March 4, 2024

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Media Insider: Google and Canada Reach Deal on News Content, WaPo Braces for Layoffs, Threads to Launch in Europe

4 min read

Also in this week’s media news roundup: Elon Musk tells advertisers to "Go F---" themselves, Popular Science shutters its magazine.

Media Insider: Google and Canada Reach Deal on News Content, WaPo Braces for Layoffs, Threads to Launch in Europe

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

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

Canadian government reaches deal with Google on Online News Act
CBC | Daniel Thibeault, David Cochrane, Darren Major

Google and the Canadian federal government have reached an agreement in their dispute over the Online News Act that would see Google continue to share Canadian news online in return for the company making annual payments to news companies in the range of $100 million. The federal government had estimated earlier this year that Google’s compensation should amount to about $172 million while Google estimated the value at $100 million. Along with the financial demands, Google had expressed concerns about “critical structural issues” with the Online News Act, also called Bill C-18. The company said it would not have a mandatory negotiation model imposed on it for talks with Canadian media organizations, preferring to deal with a single point of contact. The new regulations will allow Google to negotiate with a single group that would represent all media, allowing the company to limit its arbitration risk. The rules will be added to the C-18 legislative framework, which must be unveiled by mid-December. Google would still be required to negotiate with the media and sign an agreement. The digital giant could also add additional service contributions, which have yet to be specified.

ICYMI: Sport Illustrated caught publishing articles by fake, AI-generated writers.

Washington Post braces for layoffs
The Hill | Dominick Mastrangelo

The Washington Post has been able to attain just half of the job reductions it needs to secure before the end of the year, the newspaper’s leadership said this week. In a note to staff shared with multiple outlets, Post interim CEO Patty Stonesifer said the company had accepted 120 voluntary buyouts as it seeks to cut some 240 jobs across its newsroom. The Post plans to resort to involuntary layoffs if it does not reach the 240-job threshold by the middle of next month, Stonesifer said. “These layoffs would offer significantly less generous benefits than the voluntary package and will be consistent with prior layoff packages at The Post,” she wrote.

The BBC also announced it’s making major cuts to its flagship news program, “Newsnight.”

Elon Musk tells advertisers: ‘Go f— yourself’
The Verge | Jacob Kastrenakes and Mia Sato

Elon Musk took the stage at the DealBook conference on Wednesday with nervous laughter and a cascade of jokes about himself and his companies. But the interview quickly turned to the more serious subject of Musk’s recent antisemitic posts on X (formerly Twitter) and whether his company can survive the advertiser boycott. On that matter, Musk seemed alternatingly apologetic and defiant — acknowledging his mistakes, then doing everything in his power to push advertisers away. “I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” Musk told interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin. “If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go f— yourself. Go f— yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is.” He also singled out Disney CEO Bob Iger, who discussed not wanting Disney to be affiliated with Musk while onstage earlier in the day. If advertisers don’t return, Musk said, “what this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company.” Musk’s message to advertisers came after what had briefly appeared to be an attempt to salvage the damage he caused after he called an antisemitic post the “actual truth” two weeks ago.

X continues to lose revenue as major advertisers halt spending on the platform over Musk’s posts.

Meta to finally launch Threads in Europe
Mashable | Stan Schroeder

Meta’s social media app Threads has one massive drawback compared to its chief competitor, X (formerly Twitter): It’s not available in Europe. The likely reason why Threads, which launched in July, has never become a truly global app is Meta’s friction with the European Union, whose regulators don’t particularly like Meta’s habit of taking EU users’ data overseas and processing it there. Be that as it may, for users in Europe, this simply means that Threads isn’t available (unless you’re willing to jump through VPN hoops), and that makes it a lot less alluring as a competitor to X. This might change soon. According to the Wall Street Journal, Meta is preparing to launch Threads in Europe in December. The report, which cites people familiar with the matter, claims that Meta will give users in the EU the choice to use Threads “purely for consumption” and “without a profile that allows them to make their own posts.”

Read next: The Supreme Court is considering giving First Amendment protections to social media posts.

After 151 years, Popular Science Has Shuttered Its Magazine
The Messenger | Andrew Liszewski

It’s been 151 years since the first edition of Popular Science was published, but the long-running periodical will now no longer be available to purchase as a magazine. After 144 years of being published on a monthly basis, Popular Science switched to a bi-monthly schedule in 2016, and then changed again to a quarterly publication in 2018. In 2020, Popular Science discontinued its printed edition, and in April 2021, the first digital issue of the magazine was shared to its subscribers. Moving forward, it will only exist in its website format, PopSci.com, which first launched in 1999. Subscriptions will still be offered, but instead of providing access to the publication as a digital magazine, it will now only offer access to exclusive content on PopSci.com, as well as access to the magazine’s extensive archives.

ICYMI: PBS Distribution is launching PBS Food, a free ad-supported streaming channel.

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