Media

TK News is Now “Racket”

The placeholder name did its job, but a long-awaited title change is finally here

Long-time subscribers know the story. When I planned a move to Substack years ago, I referred to the site’s name in notes using the old editor/reporter shorthand, TK. Typesetters will tell you TK stands for “To Come,” and if you’re wondering why the bizarre spelling, there’s a legend that supposedly explains it: it’s said TK is such an unusual letter combination that even weary editors late at night would have trouble missing it.

So if instead of MAN SHOOTS INTRUDER, DOG, SELF, a journalist or editor simply wrote HEADLINE TK, that person’s eyes would catch the odd letter-bunch, and (hopefully) wouldn’t send the wrong version to the printing press. Although, it’s been known to happen:

At first, I thought it would be amusing just to leave TK as the title of this site. But calling people on the phone and saying, “Hi, I work for Placeholder magazine” proved more than a little problematic on the reporting side.

The two letters don’t exactly leap off the tongue or lend themselves to catchy graphics, despite cartoonist Daniel Medina’s heroic efforts. So I’ve decided in this new year to move forward with a long-awaited name change, and re-christen the site Racket, with the aim of making a magazine I was never able to years ago, one devoted to lampooning and exposing a world full of scams — rackets.

Subscribers and listeners to the America This Week podcast know I was a big fan of the Walter Kirn-edited Spy magazine back in the day. I was also an admirer of magazines like Black Mask that featured the unbeatable combination of gorgeous noir fonts and the ecstatic copy of writing heroes like Raymond Chandler.

Racket will have some of those visual elements, but content-wise it’ll be much like TK News, which thrived thanks to contributions over the last years from site manager Emily Bivens, the aforementioned Walter Kirn, cartoonist Daniel Medina, videographers Matt Orfalea and Ford Fischer, finance writer Eric Salzman, narrator Jared Moore, proofreaders Jane Burn and Anne Marie Brown, and the tens of thousands of subscribers who have become sources, friends and advisors in addition to our bosses.

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