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2:30 PM ET, September 20, 2018


 Top News: 
Shalini Ramachandran / Wall Street Journal:
ESPN says it has signed up more than 1M paying subscribers for ESPN+, its $4.99 a month streaming service launched in April  —  For $4.99 per month, ESPN+ offers a range of sports programming; doesn't offer live ESPN channels  —  ESPN said it has signed up more than one million paying subscribers …
Matthew Belloni / Hollywood Reporter:
Interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger about Disney's upcoming streaming service, ESPN's politics problem, and how #MeToo changed the company  —  The Disney CEO and most powerful person in entertainment opens up about his plan for a Netflix rival, ESPN's politics problem and how #MeToo has changed his company
Charles Riley / CNNMoney:
The UK's takeover regulator says it will hold an auction for Sky on Saturday between Comcast and 21st Century Fox if there's no resolution by end of Friday  —  Sky's fate is likely to be decided in a one-day auction between Comcast and 21st Century Fox.  —  The UK Takeover Panel announced Thursday …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Spotify says it will now allow indie artists to directly upload their music to the service; the upload feature is debuting in beta on an invite-only basis in US  —  Spotify today is taking another step that may make record labels uncomfortable.  Fresh off reports that the streaming service …
Kevin Loker / American Press Institute:
Study: only 43% of people can easily sort news from opinion in online-only media, and just 55% can easily distinguish news from opinion in news media in general  —  People often don't know whether the content they see is news or opinion, according to our recent pair of Media Insight Project surveys.
Discussion: Nieman Lab
Anne Davies / The Guardian:
How Rupert Murdoch's News Corp steers politics in Australia to a more conservative approach, with two former prime ministers blaming Murdoch for their falls  —  In his farewell speech as prime minister last month, Malcolm Turnbull pointed to “an insurgency” in his own party and …
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
Google launches real-time hub on Google Trends ahead of midterms that includes state and county-level data on candidates and election issues  —  With close to 500 House and Senate seats in play with the midterm elections, Google News Lab started thinking about how local reporters might use local data in their work.
Discussion: @grove and The Keyword
Eric Peckham / TechCrunch:
A look at “old media” publishing giants that have invested in e-commerce, digital markets, and new media startups globally  —  From marketplaces to VR, media giants seek relevance through startup investing  —  The Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 eras weren't kind to the world's largest media conglomerates …
Discussion: @markscott82
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Study: online ad sales will increase 16% this year to $106.6B accounting for more than half of all US ad sales  —  - With new video services, their next phase of growth targets TV  — Politics bolster local, national TV, Magna Global report says  —  Online advertising will account …
Noah Smith / Washington Post:
LA Times owner Soon-Shiong says his purchase of Daybreak Game Company is part of a wider strategy to combat fake news, help the Times reach more young people  —  LOS ANGELES — The billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Times has made a career, and multibillion dollar fortune …
Discussion: Variety and @kauweloa
Alex Weprin / MediaPost:
Cheddar will provide 20-second news clips on topics like tech and entrepreneurship to GSTV, which programs screens at 18K+ gas stations across the US  —  Cheddar, the “post-cable” news network, is making the jump to the gas pump.  The company will now provide content to GSTV …
Amy Beth Hanson / Associated Press:
Lee Enterprises to fold Montana Magazine after nearly 50 years of publishing  —  HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Magazine is folding after nearly 50 years of publishing stories and stunning images of the state's people, geography, history and culture, owner Lee Enterprises announced.
Discussion: KTVQ-TV and Montana Standard
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 More News: 
Jessica Davies / Digiday:
Multiple publisher sources claim Google Ad Manager has been down for several weeks; Google confirms issues but says the problem had been global for only 3 days
Maxwell Strachan / HuffPost:
A former Harper's editor says staff concerns about an essay by John Hockenberry were dismissed: “No one in editorial was in support of the Hockenberry article”
 Earlier Picks: 
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
CEO Bob Bakish says Viacom is not interested in creating a Netflix-like streaming service: ""We see that space as becoming crowded and quite capital-intensive"
Discussion: Financial Times and Variety
New York Times:
A look at Facebook's plans to fight disinformation, monitor false news, and delete fake accounts, as US midterm elections loom in seven weeks
Peter Kafka / Recode:
Sources: group led by UK investor Ian Osborne is in talks to buy Fortune; Meredith's Alan Murray says multiple bidders exist and doubts deal will occur in 2018
Discussion: New York Post
Cara Buckley / New York Times:
Ian Buruma, editor of NYRB, has left his position amid an uproar over publication of an essay by Jian Ghomeshi, a former broadcaster accused of sexual assault
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Memo: BuzzFeed is cutting its in-house podcast production team and shutting down most of its podcasts, as it shifts resources towards original video content
Tom McKay / Gizmodo:
Senate passes the Music Modernization Act, which will improve artist payouts from streaming giants, royalties for pre-1972 songs, and payouts to producers