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1:40 AM ET, May 13, 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 …
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Tim Armstrong says AOL to remain in content business, denies spin-off of Huffington Post, says TechCrunch won't be sold and will retain editorial independence  —  CEO Tim Armstrong Says AOL Is Staying In The Content Business (And He's Not Selling TechCrunch)  —  It was an interesting day at AOL.
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 …
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
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
Brent Lang / Variety:
AOL Shares Surge 18% After Verizon Deal
Discussion: Forbes, VatorNews and VentureBeat
Michael Reckhow / Facebook Media:
Facebook launches Instant Articles on iPhone, with interactive features like videos and maps, names NYT, BuzzFeed, Guardian, and six other partners  —  Introducing Instant Articles  —  As more people get their news on mobile devices, we want to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook.
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Facebook's Instant Articles, which can provide 100% ad revenue and analytics data, add up to a good deal to publishers, at least for now
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 …
Jack Bouboushian / Courthouse News Service:
Disney, CBS Win Battle with FCC Over Disclosure  —  (CN) - The FCC cannot expedite the public disclosure of contracts and documents relevant to its review of the proposed AT&T-DirecTV merger, the D.C. Circuit ruled.  —  The Federal Communications Commission is tasked with reviewing merger proposals …
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Authorities Near End of AT&T-DirecTV Review, Unlikely to Block Deal
Discussion: Reuters
Liana B. Baker / Reuters:
Exclusive: Cablevision to drop $1 bid for NY Daily News - source  —  It was one dollar too much for Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N).  The cable company is planning to pull out of the auction process for the New York Daily News after spending hundreds of hours analyzing a potential deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Discussion: New York Times, @petersterne and Gawker
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
Jordan Chariton / The Wrap:
Tom Brokaw Says Media Is ‘Completely Wrong’ About His Feelings on Brian Williams Controversy  —  Appearing on Fox News to discuss his memoir Monday, Tom Brokaw said the media has been swimming in speculation over his take on the Brian Williams controversy.  —  “There's been way too much speculation,” he told Sean Hannity.
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.
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
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 More News: 
Bill Mickey / Folio:
Here Media Launches Social Content Hub
Discussion: Business Wire
Elizabeth Spayd / CJR:
Columbia J-School asks students to produce May/June issue of CJR on experimental journalism
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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