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9:55 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:
South China Morning Post:
Fu Guohao, a journalist for Chinese state newspaper Global Times who was attacked by protesters at a Hong Kong airport, is discharged from the hospital  —  Fu Guohao, a reporter with the Chinese state newspaper, greeted by supporters at Princess Margaret Hospital Fu was attacked …
RELATED:
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
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.
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  —  If, by some crazy chance, you wanted to be well-informed these past few days about the sudden death of Jeffrey Epstein, there was a way.
RELATED:
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
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 …
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 …
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 …
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
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
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 and bookforum.com
 Earlier Picks: 
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
CNN:
Washington Post executive editor responds to Bernie Sanders' suggestion that Bezos influences coverage, calling it a “conspiracy theory”
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