Media Insider: Tribune Prevents Takeover, Hearst Staffers Form Union, Former Deadspin Staff Launch Defector Media
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE | ROBERT CHANNICK
Tribune Publishing adopts ‘poison pill’ defense to fend off any takeover attempt
The Tribune Publishing board approved a provision, known as a “poison pill” plan, to shield itself from a hostile takeover. The plan will trigger if an entity acquires 10% or more of the outstanding common shares of Tribune Publishing without board approval and will give existing shareholders the right to buy newly issued shares at a substantial discount. The move reinforces the position held by Tribune’s largest shareholder, Alden Global Capital, and makes a takeover much more expensive. Last month Alden agreed to an extended standstill, which restricts its ability to buy additional shares, and got an additional seat on the board. The Alden standstill agreement expires no later than June 15, 2021.
CNN BUSINESS | KERRY FLYNN
Hearst Magazines staffers vote to form a union
After a nine-month drive to unionize, staffers at Hearst Magazines have formed a union through Writers Guild of America, East in a 241-83 vote. Hearst Magazines’ union is one of the largest unions in the media industry, encompassing 28 digital and print brands and around 500 members. Hearst staffers hope unionizing will improve transparency, diversity in hiring and leadership, compensation, and editorial standards. Finalizing the union comes as the company continues to struggle with the effects of the pandemic and a reckoning over its own workplace culture.
Unionized newsroom employees of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will vote whether to go on strike in response to what the union deems unfair working conditions.
NEW YORK TIMES | MARC TRACY
After Quitting Deadspin in Protest, They’re Starting a New Site
After walking out in protest together last year, former Deadspin journalists are reuniting to launch a new digital media company, Defector Media. Of the 20-odd journalists who took part in one of the biggest staff rebellions in online media, 18 now own and operate the new podcast and website dedicated to sports and culture. Defector’s founders said the company had no outside investors and each employee has taken a stake of roughly 5% in the venture. Tom Ley, former features editor at Deadspin, will be the editor in chief and Jasper Wang, former Bain & Company employee and avid Deadspin reader, will lead the business side of the company. Defector will offer subscriptions at $8 a month, with an annual subscription available at a discount. On its first day live, more than 10,000 people subscribed.
THE WASHINGTON POST | PAUL FARHI
Krissah Thompson named The Washington Post’s first managing editor for diversity and inclusion
The Washington Post has named Krissah Thompson as its first managing editor for diversity and inclusion. Thompson is the first African American woman to become a managing editor in the newspaper’s 143-year history. The new senior position was created in response to the recent nationwide protests over racial inequities. Thompson will be responsible for recruitment, hiring, promotion, and mentoring of staff members, with a focus on expanding the newsroom’s diversity. In addition to the new senior position, The Post introduced new positions for reporters specializing in covering race as it relates to criminal justice, the environment, health, and national security. In an interview, Thompson stated, “A diverse staff makes our reporting better. We’re better when we have more perspectives and we can cover communities as deeply and widely as possible.”
Read about Henry Blodget’s journey from disgraced Wall Street analyst to co-founder and CEO of Business Insider.
BUZZFEED NEWS | JULIA REINSTEIN
Breonna Taylor Is On The Cover Of O Magazine — The First One Ever Without Oprah
Oprah Winfrey has selected an image of Breonna Taylor — who was killed by police in March — to be featured on the cover of the latest issue of O Magazine. This is the first time in the magazine’s 20-year history that Winfrey will not appear on the cover. As a tribute to Taylor, the issue will include details about how her loved ones will remember her. In an announcement of the cover, Winfrey stated, “Breonna Taylor. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter.”
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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.