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7:50 PM ET, October 25, 2019


 Top News: 
Facebook begins testing Facebook News with a subset of people in the US across four categories of select publishers: general, topical, diverse, and local news  —  Testing a dedicated place for news in the US  —  Journalism plays a critical role in our democracy.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
At an event with News Corp's Robert Thomson, Mark Zuckerberg says every internet platform has a responsibility to fund and form partnerships for news  —  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — aiming to counter skeptics who believe the social network is a chief culprit in promulgating a flood of misinformation …
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Facebook is paying some major publishers millions of dollars per year while excluding smaller local ones, who are struggling and worried about being left behind  —  New York (CNN Business)Facebook has a message for the skeptical news industry: We're here to help.
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Zuckerberg cited a need for diversity of views when asked about Breitbart's presence in Facebook News, but also said News is only for high-quality, curated news  —  On Friday morning, Facebook announced its plan to spend millions of dollars on high-quality journalism, fueling the launch of a new dedicated news tab on its platform.
Elizabeth Grieco / Pew Research Center:
Pew: 22% of US newsroom employees live in NYC, LA, or DC; NYC has 12% of all newsroom employees; 41% of people working for digital outlets are in the Northeast  —  New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are the financial, entertainment and political capitals of the United States …
AT&T says HBO Max will be available free to the 10M AT&T customers who are also US HBO subscribers; sources: AT&T to launch cheaper ad-supported tier in 2021  —  (Reuters) - In the bestselling novel “Circe” — optioned by WarnerMedia for its forthcoming HBO Max streaming service …
Sources: John Solomon, now at Fox, worked closely with Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, sharing files and letting him watch an interview with Ukraine source  —  ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up for ProPublica's Big Story newsletter …
Sources: Derek Jeter's The Players' Tribune is exploring a sale; the site, which helps athletes connect directly with fans, has raised a total of $60M  —  The Players' Tribune, a website started by baseball star Derek Jeter, is exploring a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter.
Discussion: @kerrymflynn
Max Willens / Digiday:
With its SmartView First program, news aggregator SmartNews is offering 30 US publishers tiered revenue payouts based on their monthly page views in the app  —  There's a novel idea being embraced by platforms hungry for publisher content: Pay them.  —  SmartNews, a news aggregation app started …
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 More News: 
The Information:
Sources: Sony has hired bankers to explore a sale of its Playstation Vue service, which would include the company's tech and a subscriber list of around 500K
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Spotify is testing an ad format that will let artists pay to target fans through its full-screen recommendation feature; the ads will run on Free and Premium
Shannon Liao / CNN:
Caffeine, which raised $146M from 21st Century Fox and others and aims to compete with Twitch, signs rapper Offset to live stream games and host a variety show
Discussion: The Verge
 Earlier Picks: 
Chandler Rome / Houston Chronicle:
The Houston Astros fire executive Brandon Taubman and apologize to a Sports Illustrated reporter after probe of comments Taubman yelled toward female reporters
Caitlin Yilek / Washington Examiner:
In what she assumed was an off-the-record call, Kellyanne Conway mocked and threatened a Washington Examiner reporter for mentioning Conway's husband in a story
Adam K. Raymond / New York Magazine:
The White House has canceled its print subscriptions to NYT and Washington Post and plans to instruct federal agencies to cancel their subscriptions