At least for the time being, Yahoo has successfully retained the services of star anchor Katie Couric. Sources tell Re/code that the Web giant has agreed to pay Couric somewhere between $6 million and $10 million a year to keep her around. “It is a big number for an Internet news anchor, for sure, rivaling money paid to television stars.” Couric first joined Yahoo in late 2013.
Digital-only news publishers like Buzzfeed and Vox Media are doing a superior job of diversifying their newsroom staff, Nieman Lab reports. “Apart from the ethical imperative, one of the reasons [BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith] gave for why diversity matters is ‘reaching more readers.’”
French regulators have ordered Google to expand its “right to be forgotten” policy to the entire Web, and do so within 15 days. “France’s data protection regulator, CNIL, ordered [Google] to proceed with delistings of links across its network, irrespective of the domain name,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “The order comes more than a year after a ruling by the EU’s highest court created a right to be forgotten.”
Never short of side projects, Google is launching Sidewalk Labs -- an independent company dedicated to developing new technologies to make urban life a lot better. Target issues include cutting pollution, curbing energy use, streamlining transportation and reducing the cost of city living, The New York Times reports. Helming the new outfit is Daniel Doctoroff, former deputy mayor of New York City for economic development, and ex-CEO of Bloomberg L.P.
AOL jut picked up predictive analytics start-up Velos, VentureBeat reports. Financial terms are not known. Velos helps clients connect data sets, clean up data and run predictive models. Per the deal, the company will no long operate as a standalone service. Notes VentureBeat: “Plenty of other predictive analytics start-ups have been acquired in the past few years, including Cognilytics, InsightsOne and KXEN.”
Just days after the debut of Apple’s new music streaming service, Spotify has raised $526 million at a reported valuation of $8.53 billion. “Spotify is investing in expansion and new forms of content as it faces a growing set of challengers that now includes Apple Music,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Investors include British asset managers Baillie Gifford, Landsdowne Partners and Rinkelberg Capital.
Following in the footsteps of Nick Denton and other traffic-centered publishers, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal will soon begin sharing readership data with reporters. Said reporters “will at least know how many people clicked on them, where they came from, and how long they lingered,” The Altantic notes. At least for the moment, however, editors at both papers are promising not to set traffic goals.
Slate is experimenting with a pay wall that will cost international readers $5 per month -- or $50 a year -- to access more than five articles a month. “The arrival of Slate Unlimited comes a little more than a year after the launch of Slate Plus in the U.S. and beyond, offering a membership program with extra perks such as ad-free podcasts,” VentureBeat writes.
Google failed to properly communication its business vision with EU authorities, the search giant’s European chief executive said this week. “We don’t always get it right,” Matt Brittin told Politico in reference to the anti-trust charges lodged against Google in April. Adds Politico: “Brittin acknowledged that Google had failed to explain its business and vision to policymakers in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe.”
Former Facebook CFO David Ebersman is launching Lyra Health -- a start-up focused on helping people with mental health issues. “The new behavioral health technology company, he said, is aimed at matching those with conditions like depression, anxiety or substance abuse with the right treatment,” Re/code reports. “It will be based in Silicon Valley and backed initially by him and Venrock for an undisclosed amount of seed money.”