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10:45 PM ET, March 18, 2020


 Top News: 
Janelle Irwin Taylor / Florida Politics:
Layoffs hit the Tampa Bay Times, including longtime environmental reporter Craig Pittman; source says 11 employees were laid off  —  Tuesday saw the Tampa Bay Times newsroom gutted of essential staff in a set of layoffs that rocked the local media landscape.  —  Wednesday followed with another gut punch.
Detroit Metro Times:
Detroit Metro Times lays off eight as most advertisers cease operation with quarantine measures going into effect; remaining staffers are taking pay cuts  —  In light of the unprecedented economic catastrophe brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Metro Times is heartbroken to tell you we temporarily laid off 8 employees today.
Jeremy Kohler / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The Riverfront Times, an alt-weekly founded in 1977 in St. Louis, lays off most of its editorial staff and suspends publication of its weekly print edition  —  ST. LOUIS — The Riverfront Times laid off most of its editorial staff on Wednesday and was suspending publication of its weekly print edition, its editor said.
Creative Loafing:
The alt-weekly Creative Loafing of Tampa Bay, owned by Euclid Media Group, lays off seven staff members in response to ad cutbacks due to COVID-19  —  Seven out of 12 staff members were let go.  —  On Wednesday afternoon, in the wake of the fallout related to the global coronavirus pandemic …
Jeff vonKaenel / SN&R Extra:
The Sacramento News & Review will suspend publication of its print edition next week and lay off nearly all of its staff, but will continue to post online
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
The @FoxNews account begins tweeting again, after stopping in November 2018, promoting COVID-19 news on its website and Fox News Channel  —  Fox News is making a return to Twitter, more than a year after going silent on the social-media platform.  —  At 2:18 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2018 …
Pew Research Center:
Pew study: 70% of Americans say the news media are doing fairly well covering the COVID-19 pandemic, while 37% say news media have greatly exaggerated the risks  —  About half say they have seen at least some made-up news about the coronavirus; 29% think it was created in a lab
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
LA Times publishes a video series on COVID-19, hosted by owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, without noting his role as CEO and owner of a company working on treatment  —  It's not unusual for newspaper owners to have, well, other interests.  In the old days of family ownership …
Sarah Scire / Nieman Lab:
Google News Initiative teams up with LION Publishers, UNC, others to launch Project Oasis, with the aim of helping local news startups at key stages of growth  —  So you want to start a digital news organization for your community.  Where would you go to look up the ownership structure of your favorite local outlet?
Freddy Mayhew / Press Gazette:
BBC announces new COVID-19 measures including making local radio stations hubs for helping the elderly, more educational content, pausing cuts to CBBC, more  —  The BBC has set out new changes to its output during the coronavirus pandemic, which include turning the One Show into a consumer programme for “all aspects of the crisis”.
Margaret Harding McGill / Axios:
TikTok announces the first members of its US content moderation committee, including experts in child safety, hate speech, and misinformation  —  TikTok on Wednesday unveiled a group of outside advisers with expertise in child safety, hate speech, misinformation and other areas that will help guide its content moderation policies.
Karlene Lukovitz / MediaPost:
Sling introduces Stay in & Sling!, a free service with access to streaming news channel ABC News Live alongside movies and shows for kids and families  —  Sling TV is looking to win some goodwill and attract new prospects for its paid streaming services by introducing a free …
Discussion: Broadcasting & Cable
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 More News: 
Katie Kilkenny / Hollywood Reporter:
As Hollywood suspends or pauses most TV and film productions, “below-the-line” crew members who are gig workers, are feeling the brunt of the industry slowdown
Discussion: Velvet Couch Dispatch
Elizabeth Dwoskin / Washington Post:
Facebook says it is rolling out a COVID-19 information center placed atop all users' feeds to help surface news and resources
Brent Lang / Variety:
Elisabeth Murdoch and Stacey Snider's Sister Global invested in AWA Studios, a new comic book company founded by Marvel alumni and ex-News Corp exec Jon Miller
Sources: Gray Television withdrew its $8.5B offer to acquire Tegna because of concerns about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on US regional TV station operators
Discussion: The Streamable
 Earlier Picks: 
Ty Pendlebury / CNET:
Digital locker service Movies Anywhere to launch Screen Pass, which will let customers share up to three movies a month with others, but without Roku support
Katie Kilkenny / Hollywood Reporter:
Netflix postpones Netflix is a Joke Fest, its weeklong comedy festival, which was scheduled to begin in LA on April 27
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google Discover users will now be able to report content as misleading or sensational, violent or repulsive, or hateful; the action isn't a removal request
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Facebook says it has fixed a bug in its anti-spam system that marked some legitimate COVID-19 news articles and information as spam on Tuesday
Tim Baysinger / The Wrap:
Fox is buying ad-supported streaming service Tubi in a $440M cash deal; Tubi will remain a separate company with founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi staying on
Marc Tracy / New York Times:
China requires American NYT, WSJ, and WaPo reporters whose press passes expire in 2020 to return them, bans them from working as journalists in China, HK, Macau