Media Insider: Media Giants to Launch Sports Streamer, Semafor Partners with Microsoft on AI

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

ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery to launch joint sports streaming platform this year
CNBC | Alex Sherman, Jacob Pramuk

Walt Disney’s ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery plan to launch a joint sports streaming service this fall, with each company owning a one-third stake. Consumers will be able to subscribe to the streamer directly or bundle it with Disney+, Hulu, and Max. The platform will feature content from ESPN, ESPN+, ABC, TNT, TBS, FS1, BTN, and more. “The launch of this new streaming sports service is a significant moment for Disney and ESPN, a major win for sports fans, and an important step forward for the media business,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. The platform does not yet have a name or price, though a source says a logical starting point could be $45 or $50 per month.

Read next: Roofing billionaires are in talks to acquire Graydon Carter’s glossy Air Mail newsletter for $50 million.

‘CNN This Morning’ Moving to Atlanta, Staffers Asked to Reapply for Jobs
The Hollywood Reporter | Lachlan Cartwright

CNN is moving its morning show, This Morning, from New York to its Atlanta headquarters. Current hosts Phil Mattingly and Poppy Harlow will be moving to new roles, while the rest of the show’s 50-person team has been told they can reapply for jobs within the network. To fill the time slot, the network is expanding its Early Start show by an hour and will move up CNN News Central. In a note to staffers, CNN’s new chief, Mark Thompson, said, “What we are announcing today is a change in strategic direction and not a reflection on the talent, expertise and dedication of the New York based editorial production and operations teams who’ve worked on our morning output – they’re among the best in the business.”

The move is part of CNN’s new morning strategy to move away from the chat-show format and focus more on the news.

Microsoft partners with Semafor for AI-assisted news content

Microsoft announced this week that it is collaborating with media platform Semafor and other news organizations to identify, develop, and refine their policies for using AI effectively and ethically in the newsroom. As part of the partnership, Semafor is launching a breaking news feed, “Signals,” which journalists can use with the help of tools from OpenAI and Microsoft to provide readers with analysis and insights on breaking news stories. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft also announced collaborations with the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, the Online News Association, and the GroundTruth Project to explore ways of using generative AI in the newsroom.

In other AI news, Facebook and Instagram will start applying labels to AI-generated images ahead of the election.

Bluesky is now open for anyone to join
Techcrunch | Amanda Silberling

Bluesky, the micro-blogging platform funded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is now open to the public after almost a year as an invite-only app. While Bluesky looks and functions like Twitter on the surface, its open source code lets anyone see what’s being built and how and allows developers to write their own code on top of its AT Protocol. “What decentralization gets you is the ability to try multiple things in parallel, and so you’re not bottlenecking change on one organization,” Bluesky CEO Jay Graber told TechCrunch. “The way we built Bluesky actually lets anyone insert a change into the product.” An upcoming update will allow individual users or organizations to create their own content moderation services, which other users can subscribe to. Originally part of Twitter, Bluesky was spun off a year before Elon Musk purchased the company. So Bluesky is now competing with the likes of X, formerly Twitter, Threads, and Mastadon (another open source, decentralized social network).

Read next: New research from Pew Research Center finds that U.S. adults use a wide range of social media sites and apps, especially YouTube and Facebook.

Americans are tuning out politics news ahead of 2024 election
Axios | Sara Fischer

According to data from Similarweb, fewer people are reading news and political articles this election cycle compared to the last one. Attention is being spread across a wider variety of topics, including lighter ones like sports and entertainment. Hard news about the Israel-Hamas war has been the exception, however. Initial boosts from Donald Trump’s indictments have waned, cable news ratings are down, and social media interactions with debates and town halls have declined. During the last presidential election cycle, record news interest helped lead to the highest voter turnout in the 21st century — and near-record numbers among younger voters.

Read next: Betches is partnering with TikTok creator @underthedesknews to launch a political podcast targeted to Gen Z.

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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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