Media Insider: Bloomberg to Buy CityLab, Verizon Plans Staff Cuts, Pulitzers Add Podcast Category

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

A view of New York City architecture from aboveNIEMANLAB | JOSHUA BENTON
Bloomberg Media Is Buying CityLab From The Atlantic

Bloomberg Media intends to purchase CityLab, a brand from The Atlantic that was created in 2011 as a standalone website devoted to covering cities and how they are innovating for the future. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year and financial terms of the arrangement were not made public. The CityLab brand will have access to Bloomberg Media’s footprint, which has arms in digital, TV, radio, and print. Bloomberg says CityLab will continue to run as a standalone site, separate from its new mothership. Company execs see this acquisition as a way to deepen the publisher’s coverage of “forward-thinking” technologies that complements brands the outlet has already established, including Prognosis (tackling the future of healthcare), Hyperdrive (transportation), and Checkout (retail).

The acquisition leaves some wondering what this means for local coverage of Michael Bloomberg, given last week’s announcement that Bloomberg News won’t cover the presidential candidate.

CNN BUSINESS | KERRY FLYNN
Verizon Media Plans to Lay off 150 People This Week

Verizon Media Group is laying off 150 staffers this week, which means the telecom company’s 2019 is ending much in the same way it started. Verizon’s portfolio of media brands, which includes Yahoo, AOL, TechCrunch, and HuffPost, plans to lay off about 150 people in the U.S. across multiple teams. Verizon Media employs around 10,500 people, so these cuts will amount to 1.4% of its workforce. It’s unclear which brands will be affected. In January, Verizon Media laid off roughly 800 employees, or about 7% of its staff at the time, as the division’s revenues failed to meet expectations. And in August, the company sold Tumblr to the owner of WordPress.com for $3 million.

ICYMI: TEN Publishing is shuttering 19 car magazines, including Automobile, Truck Trend, and Vette.

THE WRAP | DANIEL KOHN
Paging Ira Glass! Pulitzer Prizes Add Podcast Category

Hey podcasters, recognition for your fledgling program just got a whole lot more interesting. The Pulitzer Prize Board announced a new category for podcasting for its 2020 prize cycle. The Audio Recording prize is the first new category for the Pulitzers since 2007. “The renaissance of audio journalism in recent years has given rise to an extraordinary array of non-fiction storytelling,” said Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy. “To recognize the best of that work, the Pulitzer Board is launching an experimental category to honor it.” The podcast must, in the words of the board, be in audio reporting, and only U.S. outlets are eligible for consideration. The prize will be awarded “for a distinguished example of audio journalism that serves the public interest, characterized by revelatory reporting and illuminating storytelling.”

Think your podcast should be considered? Read the full statement from The Pulitzer Prize Board for details on how to enter.

DIGIDAY | KAYLEIGH BARBER
Fortune Is Rolling out a Three-Tiered Membership Program

In January, Fortune will launch a paywall providing the foundation for a tiered membership program that will allow Fortune to further diversify away from advertising, sponsorship, and events revenues. The first tier, priced at $49.99 annually or $5 per month, will give readers full digital access. The second tier, for $11 per month, also will include the print magazine as well as quarterly investment guides and early previews of Fortune’s list franchises. And the highest tier, at $199 per year or $22 per month, adds in access to the premium section of a new video hub filled with exclusive interviews with executives, business insights, and instructional content, as well as a weekly research newsletter and a series of monthly conference calls hosted by CEO Alan Murray or reporters with specific subject matter expertise. Non-paying readers will still be able to access news and second-day takes, wire syndications, sponsored content, and Fortune’s list of franchises.

Read next: Fortune’s most memorable interviews this decade.

KTVU.COM | LISA FERNANDEZ
Berkeleyside Announces $3M Grants and Move Into Oakland

Berkeleyside, a 10-year-old hyperlocal news site, announced it has an influx of $3 million in grant money and is launching a new journalism platform in Oakland, Calif. A total of $1.56 million is coming from the Google News Initiative and another $1.56 million from the American Journalism Project, a new, nonpartisan venture philanthropy organization dedicated to local news. Google will have no input or influence on editorial decisions, Berkeleyside said. The yet-to-be-named Oakland news site will launch in the spring and will be dedicated to “hard-hitting reporting that delves deeply into the city’s institutions and amplifies the voices of community stakeholders across the city.” The move also coincides with Berkeleyside’s second announcement that it is changing its business model to become a nonprofit to serve communities that haven’t been traditionally served by daily news outlets.

Related: More media companies are transitioning into the nonprofit world to survive.

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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 blind Maltese, Toody, who thinks he rules the world.

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