Media Insider: The Athletic Adds Ads, Condé Nast Recognizes Union, Axios Launches Policy Newsletters

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

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The New York Times is Bringing Ads to The Athletic
Motley Fool | The Daily Upside

On Monday, The New York Times debuted advertisements on the until-now ad-free, subscription-supported homepage of The Athletic. When the Times agreed to acquire the sports media outlet in January for $550 million, it promised shareholders it could turn the site profitable within three years. Selling advertisements is step one, and it comes with an added boost: more data on readers it can use in conjunction with its other verticals (including the flagship publication, Wirecutter, Games, and Cooking) to achieve mass scale as an advertisement platform. Ads will primarily appear in highly visible spaces, such as the homepage, and rates will run on the higher end of the market. Brands like Chanel and EV firm Polestar are already lined up as sponsors.

ICYMI: Google lost its EU appeal and has been fined a record $4 billion.

Condé Nast workers win recognition of company-wide union
Washington Post | Elahe Izadi

Condé Nast employees won union recognition last Friday, making workers at titles such as Vogue and GQ the latest to join a wave of unionization across the media industry. Staffers went public with their labor organizing effort in March, arguing that they needed to form a union to secure better pay amid increasing workloads. Hundreds signed a letter to Condé Nast managers requesting voluntary recognition. The two sides have since been negotiating the scope of who would be covered by the union, which is affiliated with the NewsGuild of New York. The Condé Nast union covers more than 500 U.S.-based employees: a majority of the editorial, production, and video workers at 11 publications, including Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit, Allure, Architectural Digest, and Condé Nast Entertainment, the company’s in-house production studio.

More on the labor front: Union members approve a one-year contract with Dow Jones.

Washington Post Reorganizes Its Audience Growth and Strategy Group
MediaPost | Ray Schultz

The Washington Post has reorganized its audience strategy and growth group in an effort to strengthen its newsletters, newsroom analytics, and product creation. The Post has created its first planning and development team to improve communication within the newsroom and the company about projects and initiatives. It’s hiring several senior personnel, according to an announcement from Erika Allen, head of audience strategy and growth. The portfolio is now made up of six departments: News Analytics, Insights and Trainings; Newsroom Planning and Project Development; Newsletter Strategy; Newsroom Talent and Community Development; Special Newsroom Initiatives and Partnerships; and Emerging News Products.

Also from MediaPost: Gannett is selling four Massachusetts papers marked for closure.

Axios plans policy newsletters for tech, health care and energy
Talking Biz News | Chris Roush

Axios plans to launch newsletters later this year that will cover technology policy, health care policy, and energy and climate policy. Axios Pro launched Axios Pro: Deals in early 2022 with five newsletters on dealmaking and venture capital in health tech, fintech, retail, media, and climate. The slate of premium products was Axios’ first paid subscription offering and added a roster of new journalists to the Axios newsroom.

Read next: Bloomberg News is beefing up its DC operation ahead of midterm elections.

For media publishers, Twitter still dominates on social
Axios | Sara Fischer

Twitter is still the place where media publishers collectively have the largest audiences, followed by Facebook and Instagram, according to an Axios analysis of 82 major news, entertainment, and sports publishers. While some publishers are finding quick success on TikTok, the platform yields fewer overall followers for publishers than other social platforms. Roughly one-quarter of media outlets analyzed do not have official TikTok accounts. Many that do still have relatively small followings. Every publisher observed has a Twitter account, and the vast majority have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts. More people follow news, sports, and entertainment publishers on LinkedIn than TikTok, per the analysis.

Speaking of Twitter, shareholders approved the $44 billion buyout by Elon Musk.

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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 Cece.

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