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Lately it seems like the biggest news coming out of news is that of ill-fated assets and layoffs. This month alone saw the demise of MTV News and five Sinclair-owned local outlets, while NBCU Local announced a pending shutdown of its experimental streaming service, LX News. Scores of people, or more, may have lost their jobs as a result of those cost-cutting measures, and even when monoliths like CNN look to expand, their “big swings” — as the company’s doomed streamer, CNN+, was described — quickly turn into strikeouts.
All that turmoil and more in TV alone, to say nothing of the struggles across print, which, of course, have been profound. (While writing this I received an alert that Axios Local, a promising newsletter initiative, is already slowing its expansion into new markets out of a “need to grow its existing readership and monetization capabilities,” according to AdWeek.) As an emerging job seeker from LX News told me just after that station’s coffin was rolled out, “It’s disheartening because no one has figured out that secret sauce to do really good, in-depth content and make it profitable.”
The E.W. Scripps Co., for one, says it is going to try harder.
In an email sent to employees today, CEO Adam Symson announced a “news initiative,” in which the company will “invest nearly $10 million to increase compensation where needed to ensure we can attract and retain the best journalists” and “add about 250 on-the-ground resources to our local reporting teams.”