The News/Media Alliance is urging President Biden to protect local journalism from tech giants like Google and Meta before he meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Alliance has called on the President to defend local journalism from Big Tech giants distributing journalism without paying publishers while generating revenue off of viral articles.
The Alliance believes that Meta and Google have made repeated attempts to avoid paying news publishers for high-quality local journalism. Publishers invest significant resources in producing news content, while the platforms enjoy a steady stream of users and ad revenue, according to Editor and Publisher.
Danielle Coffey, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the News/Media Alliance stated, “The stakes — the survival of local journalism — are too great. We cannot continue to allow Big Tech to exert their dominance any longer.”
The News Media Bargaining Code, which was implemented in Australia, has helped news publishers there reach deals with the platforms. However, when Australia was considering the Code, Meta “deliberately caused havoc” amid the COVID-19 pandemic to influence the law.
Meta made similar threats when the Canadian legislature introduced the Online News Act (C-18) last year and fought similar bipartisan efforts in Congress to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) in December.
Google has been testing the removal of news from its platform in Canada in the event C-18 becomes law. The Alliance is asking the President to promote competition across the American economy and calls on every corner of the Administration to stand strong against Big Tech’s efforts to resist fair payment that will help keep newsrooms open across the United States and the world.
Maddy Troy serves as a writer and editor for Barrett News Media, with a specific focus on media business, advertising, and podcasting. You can find her on Twitter @Troy_Maddy.
Warner Bros. Discovery Sees 14% Drop in Ad Revenue in Q4
“This business is not without its challenges.”
Warner Bros. Discovery hosted its fourth-quarter earnings call Friday, and while the company reported hundreds of millions in losses, it was trying to view that as a positive.
The company reported a loss of $400 million, which is down sharply from the loss of $2.1 billion it experienced in the same time frame in 2022.
Additionally, Warner Bros. Discovery — the parent company of CNN — saw a 14% decline in advertising revenue during the final three months of 2023.
“This business is not without its challenges,” Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, according to CNBC. “Among them, we continue to face the impacts of ongoing disruption in the pay TV ecosystem and a dislocated, linear advertising ecosystem. We are challenging our leaders to find innovative solutions.”
The comapny did report an 86% increase in free cash flow, which now sits at $6.16 billion.
Jeremy Boreing: Every Outlet ‘Suffering From Facebook’s Massive Shift Away From News’
“Mark Zuckerberg remade the news landscape when he moved his company into the space, and then gutted it when he moved out.”
In recent years, Facebook has shifted its focus away from a news and link-sharing platform to become more focused on social interactions between users. That shift has been detrimental to news publishers, according to The Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing.
In a statement to Mediaite, the digital media executive wasn’t shy about his stance that the shift from Facebook has been detrimental not only to his organization but to the industry as a whole.
“Everyone is suffering from Facebook’s massive shift away from news. Mark Zuckerberg remade the news landscape when he moved his company into the space, and then gutted it when he moved out,” Boreing said. “A capricious trillion dollar company can crush entire industries without much effort. Daily Wire is disproportionately impacted because we were built with a focus on Facebook. Now, our focus has shifted to more premium content.”
The comments from Jeremy Boreing coincide with a report that conservative digital outlets have seen a dramatic drop in viewership, especially compared to figures seen in 2020. One outlet — Breitbart — has seen a drop in traffic of 87% compared to the tumultuous 2020 year that included the start and heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a contentious presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Court Approves Audacy Reorganization Plan
“We have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.”
A United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has approved a plan for Audacy to reemerge from its bankruptcy proceedings.
Under the plan, Audacy will equitize more than $1.5 billion of funded debt, which reduces its debt load by 80%, down from $1.9 billion to $350 million.
Audacy Chairman David Field was encouraged by the development.
“Today’s announcement marks a powerful step forward for Audacy, positioning the Company for an exciting future,” said David Field, who also serves as the President and CEO of Audacy. “As expected, we have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.
“We aim to drive accelerated growth and financial performance, capitalizing on our scaled, leadership position, our uniquely differentiated premium audio content and the robust capital structure that we will have upon emergence,” continued Field. “I also want to express my gratitude to our team, who continue their outstanding work to serve our listeners and customers with excellence and fulfill our commitments without missing a beat.”
A statement from the company claims the restructuring “will enable Audacy to continue its strategic digital transformation and capitalize on its position as a scaled, leading multi-platform audio content and entertainment company differentiated by its exclusive, premium audio content.”