Media Industry Shake-Up: Layoffs and Leadership Changes Continue to Make Their Mark
- Media cuts have continued into 2023 signaling an ongoing stream of layoffs.
- Top media executives face legal charges as industry financials worsen.
- Upcoming podcasts and shows to test a revamp in audience engagement and new appointments aim to bring new life to long-standing publications.
Once Promising Online News Magazine Ozy Media That Caught the Eye of Silicon Valley VCs Now Faces Fraud Charges
Ozy Media, the once buzzing online news magazine founded in 2013 that caught the eye of several prominent Silicon Valley VCs and saw investments from conglomerates NBC Universal and Time Warner Inc., is now in a heated legal scandal. The company’s CEO Carlos Watson is facing fraud charges on allegations of repeatedly lying to investors and lenders about core aspects of the company’s operations. The U.S. attorney’s office charged the company and Mr. Watson with conspiring to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, finishing to destroy Ozy media and its financial issues. The company came under federal scrutiny for its business practices after the New York Times reported that its former Chief Operating Officer impersonated an executive of Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube during a fundraising call with Goldman Sachs.
Vice CEO Shocks Industry with Sudden Resignation
Nacy Dubuc, the CEO of Vice Media, recently announced she was leaving the company. The move could signal fallen hopes for digital media. Just last month, Dubuc announced that the company was for sale. No deal has materialized yet. Her unexpected departure and Vice’s recent struggles highlight the fallen fortunes of a group of digital media companies that many expected to be the future of the industry.
NPR Becomes Latest Long-Established Media Outlet to Be Hit with Layoffs
John Lansing, the CEO of well-known and long-standing NPR, announced the network would lay off roughly 10% of its current workforce, averaging to at least 100 people, and eliminating most vacant positions. Lansing accounts the cuts to the erosion of financial dollars, particularly for podcasts. Lansing says he does not yet know who within NPR will be affected but said the job cuts would not fall evenly across the organization. NPR is recognized by many as a beloved platform of journalism. In a memo to staff Lansing wrote, “When we say we are eliminating filled positions, we are talking about our colleagues – people whose skills, spirit and talents help make NPR what it is today. This will be a major loss.”
E.W. Scripps Co. Announces Job Cuts as Earnings Disappoint Investors
E.W. Scripps Co. is eliminating 300 jobs in the next 12 months as part of a national restructuring. The cuts come as the long-time media company aims to reduce annual expenses by $40 million. According to the company’s recent report to shareholders, about 5% of the media company’s 5,600-employee workforce will be impacted. The news comes as Q4 earnings disappointed investors. The company reported a $73 million profit on revenue of $680.9 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31. That revenue was $9.8 million less than Wall Street analysts were expecting.
Murdoch Admits Fox News Hosts Spread Election Fraud Lies Under His Awareness
Rupert Murdoch, the leader of the conservative media empire that controls Fox News, said in a deposition that multiple hosts for his networks supported the false narrative that President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 election was stolen and he acknowledges he could have stopped them but didn’t. Murdoch’s remarks were made as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems. The statement adds to the evidence that Dominion has accumulated as it tries to prove its central allegation that people running the country’s most popular news network knew Mr. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false but broadcast them anyway.
Axel Springer’s Strategic Shift to Focus on the U.S. Media Market
Axel Springer SE, one of Europe’s largest news organizations and the only one with a major U.S. presence, is announcing a restructuring. The company says it will slim down its corporate structure in Germany and phase out the print editions of its publications as it seeks to become a leading digital-only publisher. The publisher bought Politico in 2021 as part of a deal that was valued at more than $1 billion. The company purchased Business Insider in 2015 for about $500 million and bought Morning Brew in 2021.
The New York Times Promotes Liz Day to Executive Producer
Liz Day has been a reporter and producer for The New York Times since 2018. In her new promotion to Executive Producer, she will oversee the entire “New York Times Presents” documentary series which is a standalone docuseries developed by the Times that brings viewers closer to the essential stories of the day. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Former Governor of Georgia Joins CNN On-Air Staff
Geoff Duncan, the former Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, is joining CNN as an on-air political commentator focusing on national politics. Duncan joins CNN after spending the last 10 years in elected office in Georgia as a Republican. (email@example.com)
DePasquale Takes on New Role at The New York Times
Ron DePasquale, the Senior Editor at the New York Times, will join the Express Desk as Deputy Editor. In this new role, he will help oversee breaking and trending news coverage around the clock and the globe. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jen Psaki Takes on the Airwaves and Launches Her New MSNBC Show
Former White House Press Secretary Jan Psaki is about to launch her first program with MSNBC. “Insider With Jen Psaki” is scheduled to go live on March 19, where Psaki will break down big public policy issues in the news, as well as interviews with newsmakers. Additionally, the network is planning to create a recurring segment called “Weekend Routine,” which will see Psaki joining lawmakers and other newsmakers as they go about their daily lives. Psaki joined NBC News and MSNBC as a contributor last year.
Former MLB Pitcher Curt Schilling Steps Up to the Mic as Host of a New Podcast
Famed pitcher Curt Schilling, who helped both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox win World Series, will join the OutKick, a sports media company, to host “The Curt Schilling Baseball Show.” The show will feature Schilling’s vast baseball knowledge, expert analysis, and unvarnished opinions on the most talked about issues and stories in the game. Interviews with current and former baseball stars will also be part of the show’s routine. Schilling retired from baseball in 2009 and was named to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2012. As a radio personality, Schilling was signed by Howie Carr radio network to do a Saturday morning politics and sports show. Schilling is an outspoken conservative. He joined the far-right website Breitbart in 2016. Schilling’s outspokenness and often blunt and undaunted views have led to some calling him the “Kanye West of baseball”.