Media Insider: Reuters Offers Vaccine Data, Spotify Acquires Live Audio App, Tribune Battle Heats Up

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

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Reuters data to power new COVID-19 vaccine experience on Amazon Alexa worldwide

This week, Reuters announced it will be collaborating with Amazon to deliver trusted, global COVID-19 vaccine information on Alexa devices. The data will provide answers to Alexa customer questions on the availability of and eligibility for vaccines in 85+ countries and all 50 U.S. states. Reuters will gather information from U.S. and country governments, health agencies, local reporting groups and the reporting of its 2,500 journalists in 200 locations worldwide. The data will also power a global COVID-19 vaccination tracker, which will provide readers with information on public access to the vaccine and progress of the rollout.

More from Reuters: Google contributes $29 million to the European Media and Information Fund to fight fake news.

Florida Investor Commits $100 Million Toward Potential Bid for Tribune Publishing

The battle for Tribune Publishing continues as Florida investor Mason Slaine has committed $100 million toward a bid being put together by hotelier Stewart Bainum. The group of investors involved in the bid are aiming to raise enough funds to derail a competing bid from hedge fund Alden Global Capital Inc., which is known for buying up papers and cutting them ruthlessly. Slaine, a minority shareholder in Tribune, makes the personal investment to acquire Tribune’s two Florida newspapers, the Orlando Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel. Slaine argues the intent of the bid is to preserve local journalism, stating, “I am a Florida resident and I believe heartily in strong investigative journalism as a necessary part of creating a safe and honest society.”

Continue reading: Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss also joins Stewart Bainum in his bid to purchase Tribune Publishing.

News Corp to Acquire Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Consumer Division for $349 million in Cash

News Corp announced it will acquire Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s books and media division for $349 million. It will use HMH Books & Media’s backlist of more than 7,000 titles to strengthen its consumer book business, HarperCollins. News Corp said the deal will save HarperCollins $20 million in cost savings within two years. “Combining HMH Books & Media’s strong catalog with HarperCollins’s global platform will allow for increased investment in HMH Books & Media’s trade programs and we expect faster growth of the combined companies at a time of rapid growth in book consumption,” Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, said in a statement. The announcement comes days after News Corp disclosed its intent to buy Investor’s Business Daily for $275 million. Both deals are expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

ICYMI: Supreme Court Upholds Rollback of Federal Restrictions on Media Ownership.

Spotify jumps into social audio, acquires sports-focused live audio app

Spotify has acquired Betty Labs, the company behind the live audio app Locker Room. Locker Room, a sports-focused platform for live audio conversations, will allow Spotify to enhance its live audio experience and reach a wider range of creators and fans. Spotify will focus on evolving and expanding the app to get a leg up on Clubhouse and other competitors. Spotify’s chief research and development officer Gustav Söderström said in a statement, “The world already turns to us for music, podcasts and other unique audio experiences and this new live audio experience is a powerful complement that will enhance and extend the on-demand experience we provide today.”

Read next: LinkedIn confirms it’s working on a Clubhouse rival too.

McClatchy is outsourcing page design and typesetting, cutting at least 26 jobs

McClatchy announced Express KCS will take over page design and typesetting operations for 21 McClatchy papers beginning in May. The decision to outsource means at least 26 people will lose their jobs. Kerry Bean, Senior Director of News Publishing, stated, “This decision is an important step in McClatchy’s transformation. It’s possible only because of the work we’ve done to standardize workflows and build efficiencies into the print production process, freeing our newsrooms to focus on reporting local news that is essential to our communities. It, unfortunately, means we will say goodbye to valued colleagues.” The company has had more than 200 layoffs since the pandemic began.

Related: The media is slashing jobs again as the Trump news cycle fades and the economy struggles.

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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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