Media Insider: Gannett Merger Final, Politico Owner Launches Tech Site, Reuters Builds Video Marketplace

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

Stacks of newspapers tied together with rope

NEW YORK TIMES | MARC TRACY
Gannett, Now Largest U.S. Newspaper Chain, Targets ‘Inefficiencies’

The deal to create the largest newspaper company in the nation came about with remarkable speed for a merger that will reshape the media landscape. In August, Gannett, the parent company of USA Today and more than 100 other dailies, and New Media Investment Group, the owner of the newspaper chain GateHouse Media, announced their intention to merge. Over the next two months, the plan breezed through the regulatory process and, last week, shareholders at the two companies voted yea. And now one in five daily papers in the United States has the same owner, under the Gannett name. GateHouse’s acquisition of Gannett, a cash-and-stock transaction valued at roughly $1.2 billion, was intended to give the combined companies an annual savings of some $300 million. Michael E. Reed will lead the new company and said the bulk of the savings “is not going to come from editorial.” 

News execs have sung this tune before, yet 25% of newsroom employees were laid off from 2008-2018.

WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL | ANDY MEDICI
Politico Owner Rolls out New Tech-Focused Media Venture

Politico Publisher and media executive Robert Allbritton is launching a new digital media and events company dubbed Protocol, focused on the “people, power and politics of tech.” Set to launch in the first quarter of next year, Protocol already has hired more than a dozen journalists from publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired, Reuters, The Information, and Gizmodo, with plans to build up to 30 tech journalists based in D.C., San Francisco, New York, and London. Its job openings include those of reporters, editors, an audience engagement editor, audio producers, copy and web producers, as well as branding, business development, and strategic partnership leaders. The venture declined to disclose startup costs, but Allbritton said this took a little more than $10 million in investments so far.

Allbritton is hoping to recreate Politico’s success; the company turned a $2 million profit last year on record revenue.

AXIOS | SARA FISCHER
U.S. Women Consume More Media Than Men

A new study provided exclusively to Axios from media measurement firm Nielsen finds that women in the U.S. spend more time with media than men, particularly on their smartphones and on live TV. In total, women spend about 72.8 hours a week consuming media, while men spend around 67.8 hours per week. Across all media options, TV is the favorite medium for women, accounting for 36% of their media consumption, and women have out-consumed men in total TV consumption (live, time-shifted, etc.) for the past four years. In total, adult women in the U.S. spend nearly four hours per day with live TV.

Related: Texas Tribune’s top editor is launching a nonprofit news organization for women.

DIGIDAY | MAX WILLENS
Reuters is Building a Marketplace for Video-Hungry Publishers

With news publishers’ video needs growing all the time, Reuters is hoping to build itself into a marketplace that can serve all of them. Next week, the news agency is announcing the addition of seven new national news agencies to Reuters Connect, a B2B content marketplace for news publishers that features content from partners including the BBC, CNN, and The Guardian. This year, the number of news organizations that use Reuters Connect has doubled, to more than 60, and revenue growth has more than outpaced that expansion, according to Reuters. Most of the content currently available on Connect is provided by Reuters and its 2,500 journalists, with about one quarter provided by partners. Connect also offers content from vertical- or industry-specific publishers, such as entertainment news from Variety or sports content from USA Today Sports.

Read next: How Condé Nast plans to make money from Instagram TV.

NEW YORK POST | KEITH J. KELLY
Bustle Digital Group Hit by Fresh Round of Layoffs

Bustle Digital Group just went through another round of layoffs that appears to have hit veterans of its books and entertainment news sections particularly hard. The layoffs come three months after BDG Chief Executive Bryan Goldberg pulled the plug on a relaunch of Gawker.com, the snarky website he purchased at a bankruptcy auction a year earlier for $1.35 million. At least a dozen were cut, including some of the company’s longest-serving veterans. Goldberg, who co-founded and sold Bleacher Report before launching Bustle in 2013, has been rolling up some distressed assets in recent years, including Nylon and Mic earlier this year. According to a Bustle spokesman, the company will soon be announcing several “marquee hires” as it prepares for a major site relaunch in early 2020.

Also: High Times is hunting for a new backer.

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Maria Perez is Director, Web Experience & Operations at Cision. She founded Bags of Love Foundation, a local nonprofit that provides cancer patients with care packages aimed at making their treatment more comfortable. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than cuddling with her dog, Toody, who thinks he rules the world.

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