Out of Scope

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Written by

Hirsch Leatherwood

Out of Scope

What Happened to Pitchfork?

Plus: Delivery woes and women's soccer

Banner Photo: Christopher Dilts/SIPA USA/AP

Happy Friday! This week, we examine the puzzling news coming out of Condé Nast. But first…


  • CMO roles are being stripped for parts and divvied up among other C-suite leaders. The mission-critical nature of modern marketing has made marketing an invaluable function but one increasingly left in the hands of generalist executives. Be careful, though— remember, McDonald’s reinstated its global CMO role less than a year after its elimination back in 2019. 
  • We’ve noted before the reputation challenges facing post-COVID-era mayors, who’ve encountered poor approval ratings and burnout. But there’s some hope, a Bloomberg story argues. Some mayors across the country are adapting uniquely to their cities’ challenges, confronting Birmingham’s crumbling sidewalks, Phoenix’s climate reality, and Cincinatti’s gentrification problem with vim and vigor.
  • Delivery services, they are a-changing! Uber decided to shut down Drizly, the alcohol delivery service that grew to prominence during the pandemic, three years after they acquired it for $1.1 billion. Plus, The Atlantic laments the loss of the former face of American food delivery, the Pizza Delivery Guy.™.

💡ON OUR MINDS: What Happened To Pitchfork?

  • This week, Condé Nast announced Pitchfork – the music criticism website lauded by fans and hated by artists for its (often make-or-break) reviews – would be folded into GQ and undergo a round of layoffs. 
  • The news (delivered by Anna Wintour still in her sunglasses, nonetheless) was met with immediate confusion and criticism, given Pitchfork’s cultural cachet as a “tastemaking institution,” its band of loyal followers, and its role as one of the last-standing purveyors of unfiltered and unbiased music journalism, deadset on making music less “dude-ish.”
  • It’s no secret that in recent years music journalism has shifted away from genuine assessments and honesty to an amalgamation of stan culture and toxic positivity. Amid this shift, though, Pitchfork always lived up to its self-anointed title as “the most trusted voice in music.”
  • With no independent Pitchfork, music journalists are concerned the industry will continue to lean in an “all-or-nothing culture” where valid criticism and disagreement are increasingly put on the back-burner in pursuit of broader commercialization.
  • Pitchfork’s demise may be a sign of the times — namely, a media landscape where the rampant desire for monetization increasingly devalues the work. And in the case of Pitchfork, how sad we are to see it go.


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This week’s newsletter is brought to you by the comforting fact that, statistically, Mexican cuisine can’t be far off.