Media Insider: Newspaper Employment Down, McClatchy Reports Earnings Loss, Google Funds New Media Projects

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

Stack of newspapers

Newsroom Employment Dropped Nearly a Quarter in Less Than 10 Years

Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. From 2008 to 2017, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23%. In 2008, about 114,000 newsroom employees worked in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and “other information services” — by 2017, that number declined to about 88,000, a loss of about 27,000 jobs. This decline was driven primarily by one sector: newspapers. Of the five industries studied, notable job growth occurred only in the digital-native news sector. Since 2008, the number of digital-native newsroom employees increased by 79%, from about 7,400 workers to about 13,000 in 2017. This increase of about 6,000 total jobs, however, fell far short of offsetting the loss of about 32,000 newspaper newsroom jobs during the same period.

One outlet bucking the trend is The Atlantic, which recently added 10 positions and expanded its political coverage.

Facing Losses, Condé Nast Plans to Put 3 Magazines up for Sale

Even after having taken measures to cut spending and make itself more digitally savvy, Condé Nast is expected to adopt a radical strategy in the wake of a $120 million loss last year. According to more than a dozen current and former Condé Nast executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the measures instituted at the company over the last decade — closing Details and the print versions of Self and Teen Vogue; laying off some 80 employees last year; combining the photo and research departments of different magazines — have not been enough to stem the bleeding. The company plans to put three of its 14 magazines — Brides, Golf Digest and W — up for sale, three executives said. The marquee titles, including Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, are safe.

Meanwhile, two of Vogue’s most influential longtime staffers are leaving their roles for freelance positions.

McClatchy Records Another Big Revenue Drop and a Loss for the Second Quarter

In McClatchy’s second quarter financial results, announced last week, the company recorded a loss of $20.4 million on revenues of $204 million. That is according to the accounting rules that apply to public companies. On a cash-operating basis, the company made money. However, revenue losses were daunting. The results included a total revenue loss of 9.2 percent compared to the same quarter in 2017, and total advertising revenue loss of 14.4 percent year-to-year (print advertising losses, not specified in the report, were even greater). Audience revenues were also down 5.7 percent. That is because print subscriptions and the revenue they bring in now are starting to fall, and gains in digital-only subs do not make up the difference.

Meanwhile, Guardian Media Group announced it now earns more money from its digital operations than from its print newspapers for the first time.

Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund Selects a New Round of Projects to Fund

As part of its efforts to support high-quality journalism, Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund announced the 98 media projects it will be funding for Round 5 of applications. Those chosen hail from 28 European countries, including the UK, France and Spain, and will receive a share of $24.7 million. “Larger” projects received 65 percent of this round’s funding, 26 percent went to “medium” projects, and prototype projects received about 9 percent. Previously known as the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, the Digital News Innovation Fund was launched in 2015 at a time when Google was facing significant pushback from European publishers and regulators.

You can read more on the full list of recipients here.

The Ken Raises $1.5 Million to Grow Its Subscription Journalism Business in India

The Ken, a subscription news startup from India, is moving through the gears after it raised $1.5 million in fresh funding to build out its media business. The startup has raised its Series A round led by Omidyar Networks, which has invested in new media companies such as Rappler in the Philippines. Other investors included Yuj Kutumb, the Family Foundation headed by Xander Group founder Sid Yog, and existing and new angel investors. Rohin Dharmakumar, co-founder and CEO of The Ken, said the company still has more than half of its $400,000 seed round in the bank, but it has raised this additional cash to go after new opportunities.

Also targeting the Asia market is Hybrid, a collection of targeted news sites that is seeing unique visitors – and profits – soar.

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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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