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Welcome to Lexington’s weekly round-up of media news and the latest moves in journalism.

MEDIA NEWS

Daily Mail expands

On Friday, the media company DMGT Trust announced it has acquired the i newspaper. The move will expand the news group’s sizable reach to new audiences, adding 170,000 new circulation figures each weekday and over 190,000 copies of the iweekend each Saturday.

The UK national newspaper and website publisher, which owns The Daily Mail, The Mail On Sunday, MailOnline and Metro, bought the paper for £49.6m from JPI Media Limited. In 2018, the i generated £11m in cash operating income and operating profit from £34m revenue. But the move won’t require much relocation since the i offices are currently in the same building as the Mail, over at Northcliffe House, Kensington.

Notably, Paul Zwillenberg, CEO of DMGT also commented: “The ‘i’ has a different editorial style and tone to the Mail and the audience has a different demographic. I want to make absolutely clear that we will ensure that the editorial independence of the ‘i’ is preserved. Its readers value its distinctive style and politically neutral approach and we are committed to maintaining that.”

Netflix takes Hollywood

Not satisfied with just invading the small screens of every household, Netflix has made its latest conquest a New York cinema. The streaming giant has fixed a new lease for the ‘Paris Theater’: New York’s Last Single-Screen Picture Palace to save it from imminent shuttering in August when the lease with City Cinemas expired. Netflix disclosed it will use the theatre for special events, screenings, and theatrical releases of its films.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer told Deadline: “After 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a kind movie-going experience. We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers.”

Lib Dems criticized for masquerading

This week the Liberal Democrats have come under fire for passing off campaign pamphlets as local newspapers. In one example, the ‘Mid Hampshire Gazette’ pamphlet was circulated in same area as the Basingstoke Gazette.

The Mid Hampshire Gazette describes itself as a “free newspaper” covering several local districts, with the words “Liberal Democrats” appearing in very small print at the top right of the front page.
The local’s editors threatened an election news media blackout in response. The News Media Association and Society of Editors have both condemned these apparent attempts to mislead voters by mimicking local newspapers.

Others have commented that this appears to be a common template for campaign newsletters across the political spectrum and is not a new tactic.

Copyright wars

Facebook has banned a Conservative election ad that used BBC News footage because it infringed the corporation’s intellectual property (IP) rights.

The ad displays three clips of BBC reporters including Laura Kuenssberg, Huw Edwards and Jonathan Blake presenting in recent broadcasts about the situation in Parliament. Statements like “pointless delay to Brexit” and “another Brexit delay” are among the lines of commentary used.

The BBC complained that the video had been used out of context in a way that “distorts our output” and could “damage perceptions of our impartiality.” The  broadcaster argued that the ad misled viewers into thinking that its news reporters were supporting the Conservatives. Whilst the Tories rejected a request to remove the 15-second video, Facebook have complied.

The news group’s Digital Elections Reporter Joe Tidy, described campaign tactics used during this election as “putting Facebook’s policies under increasing amounts of scrutiny and strain.”

TWEET OF THE WEEK

The Hashtag #BoristheCoward was trending on Twitter as Boris did not appear on Channel 4’s Climate Change debates, and the BBC’s Andrew Neil interview. Labour Party Chairman Ian Lavery accused Mr Johnson of ‘running scared’ from an interview.

MEDIA MOVES

Joanna Partridge will be joining The Guardian as a Business Reporter next month. She is currently a Producer and Reporter with ITV News.

Craig Simpson has joined The Daily Telegraph as an Arts Reporter. He was previously a Reporter at PA Media

Stephen Wright has joined The Wall Street Journal in Wellington as a Reporter / Editor.

Jonathan Liew has now started as a Sports Writer at The Guardian

Sally Hickey has joined Property Week as a Finance Reporter

Sam Taylor has been appointed Femail Editor at the Daily Mail. She was previously Editor of The Lady magazine.

Michael O’Dwyer is now covering financial services for the business desk at The Daily Telegraph, working alongside Lucy Burton. He has replaced Harriet Russell who left last week.

 

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