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8:50 AM ET, April 9, 2020


 Top News: 
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Disney says Disney+ has 50M+ paid subscribers globally, and that its April 3 launch in India accounts for 8M Disney+ subscribers  —  Disney announced that the company has surpassed 50 million paid subscribers, following their launch in India and eight Western European countries (UK, Ireland …
Justin Wise / The Hill:
18 US senators ask leadership to include aid in any future COVID-19 stimulus plan for recipients “who make a long-term commitment to high quality local news”  —  More than a dozen senators are calling for any future stimulus package addressing the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus …
PEN America:
A coalition led by PEN America asks Congress for $5B+ in its pandemic response to help journalism by increasing CPB funding, adding funds for newsrooms, more
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
Sources: Hearst CEO Steven Swartz told publishers and editors that Hearst is giving a 1% bonus to employees and plans no furloughs or pay cuts amid the pandemic  —  The company's CEO instead announced raises and a bonus merit pool and eliminated budget targets for executive bonuses
Tristan Greene / The Next Web:
A look at the racist, right-wing conspiracy blog that Kayleigh McEnany, the new White House press secretary, ran until 2016  —  I'm about three hours into a deep wallow in new US Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's blog and - spoiler alert - it's a hot mess full of racism, Islamophobia, and right-wing conspiracy theories.
Gaspard Sebag / Bloomberg:
France orders Google to pay publishers to display article snippets, starting from October of 2019, and gives three months to come to terms with publishers  —  - Watchdog says Google may have caused ‘serious’ harm to press  — Antitrust agency issues interim measures after press complaint
Clara Hendrickson / Brookings:
Half of the US counties that have reported COVID-19 cases are news deserts and 57% lack a daily paper  —  While the coronavirus may be a global pandemic, the public health crisis has revealed the critical role of local news outlets currently working tirelessly to cover the impact of the coronavirus on their communities.
Discussion: The Guardian
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
Ten health reporters from across the globe discuss dropping their other assignments to cover the biggest story of their careers while also trying to stay safe  —  New York (CNN Business)In 2017, The Washington Post health reporter Lena Sun wrote, “The Trump administration is ill-prepared for a global pandemic.”
Financial Times:
Sources: Will Lewis is stepping down as chief executive of Dow Jones, in a departure described as “amicable”  —  British media executive is leaving ‘amicably’  —  Will Lewis is stepping down as chief executive of Dow Jones, the Rupert Murdoch-owned publisher, according to people familiar with the matter.
Jack Hough / Barron's Online:
Interview with Bob Iger on how the entertainment industry and Disney might change after the pandemic, the mood at Disney, and more  —  Walt Disney has been hit hard by the pandemic.  Shutdowns of theme parks, movie theaters and cruise lines have laid low business units that just months ago were enjoying record profits.
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 More News: 
Ethan Millman / Rolling Stone:
Apple started a $50M fund to pay advance royalties to indie labels earning at least $10K in quarterly Apple Music revenue, as per a letter sent to the labels
 Earlier Picks: 
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
The Philadelphia COVID-19 Community Information Fund says it will give newsrooms in the city $2.5M to cover COVID-19
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Some of the biggest names in right-wing media are questioning the official COVID-19 death toll, suggesting the numbers are inflated to make Trump look bad
Nathan Bomey / USA Today:
Gannett board adopts a poison pill, aimed at blocking any hostile takeover attempts, after announcing cost cuts and a dividend suspension on April 1