Media Insider: Tucker Carlson goes to Twitter, Vice Media nears bankruptcy deal, MTV News shuts down
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.
Tucker Carlson says he’s coming back with show on Twitter
Associated Press | David Bauder
Fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he will be putting out a “new version” of his program on Twitter. Carlson made his announcement in a three-minute video posted on the social media site, as part of a denunciation of media. He called Twitter the last big remaining platform that allows free speech. “We’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years to Twitter,” he said. “We’ll bring some other things too.” It’s unclear what these plans mean for his remaining contract with Fox; television companies typically include a non-compete clause when someone leaves the air.
Not long after Carlson’s announcement, Elon Musk weighed in to emphasize that no deal had been signed.
Vice Media Nears Deal for $400 Million Sale Out of Bankruptcy
Wall Street Journal | Alexander Saeedy and Jodi Xu Klein
Vice Media is nearing a deal for senior lenders including Fortress Investment Group and Soros Fund Management to acquire the troubled media company out of bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter. Nearly every Vice stockholder — including backers such as private-equity firm TPG Group, Sixth Street Partners, and media mogul James Murdoch — would be wiped out under the proposed reorganization. The planned sale would value Vice at around $400 million, including debt, a steep drop from its peak valuation of $5.7 billion in 2017. If Fortress takes control of the company, it is likely to retain current management. Fortress also plans to find a role for Vice cofounder Shane Smith within the company.
MTV News to shut down as Paramount Media Networks slashes US workforce
CNN Business | Liam Reilly
Paramount announced it will shutter MTV News and slash its US workforce by 25%, ending the iconic music video network’s news division that once covered a range of issues from pop culture to politics and became a household name for Generation X and Millennial adolescents. Chris McCarthy, who heads Paramount Media Networks, MTV, and Showtime, said in a memo to staff that despite the media giant’s success in streaming, the company continues to “feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers.” As a result, the company will reduce its domestic team by approximately 25% through the elimination of some units and by streamlining others.
LinkedIn also announced layoffs, with the site looking to cut 716 jobs in its sales, operations, and support teams.
iHeartMedia launches branded podcast studio as buyers say distribution and scale are key
Digiday | Sara Guaglione
iHeartMedia has formed a branded podcast studio to double down on the production, sales, and marketing of custom podcasts created for brands. Called Ruby, the studio’s pitch to marketers is its ability to connect brands to iHeartMedia’s talent network, production, sales, marketing, and distribution resources. While iHeart has had a team working on branded podcasts since 2019, “Ruby is the culmination and evolution of that success and putting a name to what we’ve built here over the last few years,” said Andy Kelly, SVP of custom podcasts at iHeartMedia. iHeart is the top podcast publisher in the U.S., with nearly 32.5 million uniques in April.
A new study reveals that podcasters are now more influential than traditional influencers.
Crypto media firm Blockworks raises $12M at $135M valuation
Axios | Sara Fischer
Blockworks, a media company that covers cryptocurrency for professionals, has raised $12 million at a $135 million post-money valuation, a bright spot for crypto media following a brutal year for the industry. The money will be used to accelerate the firm’s nascent research and data analytics offering, Blockworks Research, which provides subscription-based access to research, data and analytics, governance, and real-time news. The money will also be used to help the company expand globally. Co-founders Jason Yanowitz and Michael Ippolito launched Blockworks five years ago as a network of media assets that included events, newsletters, and podcasts.
Also from Axios: Don’t miss the full list of 2023 Pulitzer Prize winners for journalism.