Out of Scope

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Written by

Hirsch Leatherwood

Out of Scope

Out of Scope Issue #157: Beastly Times for Media

Plus: A Chief Tractor Officer and, of course, Taylor Swift

Banner Photo: Axios

Happy Friday! This week, we examine another unusual week for the media world. But first...


  • We’re seeing a huge wave of new ad agencies starting up, from both industry vets and entrepreneurs looking to break into a new space. Thirteen thousand nine hundred ninety-eight ad agencies operated in the U.S. in 2023, up 2.4% from 2022, and based on Ad Age’s reporting, even more are planning to open in 2024.

  • As Earth Day approaches, folks are examining AI and its thirst for power— electric power. ChatGPT uses 15 times more energy than a traditional web search. With generative AI becoming mainstream, scaling without overwhelming the electricity grid and the planet will be a tough challenge. (Without intervention, it'll require 25% of all electricity in the U.S. by 2030.)

💡ON OUR MINDS: Beastly Times for Media

  • We’re used to observing discord in the media world— layoffs, slashed budgets, AI disrupting newsrooms. Don’t get us wrong; those are still significant concerns
  • But there’s another kind of chaos brewing in newsrooms nationwide this week. Several outlets are experiencing an unusual amount of scrutiny on their behind-the-scenes operations.
  • A senior editor at NPR resigned this week, alleging the outlet’s liberal bias weakened its quality of coverage. Meanwhile, the New York Times launched an internal investigation to determine if staff leaked privileged information about the war in Gaza to the other news outlets.
  • Elsewhere, former Disney TV exec Ben Sherwood and former Hearst leader Joanna Coles recently acquired just under 50% of the Daily Beast and are welcoming the attention and looking to revive the publication’s “smart tabloid” brand.
  • These crises are just the start as media companies struggle to adapt to a new industry landscape and weather economic uncertainty. Expect the news to continue being the news as media companies try to remain relevant, on-message, and stay out of the headlines.


In case you missed these reads:

  • John Deere is looking to farm engagement with a quest ”or a “chief tractor officer” who will create TikTok content to help attract new audiences to the iconic brand.

Thanks for reading,


This week’s newsletter is brought to you by Heidi Garner’s all-time break on SNL last weekend.