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8:40 AM ET, June 18, 2020


 Top News: 
Washington Post:
US DOJ escalates the legal battle against John Bolton, seeking a temporary restraining order blocking publication of his White House memoir  —  The Justice Department on Wednesday night sought an emergency order from a judge blocking the publication of former national security adviser John …
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
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Kim Kardashian West reaches a deal with Spotify for a podcast about her work with the Innocence Project, which seeks to clear wrongly convicted people  —  Show would explore the celebrity's work with the Innocence Project  —  Kim Kardashian West reached a deal with Spotify Technology SA …
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Spotify signs a multiyear deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to produce and distribute original scripted podcasts centered on the DC universe  —  Spotify announced two mega podcast deals in the past 24 hours: A deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to produce a slate of original podcasts …
Discussion: Variety
Sources: heads of 4 outlets overseen by the US Agency for Global Media were fired Wednesday, heightening fear that CEO Michael Pack will politicize the agency  —  New York (CNN Business)The new chief executive of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) has yet to show up for his job …
James Ball / Columbia Journalism Review:
Micropayments for articles won't work because of economic, philosophical, and logistical reasons, among them is that most pubs are conceived as package deals  —  It circulates every few weeks on social media, and gets thousands of shares each time—often when a news outlet has announced layoffs or losses.
Sarah Scire / Nieman Lab:
Study: more nonprofit newsrooms were launched in 2018-2019 than in any year since 2008-2009; 78 are focused on local news, 10 more than last year  —  News organizations that have turned to the nonprofit model have often focused on national or investigative news but this year's INN Index …
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 …
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 …
Jake Kanter / Deadline:
Amazon is planning to stream four Premier League games for free on Twitch in the UK, starting June 29  —  EXCLUSIVE: Amazon is planning to stream live Premier League fixtures for free on Twitch in the UK as it aims to give fans the chance to interact with each other while games are being played.
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.
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:
Facebook says it will expand its Ad Library tool to track spending by US senatorial and congressional candidates
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
After June 30, when Alden can increase its Tribune stake, Alden could take full control or force a sale or Tribune could sell off its papers separately  —  Alden Global Capital could take full control or force a sale.  The LA Times' owner could play spoiler.  Or Tribune's papers could be sold piecemeal.
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.
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
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 More News: 
American police have a far-right media ecosystem of their own, with rampant misinformation and bigotry and extremist views dictating the narrative
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
SiriusXM will acquire podcast management platform Simplecast, with plans to integrate the company with its digital audio ads subsidiary AdsWizz
 Earlier Picks: 
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
Community-centered nonprofit newsroom The Oaklandside, a Berkeleyside sister publication, officially launches with $1.56M in funding from Google News Initiative