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8:50 PM ET, April 23, 2021


 Top News: 
Steven Perlberg / Insider:
Sources: Substack has approached NYT writers including Liz Bruenig, who was offered a $200K advance, double her salary, and Taylor Lorenz, who was offered $300K  —  - The New York Times is readying a newsletter push as Substack comes after top journalists.  — Substack offered opinion …
Will Oremus / Slate:
News outlets can respond to Substack poaching their best-known opinion writers by embracing more diverse perspectives in op-ed pages and by refocusing on news  —  This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg granted a rare, live, hourlong interview to a tech journalist, where he revealed the company's plans for a slew of new audio products.
Charlie Warzel / Galaxy Brain:
Charlie Warzel says his Substack newsletter has steady growth, though Glenn Greenwald called its start “slow”, as some see it as a test case for ex-NYT writers
Anne Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Spotify to announce an Apple Podcasts Subscriptions competitor next week that will let podcasters set prices without charging them or taking a cut  —  Podcasts exploded in popularity during the lockdown and are on track to bring in more than $1 billion in U.S. ad revenue this year
Kate Kaye / Digiday:
NYT says that, unlike WaPo, it won't be using cookie-replacing tech like Unified ID 2.0 and is instead interested in exploring contextual ad targeting  —  As other publishers kick the tires on identity technologies designed to replace third-party cookies, The New York Times is ruling them out.
Discussion: MediaPost and @petersontee
Jonathan O'Connell / Washington Post:
Labor Dept. found in 2019 that Alden likely mismanaged $294M of staff pensions by putting them into its own funds; Alden agreed to pull the money and pay $20.7M  —  Alden Global Capital admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pull employees' pension money out of its own funds and pay them $20.7 million …
Washington Post:
Some staff at a think tank called No Labels have objected to its hiring of Mark Halperin, fired in 2017 by NBC and MSNBC after accusations of sexual misconduct  —  A nonpartisan political organization is facing blowback from its employees after hiring journalist Mark Halperin …
Megan Graham / CNBC:
Disney says it's sold out of ad inventory for the Oscars on Sunday despite falling ratings; Kantar: a 30-second spot in 2020 was $2.15 million, up 9% from 2019  —  - Disney Advertising Sales said it's sold all ad inventory for the 93rd Oscars telecast on Sunday.
Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg / Wall Street Journal:
Malcolm Gladwell's new book is part of Pushkin Industries' push into being a major provider of highly produced audiobooks with original scores and archival tape  —  The author's company uses sound effects and original music.  ‘We think with our eyes and feel with our ears.’
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
Russia labels Latvia-based independent Russian-language news outlet Meduza as a foreign agent: it will have to label itself as such and be subject to scrutiny  —  The Russian government has designated the Latvia-based independent Meduza news outlet as a foreign agent …
Discussion:, New York Times and Reuters
Matthew Kassel / Jewish Insider:
Interview with Sharon Waxman, founder and CEO of The Wrap, on streaming services dominating Oscar nominations, diversity in HFPA, and growth at The Wrap  —  As the streaming industry has taken off during the pandemic, The Wrap, Waxman's entertainment industry website, has grown along with it
Taylor Lorenz / New York Times:
Allegations of harassment and exploitation, including poor remuneration, at Jake Paul's collab house point to the need for laws to safeguard child influencers  —  A look behind the scenes at life in the Team 10 house.  —  In the vast world of YouTube villains, there may be none as famous as Jake Paul.
Jeanine Poggi / Ad Age:
Following conversations with Black-owned media outlets, GM will hold a dedicated upfront with BIPOC-owned and -targeted media outlets  —  Plans include hosting diverse media upfront and creating a $50 million incubation fund  —  General Motors is revamping its model for working with diverse-owned …
Discussion: Variety
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 More News: 
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
Federal judge rejects motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Apple that alleges the “Buy” option in iTunes is deceptive as Apple can still terminate access
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Instagram says it's going to start testing ads in Reels in India, Brazil, Germany, and Australia before expanding to other countries
Discussion: Reuters
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Facebook launches a series of global News Feed ranking tests to solicit user feedback on posts they're seeing and what posts users find valuable
Nieman Lab:
A study based on interviews with 488 readers in the US and four other countries explores why people still get print newspapers, including to fire up the grill
 Earlier Picks: 
Steven Perlberg / Insider:
A look at Government Executive, now GovExec, whose publications cover federal government and which made $20M in revenue last year with a 20%+ profit margin
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
A look at the flaws in the study claiming a gap between Americans and the values espoused by journalists, whose conclusions aren't quite supported by its data
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
NYT says it won't voluntarily recognize the NYT tech workers' union, telling it to put the effort to a formal vote through the NLRB
Todd Spangler / Variety:
AT&T Q1: WarnerMedia revenue was $8.5B, up 9.8% YoY; DTC subscription revenue was $1.8B, up 35.3% YoY; HBO Max/HBO added 2.7M subscribers for a total of 44.2M