Media Insider: Washington Post Grows Climate Team, Media Leaders Embrace Hybrid Work

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

The Washington Post invests in climate coverage as its team expands to over 30 journalists
Digiday | Sara Guaglione

The Washington Post’s climate and environment team has grown to more than 30 staffers, up from just six in 2018. The publisher is growing its team to attract young readers it believes are drawn to the topic. “It’s incredibly important to connect with the generation that in many ways feels the most passionate on this issue,” said deputy climate editor Juliet Eilperin. In the coming weeks, The Post will launch a new Climate Lab vertical as well as three columns focused on climate advice, a light-hearted take on how the planet is changing, and animals and wildlife.

Unfortunately, media job growth isn’t across the board, as Axios reports a spike in media layoffs amid recession fears.

Post, the latest Twitter alternative, is betting big on micropayments for news
NiemanLab | Laura Hazard Owen, a “social platform for real people, real news, and civil conversations,” was founded by former Waze CEO Noam Bardin. So far, the platform has approved around 65,000 users out of a waitlist of 335,000. Users are given 50 “points” when they sign up that can be used to “purchase” new stories. Reuters posts all its articles to Post (though the same articles are free to view on the publisher’s website). Post’s FAQ says that each point is equivalent to $0.01 and users can purchase more with a credit card. The vision seems to be that Post will allow users to pay micropayments for individual articles on Post and will use a revenue share model to benefit both publishers and the platform.

On the Twitter front: The company announced it will no longer enforce its longstanding Covid misinformation policy.

Changing Newsrooms 2022: Media leaders embrace hybrid work despite challenges
Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford | Federica Cherubini

Pandemic lockdowns and enforced remote working accelerated a quest by employees for flexibility and increased autonomy. In 2021, senior news industry leaders told the Reuters Institute that they – and their organizations – were on board with the shift to hybrid and flexible working. A year later, 136 senior media industry leaders weighed in to take stock of the status of the newsroom as a workplace and its future. Among the findings, 61% of the survey respondents say that their organization has largely implemented hybrid and flexible working. And nearly half (49%) of the survey respondents say the staff is required to be in the office for a compulsory minimum number of days a week/month. Getting hybrid and flexible work right is “about articulating what the purpose of the office and working together is,” the report says.

Read next: News subscriptions have seen a rise, contrary to fears that they would fall as the pandemic eased.

Layoffs Hit CNN as Cost-Cutting Pressure Mounts
New York Times | Benjamin Mullin

CNN chairman Chris Licht notified employees that the network would begin a long-awaited series of job cuts this week. According to the memo, the cuts will affect paid contributors as well as full-time employees. “It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many,” Mr. Licht wrote in the memo. The cuts come as CNN lags behind its competitors in viewership, which has affected ad spending and profitability. The network’s high-profile anchors are not expected to be affected and Licht has said he’d try to preserve news-gathering jobs, photojournalists, and video editors.

Related. NPR plans to “severely restrict” hiring after a sharp decline in sponsorship revenue.

Manning’s Omaha Productions in talks with Chernin’s studio
Axios | Sara Fischer

Media mogul Peter Chernin’s new content studio is in talks to invest in Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, a sports and entertainment production company. An outside investment in Omaha Productions, which launched in 2021 and is known for ESPN’s popular “ManningCast,” would allow the company to expand further into digital content, podcasts, and sports-adjacent entertainment. It’s currently co-producing an unscripted series for Netflix and is producing digital content on YouTube. “Athlete-led production companies are booming as streamers and TV networks look for more opportunities to include personalities in their programming,” Axios media reporter Sara Fischer says.

In other deal news, Yahoo is taking a nearly 25% stake in ad network Taboola, making Taboola Yahoo’s native advertising partner through a 30-year commercial agreement.

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Rocky Parker is the Manager of Audience and Journalist Engagement at Cision PR Newswire. She's been with the company since 2010 and has worked with journalists and bloggers as well as PR and comms professionals. Outside of work, she can be found trying a new recipe, binging a new show, or cuddling with her pitbull, Hudson.

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