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4:25 PM ET, February 11, 2020

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Source: Spotify is paying close to $200M upfront for the Ringer, to be followed by more than $50M later  —  - Streamer has spent more than $600 million on podcast deals  — Sports columnist Bill Simmons founded the Ringer in 2016  —  Spotify Technology SA is paying close …
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
WaPo's digital subscriber growth doesn't seem to be making expected gains on NYT despite a mass-oriented strategy, and WaPo hasn't posted the numbers since 2018  —  But will the Journal and The Washington Post be able to catch up to the market leader going forward?  Or is the Times preparing to lap the field?
Joan E. Solsman / CNET:
Nielsen: streaming makes up 19% of US TV watching, with Netflix comprising 31% of streaming on TVs, followed by 21% on YouTube, 12% on Hulu, and 8% on Amazon  —  Netflix is big and it's getting bigger.  And we're not just watching it on our phones and tablets: That dominance translates …
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
Sirius XM invests $75M in SoundCloud in exchange for a minority stake and two seats on the board  —  The audio entertainment giant puts money into the open audio platform.  —  Audio entertainment giant SiriusXM Holdings said Tuesday it has invested $75 million in open audio platform SoundCloud …
Freddy Mayhew / Reuters:
Reuters has created a virtual sports journalist prototype that reads out game summaries and reports using AI and footage of a human presenter  —  Reuters has created a virtual sports journalist using artificial intelligence technology and video footage of a human presenter.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
YouTube is funding TYT Academy, a Young Turks online course focused on the creation of digital-first local news; sources: investment is in the mid-six-figures  —  The Young Turks (TYT), one of the largest progressive digital publishers on YouTube, is receiving funding from Google-owned YouTube …
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
Sources close to Elisabeth Murdoch say she has no interest in the job of BBC director and is focused on launching a production company  —  Sources say Rupert's daughter not interested in job, after press reports made her the favourite  —  Elisabeth Murdoch has made clear she has no interest …
RELATED:
Adam Sherwin / inews:
Sources: the BBC is almost certain to appoint its first female Director-General, with Elisabeth Murdoch and ITV CEO Carolyn McCall as two top contenders
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Sources: podcast subscription service Luminary is expanding to New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa  —  Reproduced from The Nielsen Total Audience Report, February 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals  —  Luminary is expanding its service to three new countries, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland, sources tell Axios.
Mike Canan / Trusting News:
WCPO exec on why the Scripps-owned Cincinnati TV station now only uses mugshots selectively and why it's important to tell viewers about big policy changes  —  Last summer as part of our station's efforts to examine our policies — especially when it comes to how we cover minority communities …
Tim Arango / New York Times:
Profile of Carl Butz, a 71-year-old retiree who stepped in at the beginning of the year to save The Mountain Messenger, California's oldest weekly newspaper  —  High in the Sierra, Downieville, Calif., was about to become the latest American community to lose its newspaper.
Andrew Bucholtz / Awful Announcing:
FloSports is launching FloBaseball, a platform that will host NCAA, high school, and youth baseball programming  —  We've seen FloSports amping up their sport-specific offerings recently, most notably with FloBikes offering 75 events and more than 300 days of racing this year …
Discussion: Broadcasting & Cable
BreAnna Bell / Variety:
Drake signs multiyear partnership with live streaming platform Caffeine to produce a series of rap battles and other live content  —  Live streaming service Caffeine.TV has announced an exclusive multiyear partnership with Drake.  Infamous for his own rap feuds, the Canadian artist …
Tony Maglio / The Wrap:
The 2020 Oscars drew 23.6M viewers, an all-time low and down 20% YoY; the 2018 Oscars held the previous all-time low of 26.5M viewers  —  Audience for 92nd Academy Awards declines 20%  —  The 2020 Oscars drew 23.6 million viewers on ABC, down a whopping 6 million viewers — or -20% from last year.
RELATED:
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Netflix won only two Oscars despite 24 nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern and Best Documentary Feature for American Factory from Obamas' studio
 
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 More News: 
Freddy Mayhew / Press Association:
UK-based PA Media Group buys stock image company Alamy for an undisclosed sum
Discussion: PR Newswire
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Patreon says creators can now set subscription prices in British pounds and euros, in addition to US dollars, and opens an office in Berlin
NBC News:
Sources: Condé Nast is planning on suspending its Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit this year as the conference is losing money
Kayleigh Barber / Digiday:
Dennis Publishing is launching The Week Junior in the US in March, four years after its debut in the UK; the magazine is aimed at kids ages 8-14
 Earlier Picks: 
Adam Satariano / New York Times:
Profile of Ben Nimmo, a founder of Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, who helped pioneer investigations into online disinformation
Liam Knox / NBC News:
Black News Channel, a 24/7 cable channel featuring black anchors and co-founded by former Republican congressman J.C. Watts, launches in select US markets
Marc Tracy / New York Times:
Profile of New Hampshire Public Radio's Lauren Chooljian, whose Stranglehold podcast has made her a divisive figure due to its unflattering look at NH's primary
Stars & Stripes:
DOD proposes funding cuts to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes; source: around $7M of “operating and maintenance funds” would be cut, or 35% of expenses