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1:55 PM ET, March 3, 2021


 Top News: 
Joe Flint / Wall Street Journal:
Former Disney exec Kevin Mayer named chairman of sport streaming service DAZN, replacing ex-ESPN president John Skipper  —  Service has substantial boxing and international soccer rights and is looking to expand  —  Kevin Mayer, a former senior executive of the Walt Disney Co. and architect …
Brent Lang / Variety:
Alamo Drafthouse files for bankruptcy as part of an asset purchase agreement with Altamont Capital Partners, and says it will close some of its 40 locations  —  Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the Texas-based theater chain that has become a favorite with cinephiles for it dine-in service …
Dustin Jones / NPR:
Six journalists in Myanmar including AP reporter Thein Zaw have been charged under a public order law for covering protests and could face three years in prison  —  At least eight journalists in Myanmar have been detained by authorities while covering protests against a coup that took place last month.
Gilad Edelman / Wired:
Study: far-right pubs get 65% more engagement on Facebook when they publish fake news; liberal and centrist pubs get less engagement if they publish misinfo  —  Far-right pages that publish misinformation get the most interactions by far compared to other news sources, new research shows.
Kristen Hare / Poynter:
Two professors documented the pandemic's effects on local newsrooms, working with press associations to gather histories in seven states in the center of the US  —  Last year, two journalism professors started an oral history project to document the work of local newsrooms in mid-America.
Christopher Palmeri / Bloomberg:
Filing: ad sales at Disney's DTC businesses like Hulu and ESPN+ rose 47% to $882M last quarter and sales at ABC grew 5% to $984M  —  - Online ad revenue grew 47% last quarter, with broadcast up 5%  — Company has been consolidating teams to create a one-stop shop
Discussion: MediaPost
Democracy Fund:
Democracy Fund, which gives grants to support newsrooms and press freedom, commits to confront systemic racism and to expand support for marginalized groups  —  Independent journalism is an essential instrument of accountability and critical to the health of our republic.
Mark Sweney / The Guardian:
Daily Mail owner DMGT buys The New Scientist for £70M, says the weekly science magazine is forecast to make £7M in profits and £20M+ in revenues this year  —  The 65-year-old title is forecast to make £7m in profits this year  —  The publisher of the Daily Mail …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Netflix launches Fast Laughs, a TikTok-like feed in its mobile apps that presents a string of comedy clips from its stand-up specials, TV series, and movies  —  Netflix just made its iPhone app a little more funny-looking.  —  The streaming giant Wednesday launched Fast Laughs …
Scott Roxborough / Hollywood Reporter:
Disney to sell its 50% stake in Europe's largest children's channel Super RTL to RTL Group, which will pivot to become an online-first broadcaster  —  The entertainment giant held 50 percent of Europe's largest children's channel, but is shifting its focus to its streaming platform Disney+.
Samantha Hissong / Rolling Stone:
Kings of Leon to be the first band to debut an album as part of an NFT package, with tokens unlocking perks like limited-edition vinyl, front row concert seats  —  The band's revolutionary tokens will unlock special perks like limited-edition vinyl and front row seats to future concerts
The Islamic State claims responsibility for an attack that killed three women who worked for local broadcaster Enikas TV in eastern Afghanistan  —  (Reuters) - The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed three female media workers in eastern Afghanistan.
Discussion: @raju, New York Times and The Hill
Rob Shaw /
Facebook exec explains why the company didn't secure rights to extend live sports deals like NFL this year, promoting a free-to-air distribution model instead  —  We're speeding towards a pivotal moment in the future of sports business.  COVID-19 has devastated core revenue streams such as ticket …
Press Gazette:
The Mail On Sunday refused permission to appeal against High Court ruling in Meghan Markle privacy case, and faces an “extraordinary” legal costs bill of £1.5M  —  The Mail On Sunday has been refused permission to appeal against a High Court ruling granting the Duchess …
Discussion: @rasmus_kleis and @pressgazette
Facebook says Facebook Journalism Project's Accelerator program delivered “$60M in customer lifetime value” over three years to ~175 news organizations  —  Accelerator publishers reported $60 million* in customer lifetime value over the last three years of the Facebook Journalism Project's Accelerator program.
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 More News: 
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
UK business paper City AM says its website reached 3.2M unique visitors in February, up 125% YoY, as it considers an autumn return for its print edition
The Hindu:
India's new digital news media ethics rules give the government leverage via a cumbersome regulatory mechanism that could have a chilling effect on free speech
Elahe Izadi / Washington Post:
Filipino distributors wouldn't air A Thousand Cuts, a documentary on press freedom, so PBS Frontline bought distribution rights and is offering it free online
Josef Adalian / Vulture:
Nielsen: Golden Globes drew an average audience of just 6.9M people this year, compared to 18.3M in 2020
Christopher Zara / Fast Company:
MoffettNathanson: cable and satellite TV companies shed 6M subscribing US households in 2020; penetration was around 60% of households vs. ~90% in 2010
Discussion: @trumwill and MediaPost
Sophia June / The Daily Beast:
How four alt-weeklies, Cleveland Scene, Seven Days, The Stranger, and The Austin Chronicle, have been surviving the pandemic after it crippled events revenue
Tim Ingham / Music Business Worldwide:
Soundcloud to launch “fan-powered royalties” April 1; revenue from listeners' subscriptions or consumed ads is divided among artists they listen to, not pooled
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Sony says the PlayStation Store will stop offering movie and TV show purchases and rentals on Aug. 31, citing users' preference for video streaming services
 Earlier Picks: 
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
Wired names Gideon Lichfield of MIT Technology Review as global editorial director, replacing Nicholas Thompson, recently appointed CEO of The Atlantic
Emily Atkin / HEATED:
Q&A with Emily Holden, whose just-launched climate news organization, Floodlight, partners with local outlets to cover corporate influence on the climate agenda
Dylan Byers / NBC News:
Fox News says former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will join the network as a contributor
Elaine Low / Variety:
Disney CEO says the company will let consumer behavior guide its decisions on theatrical windowing and that 50%+ of the Disney+ subscribers don't have kids
Jacob Lorinc / Toronto Star:
Major Canadian publisher Torstar is launching an online gambling site to fund its journalism, pending government approval
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Sources: George Stephanopoulos and David Muir to split leading breaking news at ABC News, after tensions over “chief anchor” title, which will no longer be used