February 22, 2024

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Media Insider: WNYC Cuts Staff, beehive Acquires Swapstack, Google Podcasts to Shut Down

4 min read
Also in this week’s media news roundup: A majority of Black Americans think media is racist, Artifact gives users the ability to post.
Media Insider: WNYC Cuts Staff, beehive Acquires Swapstack, Google Podcasts to Shut Down

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

WNYC Parent to Cut 12% of Workforce
New York Times | Benjamin Mullin

New York Public Radio, the parent organization of the WNYC news station, is planning to cut its workforce by about 12 percent. LaFontaine Oliver, New York Public Radio’s president and chief executive, said in a memo to employees that a “free fall in the advertising market” had led to the decision to cut staff. New York Public Radio, a nonprofit, operates WNYC, the classical music station WQXR, and the Gothamist local news site. It has about 340 full-time and part-time employees. Staff members affected by the job cuts will be notified next week. Oliver didn’t say which areas of the organization would be hardest hit, but said the organization would preserve its journalism and music efforts. New York Public Radio is also planning to eliminate a majority of open positions.

ICYMI: The Los Angeles Times is launching a new Climate California section.

Majority of Black Americans Believe News Media Is Racist
Forbes | Cathy Applefeld Olson

According to a new survey of 5,000 Black adults by the Pew Research Center, Black Americans see a range of problems with the way Black people are covered in the news. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say news about Black people is often more negative than news about other racial and ethnic groups, while 43% note media coverage largely stereotypes Black people. What’s more, among those surveyed, few are hopeful change will occur in the foreseeable future. These critical views of coverage of Black people are widely shared within the Black population, regardless of age, gender, and even political party affiliation. Among the suggestions for improvement: including more Black people as sources (54%) and hiring more Black people as newsroom leaders (53%) and as journalists (44%) at news outlets.

Related: What the public wants and expects from news media when it comes to trustworthy journalism.

Newsletter startup beehiiv acquires ad platform Swapstack
Axios | Kerry Flynn, Sara Fischer

Beehiiv, a 2-year-old newsletter startup, has acquired tech platform Swapstack. The deal supports the startup’s effort to offer ads to its clients, making Beehiiv a more attractive platform for creators to use and also growing the company’s overall revenue. Beehiiv co-founders — Tyler Denk, Benjamin Hargett, and Jake Hurd — launched the startup in late 2021 after meeting at newsletter-focused digital media company Morning Brew. Its clients include The Boston Globe, Cult of Mac, and Superhuman. Beehiiv launched an ad network earlier this month, but that operation has been short-staffed and run “very manually,” Denk says. Acquiring Swapstack adds more tech and expertise.

Also from Axios: Punchbowl News expands its website, eyes $20 million in revenue.

Google Podcasts to shut down in 2024 with listeners migrated to YouTube Music
TechCrunch | Sarah Perez

Google announced this morning it will be shutting down its Google Podcasts app later in 2024 as part of its broader transition to move its streaming listeners over to YouTube Music. The company earlier this year announced YouTube Music would begin supporting podcasts in the U.S., which will expand globally by year-end, and more recently said it was adding the ability for podcasters to upload their RSS feeds to YouTube, also by year-end. Google says it plans on further increasing its investment in the podcast experience on YouTube Music and making it more of a destination for podcast fans with features focused on discovery, community, and switching between audio podcasts and video. To help users with the transition to YouTube Music, the company will offer Google Podcast users a migration tool and the ability to add podcast RSS feeds to their YouTube Music library, including shows that aren’t currently hosted by YouTube. These migration tools aren’t yet available but will be worked on in the coming weeks and months before being rolled out to all users.

More on podcasts: A slew of podcasters are building massive followings and businesses online by exploring the human curiosity about living longer.

Artifact is becoming Twitter
The Verge | Jay Peters

Artifact, the AI-powered news app from Instagram’s co-founders, is adding a major new feature: the ability to post. So far, the app has been an aggregator for news and links from around the internet, but users are going to be able to add posts directly to the app. Mike Krieger, one of Artifact’s co-founders, announced the new features onstage in a conversation with Casey Newton at the Code Conference. The new feature is a logical next step from Artifact’s recently launched update that lets users share links. This new feature means users won’t be limited to links; their posts can include things like a title, text, and photos. The posts will also have unique URLs, which should make them easier to share on different apps and services. The new posts feature means Artifact will move from being mostly an aggregator to something that could compete much more directly with things like X (formerly Twitter) or Meta’s Instagram and Threads.

Speaking of X, the app formerly known as Twitter will introduce audio and video calls as a premium subscriber-only feature.

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