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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.

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.


United States




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.




It’s not TV it’s HBO — the book

HBO’s 50-year-old history tells you a lot about culture, business, and TV’s past and future. This perhaps explains why we’ve seen two HBO books in the last 12 months. Felix Gillette is the co-author of the newest one: It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO. He sits down with Recode’s Peter Kafka to talk about HBO’s story, and the impact his book made before it even hit the shelves. Featuring: Felix Gillette (@felixgillette), editor for Business Insider and Author...


How to watch a complicated World Cup

Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup, casting a pall over one of the globe’s most-watched sporting events. Men With Blazers co-host Roger Bennett joins Recode’s Peter Kafka to talk through the geopolitical awareness and cognitive dissonance required to enjoy this year’s tournament. First they tackle the human rights abuses of Qatar and the perennial corruption of FIFA. Then, they get into the games — players to watch, which countries have a chance, and we learn that PETER KAFKA WAS BORN IN...


Life, the internet, and everything with Garbage Day’s Ryan Broderick

Ryan Broderick is very online so you don’t have to be. His internet culture Substack ‘Garbage Day’ is a mix of thought-provoking analysis, trend reporting, and, when you read all the way to the end, dumb memes. In this wide-ranging coversation with Recode’s Peter Kafka, he talks about the big topic of the day: An explanation of NyQuil chicken. But before that, Twitter — and Ryan reminds us that there are some places on the internet where people are actually having a good time. Plus, a whole...


What Elon’s past tells us about his present

This is not an emergency podcast, but, you know, maybe it will be? As questions swirl around what exactly Elon Musk is doing at Twitter (and why) we wanted to take a look at Musk’s history and how it might inform WTF is happening now. Fortunately, we’re joined by Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, author of “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.” Recode Media’s Peter Kafka talks to Vance about Musk’s rise, how his public persona changed over the years, and his flirtations...


Tech’s big bust, plus Marvel (and Wakanda) Forever?

Mass layoffs and cutbacks at companies like Meta and Twitter point to a slowdown (and chaos) in tech. Bloomberg tech reporter Sarah Frier helps us sort through the madness. Then, Disney has used Marvel movies to basically print money over the past ten years. With the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” we look at whether that strategy will continue to be a winning one with pop culture expert and X-Ray Vision podcaster Jason Concepcion.  Featuring: Jason Concepcion (@netw3rk),...


Election special with Punchbowl's Jake Sherman

Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman joins us from the U.S. Capitol building just in time for the 2022 midterm elections. Recode’s Peter Kafka hits him up for some election spoilers. Then he gets into the business of Punchbowl News: He asks Sherman what drove him to leave Politico, and how Punchbowl’s various revenue streams work (including a $300 annual subscription) and why Sherman isn’t worried about raising money. Featuring: Jake Sherman(@JakeSherman), Co-Founder of Punchbowl News...


Jason Gay isn’t making Elon Musk jokes

We’re taking a short break from the Twitter shitshow to give you an interview with Jason Gay, sports and humor columnist at The Wall Street Journal. His new book is “I Wouldn’t Do That If I Were Me: Modern Blunders and Modest Triumphs (but Mostly Blunders).” Gay talks to Peter Kafka about what it’s like to write humor for a publication that’s not exactly known for that, the cognitive dissonance required to enjoy football, and why he isn’t interested in making Elon Musk jokes. Featuring:...


Bloomberg’s Matt Levine still loves crypto; Ankler’s Janice Min loves newsletters

When Bloomberg’s Matt Levine sent an enticing email about “a big thing coming out about crypto in Businessweek,” Recode’s Peter Kafka couldn’t resist. Turns out, the “big thing” is a 40,000(!) word piece that took over the entire magazine, titled “The Crypto Story." Levine explains why he wrote a 40,000(!) word piece about cryptocurrency, which he thinks is fascinating even if the boom has turned to a bust. Plus some bonus thoughts on the end (?) of the Elon Musk Buys Twitter Saga, and What...


Ben Smith says Semafor will take 10 years to get right

One week after the launch of Semafor, Recode’s Peter Kafka flags down the news startup’s co-founder Ben Smith. Who is Semafor for, really? How can a news startup based in NYC and Washington solve polarization? What, exactly, is a “Semaform” and what’s the point of it? And what New York Times office amenity does Smith miss the most? Featuring: Ben Smith (@semaforben), Editor-In-Chief at Semafor Host: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at Recode More to explore: Subscribe for free to Recode...


Netflix is back (?) + Julia Boorstin on women who lead

Netflix added 2.4 million subscribers! Ads are coming! Wall Street’s excited again! But is Netflix back for real? Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw to get a reality check on the streamer and the streaming business. And then, CNBC’s Senior Tech & Media Correspondent, Julia Boorstin, joins Peter for a wide-ranging interview about the latest media news, her career, and her new book "When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them." And...


Inside the curious mind of XKCD cartoonist Randall Munroe

Since 2005, Randall Munroe has used his webcomic XKCD to comment on the world around him and express his love for pop culture, math, and science. Now, with the release of his new book “What If 2?: More Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions”, the cartoonist is yet again using his physics expertise to answer the most interesting hypothetical questions with a dash of humor. He sits down with Recode’s Peter Kafka to reflect on his career so far, and what he has planned...


Elon Musk is buying Twitter. Really. (Really?)

He’s back! Elon Musk, who agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion last spring and then tried to back out of the deal, says he wants to buy Twitter for $44 billion, after all. That doesn’t mean it will actually happen - because, Elon Musk - but maybe it’s real this time. Maybe. So how did we get here and what happens next and what have we learned about Elon Musk over the last few months? Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to two Twitter pros: Jason Goldman, the company’s first product VP, who says a...


Interview with Interview with a Vampire’s Eric Bogosian

Writer and actor Eric Bogosian (Talk Radio, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Succession) has been in the business for a while. Long enough, that he tells Recode’s Peter Kafka, he’s learned to let other people worry about the business stuff. AMC’s hoping he’s good business for them; the network is hoping its new Interview with a Vampire can help fill the zombie-shaped genre hole left by the ending of The Walking Dead. Bogosian talks about the modern-day relevance of Talk Radio, paying for his...


YouTube fights TikTok with cash

YouTube wants a piece of that sweet TikTok action, so it’s getting out the checkbook. The most popular creators on YouTube’s TikTok clone — that’s YouTube Shorts, officially — will get a cut that comes from a pool of all Shorts revenue, rather than on an individual video-by-video basis. The company's also introducing a “Super Thanks” tipping feature. Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan about the changes and tries to find out why his YouTube Shorts feed is...


José Andrés has a full plate, but he's adding more

Chef José Andrés may very well be The Best Person. His nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, activates local restaurants to provide meals to people in crisis areas. He’s the man behind acclaimed restaurants like Jaleo and minibar. And, he’s a pure delight wherever he shows up, whether it be on TV or this podcast you’re looking at right now. And he has a new podcast and a Substack, both called “Longer Tables.” Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to Andrés about why he added another thing to his… plate....


The inside story of YouTube

Despite YouTube’s massive influence, it's been chronically underreported on. But finally, Bloomberg’s Mark Bergen wrote the comprehensive, soup-to-nuts history of the site. His new book is called "Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination." Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to Bergen about changes to YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, its various attempts to make original premium content, the rise of TikTok, and FЯED. Plus, how the entirety of YouTube almost got...


Why the Good Fight creators are glad they moved from CBS to streaming

Like other big deal TV creators, Robert and Michelle King are thriving in the streaming era. The duo behind the long-running CBS show The Good Wife is making two shows for Paramount+, with more on the way. As The Good Fight - a Good Wife spinoff - enters its sixth and final season, Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to the Kings about the move from broadcast to streaming, and why they spend a lot of time tweaking the Trump administration, but less talking about the pandemic. Plus: a very costly...


Algorithms that give you anxiety and a Web3 project that doesn't suck.

Kyle Chayka writes about tech and internet culture for the New Yorker; he’s also the co-founder of Dirt, a newsletter — powered in part by crypto — about… tech and internet culture. He talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about both of his gigs: They dive deep into his recent essay about “The Age of Algorithmic Anxiety”, and what humans mean when they say they’re upset with The Algorithm. Then Chayka describes the way Dirt is using Web3 tech — specifically, a DAO - to help run Dirt, and why he...


Home Box Office of the Dragon

In 2011, HBO changed the prestige television landscape with its expensive, ultra-violent, sex-filled fantasy epic Game of Thrones. Three years after that show’s divisive ending, HBO's hoping the world is ready to go back to Westeros with its GoT prequel, House of the Dragon. The Ringer’s Joanna Robinson joins Recode’s Peter Kafka to talk about House of the Dragon and its competition, Amazon’s long-awaited The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. Which fantasy show will rule them all? Is there...


Why the Democrats finally got on TikTok

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 DNC is supposed to help Democrats win elections; and how the...