Media Insider: NBC News Adds 200+ Jobs, Gawker Relaunches, NBA Developing Podcasts With iHeart Media
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.
AXIOS | SARA FISCHER
NBC News Adding 200+ Jobs As Part of Major Streaming Push
NBCU News Group is adding hundreds of jobs to its digital organization, led by a major investment in streaming as well as in its “TODAY” show brand. The move is the network’s biggest investment in its streaming and digital products since it said it would hire about 70 people in October 2019. Beginning this summer, the company will be adding several new hours of original programming to the NBC News NOW streaming service. It also plans to bring more of its star anchors and reporters on board as it expands its streaming programming globally. The new roles will also span across NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, TODAY.com, and NBC News’ video teams.
Also from Axios: In the months since former President Trump left office, media companies’ readership numbers are plunging.
NEW YORK TIMES | KATIE ROBERTSON
The Washington Post Will Require Employees to be Vaccinated
The Washington Post will require all employees to show that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus. In an email to staff, the newspaper’s publisher, Frederick J. Ryan Jr., said the company decided to require proof of vaccination as a condition of employment after hearing concerns from many employees about the emergence of coronavirus variants. The Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and employs more than 1,000 journalists, is planning for a Sept. 13 office return. Contractors and guests to the office would also be required to provide proof of vaccination.
Read next: A new bill would hold Facebook responsible for Covid-19 vaccine misinformation.
VARIETY | TODD SPANGLER
Gawker Is Back From the Dead: Site Relaunches Under Bustle Digital Group
After lying dormant for almost five years, Gawker has risen from the ashes. The news and gossip site has relaunched under Bustle Digital Group, whose founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg bought the assets of Gawker for $1.35 million in 2018. BDG had planned to relaunch Gawker.com in 2019 but Goldberg aborted the plans and laid off the staff he’d hired after logistical challenges and reported clashes among employees. The new Gawker — reflecting the original site’s snark — includes sections for News, Politics, Celebrity, Media and Tech, as well as less standard ones like Chrissy Teigen, NASA, and Dogs. Leah Finnegan, a former Gawker staffer, is the new site’s editor-in-chief.
ICYMI: Substack acquires public correspondence startup Letter.
BLOOMBERG | LUCAS SHAW
NBA Plans Daily, Weekly Podcasts in New Deal With iHeart Media
The NBA is developing a slate of original podcasts about the league’s greatest moments and players. It’s part of a new deal with iHeart Media Inc., the largest radio station owner in the U.S. The NBA and iHeart will collaborate on the shows, with the radio giant handling the production, distribution, and ad sales. In addition to its radio stations, iHeart operates one of the largest networks of podcasts in the U.S. The NBA believes podcasts can help it reach a new audience and lure more casual fans to watch games. Viewership of the NBA has slipped from its pre-pandemic heights; the audience for the most recent season was down about 25% from 2019.
In more podcast news: Spotify’s podcast ad revenue jumps 627% in Q2.
THE DAILY IBERIAN | STAFF
Local Journalism Sustainability Act Filed in U.S. Senate
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) is among three senators who introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021, a bill that would help local newspapers reach viability through tax credits. Kelly and Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) co-sponsored the bill. The Senate filing comes five weeks after a similar bill was introduced in the House. The act would sunset in five years and has the support of newspapers and industry groups across the country, including the National Newspapers Association, News Media Alliance, and America’s Newspapers.
In an unexpected trend, more outlets are bucking the consolidation trend and going back to local ownership.
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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.