Trade: Trump to hit China with $60B in tariffs
President Trump is preparing this week to impose $60 billion in annual tariffs against Chinese products, said Damian Paletta in The Washington Post. The tariffs are expected to be applied to more than 100 products that Trump contends were “developed by using trade secrets that China stole from U.S. companies.” If implemented, the penalties “would be one of the broadest sets of economic actions imposed by a modern U.S. president against China.” Beijing has suggested it could retaliate by implementing its own tariffs on U.S. agricultural products.
Media: Radio giant files for Chapter 11
“The cash-strapped radio company iHeartMedia, which owns 850 stations and has a portfolio of digital offerings, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” said Patrick Lucas Austin in Gizmodo.com. The filing follows the conglomerate’s failure to make a $106 million interest payment to creditors. iHeartMedia carries a $20 billion debt load from a debt-leveraged buyout a decade ago and “is having a hard time turning the corner” as digital competitors eat into its terrestrial radio revenue. A restructuring spurred by the bankruptcy could reduce the company’s debt by more than $10 billion.
Tech: Google takes aim at fake news
Google is moving to “combat the epidemic of false and unreliable information on the internet,” said Kevin Roose in The New York Times. The search giant this week pledged $300 million over the next three years “to support authoritative journalism.” The Google News Initiative will make it easier for Google users to subscribe to news publications and will give publishers “new tools to create fast-loading mobile pages.” Google will also help create a Disinfo Lab, in partnership with the Harvard Kennedy School’s First Draft, to better “identify false news during critical breaking-news situations.”
Media: Tronc chairman exits amid sex allegations
Michael Ferro, “the highly controversial chairman of the newspaper publisher Tronc,” is stepping down after just two years on the job, said Brian Stelter in CNN.com. The Chicago investor’s resignation coincided with a Fortune exposé detailing allegations of “inappropriate advances” he made to female entrepreneurs. Ferro took control of Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, in 2016 and helped negotiate the recent sale of the Los Angeles Times. He will take home a $5 million annual consulting fee through 2020.