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The FT’s Sarah Ebner on how to commercialise newsletters: The Media Roundup

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Reach blames revenue declines on Facebook

The Guardian is reporting that Reach has blamed changes in the way Facebook displays news content for a slide in its digital revenues. The publisher, with a portfolio of national and regional titles, has seen digital revenues drop by almost 15% since January. The group said it had experienced a slowdown in the number of page views from online readers.

That will definitely be changes to ‘the presentation of news by Facebook’ reducing traffic to its sites. It will be absolutely nothing to do with people switching off from Reach’s ‘whack-a-mole’ UX and general scaling back of locally generated news – it plans to cut operating costs by more than 5% this year with over 600 job cuts tabled between announcements made in March and April.

But, never fear, the group is forging ahead regardless with its investment in a digital operation to break into the US market. According to the Guardian it had almost 100 full-time staff in place to launch US websites for the Mirror and the Express in the coming months. Hopefully Facebook will give them a break in the States.

The FT’s Sarah Ebner on how to commercialise newsletters

Sarah Ebner, head of newsletters at the FT, says Substack has proved people are willing to pay for newsletters. At the PPA Festival last week, she explained that there has been a realisation that there might be space for paid products and spotlighted the FT’s experiments in selling individual newsletters. One, Inside Politics is available to people who don’t otherwise pay for an FT subscription. Written each weekday by ex-New Statesman political editor Stephen Bush, it is £5.99 a month after a 90-day trial period.

Elmo might give NPR’s Twitter handle to ‘another company’

This is next level BS from Ol’ Musky. In a series of emails to an NPR reporter, he has said he would transfer the network’s main account on Twitter to another organization or person. Last month, NPR effectively quit Twitter after Musk applied a label that falsely suggested the network was state-controlled. He dropped the label, but they’ve not gone back to tweeting and now it looks like he’s throwing his toys out the pram. Columbia professor Emily Bell said, “If this is a sign of things to come on Twitter, we might soon see even more of a rapid retreat by media organizations.”

AI in media: myths and misconceptions

Is AI a magic technology that will make all our jobs obsolete? Or will it be the silver bullet that ‘saves’ publishing? There are plenty of myths, misconceptions and exaggerations around the use of AI technology in media. I take a look at some of the biggest in this extract from our new report, Practical AI for Local Media.

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