RF|Binder Media Intelligence: February 2021

RFB Media Intelligence

FT Expands Climate Coverage
The Financial Times has launched Climate Capital, a new section on FT.com, edited by newly appointed climate editor Emiliya Mychasuk and led by journalist Leslie Hook. Climate Capital will also offer readers a community and events program, providing subscribers with the perspective needed to identify the most important emerging risks and opportunities for their businesses. http://bit.ly/2YywOFc
New Climate Reporter at FT
Financial Times reporter Camilla Hodgson is now covering the climate beat. She previously was covering equities and markets. Hodgson has been at the FT since January 2018, first as a trainee and then as the Marjorie Dean fellow. http://bit.ly/3tgEWbh
Time Economic Policy Reporter
Time magazine has shifted Abby Vesoulis to a new beat covering economic policy, the Treasury, and labor. She had spent the last two years as a politics reporter. http://bit.ly/2YJQZ37
BI Adds VC/Startups Reporter
Business Insider has hired Michael Haley of Dow Jones as a VC/startups reporter. He will start in February and will be reporting to senior editor Julie Bort. http://bit.ly/39AjvtX
Larry Kudlow Joins Fox News
Fox News Media announced that Larry Kudlow, former President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, would host a new weekday program on the Fox Business Network. Kudlow, who served as director of the National Economic Council from April 2018 until the end of Trump’s presidency this month, will also be a contributor across all Fox News Media platforms. http://politi.co/3tgR0JU
The Economist Hires Former NYT Editor
James Bennet, the former editorial page editor at The New York Times, is joining The Economist. Bennet will be a visiting senior editor for one year. Bennet resigned from the Times in June 2020 after it published a much-criticized op-ed by a United States senator calling for a military response to civic unrest in American cities. http://bit.ly/3pD03Cq
Washington Post Top Editor to Retire
Martin Baron, one of the most highly regarded editors in American journalism and an outspoken advocate of the value of a free press, will step down as executive editor of The Washington Post on Feb. 28. Over a 45-year career, Baron led reporters at some of the nation’s finest newspapers through groundbreaking investigations of challenging targets — including the Catholic Church, the National Security Agency and the charities of Donald Trump. http://wapo.st/3ai61Ct
Top Newsrooms Searching for New Leaders
A generational changing of the guard is coming to the news industry. A series of recent retirements and departures means there are top positions to be filled at Reuters, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, Vox Media and Wired. Of the three legacy news organizations — Reuters, The Post and The Times — The Times is the furthest along in its search. http://nyti.ms/39A2jVD
Executive Turnover in TV News
More change is coming to the television news business. James Goldston, the president of ABC News, said last week that he would leave the network at the end of March. His exit comes weeks after Phil Griffin, the longtime president of MSNBC, announced his own departure, and as CNN’s president, Jeffrey A. Zucker, is deciding whether to remain in his role. http://nyti.ms/3tarGoG
Few Make Money on Podcasts
Nearly every major media and entertainment company is pouring lots of cash into launching new podcasts. But many of them aren’t making big money — at least not yet. http://bit.ly/3oAfdY2
Facebook to Test News Feed Controls
Marketers have been pressing for more say-so on what their ads appear next to in the feed. Now Facebook will soon begin building and testing new controls to let marketers keep their ads away from topics they want to avoid. http://on.wsj.com/3afsaRO
Op-ed from Fired Fox News Politics Editor
Longtime Fox News politics editor, who was fired by the network earlier this month after angering former President Donald Trump, rebuked the current state of American media in a candid opinion piece. “Having worked in cable news for more than a decade after a wonderfully misspent youth in newspapers, I can tell you the result: a nation of news consumers both overfed and malnourished. Americans gorge themselves daily on empty informational calories, indulging their sugar fixes of self-affirming half-truths and even outright lies.” http://lat.ms/2MHKdrP

Newsroom Moves at USA Today 
USA Today has named Michelle Maltais as editor of consumer news. Maltais will supervise coverage that includes consumer issues, technology and travel. Meanwhile, Kristen DelGuzzi becomes managing editor for opinion. http://bit.ly/2MxhkPn
New Climate Editor at TechCrunch
TechCrunch has named Jon Shieber as climate editor. He will focus on the startups and funding being put behind renewables, environmental technology and green businesses. http://bit.ly/3jqmoko
TechCrunch Biotech/Startups Reporter
TechCrunch has hired Sophie Burkholder to cover startups from health and biotech to enterprise. Burkholder is a recent graduate of the undergraduate engineering school at the University of Pennsylvania. http://bit.ly/3d0WkLN
New Media Reporter at The Hill
The Hill has hired PR Week senior reporter Thomas Moore to cover the intersection of politics and the media. His last day at PR Week will be Feb. 11. He will start at The Hill on Feb. 16. http://bit.ly/3tBRZEi
BI Adds Markets Reporter
Business Insider has hired Carla Mozee as a senior reporter to cover markets. She will be primarily following U.S. equities. She previously spent more than a decade at MarketWatch.com covering markets including global equities and currencies. http://bit.ly/36OSJMB
Fortune Staff Writer Departs
Aric Jenkins, a staff writer at Fortune magazine, is leaving the organization. He has also been editing the magazine’s “Race Ahead” newsletter. http://bit.ly/2OftSvd
Cheddar Anchor Leaves
Nora Ali, an anchor at business news channel Cheddar, is leaving. Ali wrote on Twitter that she is launching a new venture and leaving the news business. http://bit.ly/2LpvPUC
Fox Business Cancels Lou Dobbs
Fox Business has canceled “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” one of its consistently highest-rated shows, a day after its host was named as a defendant in a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit. Mr. Dobbs’s 5 p.m. ET time slot on Fox Business will be replaced by “Fox Business Tonight,” an interim show helmed by hosts Jackie DeAngelis and David Asman on alternating days. http://on.wsj.com/3oVqnGV
Two Journalists Exit NYT
Two journalists responsible for some of The New York Times’s most high-profile work of the last three years have left the paper after their past behavior was criticized inside and outside the organization. They are: Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science correspondent who reported on the coronavirus pandemic, and Andy Mills, an audio journalist who helped create “The Daily” and was a producer and co-host of “Caliphate,” a 2018 podcast that was found to have serious flaws after an internal investigation. http://nyti.ms/3pWxDUf
CNN President Plans to Step Down
Jeff Zucker, the relentless, ratings-obsessed executive who transformed American television news and played a central role in the political rise of Donald J. Trump, said last week that he expected to step down from his job running CNN at the end of the year. http://nyti.ms/3cUmRdD
Election Tech Company Sues Fox News
In the latest volley in the battle over disinformation in the presidential election, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation has been sued by an obscure tech company that has accused his cable networks of defamation and contributing to the fervor that led to the siege of the Capitol. The suit pits Smartmatic, which provided election technology in one county, against Donald J. Trump’s longtime favorite news outlet and three Fox anchors, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, all ardent supporters of the former president.  http://nyti.ms/3oU2r6z
Business Insider Simplifies Name
Business Insider has simplified its name to Insider. The changes signal its CEO’s ambition to grow the publication to reach a broader population, and that includes investing in verticals outside of traditional business coverage, like politics, travel and lifestyle. http://bit.ly/3ryCjAb
NYT Tops 7.5 M Subscriptions
The New York Times set a record for its subscription business in 2020, a year when a pandemic, social unrest and a bitterly contested presidential race made headlines, the company said in an earnings report . After adding 2.3 million digital-only subscriptions in 2020, more than in any previous year, The Times exceeded 7.5 million subscriptions for its digital products and print newspaper. http://nyti.ms/2YTId2w
Journalists on Twitter
Twitter has occupied an uncomfortable place between journalists and their bosses for more than a decade. More staid newsrooms, like The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, have to varying degrees barred journalists from breaking news and developing big voices on the service, while some newer and more ideological outlets, like Vox and The Intercept, encourage and benefit from their journalists’ social media presence. Caught in the uncomfortable middle are the defining American news brands — The Times, The Washington Post, CNN and NBC — where managers alternate between sending irritated emails and biting their tongues. http://nyti.ms/3rrNkmG

New Climate Reporter at Washington Post
Energy and environmental policy reporter Dino Grandoni will be joining the Washington Post’s climate desk as the newspaper is ending its The Energy 202 newsletter. He will write about climate change and the energy industry. http://bit.ly/2ZEQ2cx
Insider Adds Finance Reporters
Insider has hired two reporters to cover finance desk topics. Danielle Walker is joining Insider as its first finance features reporter, where she will write in-depth stories on Wall Street’s most powerful firms and people. Aaron Weinman is joining Insider as a capital markets correspondent, covering the top firms, power players, and personalities in the business of raising capital. http://bit.ly/2NQU272
Adweek Consumer Reporter Departs
Ian Zelaya, consumer engagement reporter at Adweek, is leaving for Digiday. At Digiday, he will be senior editor of custom. http://bit.ly/3sk8h3x
Vox Names New Top Editor                              
Swati Sharma, a managing editor of The Atlantic, will be the next editor in chief of Vox.com, the Vox Media site known for explanatory journalism and podcasts, in a changing of the guard at the pioneering digital outlet nearly three months after two of its founders left and its previous top editor announced her departure. Ms. Sharma, 34, is scheduled to start in her new role next month. http://nyti.ms/3btadQ9
Time Names Executive Editor
John Simons joins TIME as Executive Editor on March 1. He will oversee business, technology and nation coverage. Simons comes from The Wall Street Journal where he was most recently deputy health and science editor and bureau chief for health business. http://bit.ly/3scTAPC
Hedge Fund Buys Tribune Publishing
In another sign of the financial industry’s increasing influence on the newspaper business, Tribune Publishing, the publisher of nine major metropolitan dailies including The Chicago Tribune and The Daily News, announced that it had agreed to give complete ownership of the company to Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that has drastically cut costs at newspapers it controls. http://nyti.ms/3qBMJyN
News Corp. Partners with Google
News Corp. has agreed to a multi-year partnership with Google to provide journalism from its news sites in return for significant payments. Among the publications joining Google News Showcase will be The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch.com. http://bit.ly/3ul2I6M
Kudlow Talks New Show
Brian Steinberg of Variety interviewed Larry Kudlow about his new show on Fox Business. “I’m not just going to have a Wall Street perspective. I’m going to have what I hope is a Main Street perspective,’ Kudlow says. Kudlow’s show airs at 4 p.m., just as the stock market is closing, and could potentially be tied to some degree to the business news of the day. “Kudlow” will have room for opinion, its host says. http://bit.ly/2NNRJlc
Clubhouse Breaks Through
Clubhouse is generating debate about whether audio is the next wave of social media, moving digital connections beyond text, photos and videos to old-fashioned voice. The app, which lets people gather in audio chatrooms to discuss different topics, has been downloaded nearly four million times in the last month alone, according to Apptopia. http://nyti.ms/3aHVmSI