Media Insider: CNN+ to Shut Down, NYT Names Next Executive Editor

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

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Warner Bros Discovery to shut down CNN+ streaming service
Reuters | Dawn Chmielewski and Eva Mathews

Less than a month after launching, CNN+ will be shut down. Warner Bros. Discovery made the announcement Thursday, adding that the streamer will cease operations on April 30 and the executive who helped design CNN’s streaming strategy, Andrew Morse, also will depart. “CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content,” CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht said in a statement. CNN+ launched ahead of the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger and got off to a slow start – attracting just 10,000 viewers a day.

In other streaming news, Netflix’s stock plunged 35% after the company reported a subscriber loss for the first time in more than a decade.

Joe Kahn Is Named Next Executive Editor of The New York Times
New York Times | Michael M. Grynbaum and Jim Windolf

Joseph F. Kahn, currently the No. 2-ranking editor at The Times, has been named as the paper’s next executive editor, the top job in the newsroom. Kahn will succeed Dean Baquet, whom many had expected to step down in 2022. Kahn is a Pulitzer Prize-winning China correspondent who has also led the NYT’s international desk and helped steer the newspaper into the digital era. The Times’ publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, “chose a veteran journalist steeped in the values of traditional newspaper reporting and editing to lead an institution undergoing enormous change” as it focuses on a digital (and global) future. Kahn, who is known to have a more reserved management style than the outgoing Baquet, will need to engage a news operation of about 1,700 employees — the largest in The Times’ history.

Read next: Kahn’s managing editor role will be filled by two veteran journalists, Marc Lacey and Carolyn Ryan.

How media companies are handling the return to office — post mergers
Digiday | Sara Guaglione

As media companies return to the office with varying plans, those that have recently merged have extra challenges. Not only do their employees need to readjust to office life, but they also must deal with the merging of company cultures and policies. “In my experience, people in this situation are unsettled and distracted for months and months. Coming back to the office after the pandemic is also a gigantic change that people may not like,” said Ava Seave, principal at consulting firm Quantum Media. BuzzFeed Inc. — which now includes BuzzFeed, Complex Networks and HuffPost — adopted a voluntary hybrid model, which allows in-person requirements to be decided on a team-by-team basis. Dotdash Meredith, which has two offices in New York, requires employees to work from either office three times a week. And the Vox and Group Nine offices are open at 50% capacity for use on a voluntary basis.

Also from Digiday: The Economist is relaunching its subscription mobile app with more content and features to attract subscribers who are younger and more female and global.

“An immediate drop in content”: A new study shows what happens when big companies take over local news
NiemanLab | Shraddha Chakradhar

A new study published in the New Media & Society journal provides further evidence of the devastating consequences of corporate ownership. The study looked at a sample of 31 corporate-owned papers and 130,000 articles published by these outlets before and after the acquisitions. The study found that (1) acquisition lead to a significant decrease in the volume of local news content produced by the local newspapers; (2) post-acquisition periods saw more concentrated coverage of local places; and (3) articles produced with the intention of being shared across regional hubs were less local and more national. “An alternative model is absolutely necessary,” Andrew Piper, senior author of the report, said. “These acquisition events are decisive in hollowing out newsrooms, which means they can’t be relied on as a financial model of ownership and stewardship for local news.”

More news about local news: A recent study by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications examined the difficulty of getting local news consumers to pay for access.

Web scraping is legal, US appeals court reaffirms
TechCrunch | Zack Whittaker

A U.S. appeals court has ruled that scraping publicly accessible data is legal — a win for journalists, researchers and academics. The case began when LinkedIn challenged a rival company to stop scraping personal information from users’ profiles. It reached the U.S. Supreme Court before being sent back down to the Ninth Circuit, which upheld its original decision. Journalists regularly use tools to mass collect, or scrape, information that is publicly accessible on the internet.

ICYMI: Google Docs is introducing a squiggly line that will appear under suggestions to help make your writing more concise, inclusive, active, or to warn you away from inappropriate words.

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Rocky Parker is the Digital Content Lead at Cision PR Newswire. She’s worked with journalists, bloggers, and content creators to create their targeted newsfeeds from PR Newswire for Journalists. Rocky has also counseled on content writing best practices. Check out her previous posts for Beyond Bylines. In her free time, Rocky can usually be found cooking, binge-watching a new show, or playing with her puppy, Hudson. 

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