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Rolling Stone Appoints Daily Beast Editor as Its New EIC

Noah Shachtman takes over the position at Rolling Stone from Jason Fine, who stepped down in February after five and a half years as the top editor.

Eduardo Razo

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Rolling Stone magazine will have new leadership as The New York Times reports they’ll be hiring Noah Shachtman to serve as its new editor in chief. 

Shachtman is currently a top editor of The Daily Beast since 2018, where he’s covered the former President Trump’s administration, the Jefferey Epstein sex trafficking scandal, and news relating to other media outlets.

“It’s got to be faster, louder, harder,” Shachtman said. “We’ve got to be out getting scoops, taking people backstage, showing them parts of the world they don’t get to see every day.”

The Daily Beast editor takes over the position at Rolling Stone from Jason Fine. The former editor-in-chief stepped down in February after five and a half years. Fine now oversees the digital media content, which includes podcasts, documentaries, and other media ventures.

“I love that his strength is in an area where we need to get stronger,” Gus Wenner, Rolling Stone’s president and chief operating officer, said. “But he’s certainly got the skill set on long-form pieces, and that’s going to continue to be super important, too.”

There’s no scheduled date as to when Shachtman will take over; nonetheless, he’s excited about the opportunity, taking to Twitter to announce his new role with Rolling Stone. 

“Rolling Stone changed my life. Its music journalism helped push me to play in bands for real. Its conflict reporting gave me a north star to aim for when I was a national security reporter. I can’t f***ing wait to help this incredible team write its next chapter,” Shachtman tweeted. 

“Y’all know how much I love The Beast. I’ve never had a job, so fulfilling, so fun, and that delivered such an impact. I’ve never had colleagues more dedicated to their mission. Tracy Connor is the best journalist I know. She’s going to do an amazing job with this crew.”

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Media Business

Meta Uses AI to Get Around Apple’s Privacy Regulations

In August, Meta launched Advantage+, a tool that uses artificial intelligence to automatically generate multiple advertisements…

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Meta has been pursuing efforts to adapt its advertising strategy using AI and machine learning technology. This is in response to Apple’s privacy policy which does not allow companies to harvest user data without their permission. Meta has said it lost around $10bn in revenue in the nine months after Apple rolled out its privacy changes in April 2021.

“Driven by powerful machine learning, Advantage+ app campaigns deliver the highest performing creative to the most relevant audience on the most effective placements,” the Facebook Help Center states.

Meta has been investing heavily in applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to navigate advertising challenges. This is to overcome the restrictions introduced by Apple two years ago that force apps to get permission to track users and serve them personalized ads, according to The Financial Times. 

Before Apple’s new policy, Meta allowed advertisers to target users on the Facebook and Instagram apps based on their behavior and data collected from users’ online activities outside the platform. Meta also tracked people’s demographic characteristics such as age and gender to improve ad accuracy. 

In August, Meta launched Advantage+, a tool that uses artificial intelligence to automatically generate multiple advertisements according to the specific objectives of the marketer. For example, if the goal is to make a sale or gain a new follower. 

Advantage+ runs tests of potential ads and selects what they deem most effective, with the option to automatically alter text and images. 

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Hubbard, NAB Study: First Party Data Increases Listening

“There are opportunities for us to engage with our registered streaming audience by segmenting them and executing strategies focused on their past listening behaviors.”

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The NAB Pilot Accelerator study conducted by Hubbard Radio, in partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), shows how radio stations can leverage first-party data of listeners to increase listening and time spent. 

This means analyzing the available personal data of listeners, like email addresses used to sign up for subscriptions. Hubbard has a long history of collecting key user info via its websites, live players, and mobile apps. The company holds eight years’ worth of listening sessions history and time spent associated with individual user accounts, all of which have an email address tied to them, according to Inside Radio.

“There are opportunities for us to engage with our registered streaming audience by segmenting them and executing strategies focused on their past listening behaviors,” Hubbard said in NAB’s First-Party Data Direct-to-Consumer Accelerator report.

Hubbard concluded that its first-party database helps the company identify who is listening, and listening patterns overall. “We have a huge opportunity to nurture relationships with those listeners to keep them engaged with our stations,” Hubbard says.

Although access to personal data may open doors for broadcasters, this type of data collection remains a controversial issue among Americans. In a study released in 2022 by the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans reported feeling that all, almost all, or most of what they do online or while using their cellphone is being tracked by advertisers, technology firms, or other companies.

The NAB Pilot Accelerator study was reportedly initiated to address the phasing out of third-party cookies by the digital advertising industry. 

Broadcast radio and the TV industry is projected to lose $2.1 billion in digital ad revenue annually – or 6.3% of total ad revenue – with the elimination of cookies, according to a Borrell Associates study commissioned by PILOT and presented at NAB Show New York last fall.

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FEMA Says AM Radio is Vital to U.S Safety

“When all else fails, radio stations are often the last line of communications that communities have.”

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Seven former FEMA officials have sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, asking the federal government to help keep AM radios in electric vehicles. The group is petitioning the government to seek assurances from automakers to maintain AM radios in EVs, arguing that AM radio transmitters are vital to the federal National Public Warning System.

“When all else fails, radio stations are often the last line of communications that communities have,” former FEMA head Craig Fugate, a signer of the letter, told The Wall Street Journal.

Ford and Tesla have removed AM radios in newer electric models. The automakers reasoning behind removing AM radio is that electric vehicles generate electromagnetic frequencies on the same wavelength as AM radio signals and this causes a buzzing sound interference.

The letter to government officials addresses the severity of removing this communication mechanism from EVs, “Should this continue, it will represent a grave threat to future local, state, and federal disaster response and relief efforts.”

According to FEMA, more than 75 radio stations, most of which are AM signals and cover 90% of the U.S. population, have backup equipment that allows them to stay on the air during and after an emergency.

“Federal law mandates that FEMA always maintain its ability to deliver messages to the American people en masse. The National Public Warning System, the only method the government has to reach every point of the country at once, allows it to do so,” the letter continues.

Antwane Johnson, the director of FEMA’s emergency-warning system, said that removing AM radio in EVs could affect the ability of people to receive critical public safety information while in their vehicles.

“AM radio has been tested over and over during the most devastating natural disasters—and has withstood them all,” Johnson told WSJ.

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