Media Insider: News Outlets Among Most Polarizing Brands, Newseum Closes D.C. Doors, Apple News+ Launches in UK

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

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Report: News Outlets Are Among Most Politically Polarizing Brands

According to a recent study by market research company Morning Consult, news outlets made up 12 of the 15 most politically polarizing brands. The survey polled more than 13,000 respondents for each brand from July 1 to Aug. 8. The brands with the greatest difference in net favorability (the share of U.S. adults with a favorable view of each brand minus those with an unfavorable view) among self-identified Democrats and Republicans are, in order: Trump Hotels, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, NBC News, MSNBC, Fox, ABC News, The Washington Post, CBS News, Fox Business, Smith & Wesson, Fox Nation, CNBC, and Nike. These sentiments did not seem to impact some news outlets’ businesses, however. Viewership for CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC increased in 2018, according to Comscore data, as did total revenue and profit.

Read the full report from Morning Consult here.

Vice Media in Final Stages of Talks to Acquire Refinery29

Vice Media LLC and Refinery29 Inc. have hammered out most of the details of a cash-and-stock deal that would add a large, female-skewing digital media company to Vice’s portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter. The two new-media companies reportedly are working to finalize the deal and have agreed that some of Refinery29’s founders and senior managers would stay on. Vice Media is interested in Refinery29 primarily because its mostly female audience will complement Vice Media’s existing digital footprint. Refinery29 also will bring revenue streams that include advertising, content licensing, and events.

Last week, Vice Media announced a deal to produce 13 documentaries for CBS Corp’s Showtime unit.

Newseum to Close D.C. Location After Sale to Johns Hopkins University

The Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism and the First Amendment, and located in a prime piece of real estate along Pennsylvania Avenue, will close at the end of 2019. The Freedom Forum, the creator and primary funder of the museum, announced the closure as part of the building’s sale to Johns Hopkins University, which will acquire the property for $372.5 million. The forum cited unsustainable operating costs. Jan Neuharth, the chairwoman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, said they will explore all options to find a new home in the Washington, D.C., area. The museum – an elaborate, glassy, and modernist facility – opened in 2008 and has drawn visitors with a mix of exhibits, such as a piece of the Berlin Wall, remnants of the antenna atop the World Trade Center, a journalist memorial, and other displays devoted to reporting and newsgathering.

This may not mean the end, however, as the Newseum says it’s still hoping to reopen in a new location.

Apple News+ Launches in the UK with The Times and Hearst on Board

Apple has rolled out its publisher subscription service, Apple News+, to the UK some six months after announcing it in the U.S. For access to over 150 magazines and newspapers, readers pay £9.99 ($12.29) a month. In the UK, News Corp’s The Times and Sunday Times and Hearst UK titles — like Cosmopolitan, Elle and Esquire — will now sit alongside The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, and Vox. Chatter around Apple News+ in the U.S. has been relatively quiet compared with the concerns felt at launch. The Wall Street Journal has seen some evidence of cannibalization, which it expected, but the platform is fulfilling its role in that the Journal also is reaching new audiences who skew female, though it wouldn’t share how many.

Not all publishers are ready to hop on board the Apple News+ train; some are turned off by the service’s terms.

Pittsburg Post-Gazette to Reduce Print Publishing to 3 Days a Week

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is slashing two more days of print publishing. Starting in October, the 233-year-old newspaper will be published in print just three days a week, owners informed union employees this week. “The Company has decided to eliminate two additional print days on Sept. 30, 2019 as it continues the transition to a digital-only newspaper,” Linda A. Guest, senior human resources manager, wrote in a July 17 letter to the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh. The changes have disappointed newsroom employees amid tense negotiations over contract renewals and healthcare benefits dating to more than two years ago.

The decision follows the company’s move last year to reduce print publishing from seven days a week to five.

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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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