Online & Digital Media News – ZoomerMedia acquires The Peak, Ludwig Van

ZoomerMedia has announced its acquisition of The Peak Media Collective Inc. (PMC). Founded in 2020 by Brett Chang, Alex Blumenstein, and Taylor Scollon, with the backing of a $350,000 seed round supported by The Logic and TechTO, The Peak’s flagship daily finance and tech newsletter boasts readership of 115,000. Aimed at young professionals, the outlet also produces The Peak Daily, a 7-minute weekday news roundup, which has aired on Corus Radio talk stations since 2022, and Free Lunch, featuring weekly deep dive interviews which purports 100,000 downloads a month, according to a ZoomerMedia announcement. The brand also has strong followings on TikTok and Instagram. The deal’s aggregate purchase price of $5 million is comprised of $3.5 million cash on closing and a $1.5 million promissory note. Read more here.

ZoomerMedia has completed its acquisition of all outstanding shares of Museland Media Inc., publisher of Ludwig Van, Canada’s digital voice for classical, opera, chamber and choral music headlines, reviews, and feature interviews. The media company says the acquisition connects ZoomerMedia to a wider audience of arts enthusiasts of all ages, who have been all but abandoned by mainstream newspapers and broadcasters. With an audience of 65,000 monthly readers and 100+ partner arts organizations, ZoomerMedia said Ludwig Van is the ideal online complement to its The New Classical FM radio stations. Founded by former Toronto Star music critic Michael Vincent in 2017, who had a mission to keep arts coverage alive, Vincent says joining ZoomerMedia will allow Ludwig Van to take that calling to the next level with new podcasts and original features. The aggregate purchase price of $1.1 million is comprised of $700,000 cash on closing, and a $400,000 vendor note at 5% interest annually, principal repayable in three years. Read more here.

Sam Cooper, a veteran of Global News, The Province and the Vancouver Sun, has started independent journalism website, The Bureau on the Substack platform. With a reputation as a watchdog for corruption and Asian organized crime, Cooper’s 2021 book, Wilful Blindness: How a network of narcos, tycoons and CCP agents infiltrated the West, dived into the lack of policy that led to the rise of rampant money laundering and drug trafficking in Vancouver. The Bureau is promising groundbreaking investigations and stories on crucial issues, including but not limited to China’s interference in Canada. 

CBC News Editor-in-Chief Brodie Fenlon has outlined in a blog post how CBC/Radio-Canada journalists will use artificial intelligence in the public broadcaster’s journalism. Fenlon writes that the bottom line is readers will never have to question whether a CBC News story, photo, audio or video is real or AI-generated. What that means in practice: No CBC journalism will be published or broadcast without direct human involvement and oversight, nor put to air or online without vetting by a CBC journalist. CBC will not use or present AI-generated content to audiences without full disclosure, clarifying it will never rely solely on AI-generated research in its journalism. AI won’t be used to recreate the voice or likeness of any CBC journalist or personality except to illustrate how the technology works, and only then in exceptional circumstances. The public broadcaster has also committed to not feeding confidential or unpublished content into generative AI tools for any reason. Fenlon said the guidelines are preliminary and subject to change as the technology and industry best practices evolve.

Virtual Artifacts has announced the beta launch of Hibe News, an online platform that merges social networking and search engine features. The Montreal-based tech provider says Hibe News sets out to redefine the digital media landscape by providing users with access to authentic content from verified publishers and to ensure fair compensation for media outlets, via a revenue sharing model. The company says Hibe News has been designed in line with global legislative initiatives like Bill C-18 in Canada, California’s Journalism Preservation Act, and similar bills proposed by the U.S congress and European Union. A group of users is currently testing the platform and providing feedback.

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