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5:55 PM ET, May 23, 2020


 Top News: 
Ted Johnson / Deadline:
WH Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says in a briefing that reporters “desperately” want churches and houses of worship to stay closed, prompting pushback  —  After Donald Trump characterized houses of worship as “essential services” and called upon governors to open them …
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Trump says Fox News “is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected”, drawing an explicit link between the network and electing Republicans  —  In his tweet, the president makes explicit the subtext at which he's hinted in the past, when offering complaints about how Fox had …
Ken Stone / Times of San Diego:
A federal judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against MSNBC and Rachel Maddow from One America News Network; OANN's owner says the network will appeal  —  A San Diego federal judge Friday dismissed a $10 million defamation lawsuit filed by the owners and operators of San Diego-based …
Robert Channick / Chicago Tribune:
Tribune Publishing shareholders have elected 2 Alden Global Capital representatives to the board; Alden is barred from raising its Tribune stake until June 30  —  Shareholders of Tribune Publishing elected two representatives of hedge fund Alden Global Capital to the newspaper chain's board Thursday …
Taylor Lorenz / New York Times:
Gen Z TikTok stars have embraced the rise of “collab houses” in Los Angeles, where young social media personalities chasing influence live and work together  —  Gen Z influencers are settling into life in a shuttered Los Angeles.  —  When Gianluca Conte, 20 …
Kelly McBride / NPR:
Ben Smith / @benyt:
Memo: The Atlantic is laying off 68 people across divisions, or about 20% of its staff, after collapse of its events business, with the rest getting pay cuts  —  The Atlantic is laying off about 20% of its staff — 68 people across divisions — per a memo from David Bradley, after collapse of events business.
Jack Shafer / Politico:
The layoffs and paywall at The Atlantic suggest Laurene Powell Jobs is happy to subsidize the enterprise but not interested in making it a gift to the masses
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Larry King to launch his first-ever podcast The Millionth Question, a celebrity interview show, in mid-June under a multiyear contract worth at least $5M  —  TV interviewer's first podcast to be produced with son Chance King and Jeff Beacher's 4Forty4 Media  —  Larry King is gearing up to launch his first-ever podcast.
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Sources: Audible is in talks to acquire celebrity podcasts and is considering selling original shows individually and Amazon Music will add podcasts soon  —  Under growing pressure from Spotify, the e-commerce giant is looking to spend big in podcast land  —  In recent months, Audible …
Al Tompkins / Poynter:
Two Democratic FCC commissioners dissented in the ruling setting a $48M fine for Sinclair, saying Sinclair's three major violations required further scrutiny  —  Two Federal Communications Commissioners said Sinclair Broadcast Group should not be allowed to walk away from its violation …
Discussion: Multichannel News, Variety and Deadline
Michael Schneider / Variety:
HBO says it is donating $1M to the Los Angeles Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund, using money that had been allotted for its Emmys after-party and campaign events  —  With the Emmy ceremony likely shifting to a remote ceremony this year, HBO is taking some of the money it normally spends …
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 More News: 
Mark Schoofs / BuzzFeed News:
Memo from Mark Schoofs, who has returned to BuzzFeed News as EIC, on plans for the future including launching teams to cover inequality and fast-moving stories
 Earlier Picks: 
Paul Bowers / Brutal South:
Digital subscriptions might keep a hungry reporter fed a few more years, but the path for local news outlets is unclear, as only a small number will sign up
Ben Norton / The Grayzone:
Richard Esposito, who covered police and security at NBC, The Intercept, and co-wrote a story that led to Reality Winner's jailing, is now NYPD's top spokesman