Vox Media integrates Recode with flagship brand, four years after purchase

Recode has rebranded to Recode by Vox

Vox Media is pooling the editorial staff of Recode and its flagship site as part of the semi-merger of the two brands, which will see Kara Swisher’s tech publication rebrand to ‘Recode by Vox’.

All Recode content will now sit on Vox’s website and its editorial staff will sit within the larger Vox team, meaning reporters from each publication will write for each other’s sites where necessary.

Vox Media told The Drum the partnership would not lead to layoffs in the company; in fact, it noted plans to grow the team.

Samantha Oltman, formerly deputy tech and business editor of BuzzFeed News, has been hired as editor of Recode by Vox based out of San Francisco. Swisher, the co-founder of Recode, will remain as editor-at-large and continue to host the brand’s podcasts (Recode Decode and Pivot) and co-produce its conferences.

The restructure comes a full four years after Vox Media originally added Recode to its stable of brands. A spokesperson for the company explained the delay in integration was largely due to changes in the tech world at large.

“The stories that Vox and Recode readers care most about – particularly surrounding tech – in 2019 are very different than they were in 2015,” they said. “Technology isn't a silo – it's not a separate industry, a gadget or an app.

“These are the biggest companies in the world, that have daily impact on our lives. The world has changed, and so we're changing too.”

As such, Recode is modifying its editorial focus to move slightly away from its B2B roots. Its writers will now explore ‘pointed narratives rather than topics or specific companies’.

In other words, reporters will focus “less on incremental Silicon Valley business changes” and more on “the impact these companies are having on society, politics, culture, and more”, according to the spokesperson.

“We're still going to write about specific companies, but with a broader lens than before. This new partnership will scale Recode’s output and cover all of the most important tech stories, with access to a deeper bench of reporters, beyond Recode’s core editorial staff, who are well-versed in the technology industry, its key players, and how both impact the world around us.”

Media eyes will now be on The Verge, another tech publication owned by Vox Media. At the time of the Recode purchase, the publisher placated worries that the two sites would cannibalize each other’s audiences by categorizing Recode as a business brand and The Verge as a lifestyle publication.

Now that Recode is to dip into culture and society, the two brands will need to work harder to make their distinction clear to audiences and advertisers.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.