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11:20 AM ET, January 29, 2020


 Top News: 
Dylan Byers / NBC News:
EIC Ben Smith is leaving BuzzFeed in early March to join NYT to write the Media Equation column made famous by David Carr  —  Smith will serve as the writer of the publication's “Media Equation” column, which became a must-read for media industry insiders under the David Carr, who died in 2015.
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Ben Smith turned BuzzFeed News, once seen as a clickbait factory, into an outlet that was twice a Pulitzer finalist and a winner of the George Polk Award
Ted Johnson / Deadline:
WaPo reinstates reporter Felicia Sonmez after her suspension following her tweets about a rape allegation against Kobe Bryant and her response to backlash  —  The Washington Post said it has reinstated political reporter Felicia Sonmez, who was suspended for a series of tweets about Kobe Bryant …
Peter Kafka / Vox:
Casino operator Penn National Gaming buying 36% stake in Barstool Sports; deal values Barstool at $450M and lets Penn National buy a controlling stake later  —  Barstool Sports co-founder Dave Portnoy in 2018 |  Penn National Gaming is buying the online publisher — which can thank sports betting, and the Supreme Court for the deal.
Mary Louise Kelly / New York Times:
Journalists don't interview senior government officials to score political points, but rather to share the answers to tough questions when the stakes are high  —  Journalists are supposed to ask tough questions, then share the answers — or lack thereof — with the world.
Ted Johnson / Deadline:
Trump praises Pompeo for his behavior with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly: “That was very impressive....I think you did a good job on her, actually.”
Brian Stelter / CNN:
NPR's Michele Kelemen has been removed from Mike Pompeo's press pool for a trip to UK and Ukraine, a few days after Pompeo responded angrily to an NPR interview
Katherine Chiglinsky / Bloomberg:
Berkshire Hathaway to sell its BH Media unit and its 30 daily newspapers to St. Louis Post-Dispatch publisher Lee Enterprises for $140M in cash  —  Warren Buffett is getting out of the newspaper business.  —  Berkshire Hathaway Inc. sold its BH Media unit and its 30 daily newspapers …
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
The Guardian says it will no longer accept ads from companies that extract fossil fuels, becoming the first major news organization to institute such a ban  —  Move follows efforts to reduce carbon footprint and increase reporting on climate crisis  —  The Guardian will no longer accept advertising …
BBC News to cut around 450 jobs as part of plans to reach its £80M savings target by 2022  —  Around 450 jobs will be cut from BBC News under plans to complete its £80m savings target by 2022.  —  There will be a reduction in the number of films produced by Newsnight …
News Corp:
News Corp launches Knewz, a news aggregation platform covering more than 400 publishers that uses AI and human editors, available on the web, iOS, and Android  —  Groundbreaking News Platform Free of Filter Bubbles Launches in Beta;  —  Features Headlines from Publishers Large & Small, Left & Right, Here, There & Everywhere
Todd Spangler / Variety:
AT&T lost 219K AT&T Now customers and 945K premium TV subscribers in Q4, and reports revenues of $8.9B, down 3.3% YoY  —  AT&T's top line was stung by its investment in HBO Max in the fourth quarter of 2019 to the tune of $1.2 billion in “foregone licensing revenues.”
Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
Xana Antunes, a top editor at Quartz and former editor at NY Post, Fortune/CNN Money, Crain's New York Business, and CNBC, has died at 55 after cancer battle  —  Former New York Post chief Xana Antunes, who was an executive editor at Quartz for the past six years, passed away on Monday following a battle with pancreatic career.
Hollywood Reporter:
Sources: Netflix is expected to lay off 15+ people from its marketing department this week, a small portion of its overall employee count of around 6,900  —  Sources say at least 15 people are expected to exit this week as the company moves to better advertise the service rather than its individual shows.
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 More News: 
Tony Biasotti / Columbia Journalism Review:
California News Publishers Association voted Tuesday to let digital news outlets, which previously didn't have voting rights, participate fully in CNPA
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Whip Media Group, the parent company of TV and movie tracking app TV Time, raises $50M Series D, bringing its total raised to $115M
Discussion: Variety
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
Investigative Editing Corps, a project to pair investigative editors with local newsrooms, launched last week, after a pilot with two newsrooms in 2017
Julia Carrie Wong / The Guardian:
Investigation: in 2019 Trump spent ~$20M on 218K+ Facebook ads, with the media and its “fake news” the top topic mentioned at 18.25%, followed by immigration
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:
Facebook shares proposed bylaws for its oversight board, which some have called a content moderation “supreme court”, that leave Facebook firmly in control
 Earlier Picks: 
Nicholas Quah / Nieman Lab:
Podcast analytics group Podsights raises $1.5M; it helps advertisers track the impact of their buys on podcasts, and its clients include NYT, NPR, and Wondery
Geoffrey Fowler / Washington Post:
Facebook says its Off-Facebook Activity tool, which lets users clear all the data passed onto Facebook by other apps and sites, is now available globally
Knight Foundation:
CUNY Center for Community Media announces national expansion to support outlets providing coverage of underrepresented people and issues with $1.45M in funding
Craig Newmark Philanthropies donates $1M to ProPublica for its Electionland collaboration and related reporting on voting issues around the 2020 US elections
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
News startup Scroll debuts today with ad-free access to ~300 partners, including BuzzFeed News, BI, and Vox, for $2.49/mo. for first six months then $4.99/mo.