The disruption in print media is now coming to everything you watch — including cable, local and network TV. Axios media trends reporter Sara Fischer unpacks a Consumer Technology Association study that's one of the best windows into the upheaval we've seen:
"ESPN plans to trim its on-air talent roster" — L..A. Times' Stephen Battaglio: "The Walt Disney Co. unit said there will be an unspecified reduction in the 1,000 employees who currently perform on TV, radio and podcasts as the sports broadcaster adapts to changing consumer habits. The size of the reduction, which is expected in June, has yet to be determined."
Steve Bannon's thinking is seminal to every plan of this White House. And Axios' Jonathan Swan reports that a book seminal to Bannon's thinking is "The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy," in which author Christopher Lasch argues that the "chief threat" to American democracy and Western culture comes not from the masses but "from those at the top of the social hierarchy."
... almost to halftime of Trump's 100 days!
Yesterday, just after Trump's low-key release of his effort to court-proof his executive order on immigration, House Republicans unveiled their Obamacare replacement package:
The New Yorker's Adam Davidson spent months digging into what he calls "Donald Trump's Worst Deal: The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran's Revolutionary Guard":
"The sustained back-and-forth between the Trump Organization and the Mammadovs has legal significance. If parties involved in the Trump Tower Baku project participated in any illegal financial conduct, and if the Trump Organization exerted a degree of control over the project, the company could be vulnerable to criminal prosecution."
Facebook Live's popularity wanes slightly, according to a Wall Street Journal front-pager, "Facebook Wasn't Ready for Video's Dark Side: After rushed rollout, company wrestles with how to censor violence," by tech reporter Deepa Seetharaman:
Bill Gates is among the big names in politics and industry who have proposed taxing robots to make up for revenue that'll be lost as human workers are replaced by machines in industries like trucking and fast food. Axios' David McCabe finds complications:
Axios' Chris Matthews writes from New York that Nevada still hasn't recovered from the financial crisis ... Financial Times Alphaville's Matthew Klein points to some depressing data from the Silver State: "Adjusting for changes in population, Nevada's real output is a staggering 21 per cent below its 2006 peak, and more than 10 per cent below its level from two decades ago — a performance only comparable to Greece," Klein writes.
In the new installment of our "Smarter, Faster" video series, Valerie Jarrett talks about finding a "safe space" to work with Mark Holden of Koch Industries — criminal justice reform.
She also told me about two new friends after her Secret Service detail vanished — Uber and Lyft.
Axios AM yesterday linked to an article by Bloomberg 's Michael Riley saying the Center for American Progress had been asked to pay a ransom by Russian hackers. Bloomberg has added a statement from the progressive group: "CAP has no evidence we have been hacked, no knowledge of it and no reason to believe it to be true. CAP has never been subject to ransom."
Neera Tanden, the group's president and CEO, tweeted: "This story is wrong as it relates to CAP. We have not been hacked nor have we heard of any ransom request." BuzzFeed's Rudy Cramer quoted Neera: "CAP has not paid a ransom. CAP folks, like many, have received phishing attempts, but no evidence of a hack."
Axios reporter Shane Savitsky passes this along from his hometown news ... The Greater Scranton (Pa.) YMCA banned cable news in the gym because it was starting too many fights: "[T]his is a safe haven, and people want to come here and feel safe and feel part of a community, and when arguments are being, you know, taking place over politics and things like that, they don't feel safe."