Media Insider: Sinclair Lays Off Hundreds, WaPo Names America Editor, Olympic Athletes Launch Media Company

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.Image of a woman sitting at a desk, flipping through magazines and newspapers

Sinclair to lay off hundreds of employees, citing ‘profound impact’ pandemic has had on its business

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported that it will reduce its workforce by approximately 5%, which calculates to about 460 layoffs across the company. Sinclair said it refrained from cutting jobs in 2020 and instead took cuts elsewhere, including in capital budgets, discretionary spending, and non-essential expenses. However, last month Sinclair disclosed a 7% drop in total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. In a statement, a Sinclair spokesperson said, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt across all sectors of the economy, something that can have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours. From local businesses and advertisers to distributors and partners, no component of our business’s ecosystem has been fully shielded from the impact of the global pandemic.” The impacted staff will receive severance and be offered outplacement services.

ICYMI: BBC Apologizes for Interview With Cory Booker Impostor.

Female Athletes Are Undercovered. These Olympians Want to Change That.

Four female Olympic athletes have teamed up to launch TOGETHXR, a media and commerce company designed to elevate women’s voices. Alex Morgan, Sue Bird, Simone Manuel, and Chloe Kim created TOGETHXR to empower the next generation and to break the barriers that exist for female athletes. TOGETHXR targets young women who are interested in sports, as well as topics like activism, culture, wellness, and beauty. The overall goals for the company include releasing original content, striking partnerships with social media platforms, forming licensing deals, and selling merchandise. TOGETHXR is backed financially by Magnet Companies, a private equity holding company founded by media veterans.

Listen: Harper Bazaar uses social media platforms to help it become a modern, digital fashion authority.

‘The Washington Post’ Beefs Up Editorial, Names Simone Sebastian America Editor

The Washington Post has named Simone Sebastian as America editor. In her new role on the newspaper’s expanding America desk, Sebastian will lead coverage of the cultural and political trends shaping American life. Since joining the Post in 2014, Sebastian has championed coverage of racism, police brutality, and the far-right backlash. Sebastian has helped shape a long list of memorable and award-winning stories, including the George Polk series on the life of George Floyd. The Washington Post announced several additional newsroom appointments in recent days, including Kristine Coratti Kelly as its first chief communications officer and Shani George as vice president of communications.

More from MediaPost: McClatchy Signs Content Recommendation Contract With MGID.

Toronto Star owner Torstar to launch online casino in 2021

Torstar announced its intent to launch an online casino betting brand in 2021 to help support journalism. Torstar hopes the gaming brand will create new jobs, offer growth for the Ontario economy, and generate new tax revenue to help support important programs within the province. Torstar announced its “iGaming team” will include Gil Steinfeld, a marketing strategist for several U.S.-based gaming operators; Don Bourgeois, former General Counsel for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario; and Jim Warren, president of the business consulting firm Riseley Strategies Inc. Paul Rivett, Chair and co-owner of Torstar, commented, “Doing this as part of Torstar will help support the growth and expansion of quality community-based journalism.”

Duke and UNC media programs use their historical rivalry to raised $76,000 for news.

Reporters Without Borders files criminal complaint against Saudi crown prince

Reporters Without Borders has filed a criminal complaint in Germany requesting that prosecutors open a formal investigation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and four other Saudi officials. The complaint accuses the crown prince and officials of committing crimes against humanity in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the detention of 34 other journalists. Last week, the United States released an intelligence report concluding that Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate at the request of bin Salman. The Saudi Foreign Ministry released a statement rejecting the allegations and the crown prince denies ordering the murder of Khashoggi. In a statement, Reporters Without Borders said the murder of Khashoggi and the detentions “reveal a system that threatens the life and liberty of any journalist in Saudi Arabia — in particular those who speak out publicly against the Saudi government.”

Read Next: Three female journalists were killed on their way home from work in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

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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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