Out of Scope

Preview image
Written by

Hirsch Leatherwood

Out of Scope

The Last Great American Pastime

Plus: Mob wives and Gen Z’s work ethic

Banner Image: Jason Hanna / Getty Images

Happy Friday! This week, we witnessed a groundhog predict an early Spring and pondered the future of investor-backed media. But first…


  • There is no sign of volatility across the media landscape letting up after another week of layoffs, publications shutting down entirely (RIP The Messenger), and news that The New York Times is building a team to explore the use of generative AI in reporting. It’s not just how news is created that’s a-changin’, but how it’s delivered too. As The Economist reports, the rise of the “TikTok news anchor” has the potential to significantly change news consumption in the long-term.

  • TikTok trendsetters are donning fur coats, heavy gold jewelry, and an air of dubious legality as ‘mob wife’ becomes the aesthetic del giorno. While this timing closely coincides with the 25th anniversary of The Sopranos’ debut, HBO claims not to be the originator of the trend— instead positing that its prominence is a testament to the show’s staying power. Orchestrated or not, the commercial impact of this mob wife mentality once again demonstrates TikTok’s utility as a cultural barometer.

  • The media has positioned ‘Gen Z’ and ‘work ethic’ as oil and water, but the younger generation had something to say back this week in a viral TikTok. The user explained that older generations don’t know what it’s like to work 40+ hours a week and still not be able to afford a house—and the numbers don’t lie. New York-based Gen Zs are trying a new form of work/life balance by rebranding Manhattan as “work island” and spending their outside 9-5 time in the other boroughs.

💡ON OUR MINDS: The Last Great American Pastime

  • While the news business may have fallen on hard times, football’s staying power is on display once again with the lead-up to Super Bowl LVIII.

  • With the Big Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49’ers less than two weeks out, the World Wide Web is ablaze with speculation about this year’s marketing ploys, potential Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce appearances, and even a few political conspiracies.

  • The marketing mania isn’t surprising when you consider that an average NFL game yields just 11 minutes of live play, with over 100 commercials peppered through it. As more and more ad spots and promotions start to trickle out (Doordash, Etsy, Budweiser, oh my!), all eyes are on the race to become the most-talked-about spot of the Bowl.

  • And there’s a generational aspect to the lead-up as well. Some brands are hoping to sway younger demographics and go viral on TikTok with influencer-centric campaigns, leaving behind the A-lister formula we’ve come to know all too well over the past years.

  • When it comes to the actual game, the Chiefs aren’t just riding a 16-3 record to the Bowl, but an additional $331.5 million boost to their value thanks to Taylor Swift. And that’s just the beginning of the Swift effect.

  • Mere minutes after the Chiefs clinched their spot in the game, United and American Airlines added special flight numbers to win over Traylor’s biggest supporters. Within days it was reported that popular women’s beauty brands—Dove, e.l.f, and Loreal—had uncharacteristically purchased ad buys with the hopes of reaching female consumers tuning into the game.

  • Regardless of which team is crowned the Super Bowl LVIII champion next weekend, the real winner is the NFL and their potential landmark year—in no small part thanks to Ms. Swift herself (sorry Dads, Brads, and Chads).


In case you missed these reads.

Thanks for reading,


This week’s newsletter is brought to you by the return of the diss track.