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A year of upheaval for the news media industry – Axios

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

2019 was a transformative year for the U.S. news media industry, but it was also one of the most turbulent points in its history.

The big picture: There were enormous business challenges, which resulted in an unprecedented number of layoffs, desperate product maneuvers and fire-sale deals.

Driving the news: The impeachment of President Trump by the House of Representatives on Thursday was prompted by a whistleblower’s complaint, but the stage was set by the dogged reporting of many journalists across the country.

  • But despite those efforts, the economic outlook of the news industry is still grim heading into 2020.
  • The impeachment process has proven that voters are starting to tune out political coverage, which for the past few years has been the news industry’s biggest money-maker. That reality, coupled with an anticipated recession, has newsrooms on edge.

Where things stand: 2019 was a particularly brutal year for older news industries, like newspapers, magazines, television and radio. Revenue for television was down nearly 4% this year, and for print it was down nearly 20%.

  • Legacy magazine brands that were once considered must-reads, like Sports Illustrated, struggled to find suitors. Magazine titans like Conde Nast are expected to miss their revenue numbers given a bleak advertising forecast.
  • Univision, one of the largest media companies that serves America’s fastest-growing population, is looking for a buyer to help it crawl out of a massive debt hole, driven by a private equity investment gone bad.

Be smart: Legacy industries still continue to serve local news markets, which are mostly void of the same investments financially, and in tech and talent, as national outlets.

  • The two biggest local newspaper holding groups — New Media (GateHouse and Gannett) and McClatchy, which collectively house over 700 newspapers — had a combined market cap value as of Thursday of less than $400 million. By comparison, Apple, which this year launched its own news product, is worth more than $1.2 trillion.
  • Meanwhile, several other papers serving major markets closed, like the 150-year-old Vindicator in Youngstown, Ohio and the beloved OC Weekly in California.

Regulators, aware of the realities that legacy industries and local media face in a digital world, continued efforts to level the playing field this year, mostly by trying to roll back decades-old rules and legal agreements that may be keeping them from growing.

  • But their efforts have proven mostly moot, as most consumers have already migrated away from those mediums to a handful of apps owned by Silicon Valley titans.
  • Policymakers did began to more meaningfully consider regulating internet giants in 2019, but a gridlocked Congress and powerful lobbying forces have so far prevented any meaningful internet regulation from getting passed.

In the markets, a string of highly-anticipated IPOs faltered in 2019, which forced investors in private media companies to push for quicker paths to profit.

  • Given that news is traditionally a slow-growth business, many desperate efforts to make money quickly, like launching half-baked subscription or video products, fell short. 
  • For some media upstarts, that pressure proved perilous. Splinter, the left-leaning news and opinion site, shut down this year after its parent company, G/O Media, was purchased by a private equity company for less than half of what it was worth just three years earlier.
  • Its sister company, Deadspin, is now essentially defunct.

The big picture: As a result of these realities, investor sentiment in digital media has begun to slip, and investments in the sector are predicted to decline in the next decade.

  • That matters because over the past few years, private investment into media companies soared, at all levels.
  • Many of the venture-backed media companies that were expected to go public eventually, like Buzzfeed and Vice Media, no longer seem heading in that direction. Disney this year wrote down all of the $400 million it invested in Vice.

Between the lines: These challenges took a human toll on journalists and news industry employees around the country. By some estimates, nearly 8,000 people were laid off or lost their jobs in media in 2019. That level of attrition is on pace to be the highest it’s been since the 2009 recession.

Yes, but: The challenges that most media companies face have forced them to innovate faster, and in many cases, reach new heights.

  • Most media companies distribute content to far more people than ever before through dozens of new channels ranging from Netflix to TikTok.
  • Many broke stories this year that will define our generation, like The Washington Post’s investigation into the decades-long lies told by officials about the war in Afghanistan or The Miami Herald’s explosive reporting about Jeffrey Epstein.

The bottom line: But despite those feats, news media companies as a whole have mostly suffered — and there’s no sign that the economic outlook is going to get better any time soon.

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Netflix is not in deep trouble. It's becoming a media company – CNN

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New York (CNN Business)Netflix has had a terrible 2022. In April, it said it lost subscribers for the first time since 2011. Its stock has tumbled more than 60% so far this year.

Yet its recent struggles may not be the start of a downward spiral or the beginning of the end for the streaming giant. Rather, it’s a sign that Netflix is becoming a more traditional media company.
Netflix (NFLX) was originally valued as a Big Tech company, part of the Wall Street acronym, “FAANG,” which stood for Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix and Google (GOOG). Wall Street once valued the company at about $300 billion — a number on par with many Big Tech companies that Netflix’s business model ultimately couldn’t live up to.
“I think Netflix was extremely overvalued,” Julia Alexander, director of strategy at Parrot Analytics, told CNN Business. “Unlike those companies that have different tentacles, Netflix does not have a lot of tentacles.”
But Netflix was never really a tech company.
Yes, it relied on subscriber growth like many companies in the tech world, but its subscriber growth was built on having films and TV shows that people wanted to watch and pay for. That’s more a like a studio in Hollywood than a tech company in Silicon Valley.
Netflix looked a lot more like a tech company than, say, Disney, Comcast, Paramount or CNN parent company Warner Bros. Discovery. But as those traditional media companies start to look a lot more like Netflix, Netflix in turn is starting to take page out of its rivals’ playbooks: It’s going to start serving ads and it has been releasing some shows over the course of weeks and months rather than all at once.
Netflix has said that its cheaper ad tier and clampdown on password sharing may come next year. It’s partnering with Microsoft (MSFT) for its ad business.
“I think in many ways the moves Netflix are making suggest a transition from tech company to media company,” Andrew Hare, a senior vice president of research at Magid, told CNN Business. “With the introduction of ads, crackdown on password sharing, marquee shows like ‘Stranger Things’ experimenting with a staggered release, we are seeing Netflix looking more like a traditional media company every day.”
Hare added that Netflix’s former business strategy, which was “once sacrosanct is now being thrown out the window.”
“Netflix once forced Hollywood deeply out of its comfort zone. They brought streaming to the American living room,” he said. “Now it appears some more conventional practices could be what Netflix needs.”
At Netflix right now, “a lot of these strategic moves are being made as they mature and move into the next phase as a company,” noted Hare. That includes focusing on cash flow and revenue rather than just growth.
“In other words, old school business,” he said.
— CNN Business’ Moss Cohen contributed to this report.

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City of Brandon – August 7th Media Release – City of Brandon –

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For the last 24 hours:

Drinking in Public Leads to Multiple Criminal Charges:

At about 11:40 AM Saturday morning, it was reported that a male subject was acting bizarrely in and around the 700 block Rosser Ave.  When located in the area, the 21 year-old was drinking an alcoholic beverage so was detained under the LGCCA.  He was subsequently found to be in breach of multiple conditions of two separate Probation Orders.  Search incident to arrest revealed a machete in his backpack.  He disclosed taking an unknown quantity of unknown pills, so was released on appropriate police imposed conditions as he was receiving medical assessment and treatment.  He is to appear in Court on October 3rd, facing one count of possessing a weapon and six counts of failing to comply with a Probation Order.

Break & Enters:

An unlocked attached residential garage on Falcon Crescent was entered overnight on Friday and tools were stolen.  Some of those were recovered strewn across neighbouring property.

A resident in the 300 block 27th Street reported that the detached garage had been forcibly entered overnight Thursday – Friday.  The complainant was unsure if anything had been stolen but the walk-through door frame had been damaged during the incident.

Theft With Threat:

At about 3:50 PM Saturday afternoon, it was reported that a resident in the 700 block 20th Street had been robbed of a bicycle approx. 20 minutes prior, while in his back yard.  Police attended and spoke with the victim who related that an unknown male came into his back yard and stole an old bicycle of no value, and brandished a knife while doing so. The suspect left without further incident.  The suspect was described as Indigenous in appearance, 6’5”, skinny, wearing a blue hoodie, black bandana and hat.  The knife was pulled from the front right pants’ pocket.

Arrest Warrants:

A 28 year-old female was encountered in the 700 block 18th Street Saturday evening, with personal effects strewn about a business vestibule.  A records query revealed a warrant for arrest for failing to comply with a Probation Order. She was arrested and released on scene with a court date of October 3rd.

Just before midnight Saturday night, Brandon RCMP advised having a 51 year-old male in custody on the strength of a BPS held warrant for arrest for sexual assault.  RCMP had attended to a complaint in Glenboro and encountered the accused.  He is held in custody and will appear before the court later today.

Motor Vehicle Collision With Injuries:

At 11:15 PM Saturday night, 911 reported a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Russell Street and Madison Crescent.  Two occupants were stuck in a vehicle that had rolled over onto its’ side.  The investigation revealed that the driver of the rolled vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign. That driver was transported to BRHC by EMS with non-life threatening injuries. The second driver was uninjured.

Others:

Several people were detained from separate incidents, for their own safety or to prevent a breach of the peace, due to their level of intoxication.  They will be held in custody until sober enough to care for themselves.

RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY:

A/Staff Sergeant Dallas Lockhart, #101

C Platoon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637).  Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.

CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS

 

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Social Media Buzz: Taiwan, Indiana Abortion Ban, Kim and Pete – Bloomberg

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Social Media Buzz: Taiwan, Indiana Abortion Ban, Kim and Pete  Bloomberg



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