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CNN+ to Launch a Documentary on Jussie Smollett Case

The documentary will be available exclusively for CNN+ subscribers on April 1.

Eduardo Razo

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AP

CNN+ is the home for the cable news networks CNN+ FLASHDocs, a new documentary crew investigating timely and topical pop culture stories. The group’s first project under the CNN+ FLASHDocs banner will be “Chicago vs. Jussie Smollett.”

The company announced an in-depth plunge into the Jussie Smollett topic will contribute to the new streaming service’s slate of original, on-demand programming. The documentary will be available exclusively for CNN+ subscribers on April 1.

“We wanted a way for CNN+ to tackle the stories shaping pop culture while contextualizing them with fresh reporting and nuanced voices,” Katie Hinman, Vice President of Program Development for CNN, said. 

“This dynamic team moves at the speed of CNN while retaining a thoughtful approach and a premium look and feel. Chicago vs. Jussie Smollett is a perfect example of what CNN+ subscribers can expect to see more of.”

Smollett is accused of orchestrating a fake hate crime in Chicago and sentenced to five months behind bars for lying to the police. The documentary features never-before-broadcast footage from the night of the alleged attack.

Furthermore, it includes the interrogation-room admission by the Osundairo brothers and interviews with vital voices from all sides of the case.

“This film offers a provocative and nuanced perspective of a saga that for three years has dominated headlines like no other story,” Eric Johnson, Executive Producer, Program Development for CNN, said. 

“Everyone knows something about this story, but our film explores how the frenzy surrounding Smollett exposed historic fault lines within Chicago’s politics, ultimately leading to infighting, media gamesmanship, and the question of justice versus revenge.”

News Print & Digital

Futuri Creates Program that Turns User Content into Video

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs.

Eduardo Razo

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Audience engagement company Futuri has created a new program called POST. The platform allows its users to upload audio, add texts and images and turn the content into video. 

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs. According to Inside Radio, more television companies look to capitalize on the growing audio medium to reach their audiences. 

“Today’s audiences don’t think of media brands only in terms of ‘TV’ or ‘radio’. Quality content, be it video or audio, is what gets consumers engaged,” said Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig.

POST comes equipped with scheduling tools, video tools, and search engine optimization. In addition to ingesting and automatically editing a TV newscast’s audio feed, Futuri says the TV version of POST will also swap out the television commercials with programmatic ad markers.

“The way we’ve customized the POST podcasting systems for the unique needs of television broadcasters will help them quickly capture the audience and revenue growth opportunities that the explosive growth of audio has created,” added Anstandig. 

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News Print & Digital

Washington Post Tells Staff to “Comply Now” with Work Policy

The Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require or face the consequences.

Eduardo Razo

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The Washington Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require; they can either come back or face “disciplinary action.”

In an email sent throughout the company, Post chief human resources officer Wayne Connell called on staff to “comply now” with the newspaper’s work policy. 

After re-opening its offices on March 15, the publication demands that its staff be in the office “at least three days per week.” 

“If you haven’t complied with our 3/2 policy since our March return, or you haven’t complied consistently, we’d like to underscore the need to comply now,” the statement read, per Mediaite

“Beginning this Monday, June 27, please ensure that you are in the office at least three days per week, assuming you are not on approved days off such as vacation time, sick time, etc. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.”

Connell adds that the Post is being fair with its demands to have their staff come in three times a week, striking the right balance by allowing employees to work from home and having the office experience that a Zoom meeting can’t replicate.

“We believe this companywide policy strikes the right balance, allowing both in-office collaboration and greater levels of flexibility than before the pandemic, and it’s only fair that we enforce this policy consistently,” the statement concluded. 

“We continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the 3/2 model and reserve the right to make changes in the future. In the meantime, please do your part in helping us meet these expectations.”

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News Print & Digital

The Obamas Agree to Content Deal with Audible

The exclusive, worldwide, multi-project, multi-year first-look production deal will see the collaboration supporting Higher Ground’s commitment to audio.

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Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama left Spotify in April. It didn’t take them long to find a new home for their content as the Obamas’ media company, Higher Ground, and Audible have reached a multi-year deal.

press release announced the exclusive, worldwide, multi-project, multi-year first-look production deal will see the collaboration supporting Higher Ground’s commitment to audio.

“At Higher Ground, we have always sought to lift up voices that deserve to be heard — and Audible is invested in realizing that vision alongside us. I’m looking forward to partnering with them to tell stories that not only entertain but also inspire,” President Obama said. 

“We are so proud of the stories we have been able to tell at Higher Ground, and there’s no one we’d rather write our next chapter with than Audible. Together, we will keep striving to tell compelling, provocative, and soulful stories—while doing everything we can to make sure they reach the folks who need to hear them,” Michelle Obama said.

The slate of Audible programs will reflect the companies’ shared task to convey meaningful and entertaining stories that promote diverse voices and backgrounds.

“We have long recognized President and Mrs. Obama’s historic capacity to captivate,” Don Katz, Audible’s Founder and Executive Chairman, stated. 

“We are thrilled to welcome two of the most profound voices of moral and intellectual leadership of our times into the Audible fold, and to be able to elevate President and Mrs. Obama’s singular ability to provide hope and uplifting guidance—needed now more than ever—through their voices.”

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