Chicago Public Media, which owns the city's NPR outlet, WBEZ, is set to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 31. Upon completion of the deal, the Sun-Times will join WBEZ as a not-for-profit subsidiary of Chicago Public Media. WBEZ and the Sun-Times will maintain separate newsrooms, though they are expected to share content across platforms. Sun-Times CEO Nykia Wright will remain in her position, reporting to Chicago Public Media CEO Matt Moog. The Sun-Times, whose list of past owners includes Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, was sold to an investor group for $1 in 2017. In addition to current lead investor Michael Sacks, investors in the new organization include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pritzker Traubert Foundation. "This is an important step to grow and strengthen local journalism in Chicago," said Moog.
Gannett is axing the Saturday print edition of its papers in 136 markets. Heralding the move as "a new Saturday experience," the company says that it will transition "from delivering the Saturday print edition to providing exclusive access to the full Saturday e-Edition." Among the papers to drop their Saturday print edition are Nashville's The Tennesseean and the Austin American-Statesman. "It's been decades since we were just a daily, print newspaper, said Daniel Sforza, executive editor of The Record in Rockaway, NJ, which will also no longer issue a Saturday print paper. "Over the past 20 years, we have added a website, mobile app, social media platforms, multimedia and more. This is another step in that evolution, as we continually respond to subscriber and advertising trends."
Netflix's stock plunged by 22 percent the morning of Jan. 21 following a series of downgrades by financial analysts that reflect a disappointing first-quarter subscriber outlook for the company. On Jan. 20, Netflix said that it expected to add 2.5 million subscribers in Q1 2022, a considerable drop from the four million it added in the same quarter last year. In addition, the company said that it failed to meet its subscriber estimate for the fourth quarter of last year, signing up 8.3 million subscribers rather than the projected 8.5 million. "Acquisition growth has not yet re-accelerated to pre-Covid levels," Netflix said in a letter to shareholders. By contrast, HBO Max and the cable channel HBO beat their projections for 2021, hitting 73.8 million total global subscribers, beating an estimate of 73 million.