E1003: The Athletic CEO & Co-founder Alex Mather is building a paid online sports media publication, shares insights on attracting investors in a seemingly dying industry, managing 500+ remote writers, creating interesting angles through unique coverage & more

watch

listen

about this episode

The Athletic CEO & Co-founder Alex Mather is building a paid online sports media publication, shares insights on attracting investors in a seemingly dying industry, managing 500+ remote writers, creating interesting angles through unique coverage & more
1:05 Jason intros Alex Mather
2:08 Why did Alex launch a paid subscription publication in a seemingly dying industry?
4:32 How & where did The Athletic start? What was their thesis?
6:32 What was early feedback like from investors?
15:57 Changing approach from ad-based to subscription-based writing
21:34 Why the NHL & MLB are great for The Athletic
22:43 How do they manage young writers?
26:52 What % of their spend goes to editorial?
33:00 Managing 500+ writers
36:20 What are some ways they manage engagement?
39:08 Twitter’s impact on journalism
43:39 Scouting new talent & capitalizing on layoffs
50:10 What has the inflated valuations of BuzzFeed & Vox done to the digital media industry?
55:20 How is The Athletic handling Apple’s app-store subscription explosion?
58:20 Apple’s impact on the boom of incredible products in our society and how The Athletic translates that to editorial
1:01:56 Alex asks Jason: “Mayor of San Francisco or owner of the Knicks?”
1:03:47 Alex shares his thoughts on the NBA/China situation
1:12:01 How does Alex go about re-activating users who have churned?
1:12:42 What does The Athletic think about the prevalence of sports gambling in America?
1:14:55 Who is the most interesting NBA player right now?
1:16:01 Jason & Alex pick who they would start an NBA franchise with today
1:17:50 Jason plays “good tweet/bad tweet” with Alex

more episodes