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8:25 PM ET, October 8, 2020


 Top News: 
Jacob Knutson / Axios:
ABC News to host a Biden town hall on Oct. 15, originally set for the second debate, after Trump backed out; Biden rejected other dates offered by Trump  —  Joe Biden will appear at a town hall event hosted by ABC News and moderated by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia on Oct. 15, the network announced on Thursday.
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Trump refuses to participate in second debate, saying “I'm not going to waste my time on virtual debate” because “they cut you off whenever they want”  —  Donald Trump's and Joe Biden's campaigns made dueling demands on Thursday to redraw the schedule …
ProPublica to launch three regional reporting hubs, in the South, the Southwest, and the Midwest, for which it expects to add nearly 30 new positions  —  Nonprofit Newsroom Also Launches Distinguished Fellows Program to Support Local Investigative Journalism
Vincent Barone / New York Post:
A reporter and a freelance photographer were chased and assaulted at Orthodox Jewish protests in NYC against COVID-19 restrictions  —  An Orthodox reporter said he was attacked by an angry mob at a protest in Borough Park, Brooklyn, against coronavirus restrictions Wednesday night.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Nielsen: 57.9M people watched the Pence-Harris debate on Wednesday across 18 linear TV channels and on connected TV, the second most-watched VP debate ever  —  Nearly 58 million people watched the vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence on television …
Lara Seligman / Politico:
During the vice presidential debate, Susan Page allowed both Pence and Harris to interrupt and didn't ask follow-up questions after they dodged her initial ones
Matthew Keys / The Desk:
Sources: ViacomCBS has begun laying off staff at its digital media properties, including CNET, ahead of the Red Ventures takeover, affecting up to 100 employees  —  ViacomCBS is issuing layoff notices to dozens of workers who work for the company's digital media websites, including its technology news publication CNET.
Stephanie Sengwe / The Streamable:
The Roku Channel, which offers free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes and 115 live linear channels, is rolling out today on Amazon Fire TV  —  Two of the biggest names in the streaming world are coming together to bring customers more of what they love, as Roku announced today …
Brendan Sinclair /
Interviews with 16 Twitch employees from throughout its history detail a culture of indifference to inappropriate and abusive behavior, although some disagree  —  Employees from throughout the streaming platform's history describe a culture of indifference to inappropriate, unsafe, and abusive behavior
Sara Fischer / Axios:
NYT launches Pivotal, a program to provide marketing partners with research and guidance on the best ways to address sensitive issues like race, gender, tech  —  The New York Times is launching a new advertising insights program called “Pivotal” which will provide marketing partners with research …
Discussion: Adweek
Ethan May / Streamlabs Blog:
Twitch users watched 4.74B hours of content in Q3 vs. YouTube Gaming's 1.68B hours and Facebook Gaming's 1B hours; Twitch has ~91% marketshare in hours streamed  —  Facebook passes 1 billion hours watched for first time, YouTube Gaming experiences largest increase in hours watched …
Discussion: The Verge, Front Office Sports and CNBC
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: AT&T's WarnerMedia plans to reduce costs by up to 20%, potentially resulting in thousands of layoffs across Warner Bros. studios and channels like HBO  —  Changes at owner of HBO, Warner Bros. seek to cut costs by up to 20% as coronavirus pandemic pressures film and TV business
Alun John / Reuters:
Investment news site Motley Fool is shutting down Hong Kong operations, citing political uncertainty due to protests, new security law, and US-China relations  —  HONG KONG (Reuters) - Investment news site Motley Fool will shutter its Hong Kong operations due to the uncertain political outlook …
Associated Press:
French appeals court upholds ruling ordering Google to open negotiations with French publishers over payments for use of their news content  —  PARIS (AP) — A French appeals court upheld an order for Google to open negotiations with French publishers over payments to use their news content.
Discussion: France 24, Reuters and TechCrunch
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 More News: 
Ryan Gallagher / Bloomberg:
Sources: US-based Sandvine, which canceled its Belarus deal after criticism, supplies tech to censor news and social media sites to over a dozen countries
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
UK publisher Future says it plans to hire more than 150 people in the next three months, mostly in editorial
Stephanie Sengwe / The Streamable:
Tubi launches News on Tubi, bringing linear channels to the service for the first time, with content from Bloomberg TV, NBC News Now, and 17 local Fox stations
Discussion: Cord Cutters News and FierceVideo
 Earlier Picks: 
Mary Snapp / Microsoft on the Issues:
Microsoft VP Mary Snapp details how the company is supporting journalism, including pilot projects that fund local newsrooms and offer pro bono legal help
Gilad Edelman / Wired:
A group of tech companies, publishers, and advocates unveil Global Privacy Standard, to let users opt out of the sale of personal data at the browser level
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
BuzzFeed News pulled a correspondent from the White House press pool as safety concerns rose over COVID-19 at the White House; Politico sent a reporter instead
Kali Hays / WWD:
California Sunday, owned by Pop-Up Magazine Productions, is ceasing publication, laying off about a dozen; union leaders are seeking a meeting to talk severance
Alex Weprin / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox News launches a book label, Fox News Books, through HarperCollins, with the first book written by Fox & Friends Weekend host Pete Hegseth