My impression is 2 years ago , Medium said hey look at all these independent creators making money on the platform. We could do it better than them and keep more money for Medium. Also we control the algorithm so we can drive more traffic to in house content. Well, I guess they couldn't do it better!
Personally the only publications of Medium that I find interesting is Startup and Curious
Some stories (see link below) are making the rounds that these editors tried to unionize and that caused all sorts of internal tensions within Medium. But we need to treat these stories with some caution, since the people writing these stories are also writers looking to support their colleagues