Facebook’s ‘Damage Control Tour,’ Boston Globe’s Move to Arc, Meredith’s Shoppable Content, Sale of PennWell and NewBay Media, InDesign Tip: Merge Paragraph Borders

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing posts about Mark Zuckerberg’s response to the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, The Boston Globe’s plan to move to The Washington Post’s Arc publishing system, Meredith’s push into shoppable content, the sale of B2B publishers PennWell and NewBay Media, and more.

  • Zuckerberg photoFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began what Recode is calling his “damage control tour” following admission that the data of more than 87 million Facebook users was “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica via third-party apps. In the wake of the revelation, Zuckerberg held a press conference, saying the company in response has made changes to its data and privacy policies, has rewritten its terms of service, and is shutting down access to data by third-party developers. He’s also scheduled to testify before a House congressional committee on Facebook’s data privacy practices.
  • The Washington Post announced that Boston Globe Media has signed on to its Arc publishing system, with the goal of driving greater site speed and audience engagement, along with better ad viewability. In its bid to transform into a digital-first news organization, the Globe will also use the software-as-a-service platform to support its mobile presence and enhance it’s testing and analytics capabilities, according to WaPo. “Innovation within media companies can be held back by legacy technologies,” said Vinay Mehra, the Globe’s president, in the announcement. “This investment is a critical step in the Globe’s overall transformation strategy.”
  • Meredith and eMeals made a deal under which Better Homes and Gardens, EatingWell, and Allrecipes will provide content such as meal plans and recipes to the app for a percentage of its subscription revenue. The partnership follows other efforts over the past two years to add shoppable features to Meredith food sites, Digiday says. For example, the publisher integrated AmazonFresh into Allrecipes recipes, which lets readers click to add ingredients to shopping carts. “We’ve really started to think about our content as much more solution- and utility-focused,” says Meredith VP Corbin de Rubertis. “We’ve started to position commerce—and making that commerce dead easy—as a fully integrated component of the content itself.”
  • The British are coming, Folio reports, with London-based companies acquiring two more U.S. B2B media companies in separate deals. UK-based exhibitions company Clarion Events bought 108-year-old PennWell, a family-owned publisher with more than 100 titles, for an undisclosed amount. And Future Publishing, another U.K.-based company, bought NewBay Media for $13.8 million. The latter publishes a range of titles including PC Gamer, SFX, and TechRadar. Folio notes the acquisitions continue “a recent trend involving London-based interests investing heavily in the North American B2B media and exhibition space since Informa’s $1.5 billion takeover of Penton late in 2016.”

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

Image: Recode/Paul Marotta, Getty

Visit our blog for highlights of interesting and noteworthy stories from the publishing world every Friday, and sign up for TFP’s This Week in Publishing newsletter. Think we missed something great? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop us a note.

Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.