Tracking Financial Times anonymous sourcing

4/12/2016: BuzzFeed missed 2015 revenue targets and slashes 2016 projections

BuzzFeed missed its revenue target for 2015 and has slashed its internal projections for 2016 by about half, raising questions about whether the online news and entertainment network can meet the sky-high valuations put on new media groups by investors.

The company, known for its lists, irreverent content and fast-growing editorial operation, had projected about $250m in revenues for 2015 but generated less than $170m, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

The company has halved its internal revenue target for 2016 from $500m to $250m, the people said.

6/5/2015: Apple rewrites app store economics

Apple is planning a departure from the pricing formula that has defined the economics of digital media for a decade, which would cut the 30 per cent fee music, video and news companies pay on subscriptions through its App Store.

The iPhone maker is discussing new commercial terms with media companies, people familiar with the matter said, to change the 70/30 “Apple tax” pioneered by Steve Jobs when its late founder launched the iTunes music store in 2003.

Status: Unverified

Tracking Variety anonymous sourcing

8/31/2015: Apple eyes move into original programming

The moment the media and technology industries have been expecting for years may finally be arriving: Apple is exploring getting into the original programming business.

Sources indicate the Cupertino, Calif. colossus has held preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood to suss out their interest in spearheading efforts to produce entertainment content. The unit putting out the feelers reports into Eddy Cue, who is Apple’s point man on all content-related matters, from its negotiations with programmers for Apple TV to its recent faceoff with Taylor Swift.

Status: Unverified

6/11/2015: James and Lachlan Murdoch take reins; Chase Carey steps aside as COO

However, sources emphasize that even with James taking on the CEO title, Rupert Murdoch will remain actively involved in the day-to-day management of the company. “He’s not going anywhere,” a source said of the 84-year-old media titan.

Status: Unverified

5/14/2015: New York Times ramps up search for David Carr’s replacement

The New York Times is zeroing in on a possible replacement for David Carr, the influential media-industry columnist who died suddenly in February, according to people familiar with the situation.

Status: Unverified

Tracking New York magazine anonymous sourcing

4/11/2017: Bill O’Reilly Is Going on Vacation. Will His Show Return?

A Fox News spokesperson confirmed O’Reilly will return on April 24.

But according to four network sources, there’s talk inside Fox News that tonight’s show could be his last.

3/29/2017: What George W. Bush Really Thought of Donald Trump’s Inauguration

But, according to three people who were present, Bush gave a brief assessment of Trump’s inaugural after leaving the dais: “That was some weird shit.” All three heard him say it.

8/7/2016:
Roger Ailes Used Fox News Budget to Finance ‘Black Room’ Campaigns Against His Enemies

As Rupert Murdoch seeks to stabilize Fox News in the wake of Roger Ailes’s ouster, a crucial question remains unanswered: How was Ailes able to spend millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment claims without it setting off alarm bells?

According to three highly-placed sources, part of the answer is that there were few checks on Ailes when it came to the Fox News budget. “It was the culture,” one Fox executive said. “You didn’t ask questions, and Roger wouldn’t entertain questions.” One former News Corp executive explained that because Fox made more than $1 billion in annual profits, the funds that were used for settlements amounted to little more than “a rounding error.”

5/12/2015: The New York Times–Facebook deal is here

Tomorrow morning, in what marks a tectonic shift in the publishing industry, the New York Times is expected to officially begin a long-awaited partnership with Facebook to publish articles directly to the social media giant, a source with direct knowledge of the talks told me. According to people familiar with the negotiations, the Times will begin publishing select articles directly into Facebook’s news feed. Buzzfeed, NBC News and NatGeo are said to be also joining the roll out, among others.

Status: We’ll find out tomorrow.

Tracking The Verge anonymous sourcing

1/12/2017: Inside Twitter, employees reckon with Trump

“The political climate then was still pretty giddy about Trump and how he’s a total joke,” said one employee who quit late last spring. But Trump’s surprise win prompted soul-searching for many of Twitter’s 3,800 employees. “Fast-forward to the day after election,” the former employee said. “I could feel it in my timeline — there was a strong sense of ‘what have we done’ from Twitter employees.”

3/22/2016: Google is making a keyboard for the iPhone

Google has been developing a third-party keyboard for iOS that would put the company’s search engine in a highly used part of the interface, The Verge has learned. The keyboard, which incorporates a variety of search options, has been in development for months, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s unclear whether or when Google plans to release it. The company declined to comment.

7/9/2015: Facebook says it’s not building a streaming music service

A source familiar with the matter said the last thing Facebook wants to do right now is take on Apple in a streaming war. Facebook’s talks with the major labels are still in the early phases, but sources reiterated Facebook wants to create something unique and unlike any other service currently on the market.

Status: Unverified

5/5/2015: Twitter gives control of its hapless marketing department to its chief financial officer

As an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Anthony Noto orchestrated Twitter’s initial public offering. Now Noto is Twitter’s chief financial officer, and he’s changing the score again, moving the social network’s hapless marketing department under his control. Marketing is not typically the purview of a CFO, and a source familiar with the situation told The Verge that the unusual structure was discussed in a meeting at Twitter headquarters Monday. “Noto is consolidating power, so to speak,” the source said.

Status: Unverified

5/4/2015: Apple pushing music labels to kill free Spotify streaming ahead of Beats relaunch

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are looking closely into Apple’s business practices in relation to its upcoming music streaming service, according to multiple sources.

— Further down in the story —

“All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,” one music industry source said.

Status: Unverified

Tracking CNBC anonymous sourcing

6/11/2015: Rupert Murdoch preparing to step down as CEO from 21st Century Fox

Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, according to numerous sources close to the Murdoch family.

Status: Unverified

5/1/2015: Spotify raises $350M at $8B valuation

Spotify raised roughly $350 million in a new round of fundraising as the music streaming site embarks on its next leg of growth, according to people familiar with the matter.

Status: Unverified

4/27/2015: Safeway set to go public once again

AB Acquisition, the holding company that operates Safeway, has hired bankers to plan an initial public offering for later this year, sources with knowledge of the matter told CNBC.

Status: Unverified

Tracking TechCrunch anonymous sourcing

5/23/2016: Snapchat is raising more money around $20 billion valuation

Snapchat may have first made its name in the crowded world of mobile apps with an ephemeral messaging service, but the startup and its wildly popular app are not disappearing anywhere soon. TechCrunch has learned from multiple sources that Snapchat is raising yet more financing at around a $20 billion valuation. Sources with knowledge of the deal say the social media giant is in the process of a round of about $200 million.

5/27/2015: Online auto sales startup Carvana is raising $300 million to expand nationwide

With those numbers behind it, the company is seeking a big new round of funding, which could be announced in the coming weeks. Sources with knowledge of the situation say the company hopes to bring in $300 million in growth funding to ramp up operations. According to sources, the funding will likely come from both institutional and strategic investors, as Carvana seeks to leverage both capital and connections to make used cars available in more markets around the country.

Status: Unverified

4/28/2015: Uber is quietly testing a massive merchant delivery program

Uber is planning to launch a merchant delivery program that would allow online shoppers to get same-day delivery of goods through both UberRush couriers and Uber drivers. TechCrunch has obtained training documents for Uber drivers and couriers who are part of the merchant delivery pilot program.

Sources say that Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are all in talks with the Uber Merchant Delivery program, and one source in particular said that there are over 400 different merchants currently in talks (or already testing) with Uber for same-day delivery. (Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are both used as examples in the training presentation.)

Status: Unverified, though TechCrunch provided the documents in the story.

4/15/2015: Yahoo in talks to buy Foursquare

Yahoo has been busy rebuilding its business around mobile under CEO Marissa Mayer, and soon it could make one of its biggest bets yet on the platform. We have heard perennially that the company has been looking to buy Foursquare, the New York startup behind the eponymous local search app and location-based social “check-in” app Swarm. The latest rumor we are hearing is giving the deal a price tag of around $900 million.

One source says that the “deal is done” but details are still being ironed out. Others have also confirmed a Yahoo/Foursquare deal is in the frame.

Yet other sources at Yahoo tell us they have heard nothing — nada — about the deal. Either this is elaborate, bicoastal speculation, or it is happening with only a select circle privy to what is going on.

Status: Unverified

4/12/2015: Twitter is pushing celebrities and publishers to stop using Meerkat

Twitter is doing whatever it can to help its live video streaming acquisition Periscope beat independent competitor Meerkat. Multiple sources tell TechCrunch that Twitter has been contacting celebrities who use Meerkat, trying to convince them Meerkat is dying and that they should use Periscope instead.

Sources also say Twitter has been in touch with media companies that use Meerkat, going so far as to imply that if they don’t exclusively use Periscope, it could cut off their access to Amplify.

Status: Unverified

4/7/2015: Uber co-founder’s startup ‘Operator’ will get you what you want

Send an instant message asking for something, and they’ll do the grunt work of placing your order and getting it delivered to you. That’s the idea for Uber co-founder Garret Camp‘s new startup Operator that’s still in stealth, according to sources with direct knowledge of the app.

Status: Unverified

Tracking AFP anonymous sourcing

4/5/2015: The secret weapon at the Iran talks: a whiteboard

The idea was to try “to make sure that we and Iran were seeing the picture in the same way,” another senior administration official said.

The whiteboard appealed to the Iranian team “because if they get paper, they’ve got to take it back to Tehran,” the State Department official said.

Status: Unverified

Tracking Los Angeles Times anonymous sourcing

6/16/2016: Orlando gunman searched social media for news of his killing rampage

The investigation into his attack there has hit at least one roadblock.

FBI agents have had difficulty accessing data stored on the cellphone Mateen used during the massacre because it was damaged by water and blood, a law enforcement official said.

But technicians are putting the device through a drying process and are confident they ultimately can recover phone numbers, texts, photos and other data, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss progress in the investigation.

3/27/2016: Clinton email probe enters new phase as FBI interviews loom

Federal prosecutors investigating the possible mishandling of classified materials on Hillary Clinton’s private email server have begun the process of setting up formal interviews with some of her longtime and closest aides, according to two people familiar with the probe, an indication that the inquiry is moving into its final phases.

4/4/2015: Defense attorney in Boston bombing may be facing her stiffest challenge yet

In the Tsarnaev case, according to sources familiar with the talks, overtures were made to discuss a plea arrangement. But in the end prosecutors saw little reason to deal. Surveillance video and other evidence put Tsarnaev at the finish line of the race when the bombs went off. Instead the government has pushed to win its first death penalty case since Sept. 11.

An anonymous press briefing by the U.S. Department of State

3/25/15: Special Briefing: Senior State Department Official

QUESTION: Who are you today? Senior State —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I’m a senior State Department official, and you guys can report this as – any of this as soon as we land.

QUESTION: We can’t?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: You can. Can.

Hat tip to Lizzie O’Leary.

Tracking Capital New York anonymous sourcing

4/2/2015: Times plans to make NYT Now mobile app free

The New York Times is expected to announce in the coming weeks that its NYT Now mobile app will become a free product with a number of changes to its functionality, while the Times’ main news app will introduce a more vibrant look and feel, according to sources familiar with the plans.

Status: Unverified