News & Insights

The Deadline: Election Coverage Intensifies, Post Staffers Plan Walk Off & Former CNN Head Faces Backlash in Telegraph Bid

By Rebecca Epps

The Deadline - Media Intelligence Newsletter.

Key Highlights

  • The Atlantic Spotlights Implications Around the Trump Campaign – In a special edition of its monthly magazine, The Atlantic posted a 24-article project outlining the implications of a second Donald Trump presidency. The edition included an editor’s noted titled, “A Warning” around what a second Trump presidency would entail.
  • Washington Post Staffers Plan Walk Off – The union for Post staffers announced they will walk off the job on Thursday as they slam the Bezos owned company for refusing to negotiate a contract.
  • Research Reveals Americans’ Trust in the U.S. Media – New data from Morning Consult is shedding light on Americans’ consumption and trust in news. The survey comes as the media industry continues to face headwinds from consumers.

Industry News

Washington Post Staffers Plan Walk Off

Hundreds of staff members at The Washington Post will walk off the job on Thursday. Their union announced that the staffers will walk off the job for 24 hours as they slam the company for refusing to negotiate a contract “in good faith.” The strike comes after 18 months of failed talks surrounding a new deal over pay, remote work, and other conditions, and when the publication warned more layoffs were possible. The Washington Post Guild posted a letter on X to their dedicated readers asking them to not engage with any Post content for 24 hours while the walkout is taking place. In the letter leaders stated, “The Post cannot stay competitive, retain the best talent or produce the kind of elite journalism you rely on without giving its staff a fair deal.” The Washington Post is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The Atlantic Puts the Spotlight on the Trump Campaign

On Monday, The Atlantic published a special edition of its monthly magazine, spotlighting what a second Donald Trump term would look like. The magazine published a 24-article project titled, “If Trump Wins” which outlined what a second Trump presidency would look like. The issue details how the twice-impeached, four-time indicted candidate would shred norms, weaponize government, warp the rule of law, and degrade democracy. The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, wrote an editor’s note titled, “A Warning” to introduce the series. Goldberg emphasized that The Atlantic is not a partisan magazine saying that its issues with the former president do not stem from him being a Republican. The New York Times also published an article on Monday warning against a second Trump term saying his win could lead to a “more radical” term than the first.

WSJ Editor-In-Chief Pens Letter Marking Grim Milestone of Reporter Detained in Russia

Emma Tucker, the Editor-in-Chief for The Wall Street Journal, penned a letter to readers on Monday to mark 250 days since WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested and detained by Russian authorities while doing his job and falsely charged with espionage. Tucker called it an “appalling milestone” saying it has been “250 days since the concept of a free press – the underpinning of a free society – has been singularly challenged by the arrest of the first American reporter in Russia on an espionage charge since the Cold War.” The WSJ also ran a full page ad in its print edition that included the hashtag “I stand with Evan.” Gershkovich’s parents meanwhile told CNN’s Jake tapper that they are still very hopeful that President Biden will get their son home and that the President understands their pain as a parent.

Union Files Labor Complaint as Cuts Loom at Condé Nast

Condé Nast, the publisher of magazines such as The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, is being accused of unfair labor practices by union workers. The workers say they were met by security guards when trying to obtain information about imminent layoffs. According to reports, security guards were present when the Condé Nast union delivered a petition signed by over 350 people demanding a say in the company’s announced restructuring. Condé Nast, which is owned by the billionaire Newhouse family, said in a statement that its “security team followed standard building security protocol and did not engage with any union member.” Condé Nast told employees last month that it would be cutting around 5% of its workforce.

Bloomberg Businessweek Goes Monthly, Aims to Diversify Audience

Bloomberg Businessweek has announced the strategic transition plans to shift into a monthly print format by 2024. David Merritt and Katie Boyce, leaders at Bloomberg’s media division, announced this shift, promising a revamped design featuring upgraded paper for a more upscale appeal. Despite struggles with declining circulation and ad revenue, Businessweek sees continued demand for its long-form journalism in both digital and print realms. Leveraging digital platforms like Apple News+ and planning a weekend digital product, the publication aims to diversify its audience.

Former CNN Head Faces Opposition in Bid for The Telegraph

British regulators have launched an inquiry into Jeff Zucker’s bid to acquire The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, two of London’s most esteemed publications. Zucker is the former president of CNN. His push to re-enter into the global news business is facing controversy as there was growing outcry over Zucker’s use of roughly $1 billion in Emirati money to acquire The Telegraph and The Spectator. Emirati is hugely influential in British conservative politics and there is concern that Emiratis’ involvement could lead to undue foreign influence over The Telegraph’s coverage. The review, led by the U.K.’s culture secretary, could delay the deal, giving competitors like Rupert Murdoch and Lord Rothermere a chance to rally public opposition as they are also bidders for the esteemed publications.

Media Stocks Jump Amid Bundling Discussion

Media stocks jumped at the beginning of the month upon reports that Apple and Paramount Global are in the early stages of talks to offer a bundle of the company’s two streaming platforms. According to The Wall Street Journal, the companies have talked about bundling Apple TV+ and Paramount+ in an offering that would cost less than subscribing to the two separately. Shares of Paramount closed up nearly 10% on December 1st following the news. Paramount+ and Apple TV+ are positioned to be an ideal match for a bundle given their differing content strategies as Apple TV+ offers a robust library of exclusive and sought-after content, while Paramount+ boasts a large catalog of known TV shows and movies.

Ad-Spending Predicted to Slow in 2024

Ad-spending is expected to slow down come the new year. According to GroupM, a media investment group, growth in global ad spending is poised to slow to 5.3% in 2024, excluding U.S. political advertising. This forecast considers potential shifts in consumer behavior linked to higher interest rates and changes in the dynamics of influential Chinese companies. Despite economic uncertainties, GroupM stands by its new outlook for this current year, as the increasing dominance of digital giants like Alibaba, Amazon, Bytedance, Meta Platforms, and Google are redefining the advertising landscape. GroupM predicts that by 2028, spending on digital ads will surpass the entire advertising industry’s 2022 expenditure, marking a substantial transformation in advertising trends towards digital platforms.

Career Moves

  • NPR has appointed Collin Campbell as the new podcast chief. Campbell previously served as executive editor for new show development at Gimlet Media.
  • Bloomberg News promoted Paula Seligson to senior reporter, where she would be covering the biggest and most important stories in the private credit and the leveraged finance markets.
  • Kevin Ponniah was named head of digital news for North America for BBC News, where he will be responsible for all US and Canada digital news reporting.
  • Adweek constructs a new leadership team, appointing Zoë Ruderman, former General Manager at People, as Chief Content Officer, and Drew Schutte, former Executive at The New Yorker, as Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Business Insider welcomes back Peter Kafka as Chief Correspondent in the media and technology beat, where he will continue to host the Recode Media podcast as part of the Morning Brew.
  • The Associated Press hires Graham Lee Brewer and Terry Tang to its race and ethnicity team of reporters. The AP also named Cara Rubinsky as its global business editor.


Research Reveals Preference and Trust in the News Media

Morning Consult survey data is shedding light on adults’ preferences and trust in the news media, particularly leading up to the 2024 elections. Outlined in more than a dozen charts, the data explores the deep political polarization, increasing reliance on social media and the upheaval of the traditional business models as the media industry faces major headwinds. Key highlights include findings that more than 2 in 5 voters who watch CNN and MSNBC at least a few times a week are not Democrats, and half of Fox News’ consistent viewers are not Republicans. Almost 7 in 10 U.S. adults said they went to social media at least once for news. Additionally, adults were least likely to report using print newspapers (40%), online newsletter (40%) and podcasts for news (38%). And Democrats are nearly two times as likely as Republicans to trust the news media. Other highlights included data that Tucker Carlson fans would rather watch the conservative host on his own media network than watch Fox News competitors. The data was compiled by various analysis, trackers, and reports.

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