Plus, what has Travis Kalanick been up to? And Spotify is reinventing radio, and are you old money or new money?
Here are the 20 cities Amazon is considering for its second headquarters: The list isn’t very surprising, comprised of a bunch of the bigger East Coast and Midwestern cities; Toronto was the only non-U.S. city on the list. Here’s how the city finalists compare on metrics including tech talent, office space and time to the airport. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]
You’ve read all about the travails of Uber and its troubled co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick nearly every day over the past year; now here’s a vivid recounting of Kalanick’s contentious final few months as the company’s CEO, and what he’s been up to after being pushed out of the company. Fun fact in a rather dark tale: Kalanick is using his downtime to set up a family office, spend time his father and indulge his obsession with the addictive smartphone game 2048. [Eric Newcomer and Brad Stone / Bloomberg]
On the brighter side for Kalanick: SoftBank completed its investment agreement with Uber, which makes SoftBank Uber’s largest shareholder, and means a huge payday for the co-founder and other early backers. Kalanick will walk away from the deal with $ 1.4 billion. [Deirdre Bosa / Anita Balakrishnan / CNBC]
Spotify has a plan to compete with terrestrial radio and maybe reinvent podcasting. The world’s largest paid music service has made deals with eight companies, including BuzzFeed and Refinery29, to produce programming for a news-and-politics initiative called Spotlight. The move comes as the company preps for an IPO this spring. [Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg]
Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, laid off about two dozen people.Most of the layoffs were in Snap’s content division, which includes editors who work with publishing partners like NBC and BuzzFeed to produce original videos for the app. [Alex Heath / Cheddar]
A committee of journalists in the Los Angeles Times newsroom called for CEO and publisher Ross Levinsohn to be fired, based on findings from an investigative report by NPR. The NPR piece paints Levinsohn as a frat-boy executive whose conduct in work settings has been called into question repeatedly by female colleagues over the past two decades. [David Folkenflik / NPR]
Recode Presents …
Recode is partnering with MSNBC to produce a town hall event series — and it launches today. The first event will feature Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and will be co-hosted by Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber. From artificial intelligence to robotics and automation, they’ll examine the challenges and successes of tech. You can watch it in person for free today at noon PT at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif., and it will air on MSNBC at 10 pm ET. on the same date.
We don’t need to tell you much about The New York Times’ star political reporter Maggie Haberman. You’re already consuming her must-read stories — and her Twitter feed — every day for crucial insight into the Trump administration. We’re delighted she’s joining us our Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. Next month, along with the rest of our powerhouse lineup of speakers — a who’s who of the most influential and interesting people at the intersection of media and technology. Registration information is here.
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