IBT Media, the former parent company of Newsweek, and faith-based online publisher Christian Media have been charged by the Manhattan district attorney’s office of carrying out a scheme to defraud lenders out of millions of dollars. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors are also examining possible advertising abuses at IBT Media and its connections to Olivet University, a Bible college in California. IBT Media owned Newsweek during the period of the alleged fraud; the company said Wednesday it had completed a spinoff of Newsweek into a separate entity. Top executives from IBT Media and Christian Media are accused of creating phony financial statements and using them to secure approximately $10 million in loans, which they said would go toward purchasing sophisticated computing services. Instead, the money was laundered through corporate bank accounts and went toward supporting business operations at the media organization, prosecutors alleged. In February, Newsweek editor-in-chief Bob Roe, executive editor Ken Li and reporter Celeste Katz were fired following a series of the articles in Newsweek about financial issues at the magazine.
Redbook will cease print production, becoming a digital-only brand as of January 2019. The magazine has been operating without an editor-in-chief since Meredith Rollins exited last year. Redbook’s shift toward digital comes as Hearst Magazines president Troy Young continues his campaign of “cross-platform brand alignment.” As a part of that, the company is consolidating leadership at several of its titles. Men’s Health editor-in-chief Richard Dorment will now oversee the print publication and MensHealth.com; Women’s Health EIC Liz Plosser will oversee print and digital content for that brand, and Popular Mechanics EIC Ryan D’Agostino will also lead both print and digital. Redbook is the third of the so-called Seven Sisters magazines to cease regular publication. McCall’s shut down in 2002 and Ladies’ Home Journal stopped monthly publication in 2014.
AT&T plans to join Disney, as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime, in the streaming service game. WarnerMedia, which was part of the $85.4 billion deal that AT&T struck in June for Time Warner, is preparing to launch a digital video service that would include content from WarnerMedia subsidiary HBO, plus some Warner Bros. films and programming from the company’s TV library. HBO Now, which streams live and on-demand HBO programming, will serve as the basis for the new service. As of February, HBO Now had over five million subscribers, according to market research company Statista. WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said the new service would balance the company’s existing deals with distributors with its standalone streaming aspirations.