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2:00 PM ET, February 22, 2019

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Jonathan O'Connell / Washington Post:
Senator Chuck Schumer, troubled by Alden Capital's history, writes a letter to its president demanding it explain its plans for Gannett if a deal goes through  —  A firm backed by Alden Global Capital, known for sharp newsroom cuts, would acquire more than 100 daily newspapers in the deal.
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CNBC:
AT&T says it is pulling all advertising from YouTube after reports of pedophiles openly using the platform; Nestle and Epic Games have also pulled ads
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
Report details how Tribune Publishing, The Guardian, and Slate got their most engaged readers to contribute by focusing on quality content, podcasts, and more  —  Reader revenue, reader revenue, reader revenue.  It's much easier said than done, but these two case studies from Tribune Publishing …
Discussion: MediaPost and Washington Post
Sahil Patel / Digiday:
Source: Barstool Sports made $15M+ in podcasting revenue in 2018; CEO says over half its ad revenue is from podcasts with average rate per spot up 30% YoY  —  Barstool Sports recorded more than $15 million in podcasting revenue in 2018, according to a source.
Discussion: MediaPost
Chuck Strouse / Miami New Times:
McClatchy CEO says ~225 employees have accepted buyout offers across the country with sources saying the Miami Herald is losing at least 10 employees  —  McClatchy Co. CEO Craig Forman announced Wednesday that “a bit fewer” than 225 employees had accepted buyout offers and would be leaving newspapers across the country.
Ira Boudway / Bloomberg:
Chernin Group's Action Network, a sports betting media startup, raises $17.5M Series B led by Fertitta Capital  —  - Peter Chernin's Action Network closed $17.5 million funding  — Investors include owners from MLB, NBA, NHL, Ultimate Fighting  —  Action Network Inc. …
Discussion: Reuters and Action Network
Janko Roettgers / Variety:
Roku reports Q4 revenue of $275.7M, up 46% YoY and vs. $262.11M est., says it has 27.1M active accounts, up 40% YoY; revenue for 2018 grew 45% to $742.5M  —  Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019.  The streaming device maker told investors Thursday that it projects …
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
How New York-area cable news station News 12 is working with ProPublica's Documenting Hate database to track local hate crimes  —  “Getting things on air will reach the audience you're looking to reach.  Getting things online is important so people can find the work later."
Discussion: @riogringa
Maureen Farrell / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Pinterest has confidentially filed for an IPO, seeking a valuation of at least $12B  —  Online-image search company is expected to seek a valuation of at least $12 billion  —  Pinterest Inc. has confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission …
Casey Newton / The Interface:
Pinterest has stopped returning results for searches on vaccinations, differentiating between freedom of speech and freedom of reach  —  Programming note: The Interface will be off Thursday as I finish up a project that I will share with you next week.  —  Since the reckoning …
Peter Kuras / Columbia Journalism Review:
After exposing an alleged multi-billion tax fraud scheme in Europe, a journalist is under investigation for instigating whistleblowers to betray trade secrets  —  When I met Oliver Schröm at the Berlin offices of Correctiv.org, the investigative journalism non-profit he co-founded in 2014, I was his third interview of the day.
 
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 More News: 
Tim Peterson / Digiday:
Winter Podcast Upfronts show that ad buyers are struggling to identify podcasts to advertise against, podcast episodes have a long lifespan, and more
Gene Maddaus / Variety:
Michael Jackson's estate sues HBO for violating a 1992 non-disparagement clause by agreeing to air “Leaving Neverland”, which accuses Jackson of sexual abuse
 Earlier Picks: 
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
UK's Rapid Response Unit, which fights misinformation online, will continue on a permanent basis after a pilot phase begun in April 2018 is deemed successful
Sam Dean / Los Angeles Times:
Investigation finds Facebook still lets users target ads based around interest in neo-Nazis; Facebook says it will remove the seldom-used audience groupings
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
CNN hiring Sarah Isgur is puzzling given her reported loyalty pledge to Trump's anti-press agenda and numerous critical tweets of CNN, reporters, and Democrats