Media Insider: Condé Nast Staffers Form Union, Axios Acquires The SF Minute, CNN+ Launches
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media stories from the week.
Vogue, Bon Appétit and other Condé Nast staffers form union
Washington Post | Elahe Izadi
For years, employees at Condé Nast — the publisher of glossy titles such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ — have been trading notes with one another about their increasing workloads and what they discovered to be differing salaries. On Tuesday, these conversations culminated in a letter to Condé managers signed by more than 350 employees requesting the company voluntarily recognize their union, which would organize under the NewsGuild of New York. The union would cover more than 500 editorial, production and video workers across 11 publications, including Bon Appétit, Architectural Digest and Allure. Those leading the effort say nearly 80 percent of eligible workers have indicated support. In an emailed statement a few hours after the letter was delivered, Condé spokesman Patrick Maks said the company plans “to have productive and thoughtful conversations with [the unionizing workers] over the coming weeks to learn more.”
In more union news, the BuzzFeed Union authorized a newsroom strike, saying workers don’t feel valued.
Axios Acquires ‘The SF Minute,’ Expanding Local Newsletter Portfolio
MediaPost | Tony Silber
Axios has acquired the SF Minute, a Monday-through-Friday Substack newsletter covering local news in San Francisco. The acquisition is notable because it continues Axios’ ambitious and fast-moving plans to build a network of local news organizations, called Axios Local, based on daily newsletters. The SF Minute will officially relaunch as Axios San Francisco in the next few months, SF Minute Editor Nick Bastone said in a post. He also said he’ll be hiring an additional reporter, and that the newsletter is currently read by thousands, with hundreds of paying members.
With cable subscribers on the decline, CNN makes a big bet on streaming with CNN+
Axios | Kerry Flynn
CNN officially launched its new subscription-based streaming services, CNN+, on Tuesday, and the cable company has billed it as “the most important launch for CNN since Ted Turner launched the network in June of 1980.” CNN+ — which will cost $6/month or $60/year — hopes to attract not just “CNN superfans” but a cord-cutting younger audience as well. The original programming is anchored by eight live shows per day. In addition, CNN+ will host an “Interview Club” (where anchors promise to answer audience questions in real time), original series, food and travel content, and weekly offerings like an interview show with Audie Cornish and a book club with CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
The Daily Wire is pouring $100 million into kids entertainment
Axios | Sarah Fischer
The Daily Wire is planning a significant push into kids entertainment, with what it says will be “a minimum of $100 million” investment over the next three years. The move, executives say, is in response to Disney’s positioning on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney has begun to speak out about the bill in response to backlash that it didn’t proactively denounce it initially. In recement months, The Daily Wire has pushed into entertainment as a way to attract paid subscribers. It aims to distinguish itself from other conservative media companies by focusing on conservative culture and conversation. The investment will go into building a line of live-action and animated children’s entertainment on its streaming platform, according to a press release.
Meanwhile, Fox Corp. is launching video intelligence technology called Atlas.
FT launches 99p per month smartphone edition aimed at its 26m social media followers
PressGazette | Bron Maher
The Financial Times has launched FT Edit, a streamlined app it hopes will attract an audience beyond its traditional, professional readers. The app, which is the FT’s first major product launch in a decade, will provide a curated, daily selection of eight articles at 8am each weekday. At weekends, subscribers will see a “best of the week” selection. It will be free for the first month after launch and then cost 99p per month for the following six months, then rising to £4.99 a month thereafter. Its new editor Malcolm Moore, previously the FT’s tech news editor, said the goal of the product is not to tempt users into full subscriptions. Instead, the aim is to tap into the 26 million people who follow the FT on social media, few of whom currently subscribe.
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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys gaming, watching too much TV, and chasing squirrels with her dog Molly.