Journalism has had mixed fortunes this month. Once high-flying digital media outfit BuzzFeed said it would dump 250 employees or roughly 15% of its workforce. That news came on the heels of job losses at Verizon’s media group, which includes Huffington Post and Yahoo, as well at Vice Media and Condé Nast. Yet on Tuesday, the Financial Times had reported that subscription-based deals trade publisher Acuris could fetch more than £1bn. Private equity firm BC Partners — which puts out Mergermarket and Debtwire — bought the business in 2013 for just £382m. Five years ago venture capitalists and Fortune 500 companies were scrambling to put hundreds of millions of dollars into viral content sites. They hoped ad revenue would naturally follow. Today, in a media landscape dominated by the digital ad duopoly of Facebook and Google, publishers know paywalls are the only way to become self-sustaining. But for the most part, newer outlets that have no problems charging subscribers tend to be spe...

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