Fair compensation from 'Big Tech': A panel discussion at the October #NewsMedia Business Summit


Facts and data don’t lie. One company controls the infrastructure of digital advertising, everything from the ad server to ad exchanges to ad tools, the programs publishers use to sell ads, advertisers use to buy ads and the exchange where deals take place. That company — Google — works hand in hand with Facebook and holds a digital advertising monopoly squeezing the life from newspapers. Newspaper industry advertising revenues have plunged by more than 80% since 2005 and remain in freefall. Google’s revenues over the same period have ballooned more than a dozen-fold, while Google produces zero content and carries zero liability for the content.

Many are aware of the debate in the Senate for the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a bill about protecting local journalism by leveling the playing field and allowing local news outlets to band together to negotiate for fair compensation from tech platforms. However, besides asking Google and Meta/Facebook to compensate news publishers for the content they monetize, a large group of media companies have also entered into an antitrust lawsuit against these tech giants. The case, spearheaded by West Virginia-based HD Media, has approximately 40 co-plaintiffs representing more than 250 newspaper titles across North America. It was the first case in which a news publisher dared to go toe-to-toe against the platforms and their deep pockets. Lee Wolverton, vice president of news and executive editor with HD Media, who is helping to run point on the case and will be on a panel of industry leaders at the Oct. 12-14 #News-Media Business Summit, states, “We fight, or we die. They’re calling it a David and Goliath battle,” Wolverton says. “Remember who won? Here's a secret for the world: We will win, too.”

Wolverton will be part of a lively panel to discuss the antitrust suit, along with an update on the status of the JCPA that will include Danielle Coffey, executive vice president and general counsel for the News/Media Alliance, along with Jennifer Bertetto, CEO of Trib Total Media, who testified before Congress on the value and necessity of the bill.

The Oct. 12-14 #News-Media Business Summit, hosted by the 360 Media Alliance, E&P Magazine (Editor & Publisher), the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and I-SCMA, selected Harrisburg in central Pennsylvania as a location because it was once the home of the popular regional conference: America East. Thousands attended America East over the past few decades. “PNA had a long and proud history with our America East trade show, and we wanted to build upon that with this joint collaboration of the News-Media Business Summit,” stated Brad Simpson, president of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. “Many attendees over the years loved the central location of America East since Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is no more than a six-hour drive from over 1,000 daily and weekly newspapers. Hosting the Summit here locally will allow attendees to benefit from the sessions and networking without the costs and hassles of air travel.”

The Oct. 12-14 regional conference programs will include LMA’s Guy Tasaka's talk on emerging new revenue verticals; an in-depth look at local advertiser sentiment, presented by Corey Elliott of Borrell Associates; a keynote presentation from former GateHouse executive and now CEO of the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, Jim Porter; a lively debate over the pros and cons of diminishing print frequency from Bill Ostendorf of Creative Circle Media and Al Getler of Coda Ventures; a deep dive into “Boosting Your Brand’s Value to Reconnect with the Coming Generation” from Richard E. Brown, a News/Media Alliance Rising Star recipient, former head of digital subscriber churn for Gannett | USA TODAY NETWORK and now the senior director of retention for The Daily Beast. The cost of attendance is one of the lowest offered at only $299 for two days of programming, and hotel rates at the downtown Harrisburg Sheraton for only $129 per night.

For more information on the #NewsMedia Business Summit, head to the official Summit site at EditorandPublisher.com/Summit


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