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6:30 PM ET, June 30, 2016


 Top News: 
Sources: IBT Media lays off at least 30 journalists, affecting copy desk and tech, media, business, international, and culture news desks  —  IBT Media unexpectedly laid off at least 20 journalists on Thursday, POLITICO has learned.  —  The tech and media desks were hit the hardest.
Justin Fenton / Baltimore Sun:
Judge grants new trial for Adnan Syed of popular “Serial” podcast; murder conviction vacated  —  A Baltimore judge has vacated the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular “Serial” podcast that explored his case, and granted his request for a new trial.
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook is shutting down its Paper newsreading app on July 29th  —  Facebook is shutting down Paper, a bold reimagining of the company's flagship app for iOS that impressed critics but failed to attract a large audience, the company said today.  The app transformed the core Facebook experience …
David Ranii / Raleigh News & Observer:
Associated Press announces it is using automated writing for games of 142 minor-league baseball teams, with Automated Insights tech and MLB Advanced Media data  —  Durham company has created earnings reports for AP since 2014  —  Automated Insights, the Durham-based producer …
Peter Kafka / Recode:
In letter to Apple's general counsel, Spotify says Apple won't approve app update in move to “diminish competitiveness” of Spotify on iOS  —  “We cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon.”  —  Spotify says Apple is making it harder …
Amol Sharma / Wall Street Journal:
Nielsen releases ratings from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon to studio partners interested in receiving streaming metrics about shows/episodes for specific time frames  —  Measurement specialist provides media partners with data on select shows, according to client presentation
Lions Gate Buys Starz for $4.4 Billion for Premium Cable Outlet  —  Independent film, TV studio will pay cash and stock for Starz  —  Acquisition makes Lions Gate a player on the pay-TV dial  —  Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the studio that produced “The Hunger Games” and “Mad Men,” …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Olympics in VR: NBC to Present 85 Hours of Virtual-Reality Content on Samsung Devices  —  NBC is leaning into virtual reality — the hot tech flavor of the moment — with plans to pump out some 85 hours of VR programming for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
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 More News: 
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Apple in exploratory talks to acquire Tidal, Jay Z's streaming music service
Mark Sweney / Guardian:
News Corp buys radio company Wireless Group, owner of TalkSport, for £220M
 Earlier Picks: 
Sara Ashley O'Brien / CNNMoney:
Nearly 80 media organizations unite to focus on homelessness in San Francisco, spearheaded by Audrey Cooper, editor in chief of The San Francisco Chronicle