Media Insider: Wyndham Destinations Buys Travel + Leisure, NY Post Elects EIC, Digital Media Declined COVID-19 Relief

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

Multiple consumer magazines scattered across a tabletop. Small board with a coffee mug and bread on top of the magazines.

Wyndham Destinations buys Travel + Leisure for $100M

Wyndham Destinations Inc. acquired the Travel + Leisure publication from Meredith Corp. for $100 million. In addition to its magazine, Travel + Leisure operates membership-based travel services which will help Wyndham Destinations grow its membership travel-club businesses, offer new travel services, and expand licensing agreements.  Meredith will continue publishing Travel + Leisure under a 30-year renewable licensing agreement. The Travel + Leisure staffers will continue as Meredith employees and Jacqui Gifford will remain editor-in-chief. Wyndham Destinations said it intends to change the name of its company to the Travel + Leisure Co. in mid-February.

Read next: DC media group buys NY publication City & State, plans expansion.

The New York Post names British tabloid deputy as its new top editor.

News Corp announced Keith Poole as the new editor in chief of the New York Post Group. Poole will start in the new role in March, leaving behind his current role as deputy editor in chief of the U.K. tabloid The Sun. Poole will oversee Stephen Lynch, The Post’s current editor in chief for print, and Michelle Gotthelf, editor in chief for digital. Former Post editor in chief Col Allan will retire in March when Poole takes over.

Also from The New York Times: ‘The Cut’ Names Lindsay Peoples Wagner Editor In Chief.

Newspapers And TV Stations Got Special Access To PPP Loans. Digital Media Didn’t.

Digital news outlets are struggling to understand the decision last month to block their access to COVID-19 relief funds. The latest COVID-19 relief law includes a waiver for news publishers with fewer than 500 workers per physical location to apply for PPP loans as individual entities. However, web-only news outlets were deemed ineligible. An aide familiar with the negotiations said House Democrats urged party leaders to allow digital media companies access to PPP loans, citing a pandemic-related drop in online ad spending, but Republicans argued that online media outlets fall into the “web search portals” category of business and they fear non-news entities could benefit. Lowell Peterson, director of the Writer’s Guild of America East union, said that at one point the draft legislation did extend payroll support to digital media outlets. It is unconfirmed why digital media got cut out of the final bill but another aide said they were unable to find a fix for the business classifications of digital media outlets and it dropped on the list of priorities as negotiations got down to the wire.

ICYMI: Twitter acquires social podcasting app Breaker, team to help build Twitter Spaces.

They Seem to Think the Next Four Years Will Be Normal

Three Politico veterans have launched a new political news outlet called Punchbowl. Capitol Hill’s leading scoop-getter, Jake Sherman, and his partners, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan, created the publication because they believe there is a large, paying audience interested in understanding how power works in America. “There is a segment of the world that thinks Mitch McConnell is the devil and just wants to read nasty stuff about Mitch McConnell all day long,” Sherman said in an interview. “But there is a massive segment of the world who wants to understand what Mitch McConnell does and why he’s doing it.” The Punchbowl founders promise a scoop-driven, just-the-facts-ma’am operation and plan to launch with three daily newsletters, one free and two for subscribers, and produce a daily podcast with Cadence 13.

Despite the pandemic, 60 new print magazines launched in 2020.

USPS delays are threatening small-town newspapers. So is a postage price increase.

According to the National Newspaper Association, hundreds of small publishers are struggling to deliver their products because of holiday mail volume and U.S. Postal Service employee shortages due to spiking coronavirus cases. Matt Paxton, fourth-generation publisher of the News-Gazette in Lexington, Va., said the delivery issues began over the summer, around the time Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ordered a crackdown on overtime hours to cut costs. DeJoy’s agenda sent delivery rates spiraling. By August, periodicals had an on-time rate of 69% and by the week of Dec. 12, the delivery rate dropped to 54%. Despite rising postage expenses, the mail service is the most cost-effective for a lot of small publications and the only way some rural communities can receive critical news coverage. Newspapers arriving late or not at all has caused these publishers financial consequences like advertisers demanding refunds and patrons cancelling their subscriptions.

More on local media: The Tampa Bay Times joins the parade of metro papers outsourcing printing.

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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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