MediaNews Group, the local newspaper company owned by Alden Global Capital, has made the decision to shut down the comment sections for all of its publications.
The company stated, “Open comments can be difficult to moderate, and the discussion can sometimes be overwhelmed by spam, vicious political fueding, or even worse, hate speech,” according to executives who spoke with Axios.
While comments sections were once a common feature of early internet blogging, professional news websites have increasingly scaled back their use due to concerns about spam, abuse, and harassment within these spaces.
MediaNews Group, also known as Digital First Media, operates numerous weekly and daily newspapers, including prominent regional outlets such as The Denver Post and Boston Herald. Like many other major newspaper chains, MediaNews Group has faced layoffs and implemented cost-cutting measures in recent years.
Last year, the company announced its decision to cease endorsing national and statewide political candidates in an effort to combat political misinformation and polarization. The move reflected the company’s observation that “the public discourse has become increasingly acrimonious.”
MediaNews Group Executive Editor Frank Pine explained the reasoning behind the removal of comment sections in a statement.”We take our Fourth Estate responsibility to facilitate public discourse very seriously and we believe increasing polarization is not good for our democracy. In that respect, this decision is in line with our previous move away from national political endorsements,” he said.
In anticipation of the change, MediaNews Group publications recently informed their readers about the removal of comment sections and encouraged them to engage through alternative channels such as social media, email, or by submitting letters to the editors.
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.
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.”
Fox News Begins 2024 Atop Key Digital Media Demographics
Fox News finished its 35th consecutive month atop the multiplatform minutes rankings, with 3.3 billion minutes according to a report from Comscore.
Fox News Digital began 2024 by sitting atop the rankings in several key demographics in the digital media landscape.
In multiplatform views, the outlet tallied 1.7 billion, with The New York Times scoring 1.5 billion. That marked the 16th consecutive month Fox News Digital finished on top.
6 million unique visitors visited the conservative cable outlet’s mobile app, which bested CNN, which tallied 5.4 million unique visitors.
Political Ad Spending Sees Highest Levels in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
AdImpact has tracked 465 unique political ads across broadcast stations. In the 209 markets being monitored, political ads have aired a combined 87, 536 times.
As the 2024 election season continues to take shape, political advertising is seeing large gains in three major metropolitan areas.
AdImpact has tracked nearly $110 million in political ad spending over the past two weeks, with the largest recipients of those figures being Los Angeles ($13.2 million), New York ($10.5 million), and San Francisco ($7.2 million).
Thus far, the highest-spending advertisers are the Adam Schiff for Senate campaign, as the current representative vies for the spot vacated by the death of Diane Feinstein. The campaign has spent $8.1 million.
Additionally, the American Values PAC — a political action committee supporting Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — spent $7.2 million.
Finally, the Yes on Prop 1 in California campaign — which will attempt to tackle mental health issues in the state — has spent $5.4 million in advertising.
In total, AdImpact has tracked 465 unique political ads across broadcast stations. In the 209 markets being monitored, election ads have aired a combined 87, 536 times.