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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.

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.
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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.




Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (Live at Code 2018)

Daniel Ek, the CEO of music-streaming company Spotify, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka at the 2018 Code Conference. Ek explains why Spotify temporarily banned R. Kelly from its playlists and why it backed off of that ban. He also talks about the company’s recent public listing and how Spotify plans to grow while losing money every quarter based on normal accounting standards. Plus: Why video is becoming more important to Spotify as a platform and how the company is...


Pod Save America co-host Dan Pfeiffer

Former White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, now the co-host of the popular liberal podcast Pod Save America, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new book, “Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump.” Pfeiffer outlines the ways in which the political media landscape has been profoundly warped and upended since he went to work for Barack Obama in 2009, arguing that today “the press” is such a broad term that it has lost all meaning. He warns his...


Gimlet founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber

Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, the founders of podcasting network Gimlet, talk with Recode's Peter Kafka about trying to create the "HBO of audio." Gimlet's first show was StartUp, a podcast about the creation of Gimlet itself that exposed the "myth of being an entrepreneur" — although entrepreneurs might say things are always going great, the reality is that everything always feels like it's "about to break," Lieber says. The founders also talk about how Gimlet is expanding beyond its...


AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (Live at Code 2018)

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka at the 2018 Code Conference. Stephenson discusses the company’s pending acquisition of Time Warner, which the U.S. Justice Department has attempted to block. Stephenson explains how — if the deal goes through and AT&T therefore owns content — he would deal with public controversies like the racist tweet that got Roseanne Barr fired. He also discusses AT&T’s decision to pay Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen hundreds of thousands...


Momofuku chef David Chang (Live at Code 2018)

David Chang, the chef and founder of culinary brand Momofuku, talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka and Eater’s Amanda Kludt at the 2018 Code Conference. Chang — who’s also the host of “Ugly Delicious” on Netflix — says “there was no strategy” for Momofuku’s first decade of growth, but now he’s thinking more strategically about scaling up. Food is now a blue-collar profession with “white-collar values,” Chang says; that means chefs and restaurateurs are afraid of losing “cool” status when they...


Jessica Pressler talks 'lady grifters' + Ken Auletta on the 'frenemies' of the ad business

On this special episode of Recode Media, you get two interviews for the price of one: First, Recode's Peter Kafka talks with Jessica Pressler, a New York Magazine staff writer whose longform story about a New York City high society grifter, Anna Sorokin, became a viral hit online. Pressler explains how she reported that story in a matter of months, and why Sorokin's con worked so well. Later in the show, Kafka is joined by New Yorker media critic Ken Auletta, who's the author of a new book...


James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox (Live at Code 2018)

21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka at the 2018 Code Conference. Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, says he’s focused on “land[ing] the plane” as Fox plans to merge with Disney in the coming months, but doesn’t expect to be a part of either the merged entity or the remaining Fox properties, such as Fox News, which won’t be sold. Murdoch also talks about the possibility of a competing bid for the company from Comcast, what the pending merger...


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and CTO Mike Schroepfer (Live at Code 2018)

Facebook executives Sheryl Sandberg and Mike Schroepfer talk with Recode’s Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka at the 2018 Code Conference. Sandberg, the company’s COO, and Schroepfer, the CTO, talk about the continuing fallout from Cambridge Analytica and other scandals, including “fake news” during the 2016 elections. They retrace the timeline of the Cambridge Analytica affair and talk about what they’ve learned from their mistakes during that time, pledging to take responsibility for the...


Roman Mars, host of 99 Percent Invisible: Don't put podcasts behind a paywall

Roman Mars, the founder of Radiotopia and host of the hit podcast 99 Percent Invisible, talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about the state of podcasting in 2018. Mars talks about why he started Radiotopia, how it works within the nonprofit PRX and how it thinks about translating its audio shows into live productions. He also explains why the podcasting industry isn't ready to be divvied up into paid subscription services, a la Hulu and Netflix, even though some of its biggest players are...


Ezra Klein explains Vox's new Netflix show 'Explained'

More editor-at-large Ezra Klein talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about Vox's new Netflix series "Explained." The first season of the show, which debuted May 23, will feature 20 mini-documentaries about topics such as monogamy, cryptocurrency or the racial wealth gap. Klein said these topics are too big to be tackled in a three-minute YouTube video, and that one of his team's metrics of success is whether the Netflix episodes are still useful and relevant to people a year or more from...


YouTube's Lyor Cohen on YouTube Music, Childish Gambino and Kanye West

YouTube global head of music Lyor Cohen talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the launch of YouTube Music, a $10-a-month music subscription service that will replace YouTube Red. Cohen says giving the consumers the choice of paying with money or “paying with your eyeballs” by watching ads is the right direction for the music industry, and will liberate artists to make music on their terms. He also talks about a now-infamous photo tweeted by rapper Kanye West in which Cohen and fellow music...


What people get wrong about Robin Williams’ life — and his death

New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about his new book, "Robin: The Definitive Biography of Robin Williams." Itzkoff traces the history of the manic comedian and actor, whose stardom spanned more than four decades in roles in TV shows, such as "Mork and Mindy," and movies, like "Good Will Hunting." After Williams' death by suicide in 2014, Itzkoff says fans and the media were led astray by incorrect or incomplete explanations for what happened, and that...


The Outline CEO Josh Topolsky: Online ads are stuck in the '90s

Josh Topolsky, CEO and editor in chief of The Outline, talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about the importance of good internet-native design for both advertising and editorial content. Topolsky dismisses the idea that everything publishers put out will move behind paywalls, arguing instead that when ads are done well, they can engage readers and support free content. Most of the time, though, online media companies have forced boring ads on their audiences, who have learned to ignore them....


'Chasing Hillary' author Amy Chozick looks back on a decade of writing about Hillary Clinton

New York Times writer-at-large Amy Chozick talks with Recode’s Ed Lee about her new memoir, “Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling.” Chozick says the book is about more than Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful campaigns for president; it’s also about all the things reporters didn’t write in their stories about Hillary Clinton, and the “decline of campaign reporting.” In 2016, she explains, dramatic technological changes made Donald Trump’s victory...


This is how the New York Times reports Pulitzer Prize-winning stories

New York Times reporter Emily Steel talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about the stories she and her reporting partner Michael Schmidt wrote that brought down Fox News star Bill O'Reilly — part of a series of stories on sexual harassment that netted the Times and the New Yorker a Pulitzer Prize for public service. Steel says she and Schmidt strategized before every phone call and recalls how she got her first source to talk on the record, an act of dogged reporting that necessitated a...


Our hoax-filled internet, now available as a book (Rex Sorgatz, author, 'The Encyclopedia of Misinformation')

Writer Rex Sorgatz talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about his new book, “The Encyclopedia of Misinformation: A Compendium of Imitations, Spoofs, Delusions, Simulations, Counterfeits, Impostors, Illusions, Confabulations, Skullduggery, Frauds, Pseudoscience, Propaganda, Hoaxes, Flimflam, Pranks, Hornswoggle, Conspiracies & Miscellaneous Fakery.” Sorgatz says he doesn’t want readers to move through the book in order; instead, they should open it to a random page, read an article and then see...


Outside Magazine editor Axie Navas: Yep, we're getting more political.

Axie Navas, the executive editor of Outside Magazine, talks with Lauren Goode about how that magazine is adapting to the changing digital media industry. One of her key initiatives has been diversifying the editorial staff of the Santa Fe-based magazine and covering issues like sexual harassment, even though its readers are still largely male. Navas explains how Outside is trying to reach new audiences, including younger readers and city dwellers. Plus: Why it has consciously gotten more...


How Marques 'MKBHD' Brownlee got six million subscribers on YouTube

Tech reviewer Marques Brownlee talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about his YouTube channel, MKBHD, which has more than six million subscribers — a breakthrough success story on the site. Brownlee started making videos for fun in 2009, when he was 15, but today he's doing well enough to have three full-time employees working under him. He explains how he works with the tech companies who want to get their products in his videos and how he's still able to maintain a certain level of anonymity...


Financial Times CEO John Ridding: How to make people pay for media

Financial Times CEO John Ridding talks with Recode’s Peter Kafka about the company’s decade-long head start in paid online subscriptions. Some of his peers in the tech and media world were initially “hostile” to the idea of a paywall, he says, but two-thirds of the FT’s current revenue is coming from subscriptions. Ridding also talks about how the London-headquartered newspaper has butted heads with some of the big tech platforms, how its global business-minded staff has grappled with the...


Why every Hollywood movie is a superhero movie

Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about his new book, "The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies." Fritz says the economics of the movie business have been completely transformed by the rise of online streaming services and by brands like Marvel, which have supplanted name-brand stars and directors as the most reliable indicator of a film's success. He explains how Sony fumbled the "Spider-Man" franchise and missed a big opportunity to own the...