Evan Shapiro, a veteran TV executive who is now president of National Lampoon and a college professor, has seen the media, entertainment and technology universe grow increasingly complex.
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 of the universe. (Click on it below to see its full, multicolored detail.)
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Shapiro, a former head of cable networks like IFC and Pivot who first floated the map in a LinkedIn post 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 media landscape map regularly published 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.”
The 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 or elsewhere and Shapiro obliged, posting updated versions in the comments section underneath the post.
Financial figures and other metrics came from public filings and, for privately held companies, from reports of recent investments that suggest their estimated planetary circumference.
Unlike the heyday of Rand McNally, a digital map can be constantly updated, 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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