Media Insider: Media Vets Launch VC Firm, Fox Names Carlson’s Replacement

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

Media vets launch VC firm to bring journalistic rigor to investing
Axios | Sara Fischer

A group of high-profile former journalists is coming together to launch a venture capital firm that will specialize in early investments in tech startups. Founder Katherine Tarbox, a former journalist and current investment banker, believes that journalists “have an outsized record” in venture capital funding when it comes to returns. The new firm, called Outside the Box Investments, is finalizing a $50 million raise. It plans to invest in smaller pre-seed and seed investment rounds for companies that specialize in AI-enabled software as well as software companies that support specific industries, like agriculture or games. Harvard Business Review editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius, podcaster Bethany McLean, and former editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal Matt Murray will be working with the firm.

Also from Axios: New data shows that social media has shrunk as a source for news.

Fox News names Tucker Carlson’s replacement to host 8 p.m. show
CBS News | Megan Cerullo

Fox News named Jesse Watters as Tucker Carlson’s replacement to host the network’s new 8 p.m. show, “Jesse Watters Primetime.” The move comes after Carlson’s abrupt departure from the network in April, when “vulgar, offensive messages” about his colleagues surfaced in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit. The announcement was part of a larger set of primetime lineup changes, including “The Ingraham Angle” moving to 7 p.m. and Greg Gutfeld moving to 10 p.m. Sean Hannity’s show will remain at 9 p.m. The new lineup takes effect on July 17.

In other media moves, Vox Media made several executive appointments this week, including the roles of CRO, CMO, and COO.

Barry Diller Ends Talks to Sell The Daily Beast
New York Times | Benjamin Mullin

Media mogul Barry Diller has confirmed that The Daily Beast is not for sale. Until the announcement, Diller had been in discussions with start-up Ankler Media, which was co-founded by longtime magazine editor Janice Min early last year, about a potential combination. Diller did not elaborate on his plans for The Daily Beast — a digital tabloid known for its aggressive political and media coverage — which has struggled to find its footing as an independent business. Ms. Min said a deal with The Daily Beast wasn’t a good fit for The Ankler. “We were approached, explored the idea, and ultimately it didn’t make sense for The Ankler,” she said in a statement.

Read next: National Geographic lays off its last remaining staff writers, amounting to some 19 editorial staffers.

States Newsroom Launches Newsletter To Cover 2024 Election
MediaPost | Ray Schultz

States Newsroom has launched Countdown ’24, which will feature reporting from 34 outlets and over 170 reporters nationwide to help readers make sense of the 2024 presidential campaign. Countdown ’24 will appear weekly on Mondays. It is edited by Robin Opsahl of the Iowa Capital Dispatch and veteran Iowa caucus journalist Kathie Obradovich. Chris Fitzsimon, director and publisher of States Newsroom, says, “We’re launching Countdown ’24 to provide a one-stop-shop for on-the-ground coverage on the states and dynamics that will help decide the next President of the United States.” States Newsroom’s mission is to bring fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.

In other local news news, the newly-launched Agenda Watch platform is designed to help journalists keep watch on local government.

BuzzFeed expands creator network to produce more content while keeping fixed costs down
Digiday | Sara Guaglione

BuzzFeed, which is currently laser-focused on profitability, is working with more external content creators to increase its short-form video output. “It’s primarily about financial flexibility, and then also creative flexibility for the creator,” said Jess Probus, svp of BuzzFeed editorial. BuzzFeed is currently working with 170 creators as part of its creators program, 70 more than this time last year. Working with more creators on a contract basis is cheaper than hiring creators as full-time employees, as the company had done previously. However, BuzzFeed declined to share how much money the company is saving by enacting this strategy and declined to give any financial details about its contracts with creators.

Also from Digiday: The New York Times Cooking is letting readers taste test recipes over text to drive subscriptions.

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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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