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9:25 AM ET, October 9, 2019

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Daniel Victor / New York Times:
China's state broadcaster cancels NBA preseason games after a Houston Rockets exec tweets Hong Kong support; 21M watched Game 6 in 2019 in China vs. 18.3 in US  —  A tweet from the Houston Rockets general manager prompted a backlash in China, making things uncomfortable for a league used …
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Laura Wagner / Deadspin:
Internal memo: ESPN's senior news director mandated that on-air discussion of Houston Rockets exec Daryl Morey avoid political discussion of China and Hong Kong  —  If you watched ESPN yesterday, you saw the network repeatedly attempt to grapple with the story of Houston Rockets general …
Bloomberg:
Blizzard Entertainment, part-owned by Tencent, bans player from competing for one year and rescinds prize money he won after pro-Hong Kong comments  —  - Expressing sympathy for Hong Kong democracy push proves costly  — Hearthstone player won't be allowed to compete for a year
Reuters:
South Park creators tweet mock apology to China: “We welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom”
Variety:
Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill has an interview with former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils, who alleges that Matt Lauer raped her at the 2014 Sochi Olympics  —  Ronan Farrow's new book “Catch and Kill” recounts his investigation of Harvey Weinstein; the hurdles his then-employer NBC News put …
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Marisa Guthrie / Hollywood Reporter:
Q&A with Ronan Farrow about Catch and Kill, which alleges that Weinstein used National Enquirer's dirt on Matt Lauer to pressure NBC to kill Weinstein exposé  —  In his first interview about the explosive ‘Catch and Kill,’ the journalist reveals fresh claims of secret payouts …
Mike Allen / Axios:
Steve Hayes and Jonah Goldberg launch The Dispatch, a center-right digital media company with a site, newsletters, and podcasts, in partnership with Substack  —  Two of the biggest names in conservative journalism — Steve Hayes, formerly of the now-defunct Weekly Standard, and Jonah Goldberg …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: As investors cool, Lionsgate is considering splitting off Starz into a separate company, perhaps through a special-purpose acquisition vehicle  —  One scenario calls for Lions Gate to unload Starz through a special-purpose acquisition vehicle; another calls for the restructuring of the entire company
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
European Commission makes a call for tenders to create the European Digital Media Observatory, the first core service of a platform to fight disinformation  —  The European Commission has taken the first step towards establishing a new digital platform to help coordinate the fight against disinformation.
Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic:
Newsletter platforms like Substack, which recently raised a $15.3M funding round, offer some writers a sustainable business model, but others see a bubble  —  Venture capital has finally come for the least sexy communication style.  —  It's unclear to me whether anyone has ever fallen in love over email …
Jason Lynch / Adweek:
OpenAP, an alliance of Viacom, NBCUniversal, Univision, and Fox, rolls out OpenAP Market, which enables targeted video advertising across digital and linear TV  —  After closed beta, the platform is now available to all advertisers  —  OpenAP's future was looking bleak in April when WarnerMedia …
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
How an Institute for Nonprofit News collaboration between 12 local newsrooms in seven states amplified the rural healthcare crisis nationally  —  When a rural hospital closes, according to a new study of California's healthcare system, the chance of dying in a time-sensitive situation …
Wall Street Journal:
YouTube recently started testing a tool called Instant Reserve to let political ad buyers book slots months ahead of time, similar to traditional TV ad buying  —  A new tool lets political ad buyers book slots through February, when voting starts in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere
 
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 More News: 
Washington Post:
The Washington Post to debut Launcher, a new section dedicated to video gaming, esports competitions, and gaming culture, on October 15
Sara Fischer / Axios:
The Chernin Group invested $50M in MeatEater, the hunting-focused company whose revenue grew 300% YoY from its podcasts, live events, and other businesses
Kate Dwyer / New York Times:
Interview with Katie Couric on her daily email newsletter, use of Instagram, new iHeartRadio podcast called “Next Question” launching on October 10, and more
Luke Bouma / Cord Cutters News:
Roku debuts interactive pop-up ads that appear during commercial breaks for companies that have partnered with Roku on the feature
Erich Schwartzel / Wall Street Journal:
Users of the Disney+ trial in the Netherlands like the service but say it doesn't remember where they left off and that volume is low; Disney's working on fixes
 Earlier Picks: 
Reuters:
Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital has finalized a $150M merger with Firewood, Silicon Valley's biggest independent agency, whose clients include Facebook and Google
Discussion: CNBC
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
60 Minutes plans to launch 60 in 6, an original 6-minute weekly program on Quibi in April
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Hulu enables downloading of shows and movies to watch offline on iOS for those on the $12 per month No Ads subscription; Android support coming soon
The Daily Beast:
RealClear Media, owner of “non-partisan” news site RealClearPolitics, secretly runs a conservative Facebook page with ~800K followers pushing far-right memes