Media Insider: Gannett and McClatchy Cut Back on AP Services, Sports Illustrated to Remain in Print

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Gannett and McClatchy Cut Back Relationship With A.P.
New York Times | Benjamin Mullin and Katie Robertson

Gannett, the largest newspaper company in the U.S., said it will no longer use articles, photos and videos from The Associated Press in its hundreds of publications. “Between USA Today and our incredible network of more than 200 newsrooms, we create more journalism every day than The A.P.,” Kristin Roberts, the chief content officer of Gannett, wrote in a company memo. Ms. Roberts noted that Gannett would continue to use the AP for election data and its stylebook. Meanwhile, McClatchy, which operates about 30 newspapers, will stop using and publishing the AP feed. The company, like Gannett, will continue using the AP’s election results data. Although the AP once relied primarily on licensing fees from newspapers, it now has a variety of other revenue streams and AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton said, “The loss of McClatchy and Gannett would not have a material impact on our overall revenue.”

In other Gannett news, six of its Massachusetts newspapers are closing their physical newsrooms as it moves toward a remote work model.

The Baltimore Banner plans expansion to broader Maryland
Axios | Sara Fischer

The Baltimore Banner is planning to expand its editorial coverage beyond Baltimore and into the surrounding regions. The first part of the outlet’s expansion will include broadening coverage from the city into Baltimore County and from there, broader regions including Anne Arundel County and Howard County. The nonprofit digital publication is hoping that the expansion and investments in subjects like business, culture and tech will help drive an increase in subscribers and fill a local news void. Until now, the outlet has focused most of its core coverage on hyper-local news, like criminal justice, weather and local sports. The Banner currently has 44,000 paid subscribers, roughly double from last June.

More local news news: Los Angeles Public Press is trying to do local news differently.

A New Chapter for Sports Illustrated, With Plans to Keep Print
New York Times | Benjamin Mullin

Authentic Brands Group, which owns the intellectual property rights to Sports Illustrated, has struck a long-term deal to license Sports Illustrated’s publishing rights to Minute Media, a digital media company focused on sports. The deal, which will keep the magazine in print, will last for 10 years with an option to extend for up to 30 years total. The companies declined to disclose financial terms but said that Authentic Brands Group was taking a stake in Minute Media as part of the deal. Minute Media chief executive Asaf Peled said the company plans to expand the magazine’s publishing operations globally and hire back some recently laid-off employees. “In the current era of digital, it’s still not trivial and quite difficult to build your own brand and get people to know and admire it,” Mr. Peled said. “So once you get the opportunity to work with and grow an iconic brand like Sports Illustrated, you take it.”

Also in sports media news, LGBTQ+ publisher Q.Digital has acquired Outsports — which covers LGBTQ-related issues and athletes in sports — from Vox Media.

NewsGuard launches suite of AI anti-misinfo tools
Semafor | Max Tani

Fact-checking outlet NewsGuard is rolling out a new line of services to push back against election-related AI-generated false information, images, video and audio. NewsGuard CEO Gordon Crovitz says, “We’re now living in an AI enhanced internet, right? And the malign actors are producing more content, more cheaply, more targeted, and more divisive and more persuasive.” The company is increasing its election misinformation “fingerprinting,” collecting a continuously updating feed of misinformation designed to help AI models detect and avoid inadvertently sharing false information, and helping those models “detect prompts and responses that might convey the misinformation.” It’s also trying to incorporate dates and times of elections from official government websites into its models to ensure that voters are given correct information on specifics like polling locations.

Also from Semafor: The Cook Political Report has put its entire archive online.

Trump Sues ABC and Stephanopoulos, Saying They Defamed Him
New York Times | Michael M. Grynbaum and Jim Rutenberg

Former President Donald J. Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against ABC News on Monday. The suit argues that anchor George Stephanopoulos defamed him during an interview with Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, by saying multiple times that Mr. Trump had been found liable for raping the writer E. Jean Carroll. A jury in a Manhattan civil case last year found Mr. Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming Ms. Carroll, but did not find the former president liable for rape. The judge, however, later clarified that because of New York’s narrow legal definition of “rape,” the jury’s finding did not mean that Ms. Carroll “failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape.'” Mr. Trump has filed several unsuccessful defamation suits against major media organizations, including suits against CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post that were dismissed by federal judges.

ICYMI: Don Lemon released his contentious interview with Elon Musk. AP has a review of the key moments.

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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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