EPSN+, the sports network’s streaming service, says it has over a million paid subscribers after five months in operation. The rise of the $5-a-month streaming service, which is at least partly counteracting the decline in ESPN’s traditional video subscriber numbers, comes despite a few drawbacks. While it features Major League Baseball, college sports, boxing, soccer and the UFC, ESPN+ does not carry live NFL or NBA games. Regardless, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro says that “a wide range of sports fans have seen the value of ESPN+.” The service is part of the effort by Disney, ESPN’s parent company, to steer its business away from traditional distribution models. Disney has a family-friendly streaming system in development, which it plans to bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu, after Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets gives it majority control of that streaming service.
Condé Nast has formed a Women’s Video Network, which will be centered around Glamour. Glamour’s editor-in-chief, Samantha Barry, came to the magazine in January after serving as head of social media at CNN. Allure, Self and Iris, a social-led editorial and video platform for millennial women, are also included in the new network. In addition to original series, the network plans extensive coverage of Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards and Summit in November. Last year’s video coverage of the event drew 75.6 million global total views. According to Condé Nast chief revenue and marketing officer Pamela Drucker Mann, the company “reaches one out of two millennial women in the United States, and we’ve created a new Women’s Video Network to make it easier for advertisers to leverage our influence with our next-gen audience at a critical time in the purchase decision journey.”
BuzzFeed News has pulled the plug on its in-house podcast production team, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The company says it will still produce podcasts without the dedicated team, though most will be eliminated. The closure will result in just a few layoffs. The cutback comes as BuzzFeed is shifting its resources toward video. “We’ve decided to move to a production model that is more like our TV projects—that is, treating shows as individual projects, with teams brought on as needed,” said BuzzFeed News VP, news and programming Shari Hilton in a memo to staff. BuzzFeed is not the only company to scale back its podcast aspirations lately. Panoply, a podcast network started by The Slate Group, announced earlier this month that it was shutting down, and Amazon’s Audible Originals podcasting unit laid off several employees earlier this year.
Quartz has named Sam Grobart editor for premium journalism. Grobart joins Quartz from CNN, where he was executive editor. He served as managing editor, digital video at Bloomberg Businessweek, personal technology editor at the New York Times, senior editor at Money magazine and a news editor at the Wall Street Journal. He was also editor in chief of the Dow Jones/IAC personal finance startup FiLife, At Quartz, Grobart will oversee the development of the content that will be available on Quartz’s upcoming subscription service.