Hustle CEO Sam Parr & SmartNews co-founder Rich Jaroslavsky on the future of media – TechCrunch

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Welcome to this edition of The Operators, a recurring Extra Crunch column, podcast and YouTube show that brings you insights and information from inside the top tech companies. Our guests are execs with operational experience at both fast-rising startups, like Brex, Calm, DocSend, and Zeus Living, and more established companies, like AirBnB, Facebook, Google, and Uber. Here they share strategies and tactics for building your first a company and charting your career in tech.

Our two guests for this episode have very different backgrounds, one an experienced exec serving at a large digital media unicorn and the other a younger co-founder CEO of an upstart media business. But both are at rapidly growing companies who are at the forefront of what it means to be a media company today. Both experts from the online media industry have built successful careers and businesses in this age of social media and ready-to-go, instant news.

Rich Jarislowsky began his media career as a journalist for the Wall Street Journal before becoming the national political editor as a White House correspondent. He was instrumental in bringing The Wall Street Journal online years ago. For the past 25 years, Rich has been involved in digital news at wsj.com and Bloomberg, and is currently at Smart News, where he is Chief Journalist and the VP of Content.

Sam Parr is the co-founder and CEO of The Hustle, a beloved and rapidly growing newsletter, conference convener, and broadening digital media business.

Our discussion touched on some of the most important questions in digital media:

  • What opportunities are there for new media entrants;
  • How it is impossible to start a successful media company today without having a strong grasp of how technology can be leveraged;
  • How the hardest problems in media today center around distribution and monetization;
  • Why content creation is actually one of the easier problems to address;
  • How increasingly the medium is the message: the iPhone changed media consumption and increasingly it looks like how we consume audio is changing the delivery of media, consumption, and monetization; and
  • An analysis on the current state of media and their predictions on where media is headed.



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