Media Insider: Gannett Announces Cuts, Pluribus News Launches, WaPo Expands Newsletter
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.
Gannett announces new cuts, including mandatory unpaid leave and buyouts
Poynter | Angela Fu
Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper chain with more than 200 print papers, will require employees to take one week of unpaid leave in December and is seeking volunteers for buyouts, CEO Mike Reed announced in a staff-wide email. The company also has paused overall hiring and will temporarily suspend matching contributions to employee 401(k) accounts. The email came two months after Gannett laid off 400 employees and eliminated 400 open positions in response to a bleak second quarter. Its shares have plummeted, continuing a downward trend. Gannett stock is now trading at $1.40, down 77% over the past year.
Pluribus News, a New Media Start-Up, Will Cover Statehouses
New York Times | Katie Robertson
Pluribus News, the latest news startup directing a gaze toward state capitols, started publishing this week. The brainchild of Reid Wilson, a longtime Beltway journalist, Pluribus News is starting with a newsroom of six employees, four of them reporters who will cover economic, infrastructure, health care, and energy and environmental policy across all 50 states. Wilson, who serves as editor-in-chief, said he envisions expanding into education and housing coverage. The business will rely on selling advertisements that will run with its free daily newsletter and digital subscriptions. The company also plans to introduce a paywall in January.
Washington Post to expand a daily newsletter into a podcast, local version
Digiday | Sara Guaglione
A year after The Washington Post debuted a short newsletter called “The 7,” the publication is expanding the franchise with a podcast format this fall and a more specific, local version for people in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. “We are going to start to franchise ‘The 7’ and really start to focus on more regionals specifically, starting with Washington, D.C.,” said Coleen O’Lear, head of curation and platforms at The Post. The 7 — which highlights seven of The Post’s top stories of the day and is designed to take just three minutes to read or listen to — is The Post’s fastest growing newsletter. It has almost 900,000 newsletter subscribers, as well as a “strong” open rate and “high” completion rate, according to O’Lear.
Read next: 121 Media acquires Check Out DFW.
Facebook whistleblower, former defense and intel officials form group to fix social media
CNBC | Lauren Feiner
A Facebook whistleblower, two former U.S. defense secretaries, several past lawmakers, and intelligence chiefs are forming a new group to address the harmful impacts social media can have on kids, communities, and national security. The Council for Responsible Social Media, publicly launched on Wednesday, is a project of the cross-partisan political reform nonprofit Issue One, which focuses on strengthening U.S. democracy and works with many former members of Congress on solutions. The council said it aims to drive bipartisan conversation around tech in Washington, D.C., and across the country, elevate nonpartisan voices like parents and pediatricians, and advance effective solutions to reform social media.
Also on the social media front: TikTok chases Amazon with plans for U.S. fulfillment centers.
Nonprofit journalism jobs continue growth in compensation, study finds
Institute for Nonprofit News | Staff
Compensation for nonprofit journalism jobs has increased over the past two years, according to a study released by the Institute for Nonprofit News. The INN Member Compensation Study shows that salaries for editorial positions have grown significantly, with the average reporter salary jumping to $82,943 from $58,858 in 2020, when the first study was conducted. Benefits have markedly increased, too, with 86% of news organizations offering paid time off, compared with just over half in 2020. The one area where salaries remained steady or even dipped slightly was for leadership roles, suggesting that organizations are choosing to prioritize investment in reporting.
More good news for nonprofit news employees: They may be eligible for student loan forgiveness.