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8:35 PM ET, February 7, 2018


 Top News: 
Ken Doctor / Nieman Lab:
Analysis of LA Times deal: factors that led to sale now, speculation on Soon-Shiong 's future strategy, a look at price, and a theory on a future Gannett role  —  Tronc is getting a big premium for its flagship asset, and the Times is getting a return to private, local ownership.
Supantha Mukherjee / Reuters:
Tronc has confirmed it is selling the Los Angeles Times and a number of other newspapers to billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500M in cash  —  (Reuters) - Tronc Inc (TRNC.O) said on Wednesday it would sell some newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune …
Meg James / Los Angeles Times:
Tronc forms new company, Tribune Interactive, with Ross Levinsohn as its CEO and ex-LA Times EIC Lewis D'Vorkin as its chief content officer  —  Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has agreed to purchase the Los Angeles Times from its parent company Tronc, restoring local ownership …
Hollywood Reporter:
Disney is developing a number of Star Wars series for its streaming service, CEO Bob Iger said during an earnings call on Tuesday  —  Disney CEO Bob Iger tells investors that the company is close to revealing at least one of the producing teams behind one of the projects.
Peter Kafka / Recode:
Streaming service ESPN Plus launching next month at $4.99/mo; sources say it won't have ESPN cable channels' content, which still requires ESPN subscription
Claire Atkinson / NBC News:
Newsweek Media Group's head of sales resigns, and a source says the company has lost “hundreds of thousands” in ad commitments since reports it bought traffic  —  The Newsweek Media Group is reeling.  —  Ed Hannigan, the company's head of sales, resigned on Tuesday.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Snapchat says it generated $100M in revenue for Discover's publishing partners in 2017, up from $58M in 2016 and $10M in 2015  —  Snapchat says it generated $100 million in revenue for content partners on Discover in 2017, up from $58 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2015.
Wall Street Journal:
Snapchat is launching to tool to let TV networks pipe snippets of live broadcasts directly into the app, starting this Saturday with NBC's Olympics coverage
Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed:
A look at 29 Facebook pages and sites of fake news publishers, which are using Instant Articles to help completely false stories load faster and earn revenue  —  While some mainstream publishers are abandoning Facebook's Instant Articles, fake news sites based overseas are taking advantage of the format …
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Reddit bans r/deepfakes, which was devoted to making AI-powered porn using celebrities' faces, and updates site-wide rules regarding “involuntary pornography”  —  Reddit has banned the r/deepfakes subreddit that's devoted to making AI-powered porn using celebrities' faces …
Washington Post:
Executives at The Newseum plan to meet with a real estate firm Thursday to explore options including selling its building in Washington, DC, or moving locations  —  Two months shy of its 10th anniversary in a glass-and-steel showpiece on Washington's most prestigious thoroughfare …
Local News Lab:
Democracy Fund announces two new funds in NJ and NC totaling $2M to support local news ecosystems and seek long-term solutions for public-interest news  —  Democracy Fund establishes two new local funds  —  Local news is critical to a healthy democracy, and we believe that the future of local news is local.
Keach Hagey / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Vice Media missed its 2017 revenue target of $805M by $100M+, largely due to its Viceland TV channel; co-president Creighton unlikely to return to role  —  Digital media company misses revenue forecast; shareholders push company to turn a profit  —  Vice Media is facing uncertainty …
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed:
Russian trolls posed as black activists on Tumblr and generated hundreds of thousands of interactions with anti-Hillary Clinton, pro-Bernie Sanders content  —  Tumblrs run by Russian trolls generated hundreds of thousands of interactions with anti-Hillary Clinton, pro-Bernie Sanders content.
Jack Nicas / Wall Street Journal:
YouTube's recommendations engine, which drives 70%+ of its viewing time, often suggests conspiracy channels and more, even to users who don't seek them out  —  Google's video site often recommends divisive or misleading material, despite recent changes designed to fix the problem
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 More News: 
Wall Street Journal:
Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian steps down from daily duties at the company to focus on early stage VC firm he cofounded and personal life, will remain on board
Farhad Manjoo / New York Times:
The Information's Jessica Lessin and Stratechery's Ben Thompson argue differentiated content and online subscriptions form a viable model for local news outlets
Alexandria Neason / Columbia Journalism Review:
Profile of Tom Tryniski, who has scanned ~50M newspaper pages dating back to the 1800s from US and Canadian pubs, into his online repository
 Earlier Picks: 
Press Gazette:
The main source for a UK investigative news site's story about a Westminster paedophile ring, which sparked a police probe, is charged with child porn offences
Robert Feder:
Three former editors of DNAinfo Chicago are starting a local news site with five reporters, funded by subscriptions with support from blockchain-based Civil