Media Insider: EU warns Musk, Washington Post cuts jobs, Jellysmack acquires Law&Crime
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.
Elon Musk’s X rebuts EU allegations of ‘illegal’ content about the Israel-Hamas conflict
CNBC | Arjun Kharpal
Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X (formerly Twitter), laid out how the social media platform is tackling potential illegal content related to the Israel-Hamas conflict after one of the European Union’s top regulators said it had seen signs that the service was being used to spread disinformation. Yaccarino said X “assembled a leadership group to assess the situation” and “identified and removed hundreds of Hamas-affiliated accounts” since the start of the war. She also detailed the company’s policies around violent speech, synthetic or manipulated media and perpetrators of violent attacks. Yaccarino’s letter comes after Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for internal market, on Wednesday gave X 24 hours to respond to a notice in which he said the EU has “indications” that X is “being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the EU” after the “terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel.”
The Washington Post will cut 240 jobs through voluntary buyouts
NPR | David Folkenflik
The Washington Post announced it plans to cut 240 jobs, or almost 10% of its workforce, through voluntary buyouts. The Post had been “overly optimistic” about its growth in readership, subscriptions and ads for the past two years, interim CEO Patty Stonesifer wrote in an email to staff. “We are working to find ways to return our business to a healthier place in the coming year.” Stonesifer said voluntary buyouts would be offered to employees in specific roles. She did not list which roles. This is the second — and much larger — reduction in staff at The Post this year. In January, it eliminated its Sunday magazine and a handful of jobs elsewhere in the company.
Jellysmack acquires Law&Crime Network
Axios | Sara Fischer
Jellysmack, a startup that helps creators grow their online video businesses, is acquiring Law&Crime, the true crime and legal drama media company founded by legal analyst and entrepreneur Dan Abrams. The deal, which a source said values Law&Crime Network at nine figures, represents an extraordinary outcome for Abrams, who raised just $5 million from A&E Networks to jumpstart the company’s growth in 2017. The acquisition marks the largest yet for Jellysmack, which has invested in several media and tech firms since it launched in 2016.
The Athletic Makes Local Podcast Cuts As Owners Aim For Profit
Radio Ink | Staff Writer
The Athletic, acquired by The New York Times in 2022, is scaling back its local podcasts while focusing more on national audio content. Sources inside The Athletic say the shift is strictly audio, and beat reporters will continue to write local coverage. The decision aligns with recent layoffs at The Athletic that affected 4% of the newsroom staff. The New York Times aims for The Athletic to profit by 2025. The Times has disbanded its sports department, relying solely on The Athletic for sports coverage.
Speaking of podcasts, Politico UK and Sky News are launching a new weekly podcast on British politics.
California Governor Signs Delete Act
MediaPost | Wendy Davis
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed the Delete Act, which aims to enable state residents to easily remove their information from all data brokers registered with the state. The bill (SB 362) was backed by privacy advocates but opposed by the ad industry and business groups. California’s privacy laws already allow residents to request removal of their information from data brokers, but on a company-by-company basis. The Delete Act, introduced earlier this year by Senator Josh Becker, expands on that law by requiring all data brokers in the state to honor a delete request made through a single mechanism, to be created by the California Privacy Protection Agency. The bill also requires data brokers to register with the privacy agency and disclose the types of personal data they collect. The measure will become law next year, but the provision regarding the opt-out mechanism won’t take effect until 2026.
Also from MediaPost: Google rolled out Demand Gen campaigns to all Google Ads customers worldwide.