An Ode to Pop Candy


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Before Nerdist, before Watch What Happens Live, before geek was chic, there was Pop Candy and its creator, Whitney Matheson.

Yesterday, we learned that USA Today was slashing its newsroom, with several venerable editorial staff being left in its cost-cutting wake. We were surprised and disappointed to see Whitney Matheson’s name on that list, along with several other undeserving cuts.

Without getting into all of the many, many issues with today’s media, we’ll just focus on celebrating Pop Candy, one of our all-time favorite blogs.

I still remember handling PR for Yahoo!’s entertainment brands (which were totes ahead of its time, BTW!) and any time we’d get a mention on Pop Candy, my colleagues and I would squeal with a fervor typically seen only at One Direction concerts. Pop Candy was always our holy grail simply because we read and loved it.

The best part about PR is getting to see clients that you love covered by media that you deeply respect and often read yourself. A day didn’t go by when I didn’t read Pop Candy, and when I did skip a day, I felt like pop culture was passing me by and I was still wearing stonewashed jeans (“What do you mean Counting Crows aren’t cool anymore??”). Pop Candy was like my Facebook feed before it became Upworthy clickbait and annoying memes. I discovered things on it.

It had a refreshing voice. It was funny and sharp without being mean or sycophantic. It exposed all kinds of very cool artists that you wouldn’t have otherwise heard about. It was sweet, nurturing and gentle towards its readers and the artists they were fanatical about without being sentimental. It was oftentimes a neat little space for people who didn’t always fit into neat little spaces.

It’s a damn shame that Pop Candy is going away, and it’s a damn shame that we’re in this state in the media industry where writers like Matheson and her equally talented colleagues at USA Today can lose their jobs so unceremoniously.

Pop Candy’s not dead. Long live Pop Candy.

Written by Katy