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11:55 AM ET, May 14, 2021


 Top News: 
Senator Brian Schatz / U.S. Senator Brian Schatz …:
Three US senators and a US representative reintroduce the Future of Local News Act, which would create a group to study the state of local news and offer fixes  —  Local News Provides Important Public Service By Covering Stories That Matter To Communities, Holding Local Governments Accountable
Jeff Kotuby / The Streamable:
ESPN renews rights deal with MLB until 2028, including ESPN+ simulcasts but not weekday games; report: the deal cost $560M/yr, down from prior deal's $700M/yr  —  Disney CEO Bob Chapek dropped some big news during his company's Q2 2021 call, announcing that ESPN and Major League Baseball …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Jeff Blackburn, an Amazon exec who recently left after two decades, is returning as SVP of Global Media and Entertainment, reporting to Bezos, then Andy Jassy  —  Jeff Blackburn, a former high-level Amazon exec who just recently left after more than two decades, is coming back …
Disney misses on subscriber estimates for Disney+, reaching 103.6M subscribers, below the expected 109M; revenue was $15.61B vs. $15.87B expected, down 13% YoY  —  - Disney reported second quarter results Thursday, posting lower-than-expected revenue and subscriber counts for its streaming service.
Paul Cheung / Knight Foundation:
Knight Foundation announces $3M initiative to help local news outlets expand AI use; it will initially fund four projects to address knowledge and skill gaps  —  A new, $3 million Knight initiative will help local news organizations harness the power of artificial intelligence to drive success.
Brian Welk / The Wrap:
Sundance Film Festival will return to Utah in January 2022 for in-person events but will also remain online, after 2021's online festival saw record attendance  —  The Sundance Film Festival will return to Park City for 2022, setting Jan. 20-30 as the dates for next year's in-person event.
Jeremy Fuster / The Wrap:
Southern Theatres follows Alamo Drafthouse and AMC, launching a service to let subscribers rent films after their theatrical run and before they're on streaming  —  Amid the hard work of reopening after the pandemic, some movie theater chains are venturing into the streaming business …
Ben Munson / FierceVideo:
TiVo buys MobiTV's assets for $18.5M, including its live and on-demand video delivery offerings to launch app-based streaming TV services  —  TiVo emerged as the winner on day 2 of an auction for MobiTV's assets after fending off several raised bids from Amino in conjunction with Roku and RPX, a patent portfolio company.
Discussion: Light Reading
Alexandra Bruell / Wall Street Journal:
Ad agency Dentsu has created a division aimed at helping minority-owned media businesses grow and connect with ad buyers  —  Veteran ad buyer Mark Prince to lead division that will consult with minority-owned media businesses and marketers seeking increasingly diverse audiences
Hamish McKenzie / Substack Blog:
Substack acquires People & Company, which focuses on community building, to expand its support infrastructure for writers, including workshops and legal support  —  In 2014, journalist Anna Codrea-Rado, publisher of Lance, pitched a story to editors at a major news outlet …
Benjamin Wallace / New York Magazine:
Behind the online battle between notable tech figures including a16z partners and Balaji Srinivasan, and the journalists who tweet and report on the industry  —  Late last fall, the New York Times was preparing a bombshell article about Coinbase, a financial exchange that had become …
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 More News: 
Among 1,762 non-satellite TV stations, a record 1,116 aired local news in 2020, up 18 from the 2019 high; 29.3% report budget cuts vs. 9.1% in 2019
Discussion: The Streamable and Poynter
Peter Guest / Rest of World:
After sweeping up politicians and dissidents, Myanmar's junta is targeting digital media figures and online creators, many of whom have fled or been jailed
Richard Lawler / Engadget:
Vizio says Q1 profits from its Platform+ business, which sells viewer data and ad space, hit $38.4M, up 152% YoY; profit from its hardware division was $48.2M
 Earlier Picks: 
Taylor Hatmaker / TechCrunch:
Discord announces Stage Discovery, a tool to help people find communities through live audio events, and says it will soon test paid, ticketed audio events
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Roku will debut Roku Originals on the Roku Channel on May 20, starting with 30 Quibi shows
Jill Goldsmith / Deadline:
Amazon signs multi-year deal with the WNBA giving Prime Video exclusive global streaming rights to 16 regular season games and the Commissioner's Cup game