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6:30 AM ET, August 17, 2013


 Top News: 
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
AOL Starts Patch Cuts, and Up to 500 People May Lose Their Jobs  —  AOL has begun making mass layoffs at its Patch unit.  —  By the time the cuts are over, AOL could end up reducing the local news network's 1,000-worker labor force by half, according to people familiar with the plans.
Tom Gara / Corporate Intelligence:
Anyone Want a Patch?  Going Once, Going Twice...  Hundreds will be laid off and many sites are set to be closed down, but AOL still seems to believe in the potential of Patch, its network of local news sites.  Alongside its announcement of the job cuts today, it sent out figures saying …
Discussion: @tomgara and Xark!
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
New Media Pink Slips Cost Less Than Old Media Pink Slips
Discussion: @edmundlee
Steve Kovach / Business Insider:
Here's The Story Of How AOL Fired 350 Patch Employees Today
Discussion: @stevekovach
Matthew Garrahan / Financial Times:
21st Century Fox takes stake in ‘gonzo’ Vice  —  Twenty-First Century Fox has taken a 5 per cent stake in Vice Media, the digital media and publishing group that brought basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea, in a deal that values the company at $1.4bn.
Alex Weprin / TVNewser:
Al Jazeera America HQ Flooded Shortly After Studio Tour  —  Al Jazeera America's New York City headquarters was temporarily evacuated and staffers were blocked from entering this afternoon due to flooding in the building.  The incident comes just four days before AJAM is scheduled to launch across the country.
Discussion: TVNewser, Politico, FishbowlNY, AdAge and UnBeige
Janko Roettgers / GigaOM:
Ahead of cable channel launch, Al Jazeera starts blocking videos on YouTube  —  When violence erupted in Cairo this week, Al Jazeera once again became the go-to source for on-the-ground news coverage.  The network streamed live from Egypt's capital, and uploaded dozens of videos to its YouTube channel.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Tom Harper / The Independent:
Exclusive: Met investigating Rupert Murdoch firm News International as ‘corporate suspect’ over hacking and bribing offences  —  New twist in hacking scandal threatens global media empire as senior figures were questioned by officers at Scotland Yard  —  Scotland Yard is investigating News International …
Katherine Rushton / Telegraph:
News UK could face corporate charges in Britain  —  Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper business is being investigated over complicity with alleged phone-hacking and bribery of police and public officials by its journalists, raising the likelihood that it will face corporate charges in Britain.
Richard Sandomir / New York Times:
ESPN Challenger Will Try to Punch Above Its Weight  —  On Saturday at 6 a.m. Eastern, Fox Sports 1 will spring into existence, propelled by a portfolio of major events purchased over the past few years, a gaggle of studio shows and plenty of hype about being the “fun” alternative to ESPN.
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
The Global Dominance of ESPN  —  Why hasn't anybody figured out how to beat “The Worldwide Leader in Sports”?  —  “This is the chart I was talking about.  This is powerful.”  —  Artie Bulgrin, ESPN's director of research, is hunched over an iPad in a wood-paneled conference room …
Discussion: Fast Company and The Verge
Kim Masters / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox TV Studios Won't Produce NBC Hillary Clinton Miniseries (Exclusive)  —  The project has prompted the Republican National Committee to ban the network from hosting 2016 presidential debates.  —  The tantalizing spectacle of Fox Television Studios producing a Hillary Clinton miniseries …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
RNC's NBC, CNN boycott win for Univision  —  In a highly anticipated move, the Republican National Committee voted unanimously on Friday to deny NBC and CNN the rights to host or sponsor a Republican primary debate unless they cancel their respective Hillary Clinton film projects.
Caleb Garling / The Technology Chronicles:
Peter Shih storm puts Medium back on tightrope between publisher and platform  —  Medium, a new media start-up that publishes commissioned and volunteer stories and editorials, was thrust back in the spotlight this week on the wings of an offensive post.  Peter Shih, a former Y Combinator participant …
Kelly McBride / Poynter:
NPR ombud's latest report raises important questions, but it's not without flaws  —  The modern ombudsman has been a prominent fixture in a few of the largest American newsrooms since The New York Times instituted its public editor in the wake of the Jayson Blair debacle a decade ago.
Discussion: @poynter
Former Sun-Times owner ordered to pay $4.1 million  —  The Securities and Exchange Commission has banned former Sun-Times owner Conrad Black from acting as a director of a U.S. company and said he must pay $4.1 million in restitution in a settlement that ends a long-standing lawsuit …
Discussion: Guardian, GlobalPost and @kevglobal
BBC:   Conrad Black fined and banned by US
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 More News: 
Lee Smith / Weekly Standard:
Egyptian Media Creates a U.S. Senator Out of Thin Air
Discussion: @rosiegray and WorldViews
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
NBCU's Steve Burke Gets Pay Raise in New Deal
Rebecca Grant / VentureBeat:
Tastemade spoons up $10M to become the Food Network of the digital era
Laura Hazard Owen / GigaOM:
Bad sign for e-readers? E Ink sales plunge
Discussion: Taipei Times and TechCrunch
Anna Clark / Columbia Journalism Review:
Does Gannett think its own papers matter?
Discussion: Gannett Blog
Digital media: Counting the change
Discussion: @justinhendrix and @econbizfin
 Earlier Picks: 
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Meet the man who is building a hyperlocal aggregation platform for the Chicago Sun-Times
Discussion: @jason_pontin and Poynter
C. Custer / Tech in Asia:
A Chinese Wikipedia editor is banned from leaving China until 2016
Gavin Aronsen / Mother Jones:
Meet the Journalist Spreading Michael Hastings Conspiracy Theories
Discussion: FishbowlDC
Jack Shafer:
News never made money, and is unlikely to
Discussion: FishbowlDC and The FJP
Ben Fritz / Wall Street Journal:
Disney Tries Anew to Raise Its Score on Digital Games
Meg James / Los Angeles Times:
CW launches CW Seed digital studio
Gavriel Hollander / Press Gazette:
Nick Davies joins Paul Lewis in Guardian's US team as paper bolsters stateside reporting corps
Discussion: FishbowlNY