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Two New York Times Journalists Resign

McNeil’s departure comes after allegations of inappropriate comments, including a racial slur during a guide on a Times-sponsored student trip to Peru in 2019.

Eduardo Razo

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The New York Times will see two journalists depart the newspaper amid controversy due to their past behavior. Donald McNeil, a science reporter, and Andy Mills, an audio journalist, handed in their resignations.

McNeil’s departure comes after allegations of inappropriate comments, including a racial slur during a guide on a Times-sponsored student trip to Peru in 2019.

Dean Baquet, the Times’s executive editor, and Joe Kahn, the managing editor, wrote a statement concerning McNeil’s resignation.

“We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent,” they wrote. “We are committed to building a news report and company that reflect our core values of integrity and respect, and will work with urgency to create clearer guidelines and enforcement about conduct in the workplace, including red-line issues on racist language.”

Afterward, McNeil offered his statement concerning his departure from the Times.

“I should not have done that,” McNeil wrote. “Originally, I thought the context in which I used this ugly word could be defended. I now realize that it cannot. It is deeply offensive and hurtful.”

“For offending my colleagues — and for anything I’ve done to hurt The Times, which is an institution I love and whose mission I believe in and try to serve — I am sorry. I let you all down,”

Meanwhile, Mills leaves due to the newspaper adding an editor’s note for a podcast on ISIS, stating that the project depended heavily on a source whose information ended up being false or exaggerated. Furthermore, Mills had accusations of sexual harassment in 2018, including unwanted touching.

The former Times audio journalist offered his statement over his resignation too.

“Today, I’m resigning from The New York Times. Those are not words I ever wanted to write,” Mills said on his website. “While I remain proud of our team and what we were able to accomplish with Caliphate, getting any aspect of any story wrong, by any degree, is a journalist’s worst nightmare.”

“Like all human beings, I have made mistakes that I wish I could take back. Nine years ago, when I first moved to New York City, I regularly attended monthly public radio meet up parties where I looked for love and eventually earned a reputation as a flirt,” Mills added. “Eight years ago, during a team meeting, I gave a colleague a back rub. Seven years ago, I poured a drink on a coworker’s head at a drunken bar party. I look back at those actions with extraordinary regret and embarrassment. I feel it is in the best interest of both myself and my team that I leave the company at this time.”

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Media Business

Emmis Going Private After Shareholder Approval

The transition will not be a fast one, as the company will reacquire its stock at growing prices over a three-year period.

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Emmis Corporation, previously known as Emmis Communications, will go private after a shareholder meeting today.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve changing the company’s articles of incorporation.

The transition will not be a fast one, as the company will reacquire its stock at growing prices over a three-year period. Shares will be redeemed at price points growing from $6 per share in 2023, $6.50 in 2024, and $7.25 in 2025.

Company founder Jeff Smulyan owns all of the group’s Class B common stock. He has also agreed to not block the liquidation of his stock if all of the Class A stock hasn’t been acquired by August 2026.

“I am grateful to the Emmis shareholders for their tremendous support of our proposal to amend our articles of incorporation, which will give us the opportunity to return significant capital, invest in our current businesses, and seek new ventures,” Smulyan said in a statement.

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NPR Uniting News and Programming Divisions Under New Chief Content Officer

“This new unified division will include more than 600 people working together to support all aspects of content production for NPR.”

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With the announcement that NPR executive Anya Grundmann is exiting, the network has announced a plan to unify its content under one division starting next month.

President and CEO John Lansing told employees the network’s News and Programming divisions will be combined into one single unit beginning on Monday, September 11th.

“This new unified division will include more than 600 people working together to support all aspects of content production for NPR,” Lansing said.

After the departure of Grundmann, the division will be run on an interim basis by Edith Chapin, who has been appointed as the newly created Chief Content Officer.

Previously, NPR’s news and other content offerings were separated and overseen by different executives. During her time at the public broadcaster, Grundmann oversaw the podcast, music, events, video, and talk radio programming.

Under the new structure, nine executives will report to the CCO.

“This new structure will ensure we’re more united than ever in our efforts to strengthen our network and succeed in our mission to reach our current and future audiences wherever they consume NPR content,” Lansing concluded.

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Media Business

Tax Credit Considered For Small Businesses Advertising With Local Stations

The bill would offer a payroll tax credit to news organizations of $25,000 per employee for the first year and $15,000 for each year following to retain or hire local news reporters.

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A new bill presented to Congress would give small businesses a tax credit for placing advertising with local newspapers, television, and radio stations.

The Community News and Small Business Support Act was introduced by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Claudia Tenney (R-NY) as a way to bring federal support to smaller news outlets.

The proposed bill would create $5,000 in tax credit for the first year and $2,500 in subsequent years for grocery stores, restaurants, and other small businesses that advertise with local news sources. The businesses must have fewer than 50 employees, and the tax credit would account for 80% of their advertising spending in the first year with radio and television stations.

Additionally, the bill would offer a payroll tax credit to news organizations of $25,000 per employee for the first year and $15,000 for each year following to retain or hire local news reporters. Local journalists would be required to dedicate 800 hours per year to local newsrooms.

The bill has received bipartisan support. In addition to being co-presented by a Republican and Democrat, the bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Andrew Carson (D-IN).

The tax credit was estimated to cost $1.67 billion over five years before the program expired.

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