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5:00 PM ET, March 19, 2020


 Top News: 
Financial Times:
EU calls on streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube to limit broadband use and offer programs only in standard, rather than high, definition  —  Brussels tells streaming companies to limit services as Facebook says managing traffic is a “challenge”  —  The EU has called on streaming services …
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
Alt-weeklies faced a double blow of ad revenue loss and distribution points closing this week; local magazines and news and arts sites will feel the pain too  —  COVID-19 is “a nearly perfect weapon against alternative weeklies.”  In dozens of cities, papers are asking for donations …
Rachel Kurzius / DCist:
An overview of the effects of the pandemic on local DC outlets Washingtonian Magazine, Washington City Paper, Local News Now, and Brightest Young Things  —  Even as local news outlets are seeing record traffic on their websites, one of their main revenue sources is drying up.
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
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
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
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
Torsten Ingvaldsen / HYPEBEAST:
Report: the total streams for the top 200 most-streamed songs on Spotify dropped in Italy, the US, UK, France, and Spain, as users in the countries self-isolate  —  Data from Spotify may suggest that widespread self-isolation is to blame.  —  Olly Curtis/Getty Images
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
Playboy magazine will stop publishing its print edition in the US with its spring issue, due to coronavirus; it will publish special print issues occasionally  —  After 66 years, magazine to continue publishing online, with an occasional special edition in print
Sahil Patel / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Disney is looking to sell adtech company TrueX, which Fox had bought in 2014; Disney hasn't integrated it into its sales or tech organizations  —  TrueX is best known for offering interactive ads  —  Walt Disney Co. is looking to sell TrueX, an advertising-technology company …
Discussion: MediaPost and AdExchanger
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Hulu is now available on Comcast's Xfinity Flex and will be available on X1 by the end of March; the deal doesn't include Hulu + Live TV  —  Hulu is at long last coming to Comcast Cable customers' set-top boxes.  But the cable operator's distribution pact with Disney — which now controls Hulu …
Trip Adler / Scribd Blog:
Subscription-based Scribd opens its library of ebooks, audiobooks, magazine articles, and more to anyone for free over the next 30 days  —  At Scribd, we believe reading is the most powerful tool we have for connecting and sharing the human experience.  —  Today, with millions of people around …
Brittany Shammas / Washington Post:
A look at student journalists at campus news outlets across the US, diligently covering the pandemic even if they are unable to access their newsrooms  —  For the first time, the editors of the Cavalier Daily — the student newspaper at the University of Virginia — were having to plan out their issue via webcam.
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 More News: 
Patrick Shanley / Hollywood Reporter:
Verizon: US video game use during peak hours has risen 75% since last week, video streaming has grown 12%, and overall web traffic is up almost 20%
Sarah Whitten / CNBC:
National Association of Theater Owners asks Congress for relief for its 150K employees, authorizes withdrawal of $1M from its reserves to aid theater employees
Discussion: Reuters and Vanity Fair
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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
Erik Hayden / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox Corp. says it is making Fox News Channel and its 29 local TV stations available for streaming free, without requiring a cable provider sign-in
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
Janelle Irwin Taylor / Florida Politics:
Layoffs hit the Tampa Bay Times, including longtime environmental reporter Craig Pittman; source says 11 employees were laid off
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
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