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10:55 AM ET, September 30, 2020


 Top News: 
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Moderating his second presidential debate, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace struggled to keep the event coherent, pleading at times with Trump to let Biden speak  —  On the eve of Tuesday night's presidential debate, Chris Wallace of Fox News declared his goal as the evening's moderator: “My job is to be as invisible as possible.”
Ben Collins / NBC News:
Right-wing news sources and the WH press secretary amplified a conspiracy theory about an electronic earpiece for Biden, hours before the presidential debate  —  A conspiracy theory that Joe Biden would wear an electronic device in his ear during the first presidential debate went wildly viral Tuesday …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Failing some radical reform in the debate format that gives moderators more power, there's no reason for the next two debates to take place as scheduled  —  Chris Wallace wanted to be “invisible” as the moderator of the first presidential debate.  “If I've done my job right,” …
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Axios is on target to make a profit in 2020, with ~$58M in revenue, up 30%+ YoY, due to sponsored-newsletter business that contributes 50%+ of revenue  —  Three-year-old media company avoids staff reductions and is on pace to be profitable in 2020  —  “Smart brevity” has been good for business at Axios.
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
YouTube TV is dropping all Fox regional sports networks starting Oct. 1; the networks will now only be available for streaming on Hulu Live TV and AT&T TV Now  —  Just following the end of baseball season, YouTube TV is about to lose 21 Fox Regional Sports Networks.
Sarah Whitten / CNBC:
Disney is laying off 28,000 employees, due to prolonged closures of its California theme parks and limited attendance at open parks  —  Prolonged closures at Disney's California-based theme parks and limited attendance at its open parks has forced the company to lay off 28,000 employees across its parks …
Saritha Rai / Bloomberg:
Condé Nast says it will open a global tech center in Bangalore to design and build digital content platforms for its brands including GQ and Vogue  —  - Center to build digital platforms for brands like Vogue and GQ  — Magazine publisher plans to hire over 300 people by end-2021
Discussion: @livefromalounge and @saritharai
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
Update on The Daily Memphian and Ken Doctor's Lookout Local: the Memphian has 13,900 subscribers paying $9.25/month average, Lookout Local to debut mid-November  —  Two full-scale newspaper launches in digital format marked milestones last week as they test whether going big can challenge a shrinking legacy print title.
The Conversation:
Paola Nalvarte / LatAm Journalism Review:
IFJ: 171 journalists have died from COVID-19 in Latin America between March and Aug.; 82 were from Peru, where many are freelancers with less access to PPE  —  Between March and August, 82 Peruvian journalists died from COVID-19 while covering the pandemic, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
With just an estimated 1.4M users in Africa, Netflix is testing cheaper, mobile-only subscriptions and commissioning local shows to attract new subscribers  —  - U.S. giant is still a relatively small player on continent  — Rise of 4G boosts streaming services but economies are shaky
Discussion: Light Reading
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 More News: 
Kendall Baker / Axios:
Buzzer, which aims to offer live sports on mobile devices by aggregating sports rights, raises $4M in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau and Sapphire Sport
Hanaa' Tameez / Nieman Lab:
Q&A with Allissa Richardson, assistant professor at USC Annenberg, on how smartphones are a gift and curse for protest journalism, the myth of objectivity, more
Damon Beres / OneZero:
OneZero debuts two new publications, Debugger, about how people use gadgets, apps, and services, and Future Human, about science shaping the future
Sara Jerde / Adweek:
Vox Media launches Concert Ad Manager, a self-serve ad tool to create, submit, and track ads across properties on its marketplace, Concert
Discussion: MediaPost
 Earlier Picks: 
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
The way Fox News' news division covered Trump's taxes exemplifies its approach to stories critical of Trump: downplay its importance and focus on Trump's denial
Sahil Patel / Wall Street Journal:
As fraud in streaming TV surges with fake apps, spoofed devices, and more, marketers are pursuing more direct ad deals to ensure their ads are seen by humans
Frank Pallotta / CNN:
Disney launches GroupWatch on Disney+, a feature that lets up to seven people watch in sync; viewers can react using emoji but can't chat
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Pew survey of 12K+ US adults: 26% said they get news from YouTube while only 23% of those said they “often” get news from channels of established news orgs
Washington Square News:
The entire staff of Washington Square News, NYU's student newspaper, has resigned in protest of their new editorial advisor, three weeks after the EIC was fired