Media Insider: Comcast Increases Offer for Sky, BuzzFeed Launches Interview Show, New Yorker Recognizes Staff Union

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

NEW YORK TIMES | MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED AND EDMUND LEE
Comcast and Fox Engage in Bidding War for Control of Sky

Comcast’s bid to acquire the bulk of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets appears to be over. Instead, the cable giant will focus on fighting Fox for control of Sky, one of Europe’s most prized media companies. Comcast increased its offer for Sky last week, valuing the satellite broadcaster at $34 billion. That topped a bid from 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, that came earlier in the day. Fox’s offer valued Sky at about $32.5 billion. But Sky is just one element in a larger, complex corporate showdown. The latest move escalates a war between rival media companies being waged across two continents and involving two different transactions exceeding $100 billion in value in total.

Here’s more: All you need to know about one of the biggest media battles ever.

THE INFORMATION | BEEJOLI SHAH
BuzzFeed Confirms Interview Show for Facebook Watch

BuzzFeed News is launching “Profile by BuzzFeed News,” a weekly interview show on Facebook Watch. The show will be hosted by Audie Cornish, co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and will air on a new, dedicated area of Facebook Watch intended to combat the perception of fake news on the platform by only featuring programming from partner news publishers. This is the sixth show in two years to originate from BuzzFeed’s news division, headed by Ben Smith.

Other shows debuting on Facebook Watch: Offerings from Bloomberg and Now This.

POYNTER | KRISTEN HARE
The Philadelphia Inquirer Creates a Diversity and Inclusion Position

The Philadelphia Inquirer announced a newly created position: vice president for diversity and inclusion. Michael Days, previously vice president and editor for reader engagement, will serve in the role, where he’ll lead diversity and inclusion training and will work to find, keep and develop diverse staff. Diversifying the newsroom was a priority for the newsroom. In May, the newsroom added six fellows whose goals included engaging “new and more diverse audiences.”

While newsrooms are starting to focus on diversity, most newsrooms are still mostly while and male, according to an ASNE survey on diversity.

INDEPENDENT TRIBUNE | STAFF REPORTER
Michael Eury Launches New Classic Pop Culture Magazine RetroFan

RetroFan, a classic pop culture magazine, debuted in June. The quarterly magazine “gives the stories-behind-the-stories of the stuff that made our childhoods so special,” said Editor Michael Eury, who interviewed Lou Ferring for the first issue. The magazine also features columns from pop culture experts, such as Martin “Pesky” Pasko, TV and comics writer; Andy Mangels, best-selling sci-fi author and pop culture historian; Scott Shaw, acclaimed cartoonist and storyboard artist; and Ernest Farino, visual effects designer, animator, and director. The magazine is expected to be available at book stores and other retailers this month.

Also launching this month: Discovery Channel’s Shark Week companion magazine series.

CNN MEDIA | TOM KLUDT
New Yorker Magazine Recognizes Staff’s Union

A little more than a month after staffers at The New Yorker declared their intention to form a union, the magazine’s top editor said that management won’t stand in the way. In a note to employees, David Remnick struck a message of unity in describing a constructive negotiating process with the NewsGuild, the union with which magazine staffers organized. The news comes as a welcome development to staffers, who had waged a spirited organizing campaign over the last month, using social media and a slick website to promote the union. The magazine has a history of anti-labor activity, having successfully staved off a union drive in the 1970s.

Following acquisition by GateHouse Media, Florida Times-Union staff are also looking to unionize.

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Maria Perez is Director, Web Experience & Operations at PR Newswire. An animal lover, she curates content for @PRNPets – that is, when she’s not busy cuddling with her 10-year-old blind Maltese, Toody.

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