Media Insider: Tronc to Sell LA Times, NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed Launch Parenting Channel, Teen Vogue Hires New Execuctive Editor
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.
REUTERS | SUPANTHA MUKHERJEE, SONAM RAI
Tronc to sell LA Times, other newspapers for $500 million
Tronc Inc announced Wednesday it has agreed to sell the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and some other newspapers to billionaire investor Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million cash. By selling the papers, Tronc will be able to lower its debt, slash pension liabilities, and help expand digital operations. Reuters reports that “Tronc’s digital assets will be organized under Tribune Interactive and be led by Ross Levinsohn, former publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times who took an unpaid leave of absence last month following disclosure of sexual harassment allegations against him while he worked at other companies.” The company reported that an independent investigation on Levinsohn did not find any wrongdoing. Once the sales of the newspapers are complete, Tronc still will own the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sentinel.
In addition to the newspaper sales: tronc (TRNC) Buys Majority Interest in BestReviews
DIGIDAY | SAHIL PATEL
NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed team up for a new parenting channel called Playfull
NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed announced earlier this week the launch of Playfull — a new millennial parenting channel to give parents age 20 to 34 valuable and relatable information. The partnership is arranged for BuzzFeed to create and share the videos via Facebook, while NBCUniversal oversees ad sales and other business partnerships for Playfull. According to the article, “NBCU will also explore ways to expand Playfull beyond Facebook, including content partnership opportunities with NBCU networks and media brands.” Just like BuzzFeed’s other channels, Tasty and Nifty, NBCU has reason to believe Playfull will be successful based on BuzzFeed’s appeal with parents on social media.
WWD | KARA BLOOMGARDEN-SMOKE
Teen Vogue Taps Samhita Mukhopadhyay as Executive Editor
Teen Vogue has named Samhita Mukhopadhyay as executive editor. WWD reports that Mukhopadhyay comes from the digital news site Mic.com, “where she led the site’s coverage of Standing Rock, The Movement for Black Lives, Islamophobia, trans issues, and sexual assault on college campuses in her role as senior editorial director of culture and identities.” Due to company-wide budget cuts, Condé Nast has had to do some restructuring with its brands, including deciding to make Teen Vogue digital only. According to the article, other changes include Editor in Chief Elaine Welteroth leaving the magazine, and Phillip Picardi, who oversees Condé Nast’s digital LGBTQ publication called Them, was named chief content officer of the brand. Mukhopadhyay says, “I am honored and excited to help lead this vibrant and inspired team to expand and deepen their coverage on everything from body positivity, fashion, pop culture, Black Lives Matter, college sexual assault, and more.”
THE DAILY BEAST | MAXWELL TANI
Newsweek Guts Its Top Edit Staff Amid Legal Turmoil
Newsweek, a magazine owned by International Business Times, reportedly has fired all of its top staff this past Monday amid turmoil and scandals that have upset the newsroom. Several Newsweek editors announced that the outlet fired Editor in Chief Bob Roe, Executive Editor Ken Li, reporters Celeste Katz and Josh Saul, and International Business Times Editor Josh Keefe. Newsweek staffers told The Daily Beast that Li, Katz, Saul, and Keefe all had published pieces reporting on the company’s recent troubles, which include finances and “fraudulent online traffic practices.” The article states that a staff memo confirmed that Roe and Li left the company and that International Business Time’s current managing editor, Nancy Cooper, would become acting editor of Newsweek.
Read more on Newsweek’s ad fraud here: The Publisher of Newsweek And The International Business Times Has Been Buying Traffic And Engaging In Ad Fraud
DIGIDAY | LUCINDA SOUTHERN
Publishers eye LinkedIn as Facebook’s reliability falters
Due to recent changes Facebook has made to its newsfeed which deprioritizes publishers’ content, publishers now are looking to LinkedIn to share content. Since LinkedIn’s native video rollout last August, publishers like the Financial Times, The Economist, Shortlist Media, and CNBC are testing the platform with video content. LinkedIn told Digiday that “comments, likes and shares are up more than 60 percent year-on-year, due to product updates, new features, and analytics.” LinkedIn plans to take it slow when it comes to video sharing to avoid making brand-safety mistakes. Cristy Garratt, head of digital video and social media with CNBC International, told Digiday that it’s already “seen improvement since it redesigned its app” and that sharing videos via LinkedIn “will be a game changer.”
Another reason why mainstream publishers are abandoning Facebook: Big Publishers Are Abandoning Instant Articles But Fake News Spammers Are All In
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Joanna Giannell is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She is also an animal lover and music enthusiast. Tune into her insights as a social curator at @PRNpets.