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ICYMI: Our New Hire, Attack of Max
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First, an exciting announcement today!
Peter Kiefer has joined The Ankler as a staff writer. Those of you who follow The Ankler are familiar with Peter’s work. A contributor over the past year, he broke the news of accusations against star Grey’s Anatomy writer Elisabeth Finch, and later landed the only interview with the scribe-turned-serial fabulist in an explosive confession. Among his other hits: an examination of the roots of today’s executive burnout and malaise; drama behind the scenes of the CAA-ICM merger; and last week’s much-shared look at the entertainment industry’s transformation into a gerontocracy.
Most recently a writer-at-large at Los Angeles Magazine, he wrote cover stories including a profile of Twitter personality Yashar Ali, one of the most-read pieces in the magazine’s 60-year history, and an examination of the mainstreaming of psychedelics via Malibu, now in development as a television series. Janice’s former colleague at The Hollywood Reporter, he also previously wrote for The New York Times in its Rome bureau and was a metro reporter for the now-defunct New York Sun. We are delighted to have Peter join Elaine Low on our features and news team.
Now on to this week… where the saga of streaming’s mid-life crisis played out in three acts:
1. First, The Ankler team trekked over to the WBD lot for the birth of
Drop the ‘HBO.’ Just ‘Max.’ It’s Cleaner (Wait - Is It?) Fresh from the unveiling, Elaine Low analyzed what she just saw. Bonus: she and Sean McNulty also convened a special emergency pod on the topic. (Transcript here)
🎧 Dr. Pimple Popper Meets Harry Potter Was HBO just too Grey Poupon? Plus: why WGA negotiations are stalling.
2. Then, as we hit the one-year anniversary of the Netflix stock drop that changed everything, Entertainment Strategy Guy looked at what still could go wrong at the industry’s 800-pound gorilla:
Netflix's Worst-Case Scenario, One Year Later What looming threats to the business remain as the company pivots from “growth” to “value”.
3. Lastly, as streaming economics lead to the near-inevitability of a strike, Richard asked this:
19 Days to Go - Who Will Move this Industry Forward? As writers search for order amidst the chaos, can anyone take charge here?
And, one fun thing…
Quick reminder: The Ankler scored a Webby Awards nom for best Independent Publisher! 🎉 Called the “internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, the Webbys are first decided by a 2000+ member judging body, and then turned over to a popular vote. Please cast your vote for us here!
☀️5 Days of The Wakeup
The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood
🎧 High Stakes at the Summer Box Office Cruise, Ford, Fast 10 and Marvel will put franchise fandom and fatigue to the test.
🔎 The Optionist
Sale! Full access to our sister newsletter about the best available intellectual property is now 30 percent off for a limited time.
IP Picks🔎: A Creepy Cruise and a Fake Prince + the true story of the first Southern town to desegregate after Brown v. Board
Last thing… Notes!
Substack has launched a new platform that is showing potential of being the great Twitter killer the world’s been looking for. Richard just published his first note on Substack Notes, and we would love for you to join us there!
Notes is a new space on Substack for us to share links, short posts, quotes, photos, and more. We plan to use it for things that don’t fit in the newsletter, like works-in-progress or quick questions. It’s a great way for you to interact and participate in the odds and ends of side conversations with us and chat directly with us about showbiz and otherwise.
To join, head to substack.com/notes or find the “Notes” tab in the Substack app. As a subscriber to The Ankler, you’ll automatically see our notes. Feel free to like, reply, or share them around! You can also share notes of your own.
If you have any issues, you can refer to the Notes FAQ for assistance. Looking forward to seeing you there!