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3:35 AM ET, April 6, 2018


 Top News: 
The Daily Beast:
The Atlantic fires columnist Kevin Williamson after first defending some of his earlier commentary, including that women should be hanged for having abortions  —  The Atlantic on Thursday fired conservative columnist Kevin Williamson after it became apparent that his belief that women …
Sherisse Pham / CNNMoney:
AMC, owned by Dalian Wanda, wins the first cinema operating license in Saudi Arabia after a 35-year ban on public theaters, will open 30+ cinemas in five years  —  Hollywood seeks keys to the Kingdom  —  America's biggest movie theater company is bringing the silver screen to Saudi Arabia.
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Three political candidates vow not to advertise on Sinclair TV stations, and Sen. Richard Durbin asks Sinclair for information about its “must-run” stories  —  First Sinclair Broadcast Group got lacerated by the public and other news organizations for its controversial promotional campaign.
Sydney Ember / New York Times:
Sinclair CEO David Smith defends his company's “must-run” segments on media bias, likens them to the late-night shows other networks air on local affiliates
Patrick Redford / The Concourse:
The new owners of LA Weekly, Semanal Media, have launched a campaign to push back against an ongoing boycott, saying the weekly is being bullied and harassed  —  In the four months since a mysterious group of rich people took over the L.A. Weekly, news outlets across the country have continued …
Alex Barinka / Bloomberg:
Sources: fewer than expected Spotify shareholders sold stock during listing, potentially driving price up; 5% of potentially available shares traded at open  —  Initial share supply shortage seen as driving up price briefly  —  Music-streaming company's trading volume below big tech IPOs
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Facebook gets accreditation from Media Rating Council for first of three audits it committed to, validating ad impressions on Facebook News Feed and Instagram  —  The Media Ratings Council (MRC,) which has for decades acted as the de facto watchdog for the media and advertising industries …
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
CNN brought in $19.9M, Fox News $16.2M, and MSNBC $8.1M in ad spending in the first quarter; many of the same brands advertised across all cable channels  —  As we shared with you yesterday, all three cable news networks saw very strong first quarters in the ratings, with Fox News and MSNBC the No. 1 and No. 2 channels on all of cable.
Discussion: HuffPost, Forbes, Breitbart and Newser
Jason Cherkis / HuffPost:
Q&A with Rob Byers, the laid-off son of a coal miner who worked at WVA newspapers for over 26 years, on covering coal and politicians, and uncertainty in media  —  And Rob Byers is out of a job.  —  Two days after graduating from West Virginia University in 1991, Rob Byers joined …
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Cambridge Analytica denies Facebook's claim that it accessed data on 87M Facebook users, claims it “licensed data for no more than 30M people”  —  Cambridge Analytica is refuting a report by Facebook today that said Cambridge Analytica improperly attained data on up to 87 million users.
New York Times:
The Paris Review names a new editor: Emily Nemens, co-editor of The Southern Review, who hopes to strike “a balance between stewardship and innovation”  —  Emily Nemens, a co-editor of The Southern Review, seems agnostic and omnivorous when it comes to narrative mediums.
Discussion: thecut and Vogue
Kurt Wagner / Recode:
Twitter says it suspended 274K accounts for promoting terrorism in last six months of 2017, bringing total to 1.2M since August 2015  —  It suspended more than 274,000 accounts just in the last six months of 2017.  —  Twitter suspended more than 1.2 million accounts that were promoting terrorism …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
MoviePass parent company acquires Moviefone from Oath for $15M; Oath will continue selling Moviefone's digital ad inventory  —  MoviePass is saying “Hello — and welcome to Moviefone!"  —  Helios and Matheson Analytics, the majority owner of MoviePass, announced the acquisition of Moviefone from Verizon's Oath subsidiary.
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 More News: 
Mack DeGeurin / Motherboard:
Knowhere, a startup using neural natural language processing to rewrite trending news stories with an aim of impartiality, launches with $1.8M in VC funding
Discussion: FinSMEs and TechCrunch
Laura Hazard Owen / Nieman Lab:
Knight study of local TV news: revenues and viewership are rising, and in smaller markets, TV news websites are the dominant local news source
Discussion: Informed and Engaged and Poynter
Mike Ananny / Columbia Journalism Review:
Report on Facebook's fact-checking partnerships examines the struggles of tech companies teaming up with news orgs, details distrust and lack of transparency
 Earlier Picks: 
Laura Hazard Owen / Nieman Lab:
Interview with Renée Kaplan, FT head of audience engagement, on appealing to more female subscribers via a newsletter, encouraging potential op-eds, and more
Sara Jerde / Adweek:
Future plc, which publishes TechRadar and PC Gamer, has acquired NewBay Media, which owns Music Week, Multichannel News, and Broadcasting & Cable, among others
Megan Rose Dickey / TechCrunch:
Sarah Lacy unveils Chairman Mom, a $5/month Q&A site with a 3-person team curating 2 questions/day; site requires real names on signup, but Q&A can be anonymous
Discussion: Mashable and FinSMEs
Davidporter / 8tracks Blog:
8tracks, a streaming music startup that focuses on playlists and has used crowdfunding to raise capital, re-introduces free streaming in the US