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RF MEDIA INSIGHTS 12.1.2023: Elon Musk Tells Advertisers to “Go f--- yourself.”

Dec 01, 2023
RF MEDIA INSIGHTS 12.1.2023: Elon Musk Tells Advertisers to “Go f--- yourself.”

Where does X go from here? Despite his apologies, will advertisers care?

In a shocking interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at The New York Times 2023 DealBook Summit this week, Elon Musk told X, formerly Twitter, advertisers to “Go f— yourself,” while specifically calling out Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger. Disney along with major brands including IBM, Apple, Warner Bros. Discovery, Comcast and more have pulled their advertising on X after Musk verbally endorsed what The White House called “antisemitic and racist hate.” Musk – although rare – apologized and agreed to being in the wrong saying that this is, “one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I’ve ever done on the platform.”

The next day, Sorkin appeared on NBC News Today and encouraged viewers to watch the entire interview with Musk, not just the viral part. Sorkin emphasized that Musk truly does care about X and said the future of all of Musk’s projects will depend on whether or not he can retain trust from stakeholders.

Kathy Bloomgarden

CEO, Ruder Finn

NASCAR Reaches Game-Changing $7.7 billion Media Rights Deal

One of the most popular sports – and a sport intimately tied to some of the biggest brands on the planet – is about to blow up even bigger in a new megadeal involving the biggest names in broadcast and streaming. We’re talking about NASCAR announcing a massive, seven-year $7.7 billion media rights deal that includes Fox Sports, NBC, Warner Bros. Discovery and Amazon Prime Video beginning in 2025. What’s particularly unique about this deal and likely to shape how similar deals are brokered in the future, is that the Amazon Prime Video portion of the agreement marks the first time NASCAR will have a Cup Series event exclusively streamed. This testimony to streaming’s influence is just another reason for companies to push more focus and advertising budget towards streaming platforms.

TikTok Expands its Musical Capabilities

TikTok is now looking to help music artists get more visibility on the platform with a new feature called “artist accounts” which according to TechCrunch is a “‘shop window’ for followers to see musicians’ songs, learn about upcoming releases and get an inside look into their creative process.” With TikTok also recently releasing a way for users to quickly add music to their Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music playlists, it’s clear that TikTok is gaining fuel and going after non-direct competitors like Spotify. Will the platform become an even more important part of our society?

Will Jeff Zucker Return to News?

Jeff Zucker, the former president of CNN is facing some major headwinds in his firm’s bid for UK news publications The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator. That deal is now under review by the British government following outcry around Zucker’s use of roughly $1 billion in Emirati money to acquire the brands. Angered readers of these two outlets warned that the “Emiratis’ involvement could lead to undue foreign influence over The Telegraph’s coverage,” according to The New York Times, which raises the question, what is the impact of media owned by governments in this age of increasingly volatile global events?



Media Moves

  • ABC News has promoted Aaron Katersky to a correspondent. Katersky is a senior investigative reporter, covering public safety, political corruption and the courts.
  • Curtis Yee has joined the Washington bureau of the Associated Press as an editor. Previously, Yee was a copy editor for New York Magazine.
  • Noah Sheidlower has been appointed as an economy reporter for Business Insider. He will be covering the gig economy, high earners, moving, inflation, and the Federal Reserve.
  • Peter Kafka has returned to Business Insider to take on the role of chief correspondent. In 2007, Kafka was the first hire at Silicon Alley Insider, the predecessor to Business Insider. In addition to his reporting, Peter is the host of the Recode Media podcast, which will continue as part of Morning Brew’s popular series of podcasts.
  • CNN has hired Barak Ravid as a political and foreign policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He currently serves as a politics reporter and Middle East expert at AXIOS
  • Amanda Chu now covers US energy at the Financial Times. Chu, who joined the publication as an editorial intern in 2021, is based in New York. She is also a lead writer of the Energy Source newsletter.
  • Kylie Robison has been promoted to senior tech reporter at Forbes, where she focuses on Big Tech and social media companies. Robison joined Forbes in 2022 and was previously a San Francisco-based reporter for Business Insider, where she covered software developers and their communities, tools, startups, and other topics.
  • NBC News has hired The Messenger‘s Adam Wollner as deputy politics editor.
  • New York Magazine has announced the following promotions:
    • Genevieve Smith will now serve as executive editor. Smith has served as features director since April 2019, and she now works closely with many editors across the verticals, along with the art and photography teams, to support and strategize on longer-lead projects.
    • Gazelle Emami has been promoted to editorial director. Emami has been the culture editor since June 2020, and in her new position she will be part of various magazine leadership decisions, as well as editing writers, stories and projects outside of culture, and providing support and guidance for editors across the site.
  • Ciera Crawford has been promoted at NPR to the position of chief arts and culture hub editor. Crawford has worked at NPR for four years and served as supervising producer on “All Things Considered” before her appointment as deputy culture editor.
  • NPR has announced the following promotions:
    • Political reporter Deepa Shivaram has taken on the role of White House correspondent. She joined NPR in July 2021 as a general assignment digital reporter.
    • Megan Pratz is now senior editor. Pratz joined NPR from Cheddar in August 2022, and recently held the post of political editor.
    • Casey Morell has been appointed producer II on the NPR Politics Podcast, where he recently held the post of producer. Morrell has also worked as an associate producer and director of “All Things Considered”.
    • Barbara Sprunt has been promoted to reporter II on NPR’s National desk.
  • Sally Goldenberg has been appointed senior New York editor at POLITICO after over a decade with the company. Goldenberg joined in 2013 as a senior reporter and since 2018 she has been City Hall bureau chief at POLITICO New York.
  • Joshua Keating, currently at The Messenger, is joining Vox as a senior correspondent. Keating will be exploring global dynamics and the tension points that decide the direction of international news.
  • Makena Kelly has joined Wired as a senior writer on their new politics team. Her move follows over five years reporting on politics at The Verge, where she covered investigative news at the intersection of tech, politics and business.

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