Media Insider: Social Sites Battle Misinformation, Gannett Hits 1M Digital Subscriptions, Horizon/iHeartMedia Combine Data

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

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THE NEW YORK TIMES | KATE CONGER, MIKE ISAAC AND DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI
Social Media Companies Survived Election Day. More Tests Loom.

Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been preparing for Election Day for months, rolling out numerous anti-misinformation measures. On Election Day, the social platforms continued their vigilance by adding labels to misleading posts and notifying users that there was no immediate outcome to the presidential race. After Election Day, the social platforms saw a surge of misinformation focused on false narratives of victory. In response, Twitter rapidly labeled several tweets by President Trump and his circle as being misleading about the result of the race and Facebook and YouTube used their homepages to show users accurate information about the election. “What we actually saw on Election Day from the companies is that they were extremely responsive and faster than they’ve ever been,” said Graham Brookie, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.

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USA TODAY | NATHAN BOMEY
Gannett posts revenue decline but tops 1 million digital subscriptions in third quarter

Gannett reported a net loss of $31.3 million in the third quarter and a 19.5% year-over-year decline in revenue to $814.5 million. This is an improvement over the 28% year-over-year decline in the prior quarter. Gannett also reported its operating costs declined by 19.3% in the third quarter. To offset the drop in revenue from the coronavirus fallout, Gannett has made several temporary reductions such as cutting jobs and pay, suspending its dividend and 401(k) match, and cutting capital expenditures. Despite these challenges, Gannett reported that it surpassed 1 million paid digital subscriptions, recording a 31.1% increase from a year earlier. “As we continue to focus on transitioning to a subscription-led business model, we expect to leverage this important milestone to accelerate growth in 2021 and beyond,” CEO and Chairman Michael Reed said in a statement.

Related: New York Times Hits 7 Million Paid Subscribers.

MEDIAPOST | LARISSA FAW
Horizon, iHeartMedia Team For Data Integration Deal

Horizon Media announced it will integrate data platforms with iHeartMedia to provide greater visibility into audience targeting and offer brands data-based audience planning optimization across iHeartMedia’s broadcast and digital platform. iHeartMedia’s SmartAudio platform has access to the listening data of more than 270 million listeners and Horizon’s connected marketing platform, blu., has access to 283 million-plus individuals in the U.S. This level of data integration will provide Horizon Media with more insight into audience targeting and have a significant impact on campaign effectiveness and the ability to drive better business outcomes for its clients. In return, iHeartMedia will have the opportunity to optimize broadcast radio plans with Horizon Media’s audience.

Washington Post Introduces Contextual Ad Targeting Product Called Project Signal.

DIGIDAY | STEVEN PERLBERG
‘When terrible things happen, our numbers go up’: How NYT Cooking is approaching the pandemic, politics and inclusion

When the coronavirus pandemic forced the world to shut down, The New York Times decided to drop the paywall to its What To Cook collection. What started as a sign of goodwill to the millions of people stranded at home soon became a booming time for NYT Cooking and a new focus to lure in more subscribers. This year, the NYT Cooking newsletter has reached 4 million subscribers and monthly uniques to Cooking have surged 66% from the same time last year. Looking forward, NYT Cooking has promised to diversify its staff, contributors, and recipes and plans to further expand both its video team and its general newsgathering operation. “When life is difficult, when the news is bad, when terrible things happen, our numbers go up,” said Sam Sifton, founding editor of NYT Cooking. “Terrorist attack? Make beef stew. I’m not cynical about that. It’s human nature to want to nest and make delicious things when the news outside is frightful.”

With at least 214,000 coronavirus cases linked to American college campuses, student journalists have found themselves playing a vital role in the pandemic.

MEDIAPOST | WAYNE FRIEDMAN
Former GroupM, Comscore Execs Start Media Measurement Firm HyphaMetrics

Former GroupM and Comscore executives Michael Bologna and Joanna Drews launched a new media metrics company, HyphaMetrics. HyphaMetrics will track all TV screens and devices into a single-source data stream for licensing to TV networks, media agencies, digital media platforms, multichannel video programming distributors, and other research companies. The company will focus on three main products: ContentMetrics will measure time spent across each platform on TV sets in real time; MobileMetrics will measure time spent in apps and determine unique media occurrences across mobile media platforms; and ClearviewMetrics will offer viewing data across every network, program, advertisement, product placement, streaming app, and gaming environment for all devices in the household. Bologna will be president and chief revenue officer and Drews will be co-founder and CEO.

The Wall Street Journal’s Talk2020 tool allows readers to search a database of transcripts to see what the presidential candidates have said about an issue.

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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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