Media Insider: Vox Media Buys Group Nine, Wirecutter Union Scores Contract, Wallace Leaves Fox News

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

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Vox Media agrees to buy Group Nine Media in all-stock deal

Vox Media signed an all-stock deal to buy Group Nine Media, creating a new digital media giant. Vox Media shareholders will own approximately 75% of the company and Group Nine Media shareholders will own about 25%. Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff will run the combined company and Group Nine founder and CEO Ben Lerer will join the board. The merger is expected to close in early 2022 and the combined company is projected to generate more than $700 million in revenue in 2022.

Continue reading: In the absence of wealthy suitors, successful digital media companies have pivoted to a strategy of merging with onetime competitors.

Naming Elon Musk person of the year is Time’s ‘worst choice ever’, say critics

Time faced criticism this week after naming Elon Musk as its 2021 Person of the Year. Time’s article said its top honor was given to Musk because of his bold vision for the future. It said Musk is using his wealth to reinvigorate the U.S.’s space program and build an electric vehicle company. Critics strongly disagreed with Time’s decision because of Musk’s attitude towards taxes and playing down the dangers of COVID-19. Critics also reminded Time of the lawsuits alleging a deep culture of racism at Tesla and reports of burnout culture at SpaceX. Time responded to critics emphasizing that its annual acknowledgement was not an award, but rather, “recognition of the person who had the most influence on the events of the year, for good or for ill.”

Read next: Pew Research Center released a study on how Americans tweet about the news.

Wirecutter Union reaches a deal with The New York Times Company.

After two years of negotiations, the Wirecutter Union has reached a deal on its first contract with owner The New York Times Company. The contract runs through February 2024 and includes immediate average wage increases and 3% raises on average for each year of the deal. The contract also includes a ban on nondisclosure agreements in cases that involve harassment or discrimination and an appeals process for employee performance evaluations. The deal comes after union members walked out in protest during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday shopping period.

ICYMI: AP seeks answers from U.S. government on tracking of journalists.

Chris Wallace leaving Fox News for ‘new adventure’ at CNN streaming service

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace announced he would be leaving the network to join CNN’s new streaming service. Wallace, a respected journalist who has moderated presidential debates and won three Emmy Awards, did not elaborate on his next endeavor but released a statement saying, “I am thrilled to join CNN+. After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the new landscape — and finding new ways to tell stories.” There is speculation that Wallace will have a new weekday show on the streaming network once it launches in 2022.

More personnel news: Nancy Meyer named the first female publisher of the Houston Chronicle.

Spotify Is Launching Podcast User Ratings, Playing Catch-Up to Apple

Spotify has introduced a five-star user ratings system for its podcasts. The new tool will help users sort through more than 3.2 million podcast titles to discover the most popular shows. The feature will display the show’s average rating and the total number of ratings. To avoid the common issue of review bombing by trolls, Spotify said users will be able to rate a podcast only after listening to a show. Spotify started rolling out the feature on Dec. 16 and expects it to be available to most markets over the next several days.

Related: New podcast network launches with a focus on paranormal activities.

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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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