Russia’s Federal News Agency, which has been linked to the Internet Research Agency, the group allegedly behind the country’s infamous “troll factory,” is also behind USA Really, a recently created news outlet devoted to battling “growing political censorship… aimed at discrediting the Russian Federation.” According to a report in The Daily Beast, USA Really is helmed by Alexander Malkevich, a Russian media executive and a member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, a body created by Vladimir Putin to advise on government policymaking. The outlet’s website and social media pages went online last month and it is currently recruiting English-speaking journalists and authors. The new website may be part of a pending broader campaign, according to Lee Foster, manager of information operations analysis for FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence. “There are a bunch of other domains as well that play on USA Really that we are monitoring that haven’t launched,” he told McClatchy. As part of its “Wake Up America” campaign, USAReally promoted a flash-mob event in front of the White House that it said celebrated both Flag Day and Donald Trump’s birthday.
Fox and Telemundo say that ad sales for the 2018 World Cup matches are set to meet expectations, despite the lack of an American presence on the field and a time difference that means most games will be broadcast in the morning in the U.S. NBCUniversal's stated revenue goal headed into the World Cup was $225 million (NBCU owns Telemundo). According to Kantar Media estimates, Univision racked up about $336 million in ad sales revenue when it carried the 2014 World Cup. “The NBCUniversal Hispanic Group has virtually fulfilled its inventory and revenue goals for the 2018 FIFA World Cup," Laura Molen, executive VP, lifestyle and Hispanic advertising sales, NBCUniversal, told AdAge. And Fox says most of its World Cup ad inventory is “already spoken for.” When the U.S. team lost to Trinidad and Tobago in October, shutting it out of a World Cup slot, Fox lost at least three games that were almost certain to deliver massive audiences.
Amanda Silverman, Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson and Sarah Levinson Rothman, who announced their departure from film-industry PR firm 42West last week, are setting up shop as The Lede Company. They will share the title of co-CEO, with Silverman and Levinson Rothman heading up the New York office, and O’Sullivan Wasson working from Los Angeles. The new venture will rep an impressive roster of talent, including Rihanna, Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, Queen Latifah, Charlize Theron and Lady Gaga. The Lede Company will also be working with such brands as Illumination Entertainment, Hello Sunshine and PepsiCo. “As the entertainment, media and branding worlds continue to grow and shift, we are confident that our combined skills and experience have readied us to implement strategies that move along with it, and we can’t wait to see where this new journey takes us,” they said in a statement.