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1:20 PM ET, June 17, 2020


 Top News: 
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
No, Google didn't demonetize The Federalist and Zero Hedge, as NBC's misleading story claims, and it is not an example of anti-conservative bias  —  from the another-day-another-story dept  —  So, earlier today, NBC reported that Google had “banned” two well known websites from its ad platform, namely The Federalist and Zero Hedge.
Aaron Holmes / Business Insider:
Google cracks down on The Federalist and ZeroHedge for violating policies on race-related content and may permanently suspend their access to Google Ads revenue  —  - Google is cracking down on two right-wing outlets, ZeroHedge and The Federalist, for violating its policies on race-related content.
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:
Facebook and Instagram will allow some US users to turn off political ads starting Wednesday; the feature will roll out to all US users over the next few weeks  —  - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday announced the social network will allow its users to turn off seeing political ads.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
SiriusXM will acquire podcast management platform Simplecast, with plans to integrate the company with its digital audio ads subsidiary AdsWizz  —  Podcasting continues to see a strong trajectory in the world of streamed audio content, and today comes the latest development on that front.
Discussion: PR Newswire and RAIN News
Callum Borchers / WBUR:
Boston NPR affiliate WBUR, one of the largest in public radio, to lay off 29 people, or 10%+ of its staff, to help reduce its operating budget by ~13%, to ~$40M  —  WBUR will lay off more than 10% of the station's staff, including several newsroom leaders, and stop producing …
Sources: Michael Pack, the new CEO of the US Agency for Global Media, has yet to show up for his job, after being confirmed by the Senate in early June  —  New York (CNN Business)The new chief executive of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) has yet to show up for his job, sources tell CNN …
Washington Post:
A deep look at the toxic relationship between Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalists and its publisher, whose family has owned the paper for nearly a century  —  Before last year, Keith C. Burris was mostly known to reporters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as the author of the most controversial opinion piece …
Tomi Kilgore / MarketWatch:
Sinclair says it will launch a headline news service in early 2021 focusing on commentary-free content provided by its network of local broadcast stations  —  Referenced Symbols  —  Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. SBGI, -3.45% said Wednesday it will be hiring 25 new positions …
Discussion: PR Newswire and @brianstelter
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Philadelphia Magazine editor Tom McGrath to step down at the end of the summer, says the pub needs to hire a replacement who isn't “a middle-aged white guy”  —  Philadelphia Magazine editor Tom McGrath will step down at the end of the summer, telling his staff the publication needs …
Tim Baysinger / The Wrap:
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish says the full rebrand for CBS All Access will happen in 2021, not this summer, with more Viacom content including sports and news  —  ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish gave a small update on the network's upcoming rebrand for CBS All Access on Tuesday.
Luke Guillory / Ad Age:
GroupM: in 2020, print ad spend to drop 26%, digital advertising 3%, TV advertising 7%; SVOD like Hulu and Roku to grow 15% in 2021  —  Sustained advertising by marketers is helping to cushion the pandemic's impact  —  Although the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the worst economic decline since …
Discussion: MediaPost and Multichannel News
David Shortell / CNN:
Court docket: the Trump admin sues to block John Bolton's book, set to publish June 23, alleging breach of contract and that it's “rife” with classified info  —  Trump team concerned over release of Bolton's book  —  (CNN)The Trump administration is suing former national security …
Laura Hazard Owen / Nieman Lab:
Reuters digital news report based on surveys of 80K+ people in 40 countries: more people are paying for news, many prefer sources with “no point of view”, more  —  The percentage of people paying for news online continues to increase — and people may even pay for more than one subscription.
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
Report: just 15% of UK left-leaning voters say they mostly trust news media, down from 46% in 2015, trust is down 20%+ overall in UK; BBC is most trusted org
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 More News: 
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Headless CMS company Contentful raises $80M Series E, bringing total raised to $158.3M, and says it now has 2,200 paying customers, including Spotify and ITV
David Cohen / Adweek:
Spotify adds video ads to Ad Studio, its self-serve ad platform, in Canada, UK, and the US, and says 50% of its advertisers used it in May, up from 11% in March
Discussion: MediaPost
Neal Justin / Star Tribune:
American Public Media Group ends production on Live From Here, the successor to A Prairie Home Companion, and lays off 28; CEO blames the pandemic for cuts
Lila Shapiro / Vulture:
In the last week, 14 of the 24 board members of the National Book Critics Circle have resigned, citing racism, privacy and political correctness concerns
 Earlier Picks: 
Kevin Truong / VICE:
iFixit, which has posted repair manuals for ventilators during the pandemic, says Steris Corporation is claiming copyright infringement; iFixit cites fair use
Discussion: @eff, more at Techmeme »
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
Community-centered nonprofit newsroom The Oaklandside, a Berkeleyside sister publication, officially launches with $1.56M in funding from Google News Initiative