Image via Codie Sanchez

There’s a somewhat common career path in which a journalist actually transitions to the very industry they cover. MG Siegler, for instance, got his start as an intrepid reporter for TechCrunch and spent five years at the publication covering VC-funded startups before being hired by Google Ventures as a general partner in 2013. Kyle Russel followed a similar journey, writing for outlets like Business Insider and TechCrunch before accepting a role at Andreessen Horowitz in 2015.

Prior to jumping on the phone with Codie Sanchez, I assumed this was the route she had followed as well. Her website bio described…


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Ross Douglas was fairly blunt when I asked him about his mindset as he began to realize the impact Covid-19 would have on his trade show business: “It was fucking dark,” he told me. “It was really, really hard.”

This was in early 2020, when his team was already gearing up for November’s Autonomy & the Urban Mobility Summit, an annual trade show he’s been running since 2015. “I realized that this thing is coming and it’s going to stop anything physical happening,” he said. “And I own an event that’s built on people getting together and eating and drinking…


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We are firmly in the era of paid newsletters, so much so that you can’t open up Twitter without seeing an announcement from a prominent journalist that they’re launching one. It’s a media trend so ubiquitous that nearly every major web platform — from Twitter to Facebook to Google — is entering the newsletter space.

But what about the paid newsletters that predated the current craze? Some media companies were prescient enough to leverage the intimacy of the inbox to generate reader revenue, and in that sense, Crikey was about two decades ahead of the curve.

The Australian news site…


The onset of the pandemic shutdown in March 2020 dealt massive blows to the vast majority of NYC businesses, but it was especially bad timing for W42ST, a print magazine based in Hell’s Kitchen. “We were publishing our first best-of awards issue,” founder Phil O’Brien told me. “We had over a thousand people vote for their favorite bars and restaurants, and on March 30 we planned to hold a big event that invited 300 people and was sponsored by Wells Fargo.”

But by March 12, O’Brien had acknowledged to himself that his entire business model was about to collapse. On…


If you had to pick a Dutch TV show to discuss on a weekly podcast, there are few better candidates than Wie is de Mol, which translates to “Who is the Mole?”

For one, the show is incredibly popular in the Netherlands, as reflected by the fact that it’s been renewed for 21 straight seasons. But even better, it’s perfectly designed for group discussion. The show pits 10 contestants against each other, requiring them to complete weekly challenges with cash prizes. Lurking among the 10 is the “mole,” a person who’s been assigned to secretly sabotage the group’s success. …


Not many people know what it’s like to have their hopes and dreams crushed over the course of a single lunch meeting, but Jonathan Rick experienced it firsthand in 2004. That’s the year he got an internship at Time Magazine, a dream role for someone who wrote for his college newspaper and had long wanted to break into journalism.

One day Priscilla Painton, who was then an assistant managing editor at the magazine, took Rick out to lunch. “She asked me about my goals, and I told her that I wanted to be the next Joe Klein,” a veteran Time…


In 2010, Kent Anderson and his family traveled on vacation to Telluride, Colorado, a former mining town situated in the Rocky Mountains. Anderson was born in Colorado and loves visiting whenever he can. One day, Kent’s family decided to walk down to a gondola that would take them into town, and on their way there he struck up a conversation with a man who was walking in the same direction.

The man mentioned that he was a scientist, which prompted Anderson to reveal that he worked in scholarly publishing. “He asked about some details, and I mentioned I also wrote…


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Kevin Kaduk didn’t know in advance that he’d get laid off from Yahoo Sports, but he always understood that such an outcome was more than possible. After all, he’d spent pretty much the entirety of his career watching friends and colleagues lose their media jobs. “I think when you’re a modern day journalist, you’re always thinking one or two steps ahead,” he told me.

Kaduk’s focus at Yahoo spanned across all major sports, but he’d always been particularly obsessed with Chicago athletics, and over the years he toyed with the idea of launching a publication called Midway Minute — a…


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The founders of LendIt Fintech didn’t set out to build an events company focused on fintech; they only did so after their search for a fintech conference that fit their needs came up empty.

Back in 2013, Bo Brustkern and Jason Jones were running NSR Invest, a fintech platform that helped automate investment decisions. “I wanted to learn more about the space,” Brustkern told me. “We were an asset manager in a new asset class, and many of these securities we were investing in were brand new. The industry was kind of complex and confusing, and we needed to understand…


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One of the best ways to scale a bootstrapped media company is to cover an underserved niche, and Emmanuel Saint-Martin found one in the French expat community. There are about 300,000 such expats in the U.S. alone, and many have specific information needs that aren’t well served by either mainstream U.S. or French outlets.

In 2007, Saint-Martin launched French Morning, which he initially maintained in his free time while working in TV news. Today, the site employs a full time staff of 10 and about 20 freelancers, and it operates city specific verticals all across the U.S. …

Simon Owens

Tech and media journalist. Email me: simonowens@gmail.com

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