Media Insider: WIRED Lays Out AI Rules, Air Mail Eyes Expansion, SiriusXM Announces Layoffs
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.
How WIRED Will Use Generative AI Tools
WIRED | Gideon Lichfield
Journalists and publications across industries have been testing out ChatGPT and other generative AI tools in recent months. They’ve used the technology to do things like transcribe calls and summarize those transcripts. But so far, the technology is struggling to write copy that’s not riddled with factual errors. WIRED, a technology outlet, outlined its own rules for using generative AI to stay on the front lines of technology while remaining ethical. Unless AI-generated copy (in a story, snippet, or marketing material) is the point of the story and it’s disclosed, WIRED will not use these tools to create stories. The company also won’t publish text edited by AI or images/videos created by AI. It may, however, test AI tools for headline, social post, and story idea generation.
More AI news: Reach, the owner of the Daily Mirror and the Express, published its first articles written using AI.
Graydon Carter debuts first Air Mail vertical, plans print magazine
Axios | Sara Fischer
Air Mail, the subscription-based digital magazine company launched in 2019, announced its plans to expand to print and new verticals. The company isn’t yet profitable, but founder and former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter said it brings in more than $15 million in annual revenue. It recently launched a standalone digital vertical based on the beauty and wellness industry. Carter said he’s also eyeing expansions into the auto, menswear, and fashion industries. Newsletters for the new verticals will publish monthly in an attempt to closely mimic the reading style of a print magazine. The company is considering printing a large-scale print magazine later this year and a series of cookbooks next year.
Also from Axios: News startup Semafor is facing criticism for partnering with a think tank in China that is known to have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
SiriusXM Cuts 475 Jobs, Reducing Workforce by 8 Percent
The Hollywood Reporter | Alex Weprin
Satellite radio giant SiriusXM is laying off 475 people, or about 8% of its workforce, according to a memo to staff from CEO Jennifer Witz. Witz said that “nearly every department across SiriusXM will be impacted.” She added that the company has been reviewing its cost structure since November and the “decision to reduce our workforce was required in order for us to maintain a sustainably profitable company.” The company has reported expectations for a modest drop in subscribers this year and, like the rest of the media industry, is dealing with a suffering ad business.
More layoffs: Meta is reportedly planning to lay off thousands more employees as soon as this week.
Deloitte Partners With Black-Owned Publishers To Co-Create Business Content
MediaPost | Ray Schultz
Deloitte is working with several Black-owned newspaper publishers on a six-month pilot project designed to co-create and publish business content for diverse audiences. Five publishers from the Word In Black collaborative will work with Deloitte to co-create and publish the content. Ten Black-owned media companies – including The Chicago Defender, The Charlotte Post, The Dallas Weekly, and Black Voice News – will then distribute the content to their audiences. “We are providing support to amplify diverse voices, which can help drive equity in the media landscape in these communities,” says Kwasi Mitchell, chief purpose officer at Deloitte.
Read next: Paramount’s potential sale of a majority stake in its BET Media Group is attracting attention from Tyler Perry and Byron Allen.
The Washington Post looks to bring in new subscribers with its first in-house game, “On the Record”
Digiday | Alexander Lee
The Washington Post launched “On The Record,” a news quiz that tests readers’ knowledge of the week’s top stories. It offers daily single-question quizzes and a 10-question weekend quiz on Fridays. The launch is an indicator of publications’ belief that gaming is good business – even though they remain unsure of the long-term sustainability of gaming journalism (WaPo shuttered its gaming and esports vertical, Launcher, in January). “We’re in this mode of introducing it to the world and getting people on board with it and creating a fun daily habit, and we hope that eventually we can figure out ways to ladder that up into subs,” said the game’s co-creator Christopher Meighan, the director of emerging news products at WaPo.
Speaking of subscriptions, a new survey finds that a majority of millennials and Gen Zers pay for news, but they tend to favor independent creators.
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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.