Recount Media

This post is also live on as we announce all of our investments there with a blog post.

Eighteen months ago, I had breakfast with John Heilemann and he told me that his world, political media, was challenged in the shift from linear television (ie cable news) to real-time mobile (ie Twitter). He saw an opportunity to address that by filling the void in between them with news content that was made for real-time mobile consumption but had the journalistic integrity and production values of linear television.

I said to him “you should start a company to fill that void and you should get John Battelle to join you in starting that business.”

John did exactly that and six months later USV provided the seed capital along with True Ventures and a fantastic group of angel investors. 

Their company is called Recount Media and it has stayed largely under the radar for the last ten months as they built the team and started producing news content that promises “no bullshit, no bad faith, in five minutes or less.”

Having provided the initial funding for Twitter twelve years ago, we at USV are acutely aware that the disruption in media that it caused has been both positive and negative and that there is more work to do to make sure our society is well served by both the Fourth and Fifth estates.

We think that the work John, John and the dream team of journalists, producers, technologists, and business people are doing will make a material impact on filling the void and we are proud to be supportive investors in Recount Media.

If you want to see what Recount is all about you can download the Recount iOS app and/or sign up for their videos delivered via a daily email. You can also follow the Recount on TwitterInstagram, and YouTube.


Comments (Archived):

  1. sigmaalgebra

    Yup: The days of one size fits all, all total garbage, all the time, only the worst sewage unfit to print, smelly bait for the ad hook, lies, propaganda news media ABC, AP, CBS, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, WaPo is about to sink — good riddance — thanks to the Internet and content formats HTML, MP4, PDF and, thus, the possibility, feasibility, and obvious opportunity for carefully focused but intense publications for narrow audiences.There stand to be thousands and then millions of publishers or at least publications for news, yes, but for other interests, entertainment, education, arts, crafts, etc.And, then, there will be an increased need for means of discovery, etc. based on the meaning of the content! How ’bout that!

  2. awaldstein

    Downloaded and worth a try.Thanks!

    1. antonin the best kk

      i will do the same, tomorrow. signed!

  3. jason wright

    “…but had the journalistic integrity and production values of linear television.”Er?I was intending to take a week off from commenting here at AVC (joyous news to some i’m sure), but i can’t allow this statement to pass without comment. What parallel universe is he living in? In the UK the BBC, Sky, Channel Four, they’re media dogs of war, each fighting for their own corner of pure self-interest by harnessing ‘news’ as their weapon of attack and defence. Integrity was sacrificed a long time ago.

    1. Richard

      When someone sells themselves as “No Bullshit” , you know you are about to be covered with horse shit.

      1. jason wright


        1. Richard

          I’m waiting on a news cast that starts with a disclaimer that most of out stories are “include piles of shit” due to incompetency and bias – It’s just the nature of the product.

      2. Jim Ritchie

        I just checked out one of their videos on Youtube and it was more biased than MSNBC. Just more BS, but in 5 second sound bites stitched together to push whatever their agenda is on that issue. Sad…just watch the first 60 seconds of this…What journalistic integrity?

    2. Mike

      The audience will be the ultimate judge, competing for eyeballs and advertising dollars. I think the format might be more interesting than the specific content or positioning.

      1. jason wright

        Yes, the ballshit economy.

  4. William Mougayar

    I’ve been following them and the news seems to be focused on US politics. Is that going to remain as such or are they planning to expand the scope of coverage?

  5. Craig Cramer

    Why no iPad specific app?

  6. Tom Labus

    It remains my hope that somehow we’ll start reading some of our own history in longer book format.

  7. JimHirshfield

    USV invested in a media company…thesis alignment, how so?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Blockchain Jim, blockchain.

  8. DJL

    I sincerely hope they do better than the “journalistic integrity and production values of linear television” – which has become hopelessly one-sided and corrupt.If they can go 3 months without doing a fiction-based Trump hate-piece I will promote them everywhere (and kiss some virtual *ss). Trust me, there is a market for real news that is not about pushing a political agenda. Sadly, it is generally ignored. Best of luck to them.

  9. JamesHRH

    I’ll not focus on the linear TV values talking point. Knowing John’s work, he means the values of 1969.The branding & execution of distribution on this content will be incredibly challenging.How do they convince critics thinkers that they have done their homework and that they have a neutral POV?For instance, both founders are registered Dems no?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I think the only way this works is where there become competing platforms who claim to offer the same service, and then whoever is better at moderating and showing integrity will hopefully gain value, brand awareness. This only really works if there’s a demand from consumers though.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        I believe we are in line to get more media variety than Baskin Robbins has flavors of ice cream.

        1. antonin the best kk

          ahahahahaha lol

  10. Mark Gavagan

    I hope they create great content and succeed.To me, the standard-bearer here, for integrity and production value, is the first few minutes of PBS Newshour.Here is ReCount’s 10/28/2019 program:…And here is PBS Newshour’s 10/28/2019 program (their summary of the day’s news, which I think is apples-to-apples with ReCount, ends after the first 10 minutes):

    1. Richard

      Great post – but the average American doesn’t know abuhdadi from abracadabra, particularly our immigrants – legal and otherwise. The show should report of what crimes were committed by abudadhi, why it was necessary to assassinate him / and his children, and how risky it was for our troops and the president to make this decision. If it failed, it certainly would have been the end of his presidency (the news hour could then have covered other presidents who have succeeded and/or failed taking out other top 5 criminals throughout the past 50 years).We have better insight on the bat speed of Juan Soto than this mission

      1. Mark Gavagan

        Unfortunately, the media generally feeds us what we are clamoring to eat.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          My reading is that the mainstream media long ago settled into (i) smelly bait for the ad hook and (ii) paid propaganda for special interests.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Yes, Carter had his helicopters get clogged up with desert sands — supposedly the Israelis warned him about that. Then Obama had his helicopters crash because a blade ran into a wall or another helicopter or some such.Notice that apparently no such mess up happened this time.Then look a little and begin to guess and/or see why: So, sure, maybe the still image of the White House Situation Room was staged after the fact, but the point that there was a lot of brass, cabinet members, and Pence there was likely true.If I were one of the guys there wearing stars, I’d want some warning of a few months and use that to get my troops fully up with “their game faces on”, “ready to come to play”, have practiced until they can do it 20 times out of 20 in their sleep with some unexpected situations thrown in with the consequences fully visible — mess up, even a little, and a lot of stars are going to fall with some generals being privates again — no joke and not much of an exaggeration.So, the generals were right there with Trump watching the event second by second with the generals fully realizing that their careers were on the line. And everyone down the organization chart knew it. We’re talking world class, historic, uniquely grimly serious here.Then throw in the little remarks Trump made about how much more in air assets, etc. we had there: Sounded like he had AWACS, B-52s, B-1s, F-111s, and maybe even B-2s, plus a lot of signals intelligence, satellite intelligence, the Navy standing by, extra helicopters standing by, maybe engines already running, etc. — I can believe that Trump had overkill way up off the charts.I mean, as I read Trump on that mission, there are no real limits to the amount of seriousness, preparation, planning, practicing, perfectionism, and total overkill he was ready to deploy. He may have burned enough jet fuel to put a blip in the earnings of Exxon-Mobil. He was ready to put the top 10 NFL teams, all fired up, on the field, ALL of them at the same time, against some grade school 6 guys touch football team — about that much overkill. He wanted to make a statement. “Lose this one? Not a chance in this universe.”. “Serious”? Grand understatement.Trump has been telling the world that the US has an overwhelmingly powerful military: So, for this Raid of the Dirt Bag Baghdadi, he wanted to SHOW the world.Desired results? Loss of sleep in Iran, Akrapistan, North Korea, etc.

  11. Vitor Conceicao

    Loved to see USV investing in journalism. The world news some innovation in this space and its good to see smart people looking seriously at it.

    1. antonin the best kk

      i liked what u wrote, right

  12. Richard

    Political news is today’s fast food at best, heroin at its worst. No thanks!

  13. leapy

    Hope to see more real-time Delayed Gratification. I love the perspective they offer but waiting three months gets a little stale….

  14. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Been following this via Betaworks Studio. Exciting to see it coming to life and to learn y’all are involved 🙂

  15. Jim Ritchie

    Someone just sent me this link today. I thought it was pretty hilarious and shows how scripted TV news is today and the lack of “journalistic integrity and production values of linear television”. “The walls are closing in…”…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Terrific!!! I haven’t seen much of that because long ago, for just such garbage, I gave up on ABC, AP, CBS, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, WaPo, etc. On paper their work can’t compete with Charmin. On the Internet, their work is useless for wrapping dead fish heads.That situation is just staggering: That collection makes all the mainstream media (MSM) look laughable if not for being sickening, e.g., to create an “informed electorate” — all the MSM, all gathered together at the NYC sewage treatment plant, pigging out on king sized brain-dead pills and guzzling gallon jugs of concentrated stupid sauce.Advertisers want their ads surrounding such effluent?That the MSM hates Trump is totally clear. So, no doubt they take their best shots, come up with the worst attacks they can. Since the attacks are with 0.00 merit, the MSM in effect gives Trump a unique world class clean bill of health.

  16. k77ws

    So what is it — “no bullsh*t” or “the week in bullsh*t”? Sounds like bad faith” to me (or is it “no bad faith” ?). Typical liberal site, projecting their own behavior onto the other side. “In 5 minutes or less” one can easily discern how obviously partisan this site is. Have I just dismantled their tagline/motto as hypocritical?So I ask again….”no bullsh*t” or “the week in bullsh*t” ?

    1. k77ws

      [tried to post a screen shot of this hypocrisy but disqus wouldn’t let me upload it]

  17. gmalov

    I love the wisdom and experience these two founders bring to the table; Recount has quickly become my brief daily digest for relevant news. Great to learn you stoked the flame.

  18. Gordon Smith

    I guess what is disturbing about this is that everyone knows John frequents MSNBC and Joe & Mika..that is not a neutral news source and after watching several clips it really just looks like a video version of MSNBC. It may make you feel good to back John but it does nothing to solve the abject failure of our news organizations to report the facts without bias.