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5:50 PM ET, September 19, 2019


 Top News: 
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism:
Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund makes first grants: $5.25M to three Philadelphia recipients to support new models for local journalism  —  Fund's first grants to support new local journalism models, advanced technology for newsrooms  —  The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund …
Omar Sanchez / The Wrap:
Acorn TV, AMC's British film and TV show streaming service, has passed 1M subscribers in Canada and the US  —  Acorn TV, AMC's streaming service featuring British film and television programs, has passed one million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, the network has announced, calling it a …
David Cohen / Adweek:
Nielsen Social Content Ratings, which measure talent's promotion of TV shows on social media, now include Instagram in addition to Twitter and Facebook  —  Facebook and Twitter were already being tracked  —  The Nielsen Social Content Ratings now measure talent's promotion …
Katie Deighton / The Drum:
GroupM forms New Majority Ready Coalition with media and tech companies, excluding Facebook, to help brands adapt to US's changing demographics in advertising  —  The biggest players in US media - Facebook excluded - have formed a cross-industry coalition to better understand multicultural audiences …
Discussion: Adweek, MediaPost and Multichannel News
Marcela Kunova /
BBC tests a browser extension that blurs out text, images, and headlines of articles based on personalized trigger words that can prompt anxiety in readers  —  As one third of audience switches off from news, the public broadcaster is testing a tool that would allow readers to blur out stories that may impact their mental health
Discussion: Ad Age
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
YouTube to tighten creator verification in October, focusing on channels with a need for proof of authenticity and clarifying verification isn't an endorsement  —  YouTube's verification program is getting a massive overhaul, the company announced today, which will likely result in a number …
Timothy Libert / New York Times:
Study: news sites typically rely more on outside companies for advertising than non-news sites, promoting web tracking, more so in the US than in the EU  —  The same news organizations that do a great job of reporting on privacy problems — have privacy problems.
Seth Hettena / New Republic:
A look at The Epoch Times, a Chinese newspaper published in 35 nations and 21 languages, which won over fans in the far-right by pushing conspiracy theories  —  In 2017, Stefanie Albrecht, an investigative reporter for German broadcaster RTL, was in the midst of what would become …
Jon Lafayette / Broadcasting & Cable:
Hearst Television says its stations will sell ads based on audience impressions instead of ratings, a method NBCU/Telemundo local stations are using as well  —  Hearst Television said its stations will begin selling TV ads based on audience impressions, a shift away from traditional ratings.
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
Survey of nonprofit outlets: foundations supplied under 50% of funding for the first time on record in 2018, as earned income and individual giving increases  —  “Nonprofit news organizations have much in common even if their scope or mission differs.  Their journalistic missions …
Hilary Russ / Reuters:
DAZN reaches distribution deal with Comcast, its first in North America; Xfinity Flex box users will have access to DAZN starting today  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Media and communications giant Comcast Corp has struck a distribution deal with digital global sports provider DAZN Group …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Comcast will give internet-only customers free access to Xfinity Flex, its streaming platform with 10K+ movies and shows, which used to cost $5 per month
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Tumblr and parent company Automattic raises $300M Series D from Salesforce Ventures at a post-money valuation of $3B  —  Automattic, the company best known for and its contributions to the open source, non-hosted WordPress alternative, has raised $300 million …
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 More News: 
Madhumita Murgia / Financial Times:
Researchers: many smart TVs and streaming dongles from Roku, Samsung, Amazon and others are sending user data to companies like Netflix, Microsoft, and Facebook
 Earlier Picks: 
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: AT&T is considering parting ways with its DirecTV unit, including spinning it off into a separate public company or combining assets with Dish
Aaron Rupar / Vox:
CNN booked Corey Lewandowski for an interview just hours after telling Congress he has “no obligation to be honest with the media”
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook debuts $149 Portal TV, a streaming box supporting Prime Video, Showtime, and CBS All Access that can also make video calls while viewing Facebook Watch
Tal Axelrod / The Hill:
NYT announced Tuesday that it is shutting down its Spanish-language platform, NYT en Español, which debuted in 2016, saying it was not financially successful