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7:15 PM ET, May 12, 2015


 Top News: 
Kara Swisher / Re/code:
Sources: AOL in talks to spin off HuffPost, primarily with Axel Springer, at a valuation over $1B  —  AOL Has Been in Talks to Spin Off HuffPost as Part of Verizon Acquisition Deal  —  According to numerous sources, while it has been negotiating its deal to sell to Verizon …
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Internal memo from AOL CEO Tim Armstrong on Verizon takeover  —  In Big Media Push, Verizon Buys AOL For $4.4B [Memo From AOL CEO Tim Armstrong]  —  So this just happened.  AOL, owner of TechCrunch, is getting acquired: U.S. carrier Verizon said in a statement that it is buying the company for $4.4 billion, or $50 per share.
Verizon to acquire AOL at $50 per share at an estimated total value of $4.4B, Tim Armstrong to continue leading AOL operations  —  Verizon to Acquire AOL  —  Deal Creates Unique and Scaled Digital Media Platforms for Consumers, Advertisers and Partners  —  NEW YORK - Taking another significant step …
Sources say Verizon has no plans to spin off AOL's editorial properties including TechCrunch and Engadget, with Huffington Post's future less certain  —  Verizon Likely To Retain TechCrunch And Engadget  —  Sources say Verizon has no plans to spin off the tech blogs once the $4.4 billon acquisition is approved.
Alex Kantrowitz / AdAge:
Ad-Tech, not Content, Is King in the Verizon-AOL Deal  —  Takeaways From This Morning's Announcement  —  The deal of the year may be upon us.  —  Today, Verizon announced it has reached an agreement to buy AOL for $4.4 billion.  The move, expected to be completed this summer …
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong says he signed multiyear contract with Verizon, and “we're really interested in staying in the content business”  —  CEO Tim Armstrong Says AOL Is Staying In The Content Business (And He's Not Selling TechCrunch)  —  It was an interesting day at AOL.
Dennis K. Berman / Wall Street Journal:
Verizon's AOL acquisition suggests its telecom carrier empire is crumbling more than it shows the power of the physical network  —  Verizon-AOL: A War of All Against All  —  Surprising deal suggests a crumbling empire more than it shows the power of the network
Brent Lang / Variety:
AOL Shares Surge 18% After Verizon Deal
Justin Ellis / Nieman Lab:
Knight Foundation invests $1 million in creator-driven podcast collective Radiotopia  —  A little over a year ago, a group of public radio-minded podcast producers banded together with an idea: to combine their powers to grow a shared audience and develop a better business model for fledgling audio entrepreneurs.
T. Rees Shapiro / Washington Post:
University of Virginia associate dean Nicole Eramo files defamation suit against Rolling Stone, seeks $7.5M in damages over retracted rape story  —  U-Va. dean sues Rolling Stone for ‘false’ portrayal in retracted rape story  —  WUVA online, a student-run media outlet, interviewed Nicole Eramo …
Marisa Guthrie / Hollywood Reporter:
ESPN President John Skipper on Bill Simmons: “It Was Business”  —  The chatter at ESPN's upfront presentation Tuesday morning centered on Bill Simmons, conspicuously absent since ESPN president John Skipper abruptly announced Friday that he would not renew Simmons' contract.
Alex Weprin / Capital New York:
ESPN president John Skipper says network will continue to support Grantland after Simmons' departure “at the same level both financially and staff-wise”
Discussion: Broadcasting & Cable
Lloyd Grove / The Daily Beast:
In first public comments on Brian Williams. NBC News Chief Andy Lack promises resolution “soon”  —  NBC News Chief Andy Lack: 'We're Playing Hurt' Over Brian Williams  —  In his first public comments about the saga, NBC News chief Andy Lack acknowledged the damage done to the network by the Brian Williams scandal.
Jordan Chariton / The Wrap:   Tom Brokaw Says Media Is ‘Completely Wrong’ About His Feelings on Brian Williams Controversy
Nic Christensen / mUmBRELLA:
Wall Street Journal's head of global media sales, Trevor Fellows, downplays revenue potential of branded content, citing its difficulty to produce at scale  —  Wall Street Journal sales boss: Branded content will never be a dominant revenue source  —  Fellows speaking at the INMA World Congress
Kevin Roderick / LA Observed:
LA Times Pulitzer winner Jeff Gottlieb's farewell memo to colleagues hints at dissatisfaction amongst newsroom staff  —  LA Times Pulitzer winner exits an unhappy camper  —  Jeff Gottlieb, center, with LA Times reporters Paloma Esquivel and Ruben Vives in 2011.  Photo: Knight Fellowships
Mother Jones:
Mother Jones names Monika Bauerlein Chief Executive Officer; Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief  —  Phone Number:  —  415/321-1700  —  Today Mother Jones announced a change in leadership as its co-editors, Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, take on new roles.  Bauerlein will become CEO while Jeffery becomes editor-in-chief.
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
New questions about bin Laden's death and burial highlight lack of attribution in earlier Vanity Fair reporting  —  Why didn't Vanity Fair tell readers it hadn't seen bin Laden burial photos?  —  Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has shaken Washington with a massive piece, titled …
Jason Abbruzzese / Mashable:
New report by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh on Osama Bin Laden's death prompts doubt, conflicting reports, and a partial NBC confirmation
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 More News: 
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Authorities Near End of AT&T-DirecTV Review, Unlikely to Block Deal
Discussion: Reuters
Elizabeth Spayd / CJR:
Columbia J-School asks students to produce May/June issue of CJR on experimental journalism
Jordan Chariton / The Wrap:
Turner Shakeup: Doug Shapiro Named Head of Strategy, Network Searches for PR Chief
Nathalie Tadena / Wall Street Journal:
Report finds Google is still the largest media owner; 136% bigger than the second-largest, Disney, up from 115% last year
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
Associated Press curates stories in book form, including current and historical news, has published 18 paperbacks and e-books since March
 Earlier Picks: 
Brian Flood / Adweek:
ESPN to announce deal with Cablevision that lets advertisers access multiscreen audience data
Discussion: Light Reading and FierceCable
Secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das hacked to death in Bangladesh, in third such attack this year
David Weinberger / Slate:
NPR opens API to authorized developers to build device-specific versions of NPR One streaming player
Discussion: @fkbarrett, and RAIN News
Brendan Klinkenberg / BuzzFeed:
Instagram says it erred in shutting down The Shade Room, a TMZ-style publication that had 700k followers
Joe Pinsker / The Atlantic:
Interview with Sarah Alvarez, founder of Pilotwire, a project that caters to low income news consumers