Media Insider: Gannett Launches Image Licensing Platform, Apple News Beefs Up Staff, Advance Publications Forms New Esports Group

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

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Gannett Just Launched Its Own Image Licensing and Wire Service

Gannett has launched a platform that makes original images from USA Today and its 109 local newsrooms available to paying customers. In a press release, Gannett said the platform, called Imagn, includes original sports, entertainment, and breaking news images. The site promises 600,000 photos per year “from 10,000 sporting events covered by 300 sports photographers nationwide” to start, and an additional 1.8 million photos every year. Imagn makes photos available for licensing on a per-photo basis or via a subscription service with three options: only sports; only news and entertainment; or combined sports, news, and entertainment.

Gannett is also leveraging its USA Today network to bring national investigative stories to local newsrooms.

Luminary Launching to Take on Apple Podcasts, But Major Shows Missing From the Platform

A new paid podcast service called Luminary launched this week on iOS, Android, and the web. The service offers users a free tier and a paid tier. The free tier includes many publicly available shows; the paid subscription runs $8/month after a free one-month trial and gives users access to 40 exclusive podcasts. But with both The New York Times and Spotify’s recently acquired companies withholding their shows from Luminary, the service will see some hurdles out of the gate. However, Luminary’s CEO, Matt Sacks, thinks that “podcasting has way more than enough room to go around.”

In more podcast news, Spotify plans to invest up to $500 million in podcasting.

Apple Looking to Beef up Staff for Apple News

Apple recently posted several job listings on LinkedIn for roles designed to help acquire audiences for Apple News and Apple News+: a growth marketing manager, a senior publisher partnerships manager, and a social media manager. Overall, the company is looking to hire as many as 22 people to beef up the staff supporting Apple News. The listings, some of which Apple has been trying to fill for a while, would give Apple resources to forge strategic marketing partnerships with platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat; a point person to lead collaborative marketing campaigns with publishers participating in Apple News; and a leader who can work across Apple’s marketing, product, engineering, data analytics, design, and business development teams.

This must come as a relief to publishers, who are reportedly frustrated by the lack of revenue from the service.

Advance Publications Forms New Sports and Esports Group

American City Business Journals and its parent company, Advance Publications, have formed Leaders Group, a new subsidiary combining the company’s sports business brands with a pair of esports-related assets it acquired late last year. Within the newly formed group, ACBJ properties Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily will be joined by sports industry conference organizer Leaders, as well as The Esports Observer and gaming analytics firm Newzoo — the latter two of which were acquired by Advance last October. Heading up the new group as CEO will be Warren Thune, who arrives from Gartner, where he served as group president, SaaS and technology-enabled services.

It’s no surprise media companies are looking to cash in on esports, which has captured the attention of nearly 400 million viewers worldwide.

Staffers Resign From News Startup The Markup After Ouster of Editor-in-Chief

The Markup, a forthcoming nonprofit news website, started to crumble in plain view as multiple staffers announced their resignations following the ouster of Editor-in-Chief Julia Angwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who co-founded the site. Angwin tweeted that she had been “forced out” of the organization due to a conflict with Executive Director Sue Gardner about the publication’s mission. In a letter to Craig Newmark, the Craigslist founder who donated $20 million to help fund the organization, Angwin wrote that Gardner was “seeking to change the mission of the newsroom to one based on advocacy against tech companies.” But in a statement provided by a spokesperson to CNN Business, Gardner said, “Any assertion that we have shifted our mission is simply not the case.”

ICYMI: Prime Media CEO Nathan Coyle abruptly resigns.

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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 11-year-old blind Maltese, Toody.

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