Tegna, Hearst and EW Scripps are all planning on submitting final offers for Cox Media Group’s 14 TV stations at the end of January, according to people familiar with the matter. Final bids are due by Jan. 30, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. A deal could fetch more than $2 billion, and possibly close to $3 billion, the people said.
A judicial panel has consolidated at least 18 antitrust suits against five TV station groups for allegedly colluding on spot pricing in the federal district court in Chicago. The defendants, which include Tribune, Sinclair and in some cases Gray, Hearst, Nexstar and Tegna, had pushed for the consolidation. The proliferatng suits are an outgrowth of a Justice Department review of the merger of Sinclair and Tribune, which was scuttled after the FCC found evidence of misrepresentation by Sinclair. (Free registration required.)
Dispatches from the Middle highlights surprising and under-reported stories from Hearst stations across the United States. It will appear in the newly launched dedicated section within Facebook Watch for news along with shows from other news organizations.
Uber-producer Shonda Rimes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” fame has joined with Hearst on a new lifestyle website, Shondaland.com, to expand her brand in the digital space. The site’s content will also have syndication opportunities in Hearst titles like Cosmopolitan and ELLE and will create custom programs for advertisers.
Facebook is making a number of moves to help local news publishers do their work better and generate revenue to pay for it. Robertson Barrett, president of Hearst Newspapers Digital Media, details what he sees as the current promise of Facebook’s nascent effort to promote subscriptions for local news publishers and assesses the state of other major, yet-to-be-resolved issues for the publishers as they weigh their future on and with the giant social platform:
Hearst is out in front of a recent $133 million funding round for SVOD service iflix that is fending off the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in emerging markets. Along with Hearst, Singapore-based EDBI and clients of DBS private bank are new investors in iflix, and are joined by existing investors Evolution Media, Sky PLC, Catcha Group, Liberty Global, Jungle Ventures and PLDT Inc.
Hearst has snapped up the 205-year-old New Haven (Conn.) Register, two smaller in-state dailies, eight weeklies and Connecticut magazine from Digital First Media, the companies said Monday.
Hearst CEO Steven Swartz says legacy media companies would be smart to invest in adjacent businesses “that have a little more wind at their back” than traditional media. In his conversation with ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis, he pointed to Hearst’s own growing business information ventures, along with investments in new media players like AwesomenessTV and Vice, as examples driving profitability.
Hearst is rolling out a new audio content offering for Amazon’s voice-enabled assistant Alexa featuring inspirational quotes from Oprah Winfrey.