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9:55 AM ET, April 27, 2017


 Top News: 
ESPN to lay off 100 on-air personalities and writers plus a limited number of off-air jobs  —  ESPN plans to lay off 100 on-air personalities and writers, a source familiar with the matter told CNNMoney on Wednesday.  —  The job cuts, including television, radio and online personalities …
Kevin Draper / Deadspin:
A list of ESPN layoffs, as they become known  —  With phone calls and meetings beginning informing some ESPN employees that they have been laid off, word will slowly trickle out all day long about who they are.  There will be plenty of names you have heard of, as ESPN reorients their daily lineup of shows …
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai outlines plan to roll back Title II net neutrality rules, plans to release full proposal on April 27 for FCC vote on May 18  —  Vote to begin net neutrality rollback scheduled for May 18.  —  The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month to start the process …
Tony Maglio / The Wrap:
Comcast reports Q1 earnings of $20.46B, with cable network revenue rising 7.6% to $2.6B and broadcast rising 5.9% to $2.2B  —  Comcast is off to a strong start in 2017, thanks in large part to its better box office beginning.  —  The NBCUniversal parent company topped media analyst's expectations …
Discussion: @bobbierman and Fortune
Connie Bruck / New Yorker:
A look at Steve Bannon's background in the film industry, including looking for proof of Seinfeld royalties  —  Stephen K. Bannon, who maintains a precarious hold over the nativist wing of the Trump White House, honed his skills in the art of conservative persuasion in the most liberal precinct of the American imagination, Hollywood.
Discussion: @davidbrockdc and Longreads
Sahil Patel / Digiday:
As the Google-Facebook ad duopoly grows, publishers are partnering up to compete for ad dollars  —  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  As digital media sellers compete for ad dollars in a fragmented world, they're betting it's better to work together than to individually lose out on ad dollars entirely.
Discussion: Mindshare In The Loop
Mike Allen / Axios:
Memo: BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith unveils site's new slogan, “Reporting to You”; site is testing technical features which will help gather feedback from audience  —  BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith told his staff yesterday about a new slogan for BuzzFeed News, “Reporting to You.”
Discussion: @bobbierman
Claire Zillman / Fortune:
Jesse Watters, co-host of Fox News show The Five, announced an abrupt two-day vacation after backlash over a remark he made about Ivanka Trump  —  Fox News' Jesse Watters, a co-host of The Five, faced social media backlash Wednesday for remarks about Ivanka Trump's appearance in Berlin that were interpreted as a crude innuendo.
Jeff Stein / Vox:
Interview with Bret Stephens, the NYT's new right-wing columnist, in which he defends his views on climate change and the campus rape epidemic  —  On April 12, the New York Times's vaunted editorial page got a new addition.  Bret Stephens, formerly a columnist at the Wall Street Journal …
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 More News: 
Sources: Drudge Report hires Daniel Halper, who was most recently Washington bureau chief of The New York Post and previously of The Weekly Standard
Beatrice Verhoeven / The Wrap:
Netflix is considering a limited theatrical release in France for its original shows, in order to comply with the country's regulations around streaming
Natalie Jarvey / Hollywood Reporter:
Chip Canter, who led Verizon's mobile video initiative, go90, has left the company
 Earlier Picks: 
Damien Gayle / The Guardian:
Reporters Without Borders knocks the UK down to number 40 in its World Press Freedom Index, citing country's surveillance laws and espionage act proposal
Matthew Balan / Mediaite:
NYT reporter Glenn Thrush says Trump's press conferences are more democratic than Obama's were and that he's better at reaching out to individual journalists
Kurt Wagner / Recode:
Twitter beats Q1 estimates with $548M revenue and 328M MAUs, up 9M QoQ and 7M more than expected, and says DAUs are up 14% YoY; stock up 10%+