Media Insider: Medium Is Creating 4 Publications, G/O Media Lays Off 25 Employees, ESPN To Shut Down Its Flagship Magazine
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.
ADWEEK | SARA JERDE
Medium Is Creating 4 Publications That Revolve Around Topics Popular Among Readers
In the effort to expand its editorial efforts, Medium has hired four new editors in chief to launch publications about topics its readers want more of. Siobhan O’Connor, vp of editorial at Medium, told Adweek, “The reason we’re investing so much in editorial is because the business model is working.” After the site launched a themed digital magazine last year, it took notice of the positive response from readers and created new verticals like OneZero and Elemental which have attracted millions of readers. By monitoring user behavior, Medium developed four new verticals to cover more intimately: business, black women, power, and personal development. After the launch of a metered paywall two years ago, readers can pay $5 per month, or $50 per year, to access material from these new publications and ones still to come.
Medium continues to grow: Medium eyes media partnerships in pursuit of 1 million subscribers
THE WRAP | JON LEVINE
Gizmodo and The Onion’s New Owner Lays Off 25, Including Top Editors
G/O Media — the newly formed company composed of the assets of the former Gizmodo Media — announced the layoffs of 25 employees, including some of the company’s top editors. The layoffs will come from all areas of operations and were process motivated rather than performance driven, according to G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller. “As you will soon see, we will be adding headcount across our operations. The focus and requirements of these new positions will often be different than what we had, but we will add,” Spanfeller wrote in a memo to employees. His goal is to expand the company significantly by the end of the year and in an interview with Variety, he said, “We are confident we can make this a profitable, fast-growing business.”
Check out the Variety interview here: New Owner of Gizmodo Media Sites Doesn’t Expect Layoffs: ‘We Don’t Plan to Cut Our Way to Growth’
VARIETY | BRIAN STEINBERG
ESPN Will Shut Down its Flagship Magazine
ESPN announced plans to shut down the influential sports publication ESPN The Magazine, which has been on newsstands since 1998. “Our data shows the vast majority of readers already consume our print journalism on digital platforms, and this approach will maximize our reach and impact. In the future, we will explore releasing tentpole collections such as ‘Body’ in special, differentiated print formats,” the company said in a statement. Although some employees responsible for print production may be affected, a source close to the situation said the company plans to keep editorial staffers. “ESPN intends to continue publishing big magazine-type features with high-end photography online,” Variety reports.
BUZZFEED NEWS | JOSEPH BERNSTEIN
Sophie Schmidt Will Launch A New Tech Publication With An International Focus
Sophie Schmidt, the daughter of former Google and Alphabet executive Eric Schmidt, is launching a new tech publication focused on the effects of technology on the non-Western world. With hopes to launch the publication by the end of the year, Schmidt plans to self-fund the journalism nonprofit initially. The publication will focus on “exploring the surprising and complex effects of technology internationally, specifically outside the US and Europe,” a source familiar with the effort wrote in an email to BuzzFeed News. Although the publication does not yet have a name or any full-time staffers, Schmidt has been developing the idea for a year and has met with leaders at the New York Times, Vanity Fair, ProPublica, The Atlantic, Wired, the Information, and others.
Read more about another highly anticipated nonprofit news site, The Markup: Months from launch, The Markup abruptly fired cofounder Julia Angwin, setting off an editorial exodus
TECHCRUNCH | ANTHONY HA
Twitter announces new content deals with Univision, The Wall Street Journal and others
Twitter announced at its NewFronts event for digital advertisers that it plans to make new content deals and renewals with publishers. According to the article, the company already announced several partnerships for this year, including one with the NBA, and unveiled 13 more deals at the event. “Together with our partners, we developed this new slate of programming specifically for our audiences, and designed the content to fuel even more robust conversation on Twitter,” said Twitter Global VP and Head of Content Partnerships Kay Madati in a statement. The partnerships include: Univision, The Wall Street Journal, the NFL, CNET, Live Nation, Bloomberg’s TicToc, and more.
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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.