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11:50 AM ET, August 26, 2021


 Top News: 
Axel Springer agrees to acquire Politico, the remaining 50% share in Politico Europe, and Protocol; sources say the deal is worth around $1B  —  - German publisher Axel Springer plans to acquire digital media site Politico.  — The deal is worth about $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Forbes is going public via SPAC at a valuation of $630M; the transaction is expected to close in late 2021 or early 2022  —  ● Combination will enable Forbes to further capitalize on its successful digital transformation, pursue additional growth opportunities and fully recognize …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Apple launches News Partner Program, which lowers commissions on in-app purchases to 15% for news publishers who participate in Apple News  —  Apple today is launching a new program that will allow subscription news organizations that participate in the Apple News app and meet certain requirements …
Will Oremus / Washington Post:
Researchers say YouTube, which attracts less scrutiny than Facebook or Twitter, is a hard platform to study because video is so difficult to analyze in bulk  —  While Facebook and Twitter take the brunt of backlashes over misinformation and ‘censorship,’ the Google-owned video giant has often laid low.
Joan E. Solsman / CNET:
Netflix is testing games in its Android app in Poland, starting with two existing Stranger Things games  —  Playing on Netflix's mobile app is new, but the games themselves — two pixelated Stranger Things games — have already been available off Netflix for years.
Discussion: Polygon and
Tim Baysinger / The Wrap:
ESPN takes Rachel Nichols off its NBA programming and cancels her show The Jump, after controversy over her comments about now-former colleague Maria Taylor  —  ESPN is taking Rachel Nichols off its NBA programming, which includes canceling her daytime show “The Jump.”
New York Times:
Sources: Facebook has approached experts about forming an advisory body for how it handles global election matters, including political ads and misinformation  —  The social network has contacted academics to create a group to advise it on thorny election-related decisions, said people with knowledge of the matter.
Matthew Keys / The Desk:
WarnerMedia is ending distribution of CNN International on UK's Virgin Media, BT, and Freesat; viewers will have to pay £2/month for streaming service CNN Live  —  A global variant of AT&T WarnerMedia's news channel CNN will no longer be available on British cable television systems starting next month.
Discussion: Broadband TV News
The Wire:
Yahoo says it is shutting down content operations in India as of Thursday due to the country's new regulations limiting foreign ownership of digital media  —  New Delhi: Online tech giant Yahoo is shutting down its content operations in India, a decision that the company says is due to changes in regulatory laws in the country.
Discussion: Hindustan Times and @shakirmir
Esha Sarai / Voice of America:
US lawmakers sent a letter to Biden on Wednesday urging help for about 550 USAGM employees and their relatives who are still trying to leave Afghanistan  —  U.S. lawmakers pushed President Joe Biden on Wednesday to evacuate hundreds of people affiliated with the U.S. Agency for Global Media …
Discussion: @w7voa, @benyt and
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
MSNBC newsroom staffers vote for a union, after the network declined voluntary recognition in June; MSNBC's president signals the network won't contest results  —  - Writers Guild won election among about 300 employees  — The Writers Guild has swelled its ranks in recent years
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 More News: 
Evette Dionne / @freeblackgirl:
[Thread] Evette Dionne, EIC of feminist pop culture magazine Bitch, says she has resigned, is “beyond burned out”, and will take some time to rejuvenate
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google News Showcase launches in Colombia and signs partnerships with 24 regional and national news publications, including El País, El Colombiano, and Semana
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
Q&A with The Athletic's senior investigative writer Katie Strang about covering the Larry Nassar trial, the challenges of adversarial reporting in sports, more
Matthew Ball /
A deep look at why expanding into gaming is so important to Netflix, the competition it faces from games like Fortnite, and what its current strategy looks like
Andrew Beaujon / Washingtonian:
Inside WaPo's plans to grow internationally and attract younger readers, as sources say Sally Buzbee's quaint view about objectivity helped her get the top job
 Earlier Picks: 
The Daily Beast:
Sources: NBCU will pay Rachel Maddow $30M annually through 2024 while ending her show in 2022, giving their top star a more flexible schedule than ever before
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
An analysis of Twitter follower gains by Joe Rogan's guests shows the podcaster's influence has waned after he went exclusive to Spotify
Sinéad Baker / Insider:
In an abrupt reversal, OnlyFans suspends its October 1 policy change banning porn after securing “assurances” and aims to provide “a home for all creators”
Ben Smith / New York Times:
How Mexico helped the NYT get Afghans who worked for the paper out of Afghanistan; Mexico says it is looking to extend similar protections to other journalists