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A lot of media goss today
Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective’s The Atlantic Magazine bought Media Twitter this morning, announcing a new slate (salon?) of newsletters by writers including Tom Nichols, Nicole Chung, Yair Rosenberg, David French, and Charlie Warzel, who will migrate his Substack newsletter Galaxy Brain to its Atlantic equivalent which I guess would be Garamond Brain. This new collection of what a bygone era would have called “columnists” will be overseen by Embedded co-founder Nick Catucci, who doesn’t appear to be marching his own newsletter into the sea with them.
Warzel, whose BuzzFeed to the Times to the Atlantic career arc is not bad for a career skeptic, wrote a characteristically long and interesting goodbye post at Substack, where he notes that “Over seven months on Substack… I made considerably less than I did working at the Times,” and “(this will be the line people quote, I guarantee, if they quote anything from this post).” I will take that bait every time. Apart from noting that “you’re probably going to get a couple of extra emails from The Atlantic,” he didn’t address the fact that he’s not just taking a new job but also selling The Atlantic his email list.
I found Charlie in the information realm and asked him if that was a fair way to describe the deal. “In a sense it is true,” he told me, “but I'm also continuing to deliver the exact same product, so I think it's nuanced. It's not like I sold the list to a company so they'd get spammed and I'd get a cut. I feel like it's a generally good trade for all parties.” He did wish to make it clear that his subscribers would not be forced to read the rest of The Atlantic, and their new subscription is “just there if they want it.” Good to know!
You know what wasn’t a generally good trade for all parties?1 The abortive 2019 Gawker 2.0 re-launch attempt, which is being litigated in New York State Supreme Court and re-litigated in a long Off The Record story full of good media goss, like this text exchange shared by then soon to be disgraced Editorial Director and now defamation plaintiff Carson Griffith:
[Mike] Albo mentioned “our little stud muffin Ben Lerer’s investment in Leaflink” in reference to the Lerer Hippeau managing partner.
[Erik] Maza responded: “Ben Lerer. Drool.”
Albo: “My one good memory from the junket trip (besides meeting carson) is him in a swimsuit :)”
Albo: “Ha! Omg I feel like that is a question Carson would know :)”
Maza (with Griffith cc’d): “WAHUTKADNFKLAJDNSFAKJSNDFKLAJSNDLKAJSNDkJASN DKJN Carson????????”
According to her affidavit, Griffith forwarded the chain to [Maya] Kosoff at 12:30 p.m., “to see if she could use it to find a story idea about the main context of the email, which was venture capitalists’ involvement in cannabis…
The tragedy is the real Gawker would have immediately recognized that the main context of this email was the status of Ben’s trouser Hippeau and run it under the headline “Does Ben Lerer Have a Big Dick?” It’s a shame that Gawker doesn’t exist anymore, and probably never will again.
We asked seven prominent VR engineers how many legs a human should have, and the answer might surprise you. “What’s more punk rock” than partnering with Penske Business Media Inc.’s Rolling Stone to sell jpegs and a collectible ‘zine, just like Billie Eilish? What’s more punk rock than getting your ape jpegs stolen? What’s more punk rock than OpenSea just removing your NFT altogether because they don’t like it when you make fun of NFTs? What’s more punk rock than launching an obvious scam coin and then walking away with $3.3 million from buyers pumped up by “the BBC, Yahoo News, Business Insider, Fortune, and CNBC,” according to Matt Novak, who also called Donald Trump’s election 564 days before it happened so maybe we should start listening to him? What’s more punk rock than stonks?
Want to feel like t̸̨̍i̶̫̒m̴̻̐ě̴̪ ̸͚͐į̴̅s̸̬̒ ̵̢̽c̶̘̈ǔ̶̝r̶̖͊ś̷̭e̷̩̊d̴̰͑? Four Seasons Total Landscaping was still less than a year ago. Choire makes a convincing case that they should build the windowless, bathroomless dorm. Oops, Zillow bought 7,000 extra houses. Magdalene Taylor’s profile of Sydney Leathers in MEL is better than you might expect. A still on book-leave Taylor Lorenz would like to know why women reporting on tech platforms are called “internet culture reporters” and not “tech reporters.” Constance Grady has some doubts about Jon Stewart.
Listen: I was on “Space Trash” with Molly Mulshine and Sara Armour and we analyzed Mark Zuckerberg’s astrological chart and then mine. Spoiler: he’s a friendless weenie and I am living my ideal purpose. Also in the Tabs Cinematic Universe, Clay Shirky was on the Postlight podcast with Paul Ford. And what is going on at the New York Times’s seemingly disintegrating podcast department?
Today’s Song: Radiohead, “Follow Me Around”
~ nobody puts tabs in a corner ~
Uh oh y’all, it’s gettin kinda hazy, cause Space Trash got me thinking ‘bout Patrick Swayze. I’m gonna do my kinda tweetin’ @fka_tabs. Sorry for all the words today, I don’t know what happened but there are too many. Please subscribe so I am not also forced to go work at The Atlantic.
Segues are my passion.