Off the Top

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers a different take on the top story of the day.

‘Just as the industry was starting to find its footing in the new digital ecosystem, the ground shifted again’

You might have heard: Digital and legacy news organizations alike are searching for successful revenue models, and we’re seeing a “a significant recalibration” of news business models But did you know: Making a reference to “Game of Thrones,” NYT’s Mark Thompson wrote in an essay for the Reuters Institute’s 2016 Digital News Report, “Winter really is […]

With both its hosts and audiences aging and more competition from podcasts, public radio is facing a crisis

You might have heard: NPR instructed staff to no longer promote its podcasts or NPR One app on air, a result of NPR’s local station structure But did you know: Public radio is at a crucial intersection, Ellen Gamerman writes: Both its hosts and audiences are aging, and its business model is getting more competition […]

Mobile advertising now accounts for half of all digital ad spending, growing 65 percent from 2014 to 2015

You might have heard: Pew Research Center released its annual State of the News Media report on Wednesday (Pew Research Center), showing that newspapers’ ad revenues declined by 8 percent from 2014 to 2015 (Poynter) But did you know: In 2015, 53 percent of all digital advertising money was spent on mobile ads, Pew Research […]

With the prediction that it will be entirely video in 5 years, Facebook is effectively predicting the end of the written word

You might have heard: Facebook’s vice president for Europe Nicola Mendelsohn predicts that the platform will be “all video” within 5 years (Nieman Lab) But did you know: “Facebook has arguably made us all writers,” Cassie Werber writes, giving millions of people a platform to share their views. But with the prediction from Mendelsohn that […]

The Washington Post joins a group of news organizations that Trump has tried to prevent from covering his campaign

You might have heard: Donald Trump announced Monday that he was revoking The Washington Post’s press credentials (Facebook) But did you know: The Washington Post joins a list of news outlets who are blocked from covering Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump revoked the Post’s press credentials on Monday, calling the newspaper “phony and dishonest.” Other news […]

Gawker filed for bankruptcy protection to protect its assets from being seized by Hulk Hogan

You might have heard: A Florida jury ordered Gawker to pay $115 million to Hulk Hogan, a decision that Gawker is now appealing But did you know: Gawker Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, while its parent company Gawker Media Group announced that it had agreed to sell itself in an auction […]

BuzzFeed canceled an ad deal with the RNC because of Donald Trump

You might have heard: Media organizations are divided over how to cover Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and some journalists have come out in opposition to Trump But did you know: In a memo to staff on Monday, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said Monday that the company has canceled an ad deal with the Republican National […]

The problems with tronc go beyond its name, and the people who work there deserve better

You might have heard: Tribune Publishing is now tronc, with a vision that “calls for perhaps the most concentrated mess of buzzwords that digital publishing has ever seen” But did you know: “It’s not just that the name [tronc] is stupid, though it is,” Allison Hantschel writes. “It’s that giving the company a stupid, laughable name […]

Even worse than Tribune Publishing’s new name is the direction the company is headed in

You might have heard: Tribune Publishing is now tronc, which stands for “Tribune online content” (BusinessWire) But did you know: “Far worse than the name and punctuational idiosyncrasies is the direction in which [Tribune chairman Michael] Ferro is pushing the company,” Erik Wemple writes. “The vision calls for perhaps the most concentrated mess of buzzwords […]

The percent of ad dollars spent on print dropped from 25% to 16% between 2011 and 2015, while mobile grew from 1% to 12% in the same period

You might have heard: Mary Meeker released her annual 2016 Internet trends report (KPCB), showing slow growth of the Internet as a whole and the potential for messaging apps to replace the home screen (Recode) But did you know: “The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a tiny bit scarier,” […]