he left print journalism and why he’s staying at Yahoo, even as the media giant cuts down on its other journalism efforts. He also explains why the NBA is perfect for the…
David Remnick, The New Yorker Editor
Feb 17, 2016 • 35 min
In this first episode of “Re/code Media with Peter Kafka,” Peter sits down with David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. Remnick has presided over the magazine for the past 17 years and built out a variety of digital offerings as the media world has…
The Decode Series: Andrew Jarecki, “The Jinx” Director
Feb 11, 2016 • 33 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, Andrew Jarecki joins Peter Kafka to talk about the success of true-crime documentary series such as “Making a Murderer,” “Serial” and the show he directed, “The Jinx.” He also discusses his history in…
The Decode Series: Chet Kanojia, Starry CEO
Feb 4, 2016 • 36 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, Starry CEO Chet Kanojia sits down with Peter Kafka to talk about his latest disruptive startup, which aims to attack broadband monopolies and duopolies by delivering high-speed consumer Internet over…
The Decode Series: Nick Denton, Gawker Media Founder, and Jason Epstein, Investor
Jan 28, 2016 • 30 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, Gawker Media founder Nick Denton and new board member Jason Epstein sit down with Peter Kafka to discuss the online media company’s rapidly changing outlook. How will Gawker react to the growing power…
The Decode Series: Shani Hilton, BuzzFeed Executive Editor of News
Jan 21, 2016 • 29 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, BuzzFeed’s Executive Editor of News Shani Hilton talks with Peter Kafka about running the “real” news division of the much-talked-about new media company. She also discusses whether millennials need…
The Decode Series: Chris Altchek, Mic CEO
Jan 14, 2016 • 28 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, Mic CEO Chris Altchek talks with Peter Kafka about building a news site for millennials and the differences among newsreading generations. He also discusses what Mic has learned in the past five years…
The Decode Series: Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures Partner
Jan 7, 2016 • 36 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wenger talks with Peter Kafka about bubble anxiety, mission-driven “benefit corporations” and why tech companies should be willing to work with the government to…
The Decode Series: Rufus Griscom, Heleo CEO
Dec 31, 2015 • 21 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, Heleo CEO Rufus Griscom talks with Peter Kafka about trying to build a “BuzzFeed for brains” that can distribute Big Ideas to the broader Internet. He also talks about how much things have changed…
The Decode Series: Ev Williams, Medium CEO
Dec 24, 2015 • 32 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, Medium CEO Ev Williams talks with Peter Kafka about why writing on the Internet today is all about the platform. Plus: Why did Williams and the rest of Twitter’s board seemingly change their minds…
The Decode Series: Katie Nolan, Fox Sports TV Host
Dec 17, 2015 • 23 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, the NFL’s media czar Brian Rolapp talks with Peter Kafka about why a soon-to-be-auctioned set of games might (or might not) go to the Internet. Plus: What separates live sports from the rest of the TV…
The Decode Series: Brian Rolapp, NFL Media Czar
Dec 10, 2015 • 34 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, the NFL’s media czar Brian Rolapp talks with Peter Kafka about why a soon-to-be-auctioned set of games might (or might not) go to the Internet. Plus: What separates live sports from the rest of the TV…
The Decode Series: Ricky Van Veen, CollegeHumor Co-Founder
Dec 3, 2015 • 33 min
In an episode that originally aired on Re/code Decode, CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen talks with Peter Kafka about monetizing content on the Internet and why a lot of that content is moving to “old” platforms like TV. Plus: Who’s more powerful,…