Welcome to Semafor Media, where we break the news behind the news.
The fractured new media landscape is an exciting, occasionally disorienting place. A big part of the production of this newsletter each week is the result of Ben and I repeatedly asking ourselves the same questions: Which legacy publications are still important? What are the interesting new media organizations no one is talking about? And who are this generation’s power players in media?
That’s why it was exhilarating to be in New York today, where we just wrapped up the inaugural Semafor Media Summit. For about 90 minutes, some of the biggest newsmakers and most interesting figures from different parts of the media business, legacy and startup, shared the same space to talk about today’s exciting and uncertain media landscape, and where the industry is headed.
Many Semafor Media readers were in the room, but for those who weren’t, we’ve compiled some of the biggest news nuggets and revelations from the summit. Come for Jen Psaki talking about why she calls herself a journalist now, Barry Diller on why publishers need to stand up to artificial intelligence, Bonin Bough’s plans to acquire a major media company, Kara Swisher on why she won’t support Jason Calcanis for mayor of San Francisco, Stephen A. Smith on his relationship with Donald Trump and why he doesn’t think he’s racist, Jimmy Finkelstein on why he thinks Jay Penske has a metaphorical “fat ass,” among other things. And stay for Chris Licht’s thoughts on Don Lemon, and what I overheard talking to media insiders who stuck around for the cocktail reception.
Your inbox is full of newsletters, and you’ll forgive us for sending a second one in two days. But when Bonin Bough’s first word onstage at the festival is shouting “WRONG!” at Ben Smith, and Chris Licht dunking on this newsletter, you have to let the people know.
— Max Tani