Sydney Ember

Never Mind the News Media: Politicians Test Direct-to-Voter Messaging

From Washington to Texas to California, politicians are road-testing their political messaging strategies, searching for the best way to reach voters in ways that often bypass the traditional media gatekeepers. These media methods have obvious appeal: Politicians can appear accessible but remain insulated from the press. They are also not altogether new. President Donald Trump eschewed traditional television advertising during the 2016 campaign and can now overshadow even his own party’s message at the drop of a tweet. And many politicians have long made a practice of ducking reporters.

Tronc Sells The Los Angeles Times to Local Billionaire for $500 Million

The Los Angeles Times was sold to Patrick Soon-Shiong, a health care mogul and former surgeon, for $500 million. The deal includes The Times’s sibling paper, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and smaller publications in the California News Group. The deal, with Dr.

Media Organizations Grapple With the New Facebook

Over the next few months, with the implementation of a revised strategy, Facebook’s two billion users will see less content produced by news organizations and more from their friends, if all goes according to the company’s plan. So what does that mean for the media companies that have come to depend on the social media giant to drive readers to the articles and videos they create? As part of the shift, Facebook pages run by publishers and businesses may see a reduction in the number of people they reach and site visits, he wrote.

President Trump Escalates His Criticism of the News Media, Fueling National Debate

President Donald Trump has escalated his fiery attacks on the news media, seizing on a recent string of mistaken reports to bolster his case that he is being persecuted by a left-leaning establishment out to bring him down and fueling a national debate over truth, accountability and a free press. While every president has groused about his coverage, President Trump has proved to be the most vocal and visceral news media critic in the Oval Office in at least a generation. In recent days, news outlets have provided him ammunition with reporting errors.

Time Inc. Sells Itself to Meredith Corp., Backed by Koch Brothers

The Meredith Corporation — the owner of Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens and AllRecipes — agreed to purchase Time Inc. (the publisher of once-prestigious magazine titles including Time, Sports Illustrated and People) in an all-cash transaction valued at nearly $3 billion. The deal was made possible, in part, by an infusion of $650 million from the private equity arm of Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers known for using their wealth and political connections to advance conservative causes. 

Meredith Bid for Time Said to Be Backed by Koch Brothers

Time is said to be in talks to sell itself to the Meredith, in a deal backed by Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers known for supporting conservative causes. The new round of negotiations, motivated by the surprise entry of the Kochs, could lead to a quick deal. The Kochs have tentatively agreed to back Meredith’s offer with an equity injection of more than $500 million. The companies have been negotiating over the past several days, and Meredith is reviewing the latest Time Inc. financial information.

Disney Ban Elevated Tension at Los Angeles Times Newsroom

A dispute between The Los Angeles Times and the Walt Disney Company has ignited a battle between the paper’s employees and its new top management. On the morning of Nov. 3, the newspaper published a note to readers revealing that Disney had barred its journalists from attending advance film screenings in response to a Times investigation into the entertainment company’s business ties with Anaheim (CA). Outrage over Disney’s move was soon rocketing around social media.

Trump’s Urging That Comey Jail Reporters Denounced as an ‘Act of Intimidation’

During a private meeting in February with former-FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump floated a proposal that, even by the standards of a leader who routinely advertises his disdain for the news media, brought editors and reporters up short. You should consider, President Trump told Comey, jailing journalists who publish classified information. Presidents are rarely afraid to wrangle and bully reporters, and Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, was pilloried by news organizations for aggressively prosecuting leakers. But Trump’s suggestion breached new territory for political reporters who already consider their profession under siege. “Suggesting that the government should prosecute journalists for the publication of classified information is very menacing, and I think that’s exactly what they intend,” said Martin Baron, The Washington Post’s executive editor. “It’s an act of intimidation.” While Trump’s proposal to Comey could be construed as a private fit of pique, journalists and press freedom groups said that they were alarmed by the possibility that he considered, even casually, enlisting the Justice Department to quash reporting he disliked.

Sinclair Requires TV Stations to Air Segments That Tilt to the Right

They are called “must-runs,” and they arrive every day at television stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group — short video segments that are centrally produced by the company. Station managers around the country are directed to work them into the broadcast over a period of 24 or 48 hours. Since November 2015, Sinclair has ordered its stations to run a daily segment from a “Terrorism Alert Desk” with updates on terrorism-related news around the world. During the election campaign last year, it sent out a package that suggested in part that voters should not support Hillary Clinton because the Democratic Party was historically pro-slavery. More recently, Sinclair asked stations to run a short segment in which Scott Livingston, the company’s vice president for news, accused the national news media of publishing “fake news stories.” As Sinclair prepares to expand its stable of local TV stations with a proposed acquisition of Tribune Media — which would add 42 stations to Sinclair’s 173 — advocacy groups have shown concern about the size and reach the combined company would have. Its stations would reach more than 70 percent of the nation’s households, including many of the largest markets. Critics of the deal also cite Sinclair’s willingness to use its stations to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda. That practice has stirred wariness among some of its journalists concerned about intrusive direction from headquarters.

Us Weekly Is Sold to National Enquirer Publisher

Us Weekly, a celebrity magazine that has long been a staple at checkout counters, is changing hands. On March 15, American Media Inc., which owns entertainment publications like the National Enquirer and Radar Online, announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Us Weekly from Wenner Media, which has owned it since 1985. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but two people briefed on the deal said the price was $100 million. The acquisition of Us Weekly will give American Media a younger, more affluent audience, and a larger digital presence. It will also increase American Media’s heft in celebrity gossip — along with the National Enquirer and Radar Online, the company publishes the supermarket staples Star and OK!