Vice Media Is the Latest to Announce Trimming Its Workforce

Vice Media’s new CEO Nancy Dubuc plans strategic changes to help limit spending and increase company profits. Part of the reorganization will involve laying off about 10 percent of staff (roughly 250 people) across all departments. The Canadian digital media and broadcasting company is expected to shift its focus to film, television and branded content, in addition to restructuring its international teams. The news follows Vice’s hiring freeze in 2018 and recent announcements from other media companies regarding layoffs. Continue reading Vice Media Is the Latest to Announce Trimming Its Workforce

Industry Vets Discuss Goals of Producing Immersive Content

Niko Chauls, director of emerging technology for the USA Today Network, and David Hamlin, executive producer of the “VRtually There” series, sat with ETC’s Phil Lelyveld for a one-hour conversation at CES. USA Today Network has the largest newsgathering force in the U.S., comprised of 109 local properties plus USA Today. Chauls has a near-term goal of delivering 360-degree segments reliably on a weekly basis. He sees a reliable flow of quality 360-degree content as the key to both growing the audience and attracting advertising sponsors. Hamlin would like to gear his team up to deliver three stories per week. He reiterated that it is good storytelling that builds the audience and attracts advertisers. Continue reading Industry Vets Discuss Goals of Producing Immersive Content

Cannes Lions Advertising Fest Highlights Branded VR Content

At the Cannes Lions advertising festival, Google issued its first ranking of 360-degree video ads on YouTube, which have already garnered 20 million views. BMW’s VR racing experiences earned a No. 1 spot on the list, which also included McDonald’s, Oreo and Hyundai. Google has distributed 5 million Cardboard viewers for watching VR with a smartphone. The company acknowledges these are early days for virtual reality, but also believes that more access to smartphones will hasten more adoption. Continue reading Cannes Lions Advertising Fest Highlights Branded VR Content

Gannett’s Oculus Rift Experiment Covers Skiing Championships

Gannett is once again experimenting with ways to approach journalism through virtual reality technology. This time, the company created the “World Championships Skiing Virtual Reality Experience.” Viewers can be transported to Vail, Colorado where they can watch the skiers train and hang out — or even ski down the mountain themselves. The experience features 360-degree footage of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and there is a 2D version for people who do not have access to an Oculus Rift. Continue reading Gannett’s Oculus Rift Experiment Covers Skiing Championships

New Software Can Detect Breaking News Leads on Social Media

Dataminr is a software tool that can find patterns in the millions of tweets posted every day to help news organizations spot leads for breaking news. CNN, BBC, and Gannett had already been testing Dataminr before the software was officially released on Tuesday. The new “Dataminr for News” includes a new mobile app, which will send alerts to notify journalists of developing stories. Dataminr is one of several technologies that media companies are using to mine social media. Continue reading New Software Can Detect Breaking News Leads on Social Media

Iowa Newspaper Uses Oculus Rift for ‘Explanatory’ Journalism

The Des Moines Register, which reaches 420,000 readers, has launched a virtual reality story to examine how the demographic and economic changes in Iowa are affecting one farming family. The readers of the paper can step into the Dammann family farm and click on objects to learn about how different issues impact Iowa residents. Only 125,000 Oculus Rift headsets are in circulation, but this story may be one of the first steps toward integrating VR into journalism. Continue reading Iowa Newspaper Uses Oculus Rift for ‘Explanatory’ Journalism

Dutch Startup Blendle Develops Yet Another iTunes for News

A Dutch startup named Blendle has built what it calls an iTunes for news, where instead of buying songs, customers can purchase stories from different newspapers, magazines and websites. The benefit is that, rather than subscribing to an entire publication, users can select specific content. Individual articles go for as little as 14 cents. Available for a month, the service now has 60,000 registered users, and this week signed its first English-speaking publisher, The Economist. Continue reading Dutch Startup Blendle Develops Yet Another iTunes for News

Tribune to Acquire 19 Local TV Stations in $2.7 Billion Deal

The Tribune Company has agreed to pay about $2.73 billion to acquire all 19 television stations from Local TV Holdings, which is owned by investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Tribune, which already owns 23 local TV outlets and is looking to possibly sell some or all of its newspapers, will become one of the country’s largest station groups through the deal (and the biggest holder of Fox affiliates). The 19 stations cover areas from Scranton to Salt Lake City. Continue reading Tribune to Acquire 19 Local TV Stations in $2.7 Billion Deal