So, in preparing to teach a new class about the business at Fordham this fall, he did what any explorer would: He made a map. (Right-click on it below to see a larger view of the multicolored details.)
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Shapiro, a former head of cable networks like IFC and Pivot who first shared his map in a post on LinkedIn this month, readily acknowledges he is not the first industry cartographer. In the post, he gave a shout-out to one high-profile effort, a visual portrait of the media landscape regularly updated by Recode, calling it “very insightful” and noting it was a fixture for years in his classes at NYU.
“However, it’s somewhat incomplete and misleading,” he wrote. “It leaves out the companies that are, in fact, the biggest players in media, and entire sectors which must be considered in context, if you want a true picture of the landscape of media.”
Shapiro’s LinkedIn post drew 100,000-plus views and more than 100 comments, including from fellow college profs and media executives offering suggestions, edits and feedback. A few asked for permission to use it in their classes at Georgetown, UCLA and elsewhere and Shapiro obliged, posting updated versions in the comments section.
Financial figures and other metrics came from public filings and, for privately held companies, from reports of recent investments that suggest their estimated planetary circumferences.
Unlike the heyday of Rand McNally, a digital map can be constantly revised, which is helpful given potential deals in the future involving TikTok, Microsoft, ViacomCBS and many more. As the pace of consolidation and disruption continues around the world, it’s good to keep a finger poised above the “backspace” button.
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