Media Insider: Wired Staffers Form Union, BDG Launches Nylon Digital, Tech Giants Mandated to Share Revenue

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

Man reading a newspaper with "The World is Changing" headline

Facebook and Google to be forced to share advertising revenue with Australian media companies

Due to the recent drastic decline in advertising, Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to develop a code of conduct between media companies and digital platforms. The ACCC has until the end of July to finalize a mandatory code that will require the platforms to negotiate how to pay news media for use of their content, advise news media of algorithm changes that would affect content rankings, and favor original source news content in search page results. Australia’s communications minister, Paul Fletcher, said, “Digital platforms need to do more to improve the transparency of their operations for news media providers as they have a significant impact on the capacity of news media organizations to build and maintain an audience and derive resources from the media content they produce.”

Read more: Google and Facebook Must Pay for Local Journalism.

Wired Staff Unionizing as Condé Nast Bosses Weigh Coronavirus Layoffs

Wired staff had been laying the groundwork to unionize for more than a year, but when parent company Condé Nast announced potential staff pay cuts or layoffs due to the recent economic downturn, organizers realized they had to make the decision to go public. This week, organizers informed magazine managers that they will unionize with the NewsGuild of New York. The union will encompass Wired’s 80-person editorial staff, making it one of the larger unions among national magazines. The unionizing employees seek pay equality, more diversity at the publication, increased benefits or the potential of full-time positions for contractors, and the protection of the magazine’s unique editorial voice.

This week brought more pay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs to media organizations, including NPR, Vice Media, Tribune Publishing, Fox Corporation, and Meredith.

BDG Launches Nylon Digital Issue, Delays Print Edition

After acquiring Nylon last summer, Bustle Digital Group unveiled the digital relaunch of the new and improved fashion, music, and cultural website. The first of two digital editions this year is a “Nineties in New York” theme featuring actress and singer Maya Hawke. Due to the coronavirus’ impact on the media industry, BDG was forced to delay the launch of Nylon’s print issue and monthly live music series, Nylon Nights. However, BDG remains committed to a print issue and expects the launch will happen around fall 2021.

ICYMI: NYT pauses printing of Sunday Sports and Travel sections and launches new section called At Home.

‘Bloomberg’ Offers College Students 3-Month Free Subscription

Bloomberg Media is offering college and graduate students worldwide free digital subscriptions for three months. Full access to gives university students access to premium global news so they can stay informed while taking classes virtually. Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media, stated, “During these uncertain times, access to trustworthy media is more important than ever. Bloomberg Media is dedicated to providing our global audience the news and information they rely on to make informed decisions, and we want to ensure this also extends to the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders who will need to navigate the impacts of the coronavirus for the unforeseeable future.” In late February, Bloomberg Media removed the paywall on critical coronavirus news and will continue to provide all readers free access to updates on the pandemic.

Related: Here’s how you can help save student newsrooms.

Why Disney is furloughing workers and the other media giants aren’t

On Monday, Disney began furloughing as many as 100,000 workers and asked its senior executives to take a pay cut. This is in sharp contrast to its competitors, Comcast and AT&T, that have yet to announce furloughs or layoffs. All three companies face similar challenges: all have movie studios that are suffering from theater closures; all are losing ad revenue from live sports being halted; and all are fighting the cord-cutting trend with new direct-to-consumer services. However, Disney is struggling far worse due to the heavy decline of its Parks and Resorts division, which was responsible for 35% of its revenue in 2019. In contrast, Comcast and AT&T have the advantage of their mobile and broadband divisions, which have become more essential. On the plus side for Disney, its streaming service was the first of the three to launch and the subscription numbers are far higher than expected.

Axios qualifies for a $5 million PPP loan that will allow the company to avoid layoffs and pay cuts for the rest of the year.

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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.

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