Media Insider: Karlie Kloss Revives Life Magazine, Splinter Relaunches, Gannett Reduces Debt - Living Strong Television Network
Media Insider: Karlie Kloss Revives Life Magazine, Splinter Relaunches, Gannett Reduces Debt

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.

Karlie Kloss to Reboot Life Magazine
Hollywood Reporter | Alex Weprin

More than two decades after it was shuttered by Time Inc., Life magazine will be revived. Bedford Media, the holding company founded by model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss and her husband, investor Josh Kushner, has acquired the publishing rights to Life from Dotdash Meredith. Bedford says that Life will be relaunched as a print magazine, with a “vibrant” digital and video presence. “We see Life as an uplifting and unifying voice in a chaotic media landscape,” Kloss said in a statement. “While Bedford is a new media company, we are deeply inspired by Life’s iconic legacy and ability to connect diverse audiences with universal narratives of humanity.”

Also from the Hollywood Reporter: Bill Maher is launching a podcast network, Club Random Studios.

Splinter, Take Two: Politics Site Is Relaunched in Time for the Election
MediaPost | Ray Schultz

Splinter, the politics and media site that’s been down for five years, has been relaunched by Paste magazine. It has a new Editor-in-Chief, Jacob Weindling, a contributor to Paste’s politics page, who promises to deliver insightful political coverage. “Splinter has always been a platform for those who refuse to be silenced and demand accountability and transparency in our political discourse,” Weindling says. “It’s crucial that this voice is not only heard but amplified, especially as we approach a critical presidential election.” G/O Media acquired Splinter and Jezebel when it purchased the portfolio of Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion Inc. from Univision Communications Inc. in April 2019 for a sum estimated at less than the $135 million it paid for it.

ICMYI: G/O Media sold The A.V. Club and The Takeout and is looking to sell The Onion.

Over 100 watchdog groups sign letter demanding Meta keep CrowdTangle running
NiemanLab | Andrew Deck

Over 100 social media research, advocacy and watchdog groups have signed an open letter to Meta calling on the company to extend the use of its CrowdTangle platform until 2025. Led by the Mozilla Foundation, the letter comes just days after Meta said it would shutter CrowdTangle officially on August 14. For years, CrowdTangle has been an essential portal into the world of disinformation and conspiracy theories on Facebook and Instagram. It is used by journalists, fact-checkers, academics and election monitoring officials alike. The news was hardly a shock — Meta’s announcement follows years of disinvestment and growing restrictions placed on CrowdTangle.

Read next: Why advertisers claim Meta owes $7 billion in damages.

FT US journalists in dispute with management over call for extra $4k
Press Gazette | Bron Maher

FT journalists in the U.S. are in dispute with management after seeking salary rises averaging just over $4,000 to cover the higher cost of living than their U.K. counterparts. The FT U.S. Guild argues that the cost of living differences between the U.K. and U.S. mean their overall remuneration is both lower than their London counterparts and uncompetitive compared to other U.S. newsrooms. It has asked for a one-time additional salary increase for its members, many of whom work at the New York office. Currently advertised reporter salaries for FT journalists in the U.S. start in the $71,000-$75,000 range. The dispute highlights a broader challenge for U.K. media titles seeking to expand in the U.S. where pay levels for journalism jobs are far higher than the U.K.

In more labor news, Long Beach Post staffers were laid off after moving to unionize and going on strike.

Gannett Reduces Debt at a Discount
MediaPost | Ray Schultz

Gannett is repurchasing approximately $13 million of 6% first lien notes due on November 1, 2026, for roughly $12 million. “By working with our lenders, we are continuing to opportunistically take out senior notes below par value, and this latest repurchase builds upon the agreements announced in November and September of 2023,” says Michael Reed, chairman and CEO of Gannett. Reed adds that Gannet expects to “repay at least $110 million in 2024 through non-strategic asset dispositions and continued free cash flow improvement.” Gannett has been on a cost-cutting mission and will stop using Associated Press content later this month. It also has been reducing its real estate and moving toward a hybrid work model without newsrooms in some places.

Gannett also made news when its CEO bashed the NewsGuild, saying it “plays dirty and lies” to Gannett employees.

Ronna McDaniel out at NBC News following backlash
Axios | Sara Fischer, Jacob Knutson

NBC has dropped Ronna McDaniel as a paid contributor, NBCU News Group chair Cesar Conde confirmed in a memo to staff following backlash from some of the network’s journalists. The ex-RNC chair’s hiring set off a rare on-air protest over the weekend from top network talent, renewing criticism over cable news’ lucrative — and often controversial — alliance with former government officials and party flacks. McDaniel is exploring legal options over the termination of her contributor deal, two sources told Axios, after Puck News reported the network was planning to let her go. A source familiar with the situation told Axios that NBC News did not personally contact McDaniel regarding the network’s decision.

Also from Axios: Snap has struck a deal with Integral Ad Science to develop more brand safety tools.

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