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LA Times Owner Denies Report He’s Trying to Sell the Paper

The report stated that Soon-Shiong was exploring various ideas to offload financial responsibility for the LA Times, whether it’s by bringing in an additional investor or transferring management of the properties to another media group.

Eduardo Razo

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Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire owner of The Los Angeles Times, took to Twitter to deny a report from The Wall Street Journal that suggested the 68-year-old was looking into selling the company.

The report stated that Soon-Shiong was exploring various ideas to offload financial responsibility for the LA Times, whether it’s by bringing in an additional investor or transferring management of the properties to another media group.

Furthermore, The Journal reported that Soon-Shiong considered selling or transferring management of the San Diego Union-Tribune to another company, potentially MediaNews Group, which hedge fund Alden Global Capital owns.

However, Soon-Shiong denied any reports that he’s looking to sell the company and doubled down on his commitment to the newspaper.

“WSJ article inaccurate. We are committed to the @LATimes,” Soon-Shiong tweeted. “Newspapers are important to the community. Support the @LATimes and @sdut.” Three years ago, the LA Times’ billionaire owner purchased the company along with the San Diego Union-Tribune and other weeklies from Tribune Publishing Company for $500 million.

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Media Business

Meta Privacy Lawsuit to be Settled for $37.5M

It’s estimated that around 70 million people are eligible to submit claims.

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Meta has been granted preliminary approval by a judge to settle a lawsuit accusing the company of violating a previous privacy policy. The lawsuit claims that the company collected users’ IP addresses, which can reveal general information about their locations. The proposed settlement is valued at $37.5 million.

If U.S. District Court Judge James Donato in the Northern District of California grants final approval, Facebook users who used the platform between January 30, 2015, and April 18, 2018, will be eligible to submit monetary claims. The settlement applies to those who turned off location services on their Android or Apple mobile devices, but whose location was inferred based on their IP addresses.

It’s estimated that around 70 million people are eligible to submit claims. The amount of money that users could receive will depend on the number of people who file claims. For instance, if the settlement fund totals $25 million after costs and fees, and one million people file claims, each user would receive $25.

According to Media Post, if the judge determines that distributing money to individual users isn’t “economically or administratively feasible,” the settlement funds would be distributed to schools and advocacy organizations, including the ACLU, National Consumer Law Center, Center for Democracy & Technology.

An earlier settlement proposal in the Meta lawsuit, which did not include potential distributions to external organizations, was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge James Donato. The rejection was partly due to the possibility that a settlement fund of $37.5 million might not be sufficient to reasonably compensate the approximately 70 million users affected by the lawsuit.

Donato’s rejection led to the revised settlement proposal that included a provision for monetary claims by Facebook users who turned off location services on their mobile devices.

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Media Business

YouTube Launches Podcasts on Music App

“This new podcast listening experience complements the podcast video experience on YouTube.”

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YouTube has announced that it will now allow users to listen to podcasts on its YouTube Music app, starting in the U.S. The feature will be gradually expanded to other regions in the future.

Users can now listen to podcasts on YouTube Music while watching them on the main YouTube app.“This new podcast listening experience complements the podcast video experience on YouTube,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Unlike music listening, YouTube Music users will not have to subscribe to listen to podcasts in the background. However, the company warns that Premium and Music Premium members may encounter host-read endorsements or sponsorship messages when listening to podcasts.

As the feature is being rolled out, some issues may still need to be addressed, as some users criticize the limited number of podcasts available on the YouTube Music app.

“I got excited about this but then found it to be basically useless. I opened Google Podcasts and this side-by-side and tried to add podcasts to YouTube version and none of them exist,” one reviewer said, according to Podcast News Daily.

Others pointed out that there is not access to audio-only podcasts, there is no ability to add RSS feeds, and no functionality allowing users to quickly mark episodes already listened to or viewed.

YouTube’s launch of the new podcast support and creation tools is an attempt to strengthen its position in the podcast distribution market. The video company is now offering podcast creators access to several tools, such as podcast-specific discovery and recommendation features to help audiences find their shows more easily.

YouTube will provide search cards for podcasts and badges that producers can include in their podcasts and videos. The platform will also offer analytics tailored specifically to podcasts, including audience demographics, retention metrics, and revenue data.

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Media Business

NAB Announces New Radio Board of Directors Members

In total, the Board appointed six new members to its Radio Board of Directors.

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The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has released the results of its 2023 Radio Board of Directors elections, with each elected board member serving a two-year term starting in June.

In total, the Board appointed six new members to its Radio Board of Directors. They include:

  • Julie Koehn, President and CEO, Lenawee Broadcasting Company and Southeast Michigan Media (District 13 – MI)
  • Kenneth W. Forte, President and Co-Owner, R&F Communications (District 15 – TN, AR)
  • Will Payne, Owner, Payne Media Group (District 19 – OK, N. Texas)
  • Nic Anderson, Director, Government Affairs/General Manager Minneapolis, Salem Media Group (District 21 – MN, ND, SD)
  • Felipe Chavez, Chief Operating Officer, Bustos Media (District 23 – N. CA, AK)
  • Tery Garras, Vice President of Radio, Morgan Murphy Media (District 25 – OR, WA)

The NAB Radio Board of Directors is responsible for representing radio broadcasters in the U.S. and advocating for their interests in the industry.

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