Clear View Group, which bought Ebony and Jet magazines from Johnson Publishing in 2016, failed to meet its payroll on May 31. According to a report in the New York Post, most of the remaining editorial staff at the publications are being laid off. On May 24, Ebony staffers were told that the print edition of the magazine would be suspended. Jet has been an online-only entity since 2014. Meanwhile, Pride Media, the parent company of Out magazine, is having financial difficulties of its own. WWD reports that the magazine has been racking up unpaid freelancer bills, and websites Pink News and AutoStraddle say they are owed money from Pride Media for ad placement and commission fees. The company made a new round of layoffs on June 14, and staff salaries were cut eight percent earlier this year.
The Department of Justice has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the proposed acquisition of LSC Communications by Quad Graphics. The suit says that the goal of the suit is “to preserve competition in the markets for magazine, catalog and book publishing services in the United States.” It says that the companies are “by far the largest printers in the United States,” and claims that each company views the other as its top competitor, resulting in a “price war” that has kept down printing prices. Quad chief executive Joel Quadracci countered that claim by saying that deal would actually mean cost savings for clients. He also said that the suit ignores a major competitor—one that is having a big effect on printed media. “Our competition is not only other printers,” he said, “but other forms of media,” noting that the revenues of a combined Quad/LSC would pale in comparison to the ad revenue brought in by social media giants like Facebook.
The Washington Post is planning to add ten newsroom positions in a move to bolster its investigative reporting teams. Five of those positions will be in the paper’s dedicated investigative unit, with reporters also being added to newsroom teams including sports, climate and environment, and foreign. The Post will also add a Freedom of Information Act specialist, whose remit will be to work with all newsroom departments on pursuing journalistic opportunities in public records. “Our goal is to further strengthen an already robust investigative unit and to continue distributing investigative firepower throughout the newsroom,” said Post executive editor Martin Baron.