Daily Clips: Lee Quietly Slashes Jobs Amid Hostile Takeover Attempt

April 1, 2022

Australian Publishers Went Dark

On March 23, more than 30 small and medium media outlets in Australia stopped publishing news for 24 hours, protesting against Meta’s failure to pay publishers for the journalism that appears on Facebook. The freeze cost publishers nearly millions of dollars in lost ad revenue, according to sources

Lee Quietly Slashes Jobs Amid Hostile Takeover Attempt

Lee Enterprises has been quietly laying off top editors and other staff across its local papers.

• The cost-cutting moves come after an unsolicited takeover bid from Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund

known for consolidating local news for profit, Axios’ Kerry Flynn and I write. Why it matters: Journalists at Lee-owned papers say that at this point, they don’t know whether staying independent or having a hedge fund takeover is worse.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch laid off three.

• The Bristol Herald Courier laid off one.

• The Omaha World-Herald laid off at least two.

• The Free Lance-Star laid off its executive editor.

AP Releases New Report On AI In Local News

The Associated Press has released a groundbreaking report that provides important insights into local news outlets’ understanding of artificial intelligence and their readiness to use AI to meet their journalism and business needs. The report is based on survey results from nearly 200 newsrooms across all 50 states and more than two dozen in-depth interviews with local news leaders. Print, radio, television and digital outlets are represented, as well as commercial and nonprofit operations.

In addition to demonstrating a readiness to adopt AI and automation technologies, the report outlines what local news providers need to drive technological innovation.

“With this report, AP aims to raise awareness and also begin to level the AI playing field for local newsrooms,” said Jim Kennedy, AP senior vice president of strategic planning. “The goal is to help them harness innovative technology to improve their operations.”

Key findings from the report include:

• Despite some concerns about handing off human work to machines, there is nevertheless strong support among local newsrooms for automating tasks that could free journalists for deeper reporting, streamline production or enhance content monetization.

While interest is high, AI technologies are not in wide use at the local level because many news outlets lack the resources or time required to experiment. In an effort to address many of the needs highlighted in the report, AP will offer a free online curriculum beginning next month, open to all U.S. news outlets. It will feature live, virtual workshops and recorded tutorials. International news outlets will have access to all recorded sessions.

Condé Nast Workers Form A Companywide Union.

Hundreds of workers at the publishing giant Condé Nast, which owns titles like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit and GQ, announced on Tuesday that they had formed a companywide union. The Condé Nast Union is affiliated with the NewsGuild of New York, which also represents editorial employees at The New York Times as well as other publications.

The union will cover more than 500 employees from all of Condé Nast’s brands, except for those from Ars Technica, Pitchfork, Wired and The New Yorker, which unionized separately with the NewsGuild in recent years. In a statement shared through the NewsGuild on Tuesday, the union said it had asked Condé Nast management for voluntary recognition. “We plan to have productive and thoughtful conversations with them over the coming weeks to learn more,” a Condé Nast spokesman said. The company has voluntarily recognized the four existing unions.

The employees in the newly formed Condé Nast union, including editorial, video and production staff, said in a statement that they were pushing for better pay, increased job security, and a stronger commitment to diversity and equity.


Daily Clips is a culmination of various articles from an array of news sources on topics spanning from news to tech