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9:15 AM ET, August 14, 2019

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Wall Street Journal:
CBS and Viacom to merge in a ~$30B all-stock deal, creating ViacomCBS Inc.; Shari Redstone will be chair and Bob Bakish will be president and CEO  —  Companies seek greater scale to survive in a media landscape dominated by major tech companies and bulked-up rivals.
RELATED:
Cynthia Littleton / Variety:
Interview with Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO of CBS, who will be named chairman-CEO of CBS after the Viacom-CBS transaction is complete  —  Joe Ianniello was seen as the odd man out once members of the CBS and Viacom boards got serious about merger discussions this past spring.
Peter Kafka / Vox:
A combined CBS and Viacom will still not be big enough to compete with Netflix, Apple, and Disney, and will have to become a buyer of smaller companies
Tom Jones / Poynter:
Layoffs hit GateHouse newsrooms: five at the Oklahoman, two at the Palm Beach Post, two at the Cape Cod Times; many non-newsroom staff have also been laid off  —  Last week, GateHouse and Gannett announced their intent to merge and form the largest newspaper chain in the country, a consolidation designed to save money.
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
NYT says deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman has been demoted and will no longer oversee the team covering Congress or be active on social media  —  New York (CNN Business)Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor for The New York Times (NYT), has been demoted after a pair …
Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed News:
Detailed post about Epstein's death was on 4chan 38 minutes before officials announced it; NYC Fire Department investigating if a first responder is responsible  —  The New York City Fire Department is investigating whether a first responder posted about Jeffrey Epstein's death …
RELATED:
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
The Twitter-fed misinformation disaster following Epstein's death makes a case for slow news consumption, where readers disengage from breaking news
Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic:
Behind the rise of “twinfluencers” on social media, as content produced by twins continues to explode in popularity on YouTube and Instagram  —  Why so many famous YouTubers and Instagram stars are twins  —  You're not imagining it: Influencers really are multiplying.
Tim Peterson / Digiday:
Document shows YouTube is testing a members-only video feature, which will allow publishers to upload SVOD videos to YouTube without cannibalizing subscriptions  —  This article is part of the Digiday Video Briefing, which features must-reads, confessionals and key market stats.
Hollywood Reporter:
Netflix is quickly expanding its global property portfolio, which includes 30+ offices and studios, as it ramps up its global content production  —  From sizable investments in studio facilities to high-end office spaces in some of the world's priciest neighborhoods, the company is quickly building …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy openly threatens to fire employees engaged in union organizing, which would violate federal labor laws  —  Dave “El Presidente” Portnoy, founder of media company Barstool Sports, really, really hates unions.  Now he's made explicit threats to fire employees …
RELATED:
Tom Ley / Deadspin:
The editorial staff of The Ringer announces it has formed a union with WGA East and seeks voluntary recognition from management
Axios:
A look at the sports streaming landscape, which is growing more competitive even though the rights to major sports are tied up in long-term linear TV contracts  —  The battle to become the next big sports streamer is underway, but unlike the entertainment streaming wars …
CNN:
Washington Post executive editor responds to Bernie Sanders' suggestion that Bezos influences coverage, calling it a “conspiracy theory”  —  (CNN)The executive editor of The Washington Post hit back at Sen. Bernie Sanders' suggestion that the paper's coverage of the presidential candidate …
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Twitter to soon let users follow interests, starting with sports, and create separate timelines for different topics; topics will be curated by Twitter using AI  —  A new way to explore interests on Twitter  —  Twitter will begin letting users follow interests, the company said today …
 
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 More News: 
Dave McNary / Variety:
Under pressure from transgender individuals and LGBTQ groups, IMDb revises its birth name policy to allow industry professionals to remove their birth names
Lily Kuo / The Guardian:
Chinese state media outlets went from near silence and blanket censorship on the protests in Hong Kong to actively pushing propaganda, over the past two months
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Picks: 
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Memo: Facebook is funding two new BuzzFeed shows, including a daily news roundup, as a part of its effort to bolster news video on Watch
Discussion: Journalism.co.uk
Jessica Davies / Digiday:
Content compensation company Sourcepoint releases a consent-authentication tool that eliminates the need for pubs to use third-party cookies
Discussion: AdExchanger
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Spotify for Podcasters comes out of beta, giving podcasters valuable listener data like age, gender, location, music taste, and episode listening duration
Axios:
WordPress.com owner Automattic says it will buy Tumblr from Verizon, take on ~200 staffers, and keep the porn ban; source says Automattic paid less than $10M