Industry News Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest: Resignations and Hires in British Media, New Outlets in the US

Welcome to The Fix’s weekly news digest! Every week, we bring you important news stories from the world of media – and try to put them in a wider context.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the launch of GB News, a right-leaning TV channel in Britain that has frequently been compared to Fox News and has been embroiled in controversy and culture wars since its start.

This week, the channel drew more headlines as its lead presenter and chairman Andrew Neil resigned over internal disagreements. Neil, who gained prominence as editor of The Sunday Times and BBC host, says he was unhappy with the direction GB News has been heading in.

As The Guardian writes, Neil’s departure is a sign of deeper issues in the company; “it is continuing to lose staff as it leans into culture war topics, and several senior producers have quit in recent days,” along with struggles with ratings. 

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Jess Brammar was confirmed as executive editor of the BBC’s news channels this week. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of HuffPost UK and deputy editor of BBC Newsnight. In a newly created senior role, she will oversee BBC News and BBC World channels.

Her appointment drew criticism from conservatives because of Brammar’s past criticism of Brexit and the UK government. Previously, BBC board member Sir Robbie Gibb was reported to have opposed Brammar’s candidacy.

As BBC itself notes, Gibb “warned that hiring Brammar would anger ministers, at a time when the BBC is about to enter negotiations for the license fee that funds its operations.”

However, Brammar’s appointment was confirmed on Wednesday. Her outgoing boss Fran Unsworth defended Brammar and emphasized that “while working at the BBC, [the journalists[ leave any personal opinions at the door.”

Clubhouse is still around, and it has hired its first head of news. Nina Gregory, who is currently senior editor for National Public Radio‘s Arts Desk, will assume the newly created position of head of news and media publishers later in September. 

Gregory has spent the last fifteen years at NPR, after contributing to various magazines and news outlets. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, she will focus on “addressing news deserts, improving audio training at journalism schools and working on on-the-ground sourcing in local communities.”

Although Clubhouse has struggled to keep up with its explosive growth and has faced considerable competition from Twitter Spaces and other products, Gregory is optimistic about its opportunities for journalists, CNN writes

More From The Fix: The ups and downs of Clubhouse

This week, Axios reported on the launch of two new media outlets devoted to two hot topics of the day – climate change and the business of space.

Breakthrough Energy, a sustainable energy & climate network founded by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, has backed Cipher, a publication focused on covering the climate crisis. For now, it will be funded by Breakthrough Energy and won’t sell ads or erect a paywall.

Winklevoss Capital, a venture capital firm run by Winklevoss twins, is funding Payload, an outlet devoted to the business of space. As Axios notes, “for years, space coverage has focused on the consumer-facing spectacle of space travel instead of the business and societal implications of the industry.” Payload will try to fix that, at a time when the aerospace industry is growing rapidly in the United States.

In the spirit of times, both outlets are launching newsletters from the start, with plans to expand into podcasts, events, and other formats in the future.

Bonus — Five more stories you might want to check out:

More From The Fix: 5 lessons we learned from AXIOS

Photo by Dmitry Mashkin on Unsplash

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