Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the United States with over 200 daily outlets, has announced plans to integrate generative artificial intelligence (AI) into its story publishing system.
Gannett has emphasized the importance of human involvement in the process to prevent the automatic deployment of AI without proper oversight. Renn Turiano, Senior Vice President and Head of Product at Gannett, explained in a recent Reuters interview that generative AI presents an opportunity to streamline operations and alleviate journalists from mundane tasks.
Turiano added, “The desire to go fast was a mistake for some of the other news services,” he said without singling out a specific outlet. “We’re not making that mistake.”
Gannett is not alone in its approach. Reuters President, Paul Bascobert, stated in response to inquiries about the company’s plans that the company is “taking a responsible approach that safeguards accuracy and fosters trust,” while embracing AI technologies.
The incorporation of AI tools that generate content or data in response to prompts or user questions is a topic of deliberation for many U.S. newsrooms. Experts caution that generative AI has limitations, including the potential to produce misinformation disguised as certainty, a significant concern in an industry that demands accuracy.
“Where I am right now is I wouldn’t recommend these models for any journalistic use case where you’re publishing automatically to a public channel,” said Northwestern University associate professor Nicholas Diakopoulos.
Gannett’s strategy reflects the cautious approach taken by several mainstream newsrooms, influenced by high-profile instances of generative AI errors at media outlets such as CNET and Men’s Journal. These incidents involved the generation of stories with factual inaccuracies.
Gannett plans to launch a live pilot program in the next quarter, utilizing AI to identify key points within an article and generate bulleted summaries at the beginning. The feature is scheduled to be implemented in the fourth quarter at USA Today.
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.
Robert Dove Named Market Manager at Alpha Media Portland
“He knows Portland like no other broadcaster, has deep relationships and knowledge of our city’s intricacies, and will be a great addition to our team of Market Managers all across America.”
Former iHeartMedia Regional President Robert Dove has been named the new Market Manager at Alpha Media in Portland.
The Portland native will step into the shoes vacated after Lisa Decker announced her impending retirement. Decker worked as the cluster’s leader for the past seven years.
“I’m very excited to join the Alpha Media team. As a native Portlander having the chance to work with some of Portland radio’s most iconic brands is very rewarding and fulfilling,” said Dove. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Most recently, Dove has worked as the Managing Partner at a Portland advertising agency. He brings 36 years of broadcasting experience to the group, including a five-year run as the Regional President of iHeart, overseeing the Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Anchorage, and Fairbanks clusters.
“I am very excited to have Robert lead us to new heights, opportunities, and successes,” added Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt. “He knows Portland like no other broadcaster, has deep relationships and knowledge of our city’s intricacies, and will be a great addition to our team of Market Managers all across America.”
Portland serves as the Alpha Media headquarters. The cluster includes news/talk stations 101 KXL and Freedom 970.
Kevin Cassidy Named Market Manager at Audacy Chicago After Promotion of Rachel Williamson
“We are confident that Chicago will continue to thrive under Kevin’s guidance.”
Audacy has announced a pair of internal promotions that include a new leader at its Chicago cluster.
Rachel Williamson has been elevated to President of Local Sales Strategy and Innovation for the company. In her new role, she’ll report to Chief Revenue Officer Brian Benedik.
“I am looking forward to working with our incredibly talented leaders across Audacy to continue positioning the company as a premier partner for our advertisers,” said Williamson.
“We are thrilled to move Rachel into this new, important assignment,” said Benedik. “Her leadership experience and expertise with linear and digital audio and video will be a tremendous asset to growing our local business across Audacy.”
Williamson had served as the Market Manager and Regional Vice President of the company since 2020. She oversaw the Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis markets.
As a result of Williamson’s promotion, the company has elevated Kevin Cassidy to Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy Chicago.
“With an impressive multiyear track record of success overseeing our New Orleans cluster, Kevin knows how to grow brands and deliver performance,” said Audacy Region President Brian Purdy. “We are confident that Chicago will continue to thrive under Kevin’s guidance.”
“It has been a remarkable experience representing our New Orleans brands over the last five years,” said Cassidy. “I’m excited to embark on the next chapter of my career and look forward to leading Audacy Chicago’s exceptional portfolio of stations.”
Before being named Market Manager of the company’s New Orleans cluster, he served as the sales manager of the company’s music brands in Dallas.
Westwood One Tabs Collin Jones to Replace Suzanne Grimes As President
“With his deep understanding of both Cumulus Media and Westwood One, Collin is uniquely qualified for this role and is well-prepared to harness the full power of our platform to help Westwood One grow.”
Westwood One has announced Suzanne Grimes has exited her role as President and will be replaced by Collin Jones. Grimes had led the organization for the past eight years.
“I would like to thank Suzanne for her invaluable contributions and her pivotal role in our success. Under her leadership, we launched the top-rated Cumulus Podcast Network, built the multi-platform Westwood One News/Talk franchise, and established the industry-leading Audio Active Group,” Cumulus Media President and CEO Mary Berner said. “Throughout her time with Cumulus, she has been a remarkable leader, colleague, and mentor to many, and we are certain she will accomplish great things wherever she chooses to share her talents next.”
Jones has worked at the company since 2011, and will continue to serve in his current role as Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development alongside his new duties as Westwood One President.
“I am excited for the opportunity to expand upon Suzanne’s successes,” Jones said. “Since acquiring Westwood One in 2013, I have been struck by the breadth of its capabilities, the strength of its content and service offerings, and its enormous influence on the broadening audio landscape. I look forward to working day-to-day with Westwood One’s creative, passionate, and talented team to fuel growth and unlock even more value for Cumulus Media and our shareholders.”
In addition to his roles with the company, Jones is the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Board Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Radio Music License Committee.
“With his deep understanding of both Cumulus Media and Westwood One, Collin is uniquely qualified for this role and is well-prepared to harness the full power of our platform to help Westwood One grow,” Berner added. “Collin has consistently demonstrated his savvy business acumen, effective management style, and collaborative spirit, and I have full confidence that he has the skills and the vision to build upon Suzanne’s considerable accomplishments.”