Good Media Morning to you.
The former Gawker Media sites may end up getting sold again and this time Jay Penske and Barry Diller are said to be interested…Tronc is underpaying its female journalists and people of color…The Hollywood Reporter‘s Powerful People in Media’ list is out today…Hearst’s Town&Country goes royal with special issue…Twitter‘s CEO Jack Dorsey was paid $0 last year…What will become of Sports Illustrated? CBS boss Les Moonves could walk away with $187 million if he’s forced out to make way for a merger with Viacom…These and more for your Media Morning Today. Dive in!
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FEDS ZERO IN ON TRUMP PAL/AMERICAN MEDIA INC BOSS DAVID PECKER
President Trump has long had ties to the nation’s major media players. But his connections with the country’s largest tabloid publisher, American Media Inc., run deeper than most. A former top executive of Mr. Trump’s casino business sits on A.M.I.’s four-member board of directors, and an adviser joined the media company after the election. The company’s chairman, David J. Pecker, is a close friend of the president’s.
WHO WILL BUY THE FORMER GAWKER WEBSITES AGAIN?
There are already a few interested parties, including Jay Penske’s Penske Media Corporation (Deadline, Variety, WWD, Rolling Stone), which has $200 million from Saudia Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to go shopping with. Barry Diller’s IAC (The Daily Beast, CollegeHumor) also has its eye on the F.M.G. bounty
HEDGE FUND PAULSON AND CO. SCOOPS UP STAKE IN VIACOM
Paulson & Co, the hedge fund firm led by billionaire investor John Paulson, has taken a stake in Viacom Inc as the U.S. media company has started to turn around its business. Over the past few months, Paulson has bought 3.7 million nonvoting shares of Viacom
TRONC UNDERPAYS WOMEN JOURNALISTS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR
Among unionized journalists at The Times of all ages and job titles, women and people of color make less than white men. On average, women of color in the Los Angeles Times’ bargaining unit make less than 70 cents for every dollar earned by a white man.
NETFLIX PULLS OUT OF CANNES AFTER RULES CHANGES
Ted Sarandos says Netflix won’t be going to Cannes this year. In an exclusive interview with Variety, Netflix’s chief content officer says that the festival sent a clear message with a new rule that bans any films without theatrical distribution in France from playing in competition.
APPLE MUSIC NOW HAS 48 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS AND A NEW BOSS
Apple said it had appointed Oliver Schusser as vice president of Apple Music and international content. Schusser, who joined Apple 14 years ago, will report directly to Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue and will also oversee Apple’s services outside the United States, including the App Store and iTunes.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE STAFFERS PREPARING TO UNIONIZE
One of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious regional newspapers, The Chicago Tribune, could soon have a unionized staff. On Wednesday morning, journalists from its newsroom informed management that they are preparing to organize and that they have collected signatures from dozens of colleagues.
INSTAGRAM WILL SOON ALLOW USERS TO DOWNLOAD THEIR CONTENT
“We are building a new data portability tool. You’ll soon be able to download a copy of what you’ve shared on Instagram, including your photos, videos and messages.”
ECONOMIST TESTIFIES THAT AT&T-TIME WARNER MERGER WOULD HARM CONSUMERS
The U.S. Justice Department called an economist on Wednesday to testify that allowing AT&T to purchase movie and TV production company Time Warner would cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, as the government wrapped up efforts to convince a federal judge to halt the proposed deal.
HEARST’S TOWN & COUNTRY LOOKS TO CASH IN ON THE UPCOMING ROYAL WEDDING WITH SPECIAL ISSUE
The more than century-old glossy is releasing April 12 a special issue titled “American Princess” focused on Markle’s independent past, including her career as an actress which she gave up after her engagement to the younger English prince, and how she’s dealt over the last year with being on the world stage, something Town & Country’s editor in chief Stellene Volandes said is of clear interest to readers.
POLITICO EUROPE GETS HALF ITS REVENUE FROM SUBSCRIPTIONS
Politico Europe’s paid subscriptions now account for half of its overall revenue, up from 30 percent in 2016, with the rest coming from advertising and events, according to the publisher. That puts it in line to match the mix of Politico’s U.S. business.
SPOTIFY AND HULU ROLL OUT $13 ENTERTAINMENT BUNDLE
Last fall, Hulu and Spotify teamed up to offer students a bundle including both of their services for a discounted price, compared with paying for each subscription separately. Now, the companies are announcing a similar discounted bundle will be available to all users.
UK’S TAKEOVER REGULATOR RULES THAT DISNEY MUST BUY ALL OF SKY
Britain’s takeover regulator ruled on Thursday that Walt Disney must make an offer for the whole of European pay-TV company Sky if it succeeds in buying Twenty-First Century Fox assets, including its 39 percent stake in Sky. The Takeover Panel also said Disney must match Fox’s 10.75 pounds-a-share offer for the shares in Sky it does not already own.
TWITTER BOSS JACK DORSEY TOOK HOME $0 IN PAY LAST YEAR
As a testament to his commitment to and belief in Twitter’s long-term value creation potential, our CEO, Jack Dorsey, declined all compensation for 2017,” the company said in a proxy statement filed Wednesday with the SEC. It’s the third year in a row Dorsey is turning down pay from Twitter.
WHAT WILL BECOME OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED?
In recent years, SI has been caught—along with virtually every other magazine in existence—in a brutal economic environment, where both readers and advertisers are abandoning print and migrating to digital content on the web. SI suffered another round of cutbacks in June, when its parent company, Time Inc., laid off or bought out 300 employees amid corporate doublespeak about “cost-structure reengineering” and “employee headcount reductions.”
CBS BOSS WILL WALK AWAY WITH NEARLY $200 MILLION IF HE’S PUSHED OUT
If Les Moonves’s CBS can’t agree on a deal with Viacom, Shari Redstone still has as many as 187 million reasons to keep the media boss around. That’s based on the payout that Moonves would stand to collect if his contract is terminated before it expires.
IS NETFLIX RIGGING ITS BONUS PAYMENTS FOR TOP EXECS?
Netflix is facing an investor lawsuit that alleges board members “rigged” top executives’ bonuses to pay them millions regardless of how well the company performed. The lawsuit, filed by the City of Birmingham Relief and Retirement System, claims the Netflix board “rigged the compensation process.”