April 8th, 2018

I began my exploration of Austin's media scene by meeting with and mapping out what companies were here. It made sense to start there since it's these agencies, brands, publishers, and production studios that provide the foundational capital for Austin media's growth.  However a scene is defined by more than who's hiring. 

The quality of Austin's media scene can be directly correlated to the vibrancy of the communities it houses, and its health can be measured by how accessible they are to people.  With that in mind I'm expanding my exploration of Austin media by diving deeper into its cultural heart.  Professional associations like AIGA AUSTIN AIMA, IGDA, PRSA, as well as groups like Creative MorningsCreatives Meet Business, VR Austin, Austin Filmmakers, Austin Motion Artists, and Austin Area Models and Photographers are tremendously important for our ecosystem.  The more we all know each other the more cross-pollination and collaboration can occur.

I could use some help though, so if you belong to, or know of a thriving community in our greater media scene please let me know.  

Upcoming Events:

4/19 - Media ATX at the Texas Tribune - Covering the Austin Bomber.  Join some of the best journalists in Austin at the Texas Tribune as we discuss what it was like to cover this horrific event and what goes into using video to cover breaking news events.  Come for the free tacos, stay to check out the Texas Tribune's impressive new digs.

4/24 -Creatives Meet Business: Telling Your Brand Story Edition:  Trying to grow your media business?  Ashland Viscosi's creative professional development series will help you learn tough to tackle concepts through an intimate set-up of roundtable discussions with Austin's top professionals in the fields supporting the creative industry. 
ATX Television Festival -  is a four-day event, June 7-10, that celebrates the television medium: looking back at its history, where it is now, and where it is headed. The festival consists of panels, screenings, and events where attendees and leaders in the TV industry talk, watch, and experience television together as one community. Programming this year includes a Conversation with David Simon & Nina Noble, Better Call SaulDrunk History, a Felicity Reunion, a Futurama Table-Read, The Americans, and more!

Discount Code: CCTAL93
15% off Badges and Day Wristbands
Tom Cheredar

Sage words from Ev Williams -- Well maybe not so much sage, but it is a good overview of obvious truths about the news publishing business from Ev Williams, founder of Medium (yay!) and cofounder of Twitter (ಠ_ಠ): “There is — and probably always will be — a surplus of free content. But that’s like saying there’s a surplus of free food in the dumpster behind the alley. Some of it may be perfectly good, but most of us would rather pay for something more reliable and convenient if we’re able. And many people will pay a lot for something superior.” Worth your time to read if you only choose one thing to consume this week. (Also, this piece leads into the next newsletter item fairly well…)  [Via Medium]

Layoffs at Mutual Mobile - Looks like there's some very talented creatives back on the market this week after the Austin based digital agency laid off more then 10 people.  

We Are Sloppy: Austin’s Sinclair CBS affiliate -- has been the subject of much ridicule on various local social media channels, which is related to the super icky “PSA” the parent company required each of its local stations to read as if it was original. There’s plenty of commentary about how this is hardly the first instance of such messaging agendas, so I’ll refrain. But I will take a minute to point out how sloppy and irresponsible its lifestyle show “We Are Austin” is when putting together nationally unattributed news items at the beginning of the show. Apparently no one fact checks these news bits before they get regurgitated into script, because they’ve misreported two fairly big stinkers in the last few months (probably more than that, honestly). The first I noticed was a several minute discussion about how Whataburger is closing all its locations (clearly not true). The second came just last week, as they discussed Apple ceasing digital downloads on iTunes (insane and also not true). I don’t really see them rushing to correct these sorts of mistakes or talk about how they came to be aired -- which would almost cause a normal person to conclude news coverage isn’t really that important to them, but rather just a thing they fill a segment with. If Sinclair affiliates are going to convince the general public they’re still legit, these sorts of things can’t happen.


Felicity reunion at ATX Television Festival -- was just announced as a headlining panel at this annual event. The entire cast of Felicity will be there, as well as tons of stars from sitcom favorites from the 80s and 90s for a discussion led by Hulu. Plus, there are panels featuring new shows from HBO, SYFY, and plenty of others. The event is a bit away (June 7-10), but it’s likely to gain lots of national media attention so we’re making some noise about it now. [More via THR]


GateHouse completes sale of the Statesman -- With the city’s major daily paper changing ownership, nearly everyone knew pink slips would be on the horizon. And a recent report by the Austin Business Journal’s Will Anderson confirms it, noting that the publishing company said: “...some layoffs were ‘inevitable’ but that GateHouse could also add jobs at the Statesman as it consolidates some of its operations at other papers across the country.” Also useful facts to know from Anderson’s report: The paper currently employs 105 people, with 16,786 digital subscriptions. [More via ABJ]


FlyteVu Agency sets up shop in ATX -- Entertainment marketing agency FlyteVu has opened up an Austin office this week. The firm, which is based out of Nashville originally, has some notable clients including Austin-based Bumble, Victoria Secret, and Cracker Barrel. Welcome to town FlyteVu crew. Austin is like Nashville’s cool older sister, so you’ll fit right in. [via MusicRow]


New media thing: AustinCoworking -- is a soon-to-launch site that is attempting to build a directory of all the various wonderful startups working out of coworking spaces in and around the city, as well as produce thoughtful content from smart ATX people who have interesting or relevant things to say. It’s being spearheaded by the Capital Factory, an organization that’s done a lot for this community (including our little ATX Media slice of it). That said, they’re currently looking to hire someone to write summaries of startups for a directory, manage the social media presence, solicit guest posts from members and mentors, and other such tasks. Compensation is about $1,000/month, with some additional hours/work initially to get everything up and running (and, you get a complimentary membership to Capital Factory). It’s a good position for anyone with stellar writing and editing chops who is interested in the startup scene but perhaps hasn’t had the opportunity to really explore and learn about it. Plus, Capital Factory folks are just good people, always bustling and busy working on exciting stuff. Those interested can shoot over an email to jobs@capitalfactory.com for more details.

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