Media Insider: Twitter Acquires Scroll, Meredith Sells Local TV Business, NY Daily News Unionizes
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.
NIEMANLAB | SARAH SCIRE
Eying a future Subscription Service, Twitter Acquires the Ad-Free News Startup Scroll
Twitter announced it is acquiring Scroll, a subscription service that provides ad-free versions of news sites. Scroll’s entire 13-person team will move over to Twitter and work to integrate the product into a subscription service to be launched “later in the year.” In the meantime, Scroll will go into “private beta” and pause all new signups. Current users will get to continue using the service. The acquisition is part of a new project called “Longform,” which will give readers “a first-class experience” of articles, threads, and newsletters both on and off Twitter. A recent job listing said the project will “help publishers grow, understand, and engage their audience” — so expect analytics and conversation-boosting tools, too.
Twitter also launched a major advertising and social media campaign urging people to follow local journalists and support their work.
NPR | DAVID FOLKENFLIK
Civic-Minded Colorado Sun Acquires Suburban Newspaper Chain
Two years ago, a group of disheartened former Denver Post editors and reporters launched an upstart news site called The Colorado Sun and hoped it could rescue local news coverage from hedge-fund owners and Wall Street investors. Earlier this week, The Sun announced it had acquired a family-owned chain of 24 suburban newspapers around Denver. The acquisition is part of a partnership with the nonprofit National Trust for Local News, which is seeking new and financially sustainable models for outlets to provide hyperlocal news reporting.
Read next: Amid mass layoffs and newspaper closures, a Canadian startup looks to revive local news.
AXIOS | SARA FISCHER
Meredith Sells Local TV Business to Gray for $2.7 Billion
Meredith Corp. has agreed to sell its local media group for $2.7 billion in cash to Gray Television, opting to focus on its portfolio of national brands like People, Better Homes & Gardens, and Allrecipes. Moving forward, Meredith will focus its business on two reporting segments: magazines and digital. Meredith’s National Media Group will be spun out to shareholders as a standalone publicly traded company. The brands that will live within that company will continue to serve mostly U.S. women via topic categories like celebrity and entertainment news, house and home, food, style, health, fitness, and parenting.
NEW YORK POST | KEITH J. KELLY
New York Daily News Unionizes Ahead of Alden Takeover Vote
Workers at the New York Daily News voted 55-3 to be represented by the NewsGuild of New York. The news comes ahead of a shareholder vote to sell parent company Tribune Publishing to cost-slashing hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Last week’s union vote makes the tabloid the latest Tribune paper to unionize. Now only one of Tribune’s nine daily papers — the South Florida Sun Sentinel — has a union-free newsroom as efforts ramp up by local union chapters to derail Alden’s proposed $631 million takeover of the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and other papers. For the Daily News, it’s actually a return to representation by a union that once represented some 400 dues-paying members at the paper.
ICYMI: Gothamist just suffered a jolting round of layoffs that included its editor-in-chief.
BLOOMBERG | THOMAS SEAL
Ex-Dow Jones CEO Launches Startup to Tackle Misinformation
A former chief executive officer of the Dow Jones financial news service, Will Lewis, is launching a news startup to tackle what he sees as a global crisis of misinformation. The News Movement will aim to deliver trustworthy and objective information to mass audiences on social media. Lewis will serve as publisher and CEO. He is founding the company alongside Ramin Beheshti and Eleanor Breen, two former colleagues from Dow Jones. Beheshti will become chief customer officer, while Breen will be chief of operations, respectively. The final co-founder is incoming Editor-in-Chief Kamal Ahmed, previously editorial director of the British Broadcasting Corp.’s news division.
Related: The White House said social media companies need to do more to protect the public from “disinformation” and “misinformation.”
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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing, baking, and cuddling with her dog Toody.