Plus, Tesla’s board is taking Elon Musk’s proposal to go private seriously; Tribune Media calls off the Sinclair Broadcast merger; how people laugh online around the world.
Samsung unveiled its flagship Galaxy Note 9, which looks nearly identical to its S9 predecessor but boasts a bigger screen, a huge battery and a more powerful S Pen. Available for preorder today and in stores Aug. 24, the Note 9 comes in two configurations, starting at $999. Our sister site The Verge had some hands-on time with the device and said the 6.4-inch Infinity Display is “phenomenal to look at,” but it “still feels like a giant phone in your hand.” Not at all coincidentally, viral game sensation Fortnite is available on select Samsung Android phones now, including the Galaxy Note 9. Your move, Apple. [Chris Welch / The Verge]
[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]
Samsung also announced a long-term partnership with Spotify, including support for its forthcoming Galaxy Home smart speaker. Spotify is now part of the setup experience on Samsung devices — it will come preloaded on the Galaxy Note 9, for instance — and will also become the default music option for Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant. [Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge]
Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave the week a jolt with his tweeted proposal to take the company private at $420 a share. It still isn’t clear if that number is a troll or if Tesla has committed financing, but Tesla’s board of directors is taking Musk’s offer seriously and plans to meet with advisers next week to explore the buyout — and it may tell Musk to recuse himself from the process. Musk holds about 20 percent of Tesla, which right now has a market cap around $59.3 billion; taking the company private at $420 a share would value it around $71 billion. [Alex Sherman / CNBC]
Speaking of Tesla, its senior VP of engineering Doug Field has gone back to Apple, where he has reportedly joined the company’s self-driving car project, codenamed Project Titan. Before Tesla, Field was Apple’s VP of Mac hardware engineering. This suggests Apple’s ambitions for the future of mobility may be more than the dampened expectations of late.[John Gruber / Daring Fireball]
Tribune Media called off the proposed $3.9 billion deal for Sinclair Broadcast Group to purchase Tribune. Tribune also filed suit against Sinclair — the largest U.S. broadcast station owner, with 192 stations — over allegations of material breach of contract, claiming it took too long and was too aggressive in its dealings with regulators. The collapse of the merger — hatched 15 months ago and backed by President Trump — potentially ends Sinclair’s hopes of building a national conservative-leaning TV powerhouse that might have rivaled Fox News. [David Shepardson / Reuters]
When Indra Nooyi steps down as PepsiCo’s CEO after 12 years in the role, her departure will leave only 23 women — less than 5 percent — with top jobs at companies in the S&P 500 stock index. Nooyi’s departure comes as part of a trend: In recent months, Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup Company, Margo Georgiadis of Mattel, Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Irene Rosenfeld of Mondelez have left their jobs. That’s a 20 percent drop in the number of female CEOs. Nooyi’s replacement will be Ramon Laguarta, a two-decade veteran of the company and, also, a man. [Sheelah Kolhatkar / The New Yorker]
A new report suggests that receiving personal “snail mail” makes millennials feel “special.” The U.S. Postal Service — which has been hobbled by the rise of the internet and lost $2.7 billion last year alone — sees that trend as a chance to stage a turnaround. [Sarah Holder / CityLab]
Top stories from Recode
But revenue growth is accelerating, according to the office-sharing startup’s second-quarter earnings report.
Almost 40 percent of new digital subscriptions are for crosswords and cooking.
On the latest episode of Recode Media, Discord CEO Jason Citron said that for now, at least, it wants to be a “neighborhood game store” — so, no big games like Fortnite.