The media-industrial complex went through a series of rapid and radical changes catalyzed by the Great Pandemic of 2020 that have yet to fully play out. The state of media in 2025 is still in flux, but let’s recap the highlights.
The last print edition of the New York Times was published on Dec. 31, 2023. This followed two significant moves earlier in the year. Alden Capital bought GateHouse Media, making the combined company the publisher of more than 60 percent of all newspapers in the country; Alden then sold all of its properties in a tax-advantaged deal to WeWork, effectively collapsing the print market. The only daily newspapers in print form anymore are small DIY publications like the Albuquerque Alarm. The Pulitzer Committee that year created a DIY prize category and Lachlan Murdoch subsequently began looking for DIY acquisitions.
There is no more “news” programming; broadcast has shifted to “conflict” programming 24/7. A new metric is “walk-offs,” how many times a host or guest walks off a live set in a huff, and how credible the walk-off is.
Gossip media has blown up, surpassing even the rapid growth of conspiracy media (“The Q Chronicles” ceased operations in 2023 when Marjorie Taylor Greene went into long-term rehab). Digital subscriptions for Popbitch surpassed those of the Times and the Washington Post.
Speaking of WaPo, it has now dismantled any walls with Amazon and is allowing in-story purchases. Sales of President Kamala Harris pant suits (the Kamala Suitra line) set records when the service was launched.
Andrew Cuomo’s show on MSFOX (MSNBC and Fox merged in 2024 to realize “emotional synergies”) called “I’m Not Going Anywhere” debuted from the basement of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany, where he has served as caretaker of the sprawling estate since his 2021 impeachment. His first guest was brother Chris, who decided he actually likes the basement and still hasn’t left.
About a quarter of America gets news through feeds on internet-connected eyeglasses. This has led to a new psychological phenomenon called “GFY Syndrome,” incidents where glass-wearers are told by someone to perform an impossible anatomical act on themselves because they have been so consumed by their feed that they are no longer capable of even rudimentary social contact. For instance a simple “How are you?” might get a response like “What an asshole!” because the glass-wearer is watching an episode of “I’m Not Going Anywhere.”
The Trump Shopping Network (TSN), after acquiring QVC and HSN, hires Snoop Dogg to launch an all-cannabis channel. The most popular show on the channel is Snoop and Trump lighting up and doing music-reaction segments such as “Snoop and Trump React to The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
“The Royal Cluster,” a reality show about England’s royal family, debuted in early 2023 but was canceled after three episodes when it became clear that the family didn’t have that much to talk about after all. However, a clip of the Queen rolling her eyes at the launch of Meghan Markle’s new cosmetics line (“Sparkle by Markle”) became a viral meme that was eventually auctioned as an NFT for $420 million.
The world’s last podcast was made on April 11, 2022. It was the 57th episode of an NPR series on a transgender man falsely accused of shoplifting mascara. After life returned to “normal” when the Great Pandemic ended, people looked at each other and said “Who has time for a 90-minute podcast?”
President Harris shocked the political establishment by sending in her first State of the Union as a series of Tweets. Speaker of the House Nikki Haley expressed outrage that Harris had blocked her comments and launched a boycott of Kamala Suitra.
One of the most popular shows in Russia is “Dissidents!” It’s a reality show about provocateurs trying to prank President Putin into poisoning them. It’s hilarious!