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3:50 PM ET, March 27, 2020

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Patrick Brzeski / Hollywood Reporter:
China shuts down all cinemas again, after reopening 600 of them over the past week, without providing an official explanation for the shut down  —  Over the past two weeks, movie theaters had begun to gradually reopen in the country.  No reason was given for the abrupt reversal …
Cynthia Littleton / Variety:
ViacomCBS withdraws 2020 financial guidance, says it has a $3.5B credit facility, and expects 16M US streaming pay subscribers and 30M Pluto MAUs by end of 2020  —  ViacomCBS on Friday became the latest media giant to warn investors about the grave threat to its business operations posed …
Sarah Scire / Nieman Lab:
Slate launches a metered paywall with an initial threshold of at least 10 articles/month, says CEO, after which readers will have to join Slate Plus  —  “Up till now, Slate has provided almost all of its written work for free.  But going forward, we think the way we will truly thrive …
Discussion: MediaPost and @katie_rayford
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Disney-owned digital movie locker service Movies Anywhere is launching its first smart TV app, on LG  —  Making them the first smart TVs with a native app  —  Movies Anywhere — the Disney-owned movie locker service that combines your purchased films across digital stores including Apple TV …
Bloomberg:
Sources: Media M&As worth $5B+ are on hold with ViacomCBS pausing the sale of Simon & Schuster, AT&T of 4 RSNs, and Black Diamond of Ion Media  —  Media companies including AT&T Inc. and ViacomCBS Inc. are pressing the pause button on asset sales worth more than $5 billion …
María Ramírez / Nieman Reports:
A look at eldiario.es in locked-down Madrid, an outlet founded by journalists in 2012 with no paywall, supported by memberships that provide a third of revenue  —  After the coronavirus crisis passes, readers and journalists will have a clearer understanding that factual information is a precious, public good
Mehdi Jedinia / Reuters:
Iran has ordered media to use only official statistics when covering COVID-19, told journalists to avoid investigative reporting, and harassed those who do  —  As coronavirus spreads in Iran, authorities have moved swiftly and aggressively to contain independent reporting about it by harassing …
National Geographic Society:
National Geographic Society launches a global fund for journalists covering COVID-19, with an emphasis on underserved groups and funding from $1,000-$8,000  —  Please note: This call for proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Applications may be submitted until further notice.
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Hooq, a streaming service backed by Singapore's Singtel, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros, which had raised $95M, files for liquidation  —  On-demand video streaming service Hooq said on Friday it has filed for liquidation after it failed to grow rapidly and cover its increasing operating costs.
Discussion: Reuters and @ianjsikora
David Stout / New York Times:
Richard Reeves, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of books on presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and others, has died at 83  —  His books on Kennedy, Nixon, Clinton and others could be as unsparing as his syndicated column.  He was also a familiar face on PBS public-affairs programs.
 
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 More News: 
Facebook Grant Program:
The Facebook Journalism Project announces first round of $5,000 grants to North American local newsrooms for costs associated with COVID-19 pandemic coverage
Toni Gidwani / The Keyword:
Google sent users 40K warnings about phishing or malware attempts from nation-states in 2019, a 25% drop YoY; journalist and news outlet impersonations up
 Earlier Picks: 
Maura Church / Patreon Blog:
Patreon says 30,000+ creators signed up in the first three weeks of March; average new patron growth in 6 countries, including US and Italy, was 36.2% over Feb.