2019 was a wild year for media in Charlotte. My rundown of the year's craziest media stories included Creative Loafing getting red-pilled, Charlotte Agenda gobbling up journalists like Disney gobbles up IP, and EatWorkPlay going full "fuck them kids" mode in a web of fraud.
If there's one thing the Charlotte media scene has in spades, it's opportunity. I've never seen the city so thirsty for deeper and better platforms. The digital platforms that'll blow up next year are the ones who have the passion and determination to grab those open invitations.
Here are four digital media platforms set to have a huge 2020.
Charlotte Ledger is the brainchild of former Charlotte Observer editor Tony Mecia. It takes the form of a weekly newsletter covering local business news.
It's usually so difficult for me to get engaged with the kind of dry business writing of the Observer or Charlotte Business Journal, but the Ledger uses punchy language and timely, often under-reported subject matter to make business news interesting.
Seriously, read their analysis of the rise of White Claw at Davidson and you'll see exactly what I mean. It's fun to read and it makes you smarter.
A paid version is coming in 2020.
2020 Prediction: You talk your company into buying you a premium Charlotte Ledger subscription.
You might think you don't recognize Charlotte Mined, but you definitely do. You probably know it better as Agenda Five, the hilarious parody Twitter account that jabbed our local digital media godfathers Charlotte Five and Charlotte Agenda.
Common subjects included excessive use of millennial lingo and being a bit too PR friendly.
The name change comes because "[Charlotte] Five was never really relevant and Agenda sucks significantly less and here we are," the anonymous author told me in a Twitter message.
With the rebrand, Charlotte Mined hopes to be "a localized The Onion." I've been saying someone needs to do it for years, and Charlotte Mined is funny enough to pull it off.
2020 Prediction: Charlotte Mined launches a website and I write at least one guest article for it.
If you've stepped foot into Charlotte Twitter, you know Clay Sealey. His viral-ready renderings of the changing Charlotte skyline have been all over the place, and he's a consistent force driving local conversation in social media.
He even made the logo for Inside 485.
"I think its important that people feed off each other, and grow their voices together," he told me recently in a Twitter message.
In 2020, expect CLT Development to launch a newsletter, kick ass on Instagram, and engage in more social activism.
2020 Prediction: CLT Development launches a more millennial friendly version of the BOB Awards and we all get way too drunk at it.
This anonymous celeb hunter has been running the CelebsInCLT twitter account since 2009. But she really blew up in 2019 during the NBA All-Star game when Charlotte was crawling with A-listers.
She's now up to over 23K followers, many of whom send her photos and sightings. The content is still mostly photos of famous people in Charlotte, but the account is starting to expand slightly into covering news involving celebrities from Charlotte as well.
The really intriguing thing is no one knows exactly who she is (it may not even be a she). My guess is she's Rachel Lundberg, but CelebsInCLT denied that in a message on Twitter.
2020 Prediction: With the comfort of anonymity, Charlotte Paparazzi is able to leak some serious government and media rumors, and we all chug that tea like we need it to survive.