Bill Cohan reads between the lines of the latest report into what really went down at FTX.
Eriq Gardner has the insider’s notes on the biggest M&A subplots of the moment: Hulu, Activision, Illumina, and more.
Teddy Schleifer scoops Bezos’s Commanders headfake and previews the ‘24 tech money spigot.
Dylan Byers gets into the Murdoch settlement game theory.
Matt Belloni has the definitive multi-part analysis on whether this new Affleck-Damon-RedBird Capital venture is really a game changer.
Tara Palmeri reports on the Jeff Roe-inflected DeSantis semi-reset.
Tina Nguyen gets the Taliban 20 to open up about their plans for McCarthy.
Julia Ioffe chats with Mark Warner about TikTok, Putin, and Musk.
Puck’s newest partner, Lauren Sherman, digs into the industry’s sordid saga of the moment: what happened to Law Roach? And is the stylist a victim of the business or his own ego?
Matt and Lucas talk about Zaz’s year of magical thinking on The Town.
Matt also joins Peter Hamby on The Powers That Be to explain the transition to Max.
|As I’ve documented perhaps a bit too endlessly in this space over the past 18 months or so, my partners and I had a fairly clear vision in our minds when we went about standing up Puck.
First and foremost, we’d come to the obvious conclusion that as you scaled the heights of various businesses and fields—finance, media, tech, politics, entertainment, and so forth—it was all one small world, populated by a relatively narrow cast of characters, who had outsize power, and yet their motivations and maneuvers were largely undercovered and misunderstood. We also recognized that the media, itself, was changing drastically. Journalists, with their access to proprietary information and spheres of influence across platforms, were true domain experts and underpriced influencers. We tried to marry these realities, along with a novel business model that treated authors as equity holders, in the form of Puck.
On a fundamental level, Puck believes in scarcity. I lived through the spray-and-pray days of digital media, and I don’t want to recreate it: newsrooms turned into ant farms, “eyeballs” took primacy over readers, and investors got taken to the cleaners. We deliberately only publish a few articles a day, often directly to our community’s inbox, because our model is aligned with quality: we believe in expertly reported, elegantly told stories by generationally talented domain experts. (And, sure, slap my wrist if there’s a little dish and intrigue baked into the cake.) Bill Cohan isn’t just the Wall Street chronicler of our time, after all, he’s a former banker with 20 years of M&A experience. This authenticity and credentialism is true across our ranks at Puck.
From nearly the moment we got started, I’d been curious about moving Puck into fashion. The high end schmatta trade, after all, is a multi-trillion dollar industry run by some of the most fascinating egos in the world. It’s also a business that’s built on historic brands, enfant terribles, and an intrinsic anxiety about remaining relevant. And it’s also a world that runs on relationships, which is a polite way of saying that the media often bites its tongue, and the real story behind the story rarely ever gets out there. But what if it did?
For months, I’d been quietly asking advisors and confidantes who might be the perfect person to bring Puck into fashion and vice versa. And, I can say without exaggeration, I received the same answer every time: Lauren Sherman, the extraordinary talent from The Business of Fashion.
My partners know that I’m not precisely what you would call a fashion person. On most days, I look like I got mugged by a J. Press catalog. But every since my formative years at Vanity Fair, I’ve been addicted to the dark arts of the trade and the lure of its practitioners. Funnily enough, as I was charting a backchannel to Lauren, she brokered an introduction through Puck founding partner Teddy Schleifer, an old pal of her husband.
|Lauren and I first met in person, last fall, in Puck’s airy Chelsea headquarters. She was unmistakably chic, as you might imagine, but also extraordinarily, brilliantly acute in her observations about the business. As is the case with the greatest writers, she also had a vision for her private email. Ever since Puck launched, she’d been inspired by Matt Belloni’s genre-defining What I’m Hearing… product. She thought she could give a semi-simulacrum a try for fashion. I agreed immediately.
After a few weeks of previews, we launched Lauren’s Line Sheet this week to rave reviews. The email breaks the news of Tom Ford’s forthcoming exit from his namesake brand, digs into the ways that the bean counters at Vogue monetize the Met Gala, explains why Bottega is about to soar and then weighs into the industry’s obsession of the moment: what in the world is going on with star stylist and Zendaya courtier Law Roach. If you have a moment this weekend, please spend some time with Law Roach and the Red Carpet Pilling of the Styling Industry. It’s precisely the sort of story you can now, blessedly, expect from Puck. Sign up for Line Sheet here.
Have a great weekend,