Media Insider: Gray Broadcasting To Buy Raycom, The Daily Beast Creates Subscription Program, AT&T To Buy AppNexus

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.

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Gray Broadcasting to buy Raycom to create third largest local TV owner

Gray Broadcasting plans to acquire Raycom in a more than $3.5 billion deal which — if approved by the FCC — will make Gray the third largest owner of local TV stations in America. If the deal goes through, Gray’s market will grow to 142 stations, serving 92 markets. Raycom, which is a privately owned company, also holds a number of print properties including community newspapers and other properties in 23 states. If the merger is completed, the new company will “include 62 television stations ranked first in all-day Nielsen ratings in their local markets, which is the highest number of top-ranked television stations owned by any broadcaster,” Poynter reports.

More on megamergers: Maybe there won’t be a media merger frenzy after all

The Daily Beast pivots to paid with $100 membership program

As subscription services become more popular, the Daily Beast is launching a membership program of its own called Beast Inside. For $100 a year, members will get exclusive and early access to content, ranging from a newsletter called the Rabbit Hole to a podcast called Omnishambles to even a new reported crime series called The Beast Files. Members also will be able to have their comments appear on the site, whereas regular readers won’t have any commenting options. Heather Dietrick, CEO of the Daily Beast, told Digiday that it “opted for a membership model with the idea that keeping its core news product widely available will enable more people, not fewer, to discover its content and consider becoming members.”

ICYMI: Aiming for loyal readers, The Daily Beast launches a standalone email newsletter for politics

AT&T to buy online ad exchange firm AppNexus

After less than a month of acquiring Time Warner, AT&T has announced plans to purchase the online advertisement exchange company, AppNexus. Although AT&T did not disclose the deal value, The Wall Street Journal reported the company was in talks to buy AppNexus for around $1.6 billion. As AT&T looks to expand in online advertising, AppNexus will become part of the company’s advertising and analytics division to help compete with Google and Facebook. “AppNexus, which claims over 11.4 billion impressions transacted daily, extends AT&T’s advertising and analytics’ footprint into Asia-Pacific, Australia, Europe, and Latin America,” AT&T commented to Reuters.

More on the acquisition: Why AT&T’s Acquisition of AppNexus Is A Big Deal

News outlets join forces to track down children separated from their parents by the U.S.

In response to the Trump administration’s immigration policy which involved the separation of migrant children from their parents, a group of news organizations are coming together to help track down the children. The group including BuzzFeed News, ProPublica, Univision and The Intercept are asking readers for tips and information to gather vital information about the children at the border, in shelters, in facilities, and in courtrooms. Also joining in on the effort include a leading Mexican news site, Animal Político, the Guatemalan site Plaza Pública, and El Faro, from El Salvador. Ariel Kaminer, a senior investigations editor at BuzzFeed, told Poynter that they are “inviting people to use the online tool, which ProPublica designed, or to reach out to us through our tips line or secure messaging, to help us tell the stories of people who are affected by this policy and to hold accountable those who oversee it.” Due to the sensitivity of any information given, the methods in which people can use to report tips and information is said to be secure and can be done anonymously, Poynter reports.

More on how ProPublica helped fuel this initiative: Seven newsrooms, four countries, thousands of kids: ProPublica launches a project to find immigrant children

Reddit launches a ‘News’ tab into beta testing

Currently in beta testing, Reddit has announced the launch of its “news” tab in hopes to make it easier on its readers to navigate the site to find news. Reddit looked at which subreddits were engaging with news the most through most-clicked posts by domain to determine what classifies as newsworthy. After coming up with a list of around 1,000 domains from media publishers focused on news, the list was then used to help it locate those communities where news was being regularly discussed. The primary focus of the news tab is to showcase the work from news publications with a categorized list of top stories. There also will be an active comments section  something a lot of news sites have removed.

Could it be that Reddit is trying to keep up with other social media outlets? Facebook ‘trending’ section is dead as company offers new approach to breaking news

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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.

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