California is making progress on a proposal that could force big tech companies to pay a “journalism usage fee” to publishers, including local radio stations, every time they utilize local news content and sell advertising alongside it.
The California Assembly passed the proposed California Journalism Preservation Act last week with a significant majority of 46-6. The bill, now heading to the state Senate, would mandate news publishers to allocate 70% of the profits from the usage fee towards journalism jobs.
The bill has garnered support from the California Broadcasters Association (CBA), which has been collaborating with sponsors during the development of the legislation. CBA President Joe Berry emphasized the criticality of the issue for the survival of local journalism in California. The bill is expected to be taken up in the California Senate this month and, if passed, will proceed to Governor Newsom for final approval.
A potential threat from Meta looms heavy as the company suggests that it would remove news from Facebook and Instagram if the bill becomes law, instead of paying into what it describes as a “slush fund” primarily benefiting large out-of-state media companies.
“The bill fails to recognize that publishers and broadcasters put their content on our platform themselves and that substantial consolidation in California’s local news industry came over 15 years ago, well before Facebook was widely used,” Meta Policy Communications Director Andy Stone said in a post on social media.
Bill sponsor Buffy Wicks thinks that is an “empty threat” with the Oakland Democrat saying during debate on her bill that she was “not interested in a debate between Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg.”
The CBA and NAB are not alone in supporting the legislation, as other journalism organizations, including the News/Media Alliance and the California News Publishers Association, are also backing the bill. These trade groups argue that Google captures up to 70% of every advertising dollar, preventing news publishers from reinvesting in vital investigative journalism and community news.
At the federal level, the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA) was reintroduced in the previous session of Congress and almost became law in December before the session ended. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) reintroduced the JCPA in the Senate in March, but no companion legislation has been introduced in the House thus far.
If passed, the federal JCPA (S. 1094) would establish a limited safe harbor from antitrust laws, enabling news publishers and broadcast news operations with fewer than 1,500 exclusive full-time employees to form joint negotiation entities. These entities would collectively bargain with covered platforms over the terms and conditions of access to digital news content. The bill would also require large online platforms to engage in good-faith negotiations with eligible news organizations.
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.
Tom Tradup Named Contributing Editor of All Israel News
Salem Radio Network Vice President Tom Tradup has been hired as Contributing Editor of All Israel News, the publication has announced.
In his new role, Tradup will coach the outlet’s writers and editors, and will also provide a weekly column about Israel, the Arab world, and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
“I could not be more thrilled that Tom Tradup has agreed to help All Israel News publish more great content and dramatically expand our traffic, reach, and influence,” founder Joel C. Rosenberg said.
Tradup will continue in his full-time role at Salem Radio Network, in addition to his new role with All Israel News.
“I’m honored to work with Joel Rosenberg and his awesome team. Given that they only launched on September 1, 2020, I’m astonished by just how much they’ve accomplished. They’re breaking stories that are getting picked up by much larger American and Israeli news outlets. They’re getting exclusive interviews with the most powerful leaders in Israel and the Arab world,” said Tradup.
“Also, they’re providing the best daily online coverage of what’s happening with Christians in Israel and the broader Middle East. TBN loves their work and has created a prime-time TV show with Joel as anchor and executive producer. And Joel is being interviewed by Fox News, Newsmax, the Jerusalem Post, and so many other major media outlets because of his expertise and unique perspective on the region.
“Clearly, the Lord is doing something very special here, and at this pivotal moment in history, I’m really looking forward to helping Joel and his colleagues build on this successful foundation and create exciting new content that educates Evangelical Christians about what’s happening in Israel and the region from a distinctly Biblical worldview.”
NAB CEO Curtis Legeyt Applauds Court Decision to Complete Quadrennial Review
“This ruling is an important step to compel a review that the record makes clear is necessary to allow local broadcasters to more fairly compete and deliver our trusted, locally-focused programming in a transformed media marketplace.”
A U.S. Court of Appeals has handed down a decision providing the FCC 90 days to complete the 2018 quadrennial review. The NAB has shared their pleasure with the decision.
“NAB applauds the Court for recognizing the vital importance of the FCC completing its long overdue 2018 quadrennial review. Today, broadcasters’ service to communities across the country is imperiled by the Commission’s failure to modernize its decades-old media ownership rules,” NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said. “This ruling is an important step to compel a review that the record makes clear is necessary to allow local broadcasters to more fairly compete and deliver our trusted, locally-focused programming in a transformed media marketplace.”
Earlier this year, the NAB threatened to sue the FCC if it did not respond to a request to postpone the 2022 review until the 2018 review was completed. FCC Jessica Rosenworcel subsequently shared that changes to the commission’s ownership rules were still a work in progress, despite the legal challenges facing the quadrennial review.
However, the broadcaster group has shared its intention of working together with the FCC to find a resolution.
“NAB looks forward to actively engaging with the FCC to forge a path forward and reinforce the essential service provided by free, local broadcast stations in communities across the country.”
X Will Be Turning a Profit in 2024 Says CEO Linda Yaccarino
“90% of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform in the last 12 weeks alone.”
The profitability of X, formerly Twitter, has been a hot topic since the social media platform was purchased by billionaire Elon Musk. His hand-picked CEO, Linda Yaccarino, says the company will be in the black in 2024.
While appearing at the Code Conference, Yaccarino said that since she has taken on the role of CEO, she know sees a path to profitability for the company.
“Now that I have immersed myself in the business, and we have a good set of eyes on what is predictable, what’s coming is that it looks like in early ’24, we will be turning a profit,” Yaccarino said.
During the interview, which has been labeled by observers as “odd” and “uncomfortable, Yaccarino claimed, “90% of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform in the last 12 weeks alone.”
In its first 13 years of operation, the social media company has yet to turn a profit. However, the insinuation of profitability by Yaccarino isn’t the first time she’s claimed the company was close to being in the black. In an interview with CNBC in August, she said the platform was “pretty close to breakeven”.
Yaccarino added that she views X as “a new company”, saying it’s a “new day”. She continued by noting that her belief is X is “building a foundation on expression and freedom of speech”, whereas Twitter was “operating on different sets of rules…different philosophies and ideologies that were creeping down the road of censorship”.