Rupert Murdoch unloads Knewz, the online news aggregator that shut down in July, to Dylan Howard, the American Media Inc. executive who was a key player in the National Enquirer’s attempts to “catch and kill” stories about former president Donald Trump’s extramarital affairs, according to the Daily Beast. Designed as an alternative to the news aggregators of Google and Facebook, and their alleged anti-right-wing slant, Knewz was shuttered 18 months after its launch, with Murdoch’s News Corp saying it had failed to become profitable. Howard’s purchase of Knewz is the latest step in his attempt to re-establish his media career. His company has also purchased former American Media properties Radar Online and OK Magazine and is launching a Hamptons print edition of free luxury fashion magazine Grazia. Howard is represented by Howard Bragman and his LaBrea Media.
German publisher Axel Springer is in talks to pick up an ownership stake in Politico. The New York Times reports that Politico is seeking up to $1B in the potential deal—five times the $200M in revenue that the platform brings in annually. Springer is already a 50/50 partner with Politico on its European edition. The company’s US holdings include Business Insider, which it obtained in 2015, and business-focused digital publisher Morning Brew. It has also recently been in talks to acquire Axios. Politico has lost several top staffers this year (including CEO Patrick Steele) and faces unionizing efforts from its employees, which the Times notes could significantly add to its costs.
Despite Tucker Carlson’s ranting against the COVID vaccine, his employers at Fox News don’t seem to be on the same page as he is. On Aug. 17, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott told employees in a memo obtained by CNN that the company has "asked all employees—whether on-site as part of our essential workforce or working remotely—to upload their vaccination status" into an internal database. She also said that Fox employees are required to wear a mask “in small, confined spaces with limited opportunities for social distancing and where there are multiple employees, including control rooms,” but did not say that vaccines will be mandated to enter the company’s offices. Requirements for people to report their vaccine status have been frequently challenged by such Fox on-air personalities as Carlson and Sean Hannity.