The Bizbeat – September 8th, 2016

Each Thursday, MediaFile’s Business section will publish The BizBeat, an overview of the past week’s news in media organizations and industry. Have a tip, see something we missed, or want to put something on our radar? E-mail

Making Headlines

  • Is it too late now to say sorry? Exactly two months after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued ex-network CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, Carlson received a settlement of $20 million – and an “unprecedented” apology from parent company 21st Century Fox. Sarah Ellison had the scoop for Vanity Fair. However, the lawsuit against Ailes by other Fox News ex-host Andrea Tantaros has yet to be settled, per her lawyer.
  • The New York Times has added “Still Processing”, a podcast hosted by Times writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, to its lineup this week. “Jenna and I are basically talking about aspects of life and popular culture and things happening in the world,” Wesley told Politico about the podcast. Listen to the teaser on iTunes.
  • Already an established name in the audio reporting realm, NPR also announced a new podcast debuting next week. “How I Built This with Guy Raz” will feature interviews with the founders of some of the world’s largest brands and companies about the “early and often difficult years” of beginning a business. The podcast’s first episode will drop on September 12, but you can listen to a trailer exclusive below.

  • Melania Trump sued The Daily Mail and blogger Webster Tarpley for $150 million, claiming the outlets had promoted “lies” about her past, including claims that Trump worked as an escort in the 1990s. The Daily Mail has since taken down the article and issued a thorough retraction, citing it “regrets” any misinterpretation.

Getting Down to Business

  •  Wall Street Journal reports that Cheddar, ex-Buzzfeed exec Jon Steinberg‘s news video service, has raised $10 million in Series B funding – enough to launch a full day of live programming.  Cheddar currently produces two daily shows: a business broadcast from the New York Stock Exchange floor and a lifestyle program. While the broadcasts are currently free, Steinberg says he wants Cheddar to be in “paid places” and potentially sold in “bundles” in the future.
  • Jim VandeHei, co-founder of Politico, is preparing to launch a new business and politics news outlet aimed at corporate executives and other professionals. The outlet is reported to be modeled after the Politico Pro subscription format, with one tier of content available free. Based in Arlington, VA, the company has already hired 17 staffers and has already garnered support from notable names like NBC News Corp. and Emerson Collective.
  • The Newspaper Association of America announced that it has changed its name to the News Media Alliance, notably dropping mention of “paper” from the title. CEO David Chavern told Poynter the name change does not reflect “diminishment of newspaper” as a medium, but will rather help the organization keep up with the pressure to expand digitally.

On the Radar

  • Brian Williams’ new show on MSNBC, “The 11th Hour“, premiered Tuesday night to mixed reviews.  Guests on the show included correspondents Kasie Hunt and Hallie Jackson, Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, and a pre-recorded interview with former Republican Presidential hopeful John Kasich. The show, described as a “pop up broadcast“, is said to play it safe – for now.

  • Roger Ailes, former Fox News CEO, has retained attorney Charles Harder – the same lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his suit against Gawker (RIP) and Melania Trump against The Daily Mail. Reportedly, Harder sent a threatening letter on behalf of Ailes to New York Magazine national affairs editor Gabriel Sherman. Sources say this may foreshadow a defamation suit by Ailes, but only time will tell if the threats materialize.


  • New York Magazine National Editor and Fox News/Roger Ailes watchdog Gabriel Sherman was named a contributor for NBC and MSNBC, Hadas Gold reports. Sherman will contribute on issues of media and politics, and his role at New York Magazine will remain unchanged.
  • Anchor Neil Cavuto returned to Fox News and Fox Business Channel on Tuesday after undergoing open heart surgery in June. “I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through on anyone, even CNBC watchers,” Cavuto said, “it’s scary stuff”. TVNewser has the full story.

  • Michele Promaulayko was named the new editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine and editorial director of Seventeen Magazine, as her predecessor Joanna Coles takes a new role at parent company Hearst Magazines. Prior to coming to Cosmo, Promaulayko served in editor-in-chief roles at Yahoo Health and Women’s Health. Read our report on the big changes in Hearst here.


  • Long-time top Fox News anchor and host Greta Van Susteren left the network abruptly on Wednesday. The departure reportedly comes after attempting to renegotiate her contract, which drew the ire of 21st Century Fox’s Rupert Murdoch. Many say the breakup is a sign of the current “tension” behind the scenes at the network, and a post on Greta’s Facebook account says that Fox “has not felt like home” to the ex-anchor.

 Taking Stock

Prices as of closing on Wednesday, September 7. Changes reflect difference from last week’s report. 

  • Time Warner Inc. (TWX): $78.72 (up $0.31)
  • Twenty First Century Fox Inc. (FOX): $24.38 (down $0.47)
  • CBS Corp. (CBS): $52.62 (up $1.59)
  • News Corp. (NWS): $14.09 (down $0.34)
  • The New York Times Company (NYT):  $13.14 (up $0.20)
  • Viacom (VIA): $45.34 (up $0.15)
  • Gannett Co. (GCI): $12.08 (up $0.15)
  • Tribune Media Company (TRCO): $38.48 (up $.40)

In Other News

  • Well, You Tried: Apple’s Twitter account jumped the gun yesterday, tweeting a series of announcements and ads for the newly-announced iPhone 7 – all before Tim Cook even made it to the stage. Many are saying the Tweets must have been a mistake, as all of Apple’s tweets have since been deleted.

  • Daniel Victor of The New York Times has a handy reminder about hitting that reply-all button.

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