Metro New York, a free daily distributed in the New York City area, has been acquired by Schneps Media, which already owns the paper’s main competitor, amNewYork. The two papers are being consolidated into a single edition, which will be known as amNewYork Metro. Schneps has also purchased the assets of Metro Philadelphia, which will continue to be published. According to the New York Post, the staffs of both papers were laid off on Jan. 3 by Metro US, the former owner of the papers. Schneps told the Post that some of those staffers will be offered positions with Schneps. amNewYork editor-in-chief Robert Pozarycki is editor of the combined New York paper. Schneps says that the combined paper will have a daily weekday circulation of 175,000. Schneps also publishes many other papers in the New York City area, including the Queens Courier, Park Slope Courier, Bronx Times Reporter and Long Island Press. Metro Boston, which was not part of the deal, ceased operations on Jan. 8.
An attempt by Facebook to shore up its reputation through a piece of sponsored content on the Teen Vogue website touting the company’s efforts to safeguard political speech appears to have backfired. The piece, which includes interviews with five female Facebook managers (along with a group portrait), discussed what Facebook is doing to avoid the spread of disinformation and propaganda. When the article first appeared on teenvogue.com on Jan. 8, it was not labeled as sponsored content. Soon after, a “sponsored editorial content” label appeared above the article, and shortly after that, the piece was taken off the site completely. A Condé Nast employee told the New York Times that the article had been commissioned as sponsored content. While it was up Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared it, calling it a “Great Teen Vogue piece about five incredible women protecting elections on Facebook.”
Former First Lady Michelle Obama is coming to a smartphone near you with an IGTV series that focuses on the daily struggles of college freshmen. “A Year of Firsts,” is the result of a partnership between digital media company ATTN: and Reach Higher, an initiative founded by Obama during her time at the White House to inspire and support students to pursue higher education. The series is set to start streaming on Instagram’s video app later this month, and a trailer for it was released on Jan. 7. The series is the latest of the efforts by the Obamas to produce civic media projects on a variety of platforms. In June, their production company Higher Ground said it would begin working with Spotify to produce podcasts, following its 2018 deal with Netflix to produce TV shows and films on such issues as race, class, democracy and civil rights.