Today’s Media Roundup is brought to you by Chris.
Not that long ago, I admitted I was wrong about The Athletic. Its results, and its subscription numbers, made me believe I had been needlessly suspicious of the sports-focused niche news site. Well, now I’m taking that all back because it turns out I was right all along and The Athletic was just a big front. It was a subscriber laundering service, and this sale to the NYT is its endgame.
Sara Fischer is reporting that the NYT has sounded out The Athletic for acquisition. It makes sense, after all – the paper has ambitious growth targets to hit and a sports service staffed by some of the biggest names in the business makes a great addition to its portfolio.
Not so long ago Alex Mather, The Athletic’s co-founder, said: “We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing. We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.” So either something’s gone very wrong for them… or this was always the endgame, and we’re witnessing one of the greatest media heists in history.
Twitter continues its reinvention, this time previewing its new pay-for-play Ticketed Spaces tool The company is partnering with Stripe to handle payments, and will take a 20 percent cut of sales – on top of the percentage already taken by Google and Apple.
One to keep an eye on: “The newest edition of Vogue will debut later this year with a digital distribution strategy designed to minimise environmental footprint.” So when will the other Vogue stores follow suit – and which brand will be next to double down on reducing its environmental impact?
We’re still not quite ready to talk about this yet (even though the dust is still settling after 25 years). But Alan Rusbridger is right that with a government stooge already at the Beeb’s helm (hello Mr. Davie) we shouldn’t accept any more cynical changes to the world’s premier public service broadcaster.This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: