The good news for The Los Angeles Times is that it finally has a new owner that isn’t Tronc, having been purchased by an L.A.-based billionaire who (checks notes) has been one of Tronc’s biggest investors to date and a major force in many of its initiatives. Hopefully that, along with a few other changes internally, will finally settle things down at the paper. No word on how the new owner plans to handle the newsroom’s recent unionization vote, though, so we may not be out of the woods yet.

For all the studied analysis that’s been done on the state of the media industry, particularly in how Facebook and other social networks have siphoned off ad revenue, none comes close to being as bluntly truthful as this interview. In it comedian Matt Klinman explains how it’s rarely, if ever, mismanagement or other blunders that cause companies like Funny Or Die to downsize or close, it’s simply that Facebook has homogenized consumption to the point where there’s no survival potential for anything unique and individual. A must-read.

ESPN will launch its stand-alone streaming service later this year, including it in a redesigned app as well.

A couple weeks ago we were all wondering who was providing the growth in Facebook Instant Articles usage. Turns out its purveyors of crap, often fake, news.

Just a week or so after putting a metered paywall around its website, Wired is cutting back print publication of its magazine to just six times a year.

Content Marketing

A bunch of social media influencers – and the agencies who love them – took representatives from the FTC to task over #ad disclosure rules they feel discriminate against them. The argument is that 1) TV shows don’t need to include such notes and 2) Doing so not only turns off the audience but also leads to them being punished by the platforms’ algorithms. Fair points, but 1) At no point is “American Idol” trying to pass itself off as just another schlub who just so happens to be have this amazing product they’d like to talk about and 2) That sounds like a conversation to have with the platforms. Bonus points to the person quoted in the story who says “A post goes D.O.A. when you put an ‘#ad’. “You may as well put up a commercial.” without any self-awareness whatsoever.

Social Media

A rare bit of good news for Snap, which added almost 9 million users to Snapchat last quarter and clocked more revenue than anticipated.

Similarly, Twitter has finally achieved “profitable” status largely through a combination of people are Tweeting more and costs being cut, not because of any user growth.

“Collection” ads are the latest offering from Instagram. Advertisers can include photos and videos and keep people within the app to complete the purchase. Content owners also now have the ability to scan Instagram for copyright-infringing videos and block them.

Seems the time Tumblr enjoyed not being part of the “used by Russian agents to influence the 2016 presidential election” conversation has come to a close.


The rise of tech-driven solutions like programmatic advertising alongside the market dominance of Google and Facebook means jobs in traditional advertising fields are disappearing.

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Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.