FEED Spring 2022 Web


FEED: How did The Ankler come about?

RR: I had done a ten-year tour of the internet, working for crazy start-ups and media companies, including as a writer and editor of the LATimes . I’m one of the small group of people who’ve worked for Gawker, BuzzFeed andYahoo. It was a crazy time, with everyone’s strategy changing every two weeks. There wasn’t five minutes of stability. I finally said, I don’t have any more of these in me. I can’t work for another crazy company, trying to find a web strategy, being hostage to the winds of fortune like this. In all these places, it just became about chasing these massive numbers of views, because the ads had become worth fractions of pennies. So, to do that, you had to create stuff that would reach

every single person on earth, the widest possible audience – and you couldn’t assume any previous knowledge.You couldn’t even assume that people would know what website they were on, let alone who was writing it. It was just incredibly unsatisfying. I thought: what if, with email, you could create a product aimed at a few thousand people, instead of what 50 million people would find valuable?Then, you offered something so valuable, they would actually pay for it. I knew about the entertainment industry, and the people covering it had gone in a very broad direction – with not a lot of meaningful writing. I thought, maybe, using this email medium I can start something.

FEED: What was the initial launch like?

RR: Newsletters are everywhere now, but when I started doing this four years ago, my media genius friends all said: ‘This is a terrible idea. Nobody is going to pay for an email.That’s not going to happen.’ Now, it has flipped. I liked that it took you off the internet. It wasn’t about a website or communicating to the whole world any more. It was a direct relationship with the subscribers and creating a conversation there.

THE CITY OF DREAMS Rushfield had a history as a Hollywood

journalist, before focusing on major studios with his insider analysis


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