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6:35 PM ET, October 29, 2019


 Top News: 
Ryan Glasspiegel / The Big Lead:
Deadspin's interim editor-in-chief, Barry Petchesky, who has worked for the publication for 10 years, says he has been fired for “not sticking to sports”  —  It was a solid bet when The Daily Beast reported that G/O Media management issued an edict to Deadspin to stick to sports …
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
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.
John Sands / Knight Foundation:
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Sources: NBC News Digital is expanding its staff by 20% over the next year, amounting to ~70 new jobs, and shutting down its digital video studio NBC Left Field  —  NBC News Digital is expanding its staff by 20% over the next year, an addition of roughly 70 jobs across multiple departments …
Discussion: Variety, @sarafischer and @oliverdarcy
Will Cathcart / Washington Post:
WhatsApp sues NSO Group after investigating an attack that sent malware to 1,400 devices, targeting 100+ journalists and human rights defenders  —  Will Cathcart is head of WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook.  —  In May, WhatsApp announced that we had detected and blocked a new kind …
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, The Wrap, Deadline and
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
The Recount, John Heilemann and John Battelle's short-form video political news outlet, has raised ~$10M seed from investors including Jay-Z and Kevin Durant  —  A-List investors (Fred Wilson, Jay-Z, Robert Wolf, Kevin Durant) are pouring millions into the journalist's new business.
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Sony says it will shut down its PlayStation Vue live TV subscription service on January 30  —  The Streamable is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission when you sign up with our links.  —  This is breaking news, the story will be updated.  —  After much speculation …
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.
Michael Calderone / Politico:
The RedState reporter who published the Katie Hill photo has since promoted GOP candidates for her seat, a blurring of roles unacceptable in mainstream outlets  —  Shortly after Rep. Katie Hill announced her resignation from Congress on Sunday night, the RedState reporter …
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 More News:
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
Piya Sinha-Roy / Hollywood Reporter:
Netflix says it's testing a feature to allow users to speed up or slow down content on their phones, attracting criticism from filmmakers, including Judd Apatow
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
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