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9:45 AM ET, October 29, 2019

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 Top News: 
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
Sources: over 250 Facebook employees have signed a letter visible on an internal forum that says letting politicians lie in ads is “a threat” to the company  —  In an open letter, the social network's employees said letting politicians post false claims in ads was “a threat” to the company.
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
G/O Media memo to staff says “Deadspin will write only about sports” and to focus 100% of resources on sports; the site also covered politics, culture, and more  —  Sports—and sports alone—must be “the sole focus” of the website, new management said Monday in a memo obtained by The Daily Beast.
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Kelsey Mckinney / @mckinneykelsey:
Deadspin writer says G/O Media management removed a letter to the readers from Deadspin staff that criticised the recent addition of autoplay videos to the site
Judd Legum / Popular Information:
How Ben Shapiro's massively popular right-wing site The Daily Wire gets promoted in an inauthentic, coordinated manner by 14 Facebook pages followed by millions  —  This is the online version of the Popular Information newsletter.  You can get independent accountability journalism in your inbox every week.
Reeves Wiedeman / New York Magazine:
Deep dive inside Condé Nast amid years of drama, downsizing, and shakeups sheds light on Anna Wintour and others' struggle to revert falling influence and sales  —  “It's dreadful,” Anna Wintour said in early October, looking out the south-facing windows of her 25th-floor office …
Jessica Davies / Digiday:
FT says it is testing subscriber-only podcasts, deviating from its audio strategy of ad-supported open-access podcasts, hires its first global head of audio  —  The Financial Times has expanded its audio strategy to include subscriber-only podcasts, a first for the publisher.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
AT&T says it will spend $1.5B-$2B on HBO Max in 2020 and $1B per year in both 2021 and 2022, expects profitability in year four  —  AT&T is telling investors it has the intestinal fortitude to win in the streaming wars — even as its traditional TV business continues to crumble.
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Wall Street Journal:
AT&T reaches a truce with activist investor Elliott Management, agrees to regular share buybacks, new directors, no more major M&A, and more in three year plan
Piya Sinha-Roy / Hollywood Reporter:
capitalgazette.com:
Capital Gazette shooter Jarrod Ramos pleads guilty to all 23 counts, including killing five employees, in a mass shooting at the Annapolis office in June 2018  —  The man who blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom more than a year ago, armed with a shotgun, smoke bombs and a device …
Alex Weprin / Hollywood Reporter:
National Amusements has voted to approve the CBS-Viacom merger, which is now expected to close by early December; the merged company will be called ViacomCBS  —  National Amusements, the company controlled by the Redstone family, has voted to approve the merger.
Discussion: Variety, TVWeek.com, The Wrap and Deadline
Elsa Keslassy / Variety:
Amazon signs second distribution deal in France, this time with telco Free, which will include Amazon Prime Video in its €5.99 monthly plan at no extra cost  —  Rolling off its deal with Altice's SFR in August, Amazon has scored a distribution agreement with Free, another major French telco group.
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Federal judge reinstates libel lawsuit by Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann against WaPo, narrowing its scope from 33 published statements to three  —  A federal judge reinstated part of a lawsuit against The Washington Post filed by the family of a Kentucky teenager that alleged …
 
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Matthew De Silva / Quartz:
Spotify says 14% of MAUs listen to podcasts, podcast hours streamed grew 39% QoQ, and podcast engagement is driving increases in free to paid conversion
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