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9:30 PM ET, April 28, 2020

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Jim VandeHei / Axios:
Axios, which had qualified for a $4.8M PPP loan, will return the money after nearing a deal for other capital and after the program prompted divisive debate  —  Axios, which qualified for a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan to avoid layoffs, will return the money, after nearing a deal for an alternative source of capital.
RELATED:
Kathryn Hopkins / WWD:
Bustle Digital Group confirms it was OK'd for a $7.5M PPP loan, 2 weeks after it closed The Outline and laid off 24, and says the loan will help undo pay cuts  —  The publisher of Bustle, Nylon and Mic was approved for a $7.5 million Paycheck Protection Program loan earlier this month.
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Report: more than four out of five newspapers in the US did not qualify for Paycheck Protection Program loans because of how their companies are structured
Scott Feinberg / Hollywood Reporter:
Motion picture academy eases qualifications for 2021 Oscars; eligible films won't have to screen for at least a week in a Los Angeles-area theater  —  The Academy's board of governors convened via a secure Zoom session on Tuesday morning.  —  The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony is still slated …
Thom Geier / The Wrap:
Universal says Trolls World Tour on-demand release has netted ~5M downloads; source: it's made $77M in revenue from the 80% it retains from digital rental fees  —  Universal's gamble to bypass a theatrical release for “Trolls World Tour” and release it on demand instead appears to have paid off — big time.
Jem Aswad / Variety:
Facebook plans to add the ability for Pages to charge for access to livestreamed events, but details like a cut percentage and the launch date are lacking  —  Facebook plans to allow users to charge for livestreams, which will provide a way for musicians and other creators to monetize …
Josh Kosman / New York Post:
Sources: Dish is pushing for refunds from Disney, invoking force majeure, due to the lack of live sports on ESPN, but Disney has rebuffed the request so far  —  Charlie Ergen's satellite TV company is calling foul on Disney for making it pay for ESPN at a time when there is no live sports programming, The Post has learned.
The New York Times Company:
Kara Swisher is leaving her Recode Decode podcast on July 1 to produce a new twice-weekly podcast for NYT's Opinion section  —  Kara, who became a Times contributor in 2018, will start producing a twice-weekly show that will make its debut in the fall.  Read more in this note from James Bennet …
Casey Newton / The Verge:
YouTube adds fact-check info boxes to some searches, above the search results, in the US, after launching in Brazil and India last year  —  The program launched in Brazil and India last year  —  YouTube will begin adding informational panels containing information from its network …
Lucinda Southern / Digiday:
With its print edition on hold, Stylist has launched an app with paywalled content, a £22 annual subscription, and 10K downloads over the last two weeks  —  Stylist launched a free-to-download app two weeks ago offering a digital version of the weekly print magazine (print distribution is currently on hiatus).
Christine Schmidt / Local News Lab:
How local news ecosystems in New Mexico, New Jersey, Colorado, North Carolina, and Chicago are responding to the COVID-19 crisis  —  The coronavirus pandemic has shaken much more than the ground beneath us: it has rocked every aspect of our society.  This norm-shattering situation has shown us …
Washington Post:
Stanford Internet Observatory researchers say Facebook and YouTube should not allow political ads from state-controlled media outlets  —  Vanessa Molter is a graduate research assistant at the Stanford Internet Observatory.  Renée DiResta is the research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory.
 
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 More News: 
Aleksandra Sagan / Toronto Star:
In a staff memo, Canada's Postmedia Network says it will lay off about 80 employees, permanently close 15 community publications, and impose tiered pay cuts
Melynda Fuller / MediaPost:
Trusted Media Brands, parent company to Reader's Digest, Family Handyman, and others, names Beth Tomkiw as its first chief content officer
Freddy Mayhew / Press Gazette:
London Evening Standard CEO Mike Soutar to step down after six months in the role; the paper, which printed 800K copies pre-crisis, is now down to 500K
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:
Chinese streaming site Bilibili is serving state propaganda alongside anime clips aimed at Gen Z, with China's Communist Youth League among its top creators
 Earlier Picks: 
Abby Ohlheiser / MIT Technology Review:
A look at the ways medical professionals are using TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to combat COVID-19 misinformation and the challenges they face as influencers
Hollywood Reporter:
Sources: Hollywood studios and unions, including Disney, Warner Bros., and DGA, are developing new industry protocols to protect against COVID-19 on set
Daniel Pollack-Pelzner / The Atlantic:
London's National Theatre has found online success amid COVID-19 through NT Live, founded in 2009, which films on-stage events for YouTube and other platforms
Tiffany Hsu / New York Times:
As the pandemic halts filming, ad agencies are increasingly turning towards digitally altered, deepfake-style ads that repurpose old footage for new uses
Jacob Knutson / Axios:
White House reverses course after initially canceling today's coronavirus press briefing; WH did not hold a briefing over the weekend
The Independent:
FT reporter Mark Di Stefano accessed confidential Zoom calls at The Independent and Evening Standard where staff were informed of pay cuts and furloughs