Former New York Times reporter and editor Alan Finder died at 72 on March 24, several weeks after having tested positive for COVID-19. Finder served in a variety of positions at the paper, including city hall bureau chief, and was assistant editor on the foreign desk when he retired in 2011. Before coming to the Times, he had been a reporter at Newsday and The Record in Hackensack, NJ. After retiring from the Times, he returned to The Record to edit a weekly feature news section. In a Twitter post, Times reporter Kevin Sack called Finder “a terrific reporter, a calming presence and, as anyone who knew him will attest, one of the menschiest guys around.”
Esquire, which is owned by Hearst Magazines, is cutting its print circulation from eight issues a year to six, according to a report in the New York Post. The move follows last year’s cutback from 10 issues a year. Hearst Magazines president Troy Young told the Post that the reduction is not related to the coronavirus crisis. He added that he plans to put more money into “video and digital.” According to the Alliance for Audited Media, Esquire’s print circulation for the first half of 2019 was 709,575.
The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics is tightening the screws on a difficult economic situation for Comcast, parent company to NBCUniversal. The launch of NBC Universal’s Peacock streaming service, which is set to go wide in July, was expected to get a big boost from the games. In addition, the Los Angeles Times reports that, as of the beginning of March, NBCUniversal had sold 90 percent of the advertising spots for the games, with a price tag of $1.25 billion. NBC paid $1.1 billion for rights to the Olympics. The company has already seen the cancellation of other sporting events it carries, as well as closing its theme parks and delaying theatrical distribution of films domestically and internationally. Comcast has lost about 20 percent of its market value in the last month.
Sports journalism website The Athletic is coming up against a pretty tough problem: It has next to nothing to write about. Founded in 2016, The Athletic is an ad-free site, covering its expenses through subscription revenue. Company co-founder and CEO Adam Hansmann told the Financial Times that readership numbers for the site have been dropping, and he expects revenue for the site to drop over the next few months. The FT also reports that the site, which expanded to the UK in August, is dropping the £4.99 (about $5.86) monthly paywall in the country for the next three months. US readers still pay $9.99 a month (or $4.99 per month for an annual subscription). For now, the site is filled with stories on such subjects as how a restarted NBA season could work and what soccer players are looking for during the COVID-19 precipitated shutdown.