February 24, 2024

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Media Insider: Newsroom Diversity Reports Released, Disney-Charter Fight Intensifies

4 min read
Also in the media news recap, Paper Magazine is back and NPR's CEO announces his retirement.
Media Insider: Newsroom Diversity Reports Released, Disney-Charter Fight Intensifies

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

Photo by Markus Spiske: https://www.pexels.com/photo/notebook-pen-table-macro-96595/

Publishers’ workforce diversity reports released this summer show steady improvement in newsroom diversity
Digiday | Sara Guaglione

Annual workforce diversity reports from publishers including Gannett, Insider, and The Washington Post show little if any change in employee diversity compared to the previous year. While Insider and The Washington Post did make improvements to the diversity of their editorial staff, white employees still make up 62% and 63% of their newsrooms, respectively. Despite improvements to publishers’ newsroom diversity, overall workforce diversity didn’t change much year over year. Diversity among leadership saw slight improvements at Insider and The Washington Post and remained unchanged at Gannett. Two companies missed their usual cadence of publishing their workforce diversity reports before the summer: BuzzFeed and The Los Angeles Times.

Read next: The Transgender Journalists Association released an updated Stylebook and Coverage Guide.

Disney-Charter fight could be the start of the TV bundle breaking
Axios | Sara Fischer, Tim Baysinger

Disney channels, including ABC, ESPN, and FX, have been blacked out since last Thursday for Charter’s Spectrum cable customers after the two companies failed to reach a new carriage agreement. “This is not a typical carriage dispute,” Charter told investors. “It is significant for Charter, and we think it is even more significant for programmers and the broader video ecosystem.” Without a resolution, it could mean the business model for the traditional cable TV industry could be on the verge of collapsing. Charter says that Disney’s requests continue to “ignore the realities of a shifting marketplace,” while Disney argues that losing ESPN “is a major issue for consumers since it’s one of the most popular channels.” Channel blackouts have become more frequent in recent years, as TV companies push to charge more for their content than cable and satellite providers want to pay. Reports that Charter CEO Chris Winfrey and Disney CEO Bob Iger have been in contact point to a possible agreement being reached.

Read next: The Wall Street Journal reports that ESPN is betting big on the “The Pat McAfee Show” as it hunts for young viewers amid its tricky digital transition.

NPR CEO John Lansing will leave in December, capping a tumultuous year
NPR | David Folkenflik

With a four-year tenure that includes facing the challenges of the pandemic, a racial reckoning, and podcasting headwinds, NPR CEO John Lansing announced he will retire at the end of the year. “I haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish, but I feel good about the time I had here,” Lansing said in an interview. Despite backlash over layoffs, Lansing’s tenure has mostly received praise from the top official of NPR’s largest union. “He did the best he could. Crisis after crisis — oh my God,” said Pat O’Donnell, executive director of SAG-AFTRA Washington-Mid Atlantic local, which represents more than 500 employees. Langsing says his last months will involve a laser-like focus on NPR’s future. The announcement comes after months of turbulence and turnover at the network, with many key positions vacant, newly filled, or held by someone on a temporary basis.

Read next: Nieman Lab is adding two new staff writer positions. One will be focused on local news, the other on the intersection of generative AI and journalism.

Paper Magazine Resumes Operations With Justin Moran Returning as Editor in Chief
WWD | Kristopher Fraser

Street Media, which acquired Paper Magazine in June, announced that the magazine will return with Jason Moran as editor in chief. “I am excited to work under queer ownership, as we continue Paper’s core mission of championing fresh, new voices and amplifying them to a mass audience online,” Moran said in a statement. “Creating space for stories largely overlooked by mainstream media is more important than ever, and we will make that our priority yet again as we rebuild this platform.” Paper temporarily stopped publishing in May 2023 amid company-wide layoffs. Moran is onboarding a revamped editorial team ahead of the fall relaunch. Paper was founded in New York City in 1984 as an underground art, culture, and style magazine.

Read next: CJR talks to the founder and executive director of The Examination, a soon-to-launch nonprofit news site that will cover the global public health beat.

Meta to wind down Facebook News tab and stop funding Community News Project
Press Gazette | Bron Maher

Meta announced that it will begin to close its Facebook News tab in the UK, France, and Germany in early December as part of “an ongoing effort to better align our investments to our products and services people value the most.” The company will also cease funding for the Community News Project, which places more than 100 reporters in under-served communities around the UK, when the current contracts end. The company said people will still be able to view links to news articles on Facebook – unlike in Canada. A Reach spokesperson said: “While unsurprising, today’s news clearly has broader implications about Meta’s commitment to providing a safe space for reliable and trusted information, which should be a serious concern for the industry and society at large.”

Read next: MediaPost reports that Meta rejected a bid by Canada to ‘clarify’ the Online News Act

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