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6:15 PM ET, August 1, 2019

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 Top News: 
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
Pew: 27% of papers with Sunday circulations of ~50K+ faced layoffs in 2018 vs. 32% in 2017; 14% of digital media sites laid off staff in 2018 vs. 20% in 2017  —  If you work at a U.S. newspaper and didn't have layoffs in the last two years, consider yourself lucky.
Hank Stuever / Washington Post:
CNN's overproduced, conflict-obsessed debates were full of cable-news alarmism and resembled prime-time game shows and reality TV, rather than democratic debate  —  Lately there's a strange caution in the air about the intellectual pitfalls of comparing American politics to the performing arts — or worse, to showbiz.
RELATED:
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
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
The LAT's disappointing digital subscriber numbers attest to the importance of subscriber retention, which the paper should invest in like the NYT has  —  When Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the Los Angeles Times out of its tronckian purgatory last year, it was an occasion to consider where it sat …
Patricia Nilsson / Financial Times:
Ofcom gives BBC approval to make its content available on iPlayer for a year or more, scrapping the previous 30-day limit, to help compete against Netflix  —  The UK media regulator has given permission for the BBC to transform its iPlayer from a catch-up service into a Netflix-style streaming platform …
Ben Paynter / Fast Company:
How The Daily Show covered the first Democratic debate live on social media, making memes and jokes that helped it beat other late-night shows in engagement  —  At 7:30 p.m., roughly a dozen comedy writers and digital producers gathered around a large rectangular wooden table inside …
Discussion: Fortune
Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic:
Inside “Instabeach”, Instagram's annual invite-only party in Malibu for 500 of its top creators, which has become a who's who of young Hollywood  —  At 3:30 p.m. on a recent Tuesday, hundreds of Instagram influencers descended on Gladstones, an old-timey seafood restaurant perched high above Malibu's pristine beach.
 
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 More News: 
Andrew Webster / The Verge:
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, the biggest name in Fortnite and one of Twitch's most popular stars, says he will move to Microsoft's Mixer full-time
Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
Nylon EIC Gabrielle Korn is stepping down following the title's acquisition by Bustle; Bustle Digital EIC Emma Rosenblum will be interim editor
Reuters:
Thomson Reuters Q2: $1.42B in revenue, up 9% YoY; it and Blackstone-affiliated funds have sold Bloomberg rival Refinitiv to the London Stock Exchange for ~$27B
 Earlier Picks: 
University of Birmingham:
Researchers find WhatsApp was used both to spread fake news and to strengthen accountability and promote inclusion around Nigeria's 2019 elections
Discussion: CDD
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%+
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