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3:25 PM ET, July 31, 2019

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
CNN's first debate, featuring divisive questions, frustratingly short response times, and outsize attention to fringe candidates, was a lost opportunity  —  About 40 minutes after the start of Tuesday night's Democratic primary debate, I got an email from a Washington Post reader with this subject line: “I don't care for this.”
RELATED:
Rick Porter / Hollywood Reporter:
Tuesday's Democratic debate drew 8.69M viewers, down 43% from the opening debate in June, a slide that mirrors the decline for analogous debates in 2015  —  The news network's coverage of the 10 candidates slides by more than 40 percent over the first debate of the primary cycle in late June.
Tom Jones / Poynter:
Internal memo says LA Times is nowhere close to meeting its goal of doubling digital subs from 150K in 2018 to 300K in 2019, having only netted 13K this year  —  Troubling news at one of the nation's top newspapers.  —  Digital subscriptions at the Los Angeles Times are way below expectations …
Laura Hazard Owen / Nieman Lab:
After six months fact-checking for Facebook, Full Fact makes 10 recommendations, including expanding the program to Instagram, enlisting help on public health  —  In December 2016, Facebook enlisted a handful of U.S.-based news organizations (ABC News, Snopes, PolitiFact, FactCheck.org …
Tim Ingham / Music Business Worldwide:
Spotify reports 108M paying subscribers in Q2, up 31% YoY, and an operating loss of €3M on revenue of €1.67B, up 31% YoY; stock drops 5%+  —  Spotify closed its second calendar quarter this year with 108m subscribers and 232m total Monthly Active Users (MAUs).
Wall Street Journal:
Four major broadcast networks sue Locast, which is funded by AT&T, to try to stop it from freely retransmitting the signals of their local TV stations  —  CBS, ABC, NBCU and Fox say AT&T-funded Locast is retransmitting their signals without permission and in violation of copyright law
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Deadspin, owned by G/O Media, is planning a story on company CEO Jim Spanfeller; Spanfeller reacts publicly with plans for an outside editor to review the story  —  A friendly piece of advice for whomever ends up buying the former Gawker Media sites: Don't try to tell them what to write.
Alexandra Steigrad / New York Post:
Bustle Digital Group, which had planned to relaunch Gawker in September, has laid off Gawker's staff and postponed the relaunch  —  A planned relaunch of snarky news and gossip web site Gawker is on hold indefinitely, The Post has learned.  —  Bustle Digital Group, which owns Gawker …
Claire Atkinson / NBC News:
Sources: if CBS and Viacom merge, Shari Redstone will consider even more acquisitions to help the company compete with other sizable media operations  —  Shari Redstone has held conversations about quickly pursuing acquisitions that would help the company compete with other sizable media operations.
Discussion: @claireatki
Variety:
How WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, a long-time AT&T executive and no-nonsense manager, is remaking WarnerMedia, trying to bridge the culture gap with Time Warner  —  Months after AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner, senior leaders from HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner flew out to the telecom giant's headquarters …
Discussion: Observer
 
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 More News: 
Sara Jerde / Adweek:
Bloomberg says subscribers are spending between four and five hours a day watching BloombergTV+, now available in HD and 4K, on Bloomberg.com
Napier Lopez / The Next Web:
Chrome's version 76 update makes it easier to bypass paywalls by closing a loophole that let publishers detect browsers in incognito mode
 Earlier Picks: 
Tim Peterson / Digiday:
Streaming service BritBox focuses on older audiences with its content as 60% of its 650K subscribers are 45+, which has helped keep churn low, says president
Jodi Jacobson / Rewire.News:
Nonprofit publication Rewire.News to restructure due to funding shortfalls, laying off five employees, and the EIC is stepping down in the fall