Steal This Business Plan!

I got this from ChatGPT when asked.

Business Plan: Podcast Inspired by Gawker

It can be done, Crooked Media!

Executive Summary:
Our podcast, tentatively titled “GawkCast,” aims to fill the void left by the now-defunct Gawker blog by providing sharp, irreverent, and thought-provoking commentary on culture, media, politics, and current events. Leveraging the legacy of Gawker’s fearless and sometimes controversial approach, GawkCast will target an audience of young, educated urbanites hungry for smart, edgy content. With a diverse range of hosts and guests, we will deliver engaging discussions, interviews, and storytelling that challenge conventional perspectives and spark conversation.

1. Business Description:
GawkCast will be a podcast platform producing weekly episodes, each exploring different facets of contemporary culture, media, politics, and society. The podcast will combine elements of news analysis, opinion pieces, interviews, and investigative reporting, aiming to entertain, inform, and provoke critical thinking among its audience.

2. Market Analysis:
There is a growing demand for podcasts that offer sharp commentary and analysis on current events, pop culture, and societal issues. With the demise of Gawker, there is a gap in the market for a podcast that embodies its fearless and irreverent spirit. Our target audience consists of young adults (18-35) who are highly educated, socially conscious, and digitally savvy. This demographic is known for their appetite for engaging, provocative content that challenges mainstream narratives.

3. Competitive Analysis:
While there are many podcasts in the cultural commentary space, few have the same fearless and boundary-pushing approach as Gawker. However, competitors such as Slate’s “Culture Gabfest,” Vox’s “The Weeds,” and “The Joe Rogan Experience” have established loyal audiences with their unique takes on culture, politics, and current events. GawkCast will differentiate itself by embracing Gawker’s legacy of boldness and irreverence while offering a diverse range of voices and perspectives.

4. Marketing and Sales Strategy:
To build awareness and attract listeners, GawkCast will employ a multi-faceted marketing strategy including:

  • Social media promotion: Leveraging platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to engage with our target audience, share episode highlights, and spark conversation.
  • Cross-promotion: Partnering with other podcasts and media outlets with similar audiences to cross-promote episodes and reach new listeners.
  • Influencer partnerships: Collaborating with influencers and thought leaders in relevant niches to promote GawkCast to their followers.
  • Email newsletters: Building an email list to communicate with subscribers, share updates, and highlight upcoming episodes.

5. Operations Plan:
GawkCast will be produced by a dedicated team of producers, hosts, and researchers. The production process will involve brainstorming episode ideas, researching topics, booking guests, recording and editing episodes, and promoting content across various platforms. We will prioritize diversity and inclusion in our hiring practices to ensure a wide range of perspectives and voices are represented in our content.

6. Financial Plan:
The primary sources of revenue for GawkCast will include:

  • Advertising: Selling sponsorships and ad spots within episodes to relevant brands and advertisers.
  • Merchandise: Developing and selling branded merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, and stickers to fans and supporters.
  • Premium content: Offering exclusive bonus episodes, behind-the-scenes content, and ad-free listening experiences to subscribers for a monthly fee.

7. Growth Strategy:
In the long term, GawkCast aims to expand its audience and influence by:

  • Producing high-quality, engaging content that consistently attracts and retains listeners.
  • Building a strong community around the podcast through social media engagement, live events, and listener feedback.
  • Expanding into other mediums such as video content, live streaming, and written articles to reach new audiences and diversify revenue streams.
  • Collaborating with other media outlets, influencers, and brands to increase visibility and reach.

GawkCast aims to revive the spirit of Gawker in podcast form, providing a platform for bold, irreverent commentary on culture, media, politics, and society. With a strategic marketing plan, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a focus on high-quality content, we believe GawkCast has the potential to become a leading voice in the cultural commentary space.

A Window Of Opportunity Lingers To Start a Gawker-Like Podcast

by Shelt Garner

Podcasting is just about mature. And, yet, New York City remains oddly underserved for some reason in the sense that there isn’t — as far as I know — a really popular podcast that is effectively a Gawker but in podcast form. There’s not one, specific, blog that wallows in the NYC life and the goings on at The New York Times and other media outlets.

Maybe Crooked Media could start a NYC-focused podcast?

And the ones that do exist — like The Powers That Be — aren’t very….fun. They’re kind of drab in comparison to what I want, which is an energy-filled morning zoo like podcast that gets really worked up by every Julia Fox twitch or person who is moved around offices of The New York Times.

But there is a only a brief window of opportunity for my dream of a Gawker-like podcast to come out. Developments in AI are moving too fast and the advent of the Appel Vision Pro also indicate that we’re finally about to have a vibe shift to the point that podcasting will be passe.

What’s more, we also have to deal with the possibility that we’re either going to turn into an autocracy or have a revolution / civil war. So, gather ye rosebuds while you may with podcasting — we may be too busy dodging bullets in a civil war to record anything.

Crooked Media’s ‘What A Weekday’ As A Prototype For A New Gawker-Like Podcast Covering NYC

by Shelt Garner

The more I think about it, the more it is clear that Crooked Media’s What A Weekday is not only great, but is very similar to the vibe of my dream podcast that would be devoted to NYC.

This hypothetical podcast would be topical, funny and peripatetic. It would have a thinking man’s Morning Zoo vibe to it. Most of all, there would be ENERGY. It would have a lot of young, smart, just-out-of-college people talking about the parties they’ve attended, the people they’ve fucked while sprinkling in a white-hot obsession with New York Media — specifically The Old Gray Lady.

I think if you treated the constant power struggles of The New York Times as if it was life-or-death type of situation, people would love it. That was part of what made Gawker so much fun — they “gawked” — if you will — at the colorful characters of media and entertainment in NYC.

I continue to think Ye’s former muse Julia Fox is so naturally intriguing that she would be the one person that the podcast obsessed over the most — maybe to the point of having her come on as a regular guest and just talk about her “dope” life and all the “dope shit” she does.

Also, I think covering fashion would be something the podcast should a lot of. You draw Alpha Males to the podcast by talking constantly about the Wall Street and the women in by taking the colorful figures of fashion seriously. New York Fashion Week would be like the Superbowl for this hypothetical podcast.

Or something like that. That’s the vision I have.

I continue to find it odd that New York City doesn’t have it’s own devoted podcast that is popular enough outside of NYC that rubes in the hinterlands like me know about it and can listen to it.

I want a podcast that is like Late Night With David Letterman and Spy Magazine in the 1980s and Gawker in the aughts. But, as I keep saying, the window of opportunity is closing — soon enough, AI agents will mediate everything for us and there won’t be ANY human generated media at all.

All while we’re living in a fucking MAGA fascist state.


‘What A Weekday’ But More Snarky & Devoted To New York City Media Is The Vision I Have For A New Podcast

By Shelt Garner

The closest approximation to the type of podcast I want to listen to every day would be much like Crooked Media’s new What A Weekday podcast that Jon Lovett hosts. But my vision for a podcast would be centered around NYC life, entertainment and media, rather than the vaguely political vision of WAW.

We need a NYC-based podcast obsessed with Julia Fox’s every twitch.

I don’t even live in NYC, but it sure would be fun to have a podcast based out of NYC that was completely obsessed with the constant power struggles at The New York Times. Or be obsessed with whatever weird thing Julia Fox is doing at any particular moment.

Maybe Crooked Media could make my dream come true?

Most of all, it would be snarky. It would have that sharp comic edge that Late Night with David Letterman had as did Spy Magazine and Gawker. That’s why the Lovett show is very close to what my vision is, it just isn’t as focused as what I think my specific vision for a NYC-centric podcast would be.

Anyway, I hope someone does something with this idea before the window of opportunity closes because AI has taken over everything and we’re all consuming media via our AVP.

‘A Snarky Morning Zoo Podcast Devoted To NYC Media’

by Shelt Garner

The thing I’ve noticed about a lot — A LOT — of podcasts is how somnambulistic they can be. It’s just two or more people talking in a very languid way that makes you want to go to sleep.

This is a really good book by Ben Smith.

So, my vision for a Gawker-like podcast (which you are free to steal!) would be something like this — you live stream a two hour podcast three times a week (if not more) then edit it down to an hour for the rest of the day for non-live listeners.

I would want the podcast to be snarky, fun and energetic. It would be a bunch of (hot?) young people talking about Emma Chamberlain, Julia Fox and the Dune 2 popcorn bucket that everyone wants to fuck. You know, the type of bullshit Gawker was ranting about in 2003-2004.

The key could be who your hosts — and guests — were. I would grab some hip, just-out-of-college neo-club kids and with great personalities and throw them together into the Thunderdome. I would try to have at least one more “conservative” person on a panel of three to mix things up. But they couldn’t be a knuckle dragging MAGA person, but someone who thinks SNL is too woke or something.

But it would have to be genuine and not forced. And that would be the hardest part of the whole thing — how to get the spark of people who had actual witty banter on the fly and who knew the zeitgeist well. In that respect, I guess you might need to find some young stand up to be one of your three?

The first guest for this podcast would need to be someone like Sarah Squirm of SNL. She would be the perfect person to establish what the podcast was going to be about.

The Vision Thing: Successor To Spy Magazine & Gawker Edition — Julia Fox Would Be Key

by Shelt Garner

It is clear to me that all of this is just so much mental masturbation. Even if I somehow stick the landing with the novel I’m writing and it’s a breakout hit success, I would not have the funds necessary to do any of this until I was nearly 60.

Oh well.

But I’m young at heart, so here goes.

As I’ve written before, if I was going to do a successor to Spy Magazine and Gawker, I would make it some sort of podcasting network. And the person I would want to build the snarky podcasting network around would be some like Julia Fox.

Emma Chamberlain

She’s got a knack for generating buzz by just being herself.

A person I would also fixate on would be Emma Chamberlain.

I would be obsessed with Fox in a fun way and with Chamberlain in a snarky way. Chamberlain is a gorgeous young woman, but she would be really easy to tease because she’s so iconic to young people with thin skins.

I think some sort of podcasting network that had a lot of savvy young people as hosts who churned out a number of podcasts a day would be a hit. The vibe I am thinking of would be a snarky, non misogynistic version of Barstool. Something like that, but done in a way that would not drive young, well educated women away.

The goal would be for those types of young women to be in on the joke, once they realized that all the snarky comments about Chamberlain were done in good fun. And I think if the podcasting network was really, really obsessed with Julia Fox’s every twitch that that, too, would be something both men and women would enjoy.

But, again, the Internet of 2024 is very very very very different from the Internet of 2004. Even podcasting is a mature market and media landscape is so diffuse these days that it would be difficult to generate the type of buzz that Gawker did back in the day.

And, yet, the counter argument is that the dynamic that made Gawker so popular — that of media outlet that was totally consumed with the goings on of the media and entertainment elite in NYC that we plebs could enjoy — is still a viable option.

I’m not saying that there aren’t podcasting networks that don’t do some of what I’m talking about. But there’s not ONE network that replicates the vibe of Gawker from 2004. I would want the morning podcast of the network to be something that media professionals streamed every morning on the their way to work, and so on.

But, again, lulz. It’s over. This is the twilight of the type of media I love.

Podcasting — Especially Crooked Media– Needs To Grow Up

by Shelt Garner

I listen to a lot of podcasts on a regular basis and it’s embarrassing how many big-time podcasts continue to have their hosts read advisements. The worst instance of this is Crooked Media.

It’s very jarring to hear people from Pod Save America reading ads when I come to them for reasonably objective, fact-based information. I understand them doing this when they were a scrappy start up, but they’re rather well established now.

It’s embarrassing for them to do something as dumb as to half-heartedly read an ad that they don’t even believe in. The Crooked Media hosts to read this ads definitely don’t take the job very seriously. They need just bow out of reading their ads altogether.

Of course, no one listens to me, so this is all a lulz. But podcasting is no longer a fringe form of media. It needs to reflect it’s mainstream status by establishing a Chinese wall between content and advertising.

Is Jon Lovett Leaving Crooked Media?

by Shelt Garner

Something is up at Crooked Media. The Left-leaning news company’s go-to funny man Jon Lovett…seems to be not-so-quiet quitting. Not only has he been a bit hostile to the other bros of the podcast network, but he’s repeatedly been absent.

Now, as is their wont, the other members of Crooked have put on a brave face. They keep saying Lovett “doesn’t feel well.” And long-term listeners to Pod Save America know that Lovett and Tommy Vietor don’t really like each other.

As an aside, I think Vox Media and Crooked Media should consider merging. There are a lot of built-in synergies that might be exploited. I don’t know what the structure of Crooked Media is, so I suppose it’s possible that Lovett might be able to cash out if he left the company.

Crooked Media Needs To Grow Up

by Shelt Garner

I’ve enjoyed listened to the Crooked Media podcast network since the beginning, but it’s beginning to have some growing pains. I’m talking specifically of how it continues to have the core Crooked team of hosts read their adveristments.

Would you take media advice from this ding-dong on the right? (Me.)

This made sense back when they were a plucky startup, but now…not so much. Time to put on your big boy pants, guys. Hire someone to read the fucking ads, your lackadaisical approach to something as important as reading ads is starting to be embarrassing.

What’s more, it just doesn’t make any sense for Crooked to use its hosts to read ads. There needs to be a wall of some sort between editorial and advertising, just like in a traditional news organization. If it’s not just you and your bud doing a podcast, but rather an actual company….maybe hand off reading ads to professionals?

As an aside, I wonder if maybe Crooked Media would be interested in merging with the Vox Media company. Seems like that might be a very complimentary merger. But, what do I know. Whatever. No one listens to me.

An Unexploited Podcasting Space

by Shelt Garner

As we enter 2023, I can’t help but be reminded of how the podcasting interesting has kind of entered something of a rut, at least to me as a listener. It would be fun if there was a young, hip — and snarky — podcasting network that evoked the early days of Gawker Media.

You would use the same formula that Nick Denton with the Gawker blogs — you setup semi-daily podcasts devoted to a the events around on specific city. So, New York City would be meda, celebrity and finance, LA would be devoted to showbiz and DC would be focused on politics and San Francisco devoted to tech. You hire young, passionate media people just out of college — read cheap — and let them have it.

Now, here and there you find podcast networks that have elements of this, but not all in one place. Some of the podcasts that Crooked Media does have potential, but they’re not really the focus of the Crooked Media network. If the podcasting network I propose became a success, you could direct listeners to blogs produced by your media company.

I have a feeling the money for such a dream has come and gone. Maybe if it was 10 years ago, you could pull this idea off. But podcasting pretty mature now. So, lulz. What do I know.