Media Insider: Tucker Carlson Network Launches, Jezebel Returns

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

Tucker Carlson launches new subscription streaming service
Axios | Ivana Saric

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson is launching a new subscription streaming service, the Tucker Carlson Network. Subscriptions will cost $9/month — or a discounted $72 for an annual subscription — and will bring viewers “hours of exclusive content.” “We’ve decided that we need something new, something relentlessly honest that the corporate gatekeepers can’t touch,” Carlson said in a video promoting the new service. According to a press release, access to both free ad-supported and paid premium video content will be available on Carlson’s non-subscriber video content will continue to be available on X.

Read next: Threads aims to introduce a fact-checking program to the social network next year.

Jezebel Relaunches Under New Ownership, Eyeing Direct Advertising
Adweek | Mark Stenberg

Feminist publisher Jezebel relaunched this week after being acquired by independent publisher Paste Magazine last month. The site, which struggled to turn a profit under former owner G/O Media, will take a slightly different tack under Paste and will place more emphasis on video sponsorship, live events and film and entertainment advertisers. So far, former interim editor in chief Lauren Tousignant has returned as the new editor in chief, as have former staffers Kylie Cheung and Audra Heinrichs. It plans to fill at least two more roles—politics and entertainment editors—in the coming weeks. “​​Jezebel will continue to be a platform that aims to highlight the experiences of women and marginalized communities, and I’ll be dedicated to bringing in as many new, familiar and disruptive voices as possible,” Tousignant said.

Read next: Progressive publication The Nation will move to a monthly print schedule and will now be a “bigger, richer” 84 pages.

Sports Illustrated Publisher Fires CEO After AI Scandal
Futurism | Maggie Harrison

The Arena Group, publisher of Sports Illustrated, announced Monday afternoon that its board of directors had terminated the employment of its CEO, Ross Levinsohn. The announcement continues the fallout from Futurism’s recent report that Sports Illustrated had been publishing commerce articles bylined by nonexistent writers with AI-generated profile pictures. A week after the Futurism story ran, The Arena Group sacked two top executives, though they claim the departures had nothing to do with the AI story. An Arena Group representative declined to say whether Levinsohn’s firing had anything to do with the story. Manoj Bharga, the founder of the energy drink brand 5-hour Energy and majority investor of The Arena Group, will be joining as a temporary CEO.

In other AI news, The New York Times has hired an editorial director of artificial-intelligence initiatives and is in the spotlight for potential AI-generated stories. Plus, news publisher Axel Springer is partnering with OpenAI in a first-of-its-kind deal.

Shari Redstone Is Said to Be in Talks to Sell Her Stake in Media Empire
New York Times | Benjamin Mullin

Media mogul Shari Redstone is in talks to sell a controlling stake in National Amusements, the parent company of the Paramount movie studio, CBS, and MTV, according to sources. In recent weeks, National Amusements has reportedly held talks with media and entertainment company Skydance, but the value placed on Redstone’s stake couldn’t be determined. After holding out out for years amid broader headwinds facing the traditional media industry, Ms. Redstone is exploring her options now that a serious buyer has expressed interest. A deal for Ms. Redstone’s stake in National Amusements would represent a major changing of the guard in the media business, as Paramount has been in the Redstone family for decades. Spokespeople for National Amusements, Ms. Redstone and Skydance declined to comment.

Read next: Report for America opened applications for just over 50 new reporting corps positions across the U.S.

Predictions for Journalism 2024

Each year, NiemanLab asks some of the smartest people in journalism and media what they think is coming in the next 12 months. Among the many insightful predictions:

  • Ben Collins, senior reporter for investigations at NBC News, looks at cable news and says, “Too many news institutions have been sucked into the theatre of the absurd, and people are looking for champions who allude to that.”
  • Jacob L. Nelson, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, dives into the future of journalism and social media. “As social media’s risks and challenges intensify … while the benefits diminish … journalists will stop begrudgingly depending on these platforms and start trying to circumvent them,” he says.
  • Sue Cross, executive director and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit News, says, “Journalists’ fixation on objectivity will shift to transparency this coming year.”

Looking back: The Washington Post’s Newsprint – its annual social-first wrap-up highlighting a blend of personalized reading habits and recommendations – is returning for a second year.

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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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