Media Insider: Sinclair Fined $48M By FCC, Facebook Introduces Oversight Board, Dow Jones Appoints CEO

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

business man reading the business section of a newspaper

POYNTER | AL TOMPKINS
Sinclair hit with a record $48 million fine for its botched attempt to purchase Tribune Media

Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to pay a record $48 million fine to the Federal Communications Commission for its conduct while trying to buy Tribune Media in 2018. FCC Regulators discovered Sinclair had not been forthcoming about how it would divest some stations as required by FCC regulations. In response to the historic fine, Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley stated, “Sinclair is pleased with the resolution announced today by the FCC and to be moving forward. We thank the FCC staff for their diligence in reaching this resolution. Sinclair is committed to continue to interact constructively with all of its regulators to ensure full compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.” This is the second multi-million-dollar fine Sinclair has faced. In December 2017, the FCC fined the broadcaster more than $13 million for failing to make required disclosures for its paid programming.

ICYMI: The New York Times reached 6 million paid subscribers as ad revenues plummeted in the pandemic.

FOX BUSINESS | JAMES LEGGATE
Facebook’s Zuckerberg announces oversight board that can overrule him

In response to the criticism Facebook has faced over the last few years, it has established an independent oversight board that will advocate for its community and make final decisions about the content on its platforms. The main focus of the Oversight Board will be to review appeals from Facebook users whose content has been removed from the platform and review content referred to it by Facebook. This week, Facebook announced the first 20 members of the Oversight Board, which include former judges, a former Prime Minister, non-profit leaders, academics, and journalists from all over the world. The board will have financial independence from Facebook through a $130 million trust fund and Facebook won’t have the power to remove any members from the board.

Meet the Oversight Board and read more from board member Alan Rusbridger.

ADWEEK | SARA JERDE
Bloomberg Media Creates New Tool to Make Readers, Advertisers Swoon

Bloomberg Media continues to roll out products, using the boost of COVID-19 news as a way to experiment with new ways to draw in advertisers and readers. Most recently, it released a tool called Storythreads, which Julia Beizer, chief product officer at Bloomberg Media, describes as a “welcome mat for users who come in from search.” Storythreads allows readers to quickly catch up on a single topic and follow that particular story as it develops and allows advertisers to buy exclusive sponsorships across its content. Bloomberg Media also is testing a new tool called All Caught Up, which uses AI technology to summarize relevant stories at the end of an article page.

TIME for Kids expands free digital library with launch of new language editions.

THE NEW YORK TIMES | MARIEL PADILLA
Almar Latour Is Named Chief Executive of Dow Jones

News Corp announced the appointment of Almar Latour as Chief Executive Officer of Dow Jones and Publisher of The Wall Street Journal. A former news assistant and staff reporter at Dow Jones and The Journal, Latour rose through the ranks to become editor-in-chief, executive editor, and publisher. Latour also led the transformation of The Journal’s website into a modern platform which helped it build a digital subscriber base of a million users. Latour assumes his new role on May 15.

Related: Andrew Lack departs from NBC News.

NIEMANLAB | JOSHUA BENTON
Sick of coronavirus news? The Boston Globe is running a serialized novella

The Boston Globe is breaking from COVID-19 news by publishing a serialized novella called “The Mechanic.” Written exclusively for The Boston Globe by best-selling author Ben Mezrich, the novella will unfold chapter-by-chapter on the front page of the paper over the next two weeks. The novella is a Boston-focused thriller that follows the story of a card shark, ex-con, and professor who find themselves entangled in a mystery. A statement released by The Globe states, “The Globe’s commitment to covering the coronavirus pandemic continues unabated, as today’s paper and website make plain, but we thought a bit of a diversion might also be welcome.”

The surge in reader participation with COVID-19 news has community leaders acknowledging the vital role local news plays in their community and the growing need of financial support for those outlets.

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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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