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12:25 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 …
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  —  Telecom giant considers fate of DirecTV satellite unit  —  AT&T Inc. is exploring parting with its DirecTV satellite unit …
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 …
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 …
Discussion: Talking Biz News and @jcstearns
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
Robert Iger / Vanity Fair:
Book excerpt: as he exits Apple's board, Disney's Bob Iger recounts talks with Steve Jobs before Disney bought Pixar, and how their friendship grew  —  As he exits Apple's board, the Disney chief reminisces about his relationship with its mercurial founder—and how their radical visions aligned to save two companies.
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 …
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
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: MediaPost, Adweek and Multichannel 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  —  The smart TVs in our homes are leaking sensitive user data to companies including Netflix, Google and Facebook even when some devices are idle …
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
After Corey Lewandowski pronounced his freedom to lie to media, a look at how a Fox News “straight news” anchor interviewed him and sidestepped the lying issue  —  Fox News and its peers in the mainstream media seldom find common cause, though extraordinary circumstances occasionally give them opportunity to do so.
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”
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 More News: 
Dylan Byers / NBC News:
HBO's five-year deal for The Big Bang Theory is the clearest sign yet of AT&T's intention to transition HBO from a premium brand to a mass-market broadcaster
Washington Post:
Congress grills Google, Facebook, and Twitter again as lawmakers weigh creating a commission with subpoena power to study and monitor social media weaponization
 Earlier Picks: 
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