Media Insider: NBC Takes Hit After Olympics Postponement, Twitter Donates $1M To Journalism, BuzzFeed Cuts Employee Pay
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.
LOS ANGELES TIMES | MEG JAMES, STEPHEN BATTAGLIO
No Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Why it matters to NBC
This week the International Olympic Committee announced it will delay the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo until 2021, causing a major financial blow to NBCUniversal. Earlier this month, the Olympics TV rights holder announced it had already sold 90% of its commercials for the Olympic Games, totaling $1.25 billion in ad revenue. NBCUniversal has yet to disclose how it will handle the ad sales companies have already committed to, but a spokesperson stated, “NBCUniversal is actively working with our advertising partners to navigate this postponement, and we’re exploring all options to best serve their brands and our consumers this year, and into 2021.” NBCUniversal also was counting on the Olympics to easily recruit subscribers and advertisers to its upcoming streaming service, Peacock. Though this is a major setback for the company, NBCUniversal doesn’t foresee any major losses, but it also doesn’t expect to see profits for 2020.
TECHCRUNCH | INGRID LUNDEN
Twitter is donating $1M across two foundations to support journalism during the coronavirus pandemic
Twitter will donate $1 million equally between two organizations, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), to support journalism during the coronavirus pandemic. Organizations like IWMF and CPJ play a vital role by supporting journalists working in complicated environments or with delicate subject matter. Currently, CPJ is highlighting the work of journalists who are under threat for covering coronavirus news, particularly in countries where governments are trying to suppress negative coronavirus news. Twitter makes the donations in recognition of the public service journalists provide by getting information out quickly and accurately. Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead, stated, “Journalism is core to our service and we have a deep and enduring responsibility to protect that work.”
Listen: GroupM’s Brian Wieser discusses the long-term benefits for brands taking action to be helpful during the coronavirus pandemic.
THE DAILY BEAST | MAXWELL TANI
BuzzFeed Slashing Employee Pay Amid the Coronavirus Crisis
In an attempt to weather the pandemic without layoffs, BuzzFeed is implementing salary cuts for its employees for the months of April and May. Staffers making under $65,000 annually will see a 5% cut, staffers making $65,000-$90,000 annually will see a 7% cut, and staff at the executive level will see a 14-25% cut. In a staff note released on Wednesday, CEO Jonah Peretti also confirmed, “I will not be taking a salary until we are on the other side of this crisis.” A majority of employees have expressed gratitude for the decision since there will be no layoffs and everyone, including Peretti, will be making sacrifices.
COVID-19 continues to send local news into crisis:
- Warwick Beacon publisher lays off himself and eight others
- Pittsburgh-area newspapers cut staff, suspend print editions
- San Diego Magazine folds after 72 years
BLOOMBERG | LUCAS SHAW
YouTube to Limit Video Quality Around the World for a Month
To ease internet traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic, YouTube decided to reduce the quality of its videos worldwide for the next month. This decision comes after regulators in Europe asked major streaming services to reduce their bandwidth usage. While using the platform, videos will default to standard definition but viewers still have the option to watch in high definition if they choose. YouTube doesn’t believe the world will run out of internet bandwidth any time soon but recognizes it is one of the largest video streaming services and is taking preemptive measures given recent growing concerns.
Stay safe. Stay inspired. Pinterest launches new tab featuring tips for life at home and WHO/CDC coronavirus information.
TECHCRUNCH | SARAH PEREZ
The New York Times Company acquires Audm, an app that turns longform journalism into audio
The New York Times Company has acquired Audm, a subscription-based audio app that offers listeners longform journalism, read aloud by celebrated narrators. Available for iOS and Android, Audm offers narrated audio features from more than 2,000 articles from a wide range of publishing partners. The app’s current subscription rates are $8.99 per month or $59.99 per year. The New York Times Company announced plans for read-aloud Times articles every Sunday on “The Daily” but has not released details on how the two companies will be further integrated. Audm founders Ryan Wegner and Christian Brink will join The NYT Company as a result of the deal.
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post wrote a joint letter requesting the Chinese government reverse its decision to expel American journalists.
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Erin Wade is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She is also an animal lover and aspiring world traveler. Tune into her insights as a social curator at @TotalCSR.