Good Media Morning to you.
Hearst Magazines makes e-commerce play with minority stake in Gear Patrol magazine…Gothamist is back…Rupert Murdoch‘s Sky bid gets booted After Comcast submits new bid…AT&T Needs TimeWarner now more than ever…Peter Thiel abandons bid to buy Gawker…Upworthy installs new CEO and editor in chief…Takeover rumors go quiet around Twitter thanks to signs of a turnaround…These and more for your Media Morning Today. Dive in!
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CBS BOSS LES MOONVES COULD END UP BEING SQUABBLED OUT OF A JOB
The weeks-long standoff between CBS CEO Les Moonves and CBS Vice Chairwoman Shari Redstone could end with a CBS-Viacom merger led by Moonves and his hand-picked team. Or it could end with Moonves on the outs and Viacom CEO Bob Bakish in charge. Maybe it’ll end with the two companies staying separate. Right now there’s no end in sight at all.
HEARST MAGAZINES BUYS STAKE IN GEAR PATROL MAGAZINE
Hearst Magazines is acquiring a minority stake in Gear Patrol, a digital and print publication focused on products and enthusiast communities, to help the company branch out into more e-commerce efforts to diversify revenue.
THE GOTHAMIST WEBSITE IS BACK
Hello again, New York City! It’s been five months since Gothamist went dark, leaving behind a distinct void in the New York City news ecosystem. In the aftermath, we’ve heard from so many people who told us how much they missed Gothamist—which over the years had become a trusted friend, sharing essential stories and shedding light on issues that matter most to New Yorkers.
THINGS ARE LOOKING GOOD FOR AT&T-TIME WARNER
Many observers see the case tilting toward AT&T, but crucial questions still sow doubt: could AT&T use Time Warner’s content to squeeze competitors? And if it could, why wouldn’t it?
FOX’S SKY BID GETS THE BOOT AFTER NEW COMCAST BID
The independent directors of pay-TV group Sky said they were withdrawing their recommendation of a takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox after Comcast trumped it with a 22 billion pound ($30.68 billion) offer.
THE GUARDIAN SAID ITS ON TRACK TO BREAK EVEN
The publisher of the Guardian and Observer halved its losses in the last financial year, and the company is on track to break even this year. Guardian News & Media (GNM) reported a £19m loss in the year to the end of March, half the £38m loss recorded in the previous financial year.
BOOSTED BY ITS ACQUISITION OF TIME INC, MEREDITH REACHES 175 MILLION CONSUMERS MONTHLY
There is plenty of numbers associated with Meredith Corporation’s $2.8 billion acquisition of Time Inc., but here’s perhaps the most salient: Meredith’s audience represents two of every three dollars that are spent in virtually every key consumer category.
AT&T NEEDS TIME WARNER
AT&T Inc. sales and earnings missed analysts’ estimates last quarter, putting additional pressure on the company to complete its Time Warner Inc. takeover and transition into a more diversified media giant.
EU MOVES TO SLAP REGULATIONS ON GOOGLE, AMAZON AND APPLE
Tech giants including Google, Apple and Amazon will for the first time face rules governing their commercial relations with smaller businesses under a law proposed by the European Union on Thursday.
PETER THIEL ABANDONS BID TO BUY GAWKER
Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is withdrawing his bid to buy shuttered Gawker.com — a move that is expected to clear the way for a new suitor who may revive the gossip site. Thiel, who famously bankrolled a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker Media in March 2016, had planned to keep the site dark had he bought it.
MIC LOSES TOP EXECUTIVE AFTER A YEAR ON THE JOB
Mic’s top business executive is leaving the company. Jonathan Carson, who joined the millennial-focused startup a year ago as its president, is transitioning out of the company over the next few months, said Mic CEO Chris Altchek, who described the move as a mutual decision between Carson and the company.
HEARST MAGAZINES CONTENT CHIEF JOANNA COLES TALKS SHOP
I remember being at New York Magazine when David Carr, who went on to be media editor at the New York Times, wrote a long profile of Harvey and could sense some of these things that people had told him, but he wasn’t quite able to bring that story home.
SHARI REDSTONE NEVER WANTED VIACOM AND CBS TO SEPARATE 12 YEARS AGO
The shotgun re-marriage of CBS and Viacom is proceeding apace. But while the respective companies’ boards of directors grapple with exchange ratios, fairness opinions, the amount and timing of expected synergies, and which executives will lead the re-merged company,
CONTENT AGGREGATOR DIGG SOLD TO AD TECH FIRM
Last month, Digg, an old beloved content aggregation destination, made the sad announcement to its loyal following that it was shutting down its RSS platform, Digg Reader. This wasn’t merely a product decision, it turns out, but a development as the company transitioned to a new parent company.
UNSKIPPABLE 6 SECOND ADS ARE COMING TO SNAPCHAT
Once reluctant to force ads on its users, still-unprofitable Snapchat is going to start testing nonskippable ads in its TV-like shows, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the plans and confirmed by Snap, parent of the messaging app.
AMAZON TO DEBUT KID FOCUSED ALEXA SMART SPEAKER
Amazon on Wednesday unveiled the new child-friendly set of Alexa services, bringing Amazon’s existing kids-focused FreeTime program to its smart speakers. Amazon also introduced the $80 Echo Dot Kids Edition, which is the same hardware as a regular Dot but now includes a handy bumper case to prevent breaks.
NETFLIX ORDERS UP BUZZFEED DOCUSERIES
Netflix is shining a spotlight on the journalists behind the news in an upcoming docuseries. The streamer has ordered Follow This, a weekly series that will follow the journalists at BuzzFeed News as they explore a variety of topics.
UPWORTHY INSTALLS NEW CEO AND EDITOR IN CHIEF
Upworthy’s parent company Good Media Group (GMG) is bringing in a new CEO and editor-in-chief to hone the company’s strategic vision of promoting social good, a year after the brand merged with its consulting arm, GOOD Corp.
BIG MEDIA IN MERGER SCRAMBLE TO SURVIVE
The media industry has been through waves of consolidation in the past. But a big concern today is the question of where it will all end. The yearning for size and scale to match the global reach of Facebook, Netflix and others has sparked innumerable “what if” deal conversations.
RUMORS OF A TAKEOVER GOES SILENT AT TWITTER THANKS TO SIGNS OF A TURNAROUND
The best evidence of Twitter’s recovery is that acquisition rumors have quieted down. The company has been a constant subject of mostly groundless acquisition rumors, although in 2016 companies including Disney and Salesforce.com took a look at a possible purchase.
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