24 April 2021

“For our meeting with Rupert Murdoch, I didn’t even have shoes…”

Jack Rivlin, Founder, The Tab

Jack Rivlin is the founder and former CEO of the Tab — a network of student newspapers. Started while Jack was at Cambridge, the Tab hoped to bring energy, levity, and a tabloid edge to the dull and worthy university papers — and used volunteer student journalists to report on the things that actually mattered to them.

It soon grew to plenty of other universities in the UK, and in 2016 Jack raised a few million pounds of investment from none other than Rupert Murdoch himself, who Jack and his partner met the week after Glastonbury, with glitter still stuck to their faces. After expansion into the US, the Tab’s fortunes began gradually to wane; until Jack decided to sell up entirely at the start of 2020 — a process that became a fascinating ordeal in its own right.

In a wonderfully honest episode, Jack tell us just how hungover he was for that infamous meeting with Rupert Murdoch; give us the inside scoop on the Aziz Ansari story that broke the internet; tells us how one of the Tab’s early legal corrections is now used in Journalism textbooks; warns against the perils of the Facebook algorithm; and discusses why newsletters have become the media outlet of the moment.