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9:20 AM ET, March 17, 2022


 Top News: 
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Justin Smith says his startup with Ben Smith will hire English-language-educated journalists globally and will launch in the US and at least one other market  —  The former Bloomberg Media C.E.O. offered new details on the venture he is starting with the journalist Ben Smith.
Nathan Baschez /
Substack built apps for web and mobile to create a quiet reading space away from email inboxes, enabled by push notifications for direct reader-writer ties  —  In the Spring of 2018 I got invited by the CEO of Substack to come to Toronto for a couple days to hang out with the whole team …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Netflix will test an “add an extra member” feature in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, letting primary account holders pay a fee for users not in their household  —  Netflix will soon launch a test letting primary account holders pay an additional fee for users outside their households …
Stephen Battaglio / Los Angeles Times:
Media mogul Byron Allen sues Nielsen, claiming it committed fraud by misrepresenting its ability to produce accurate ratings for Allen's smaller TV networks  —  Media mogul Byron Allen is suing Nielsen, claiming the ratings company was not forthcoming about the reliability of its audience measurement data for smaller TV networks.
Andrew Kersley / Press Gazette:
The Times says it crossed 400K digital subs earlier this year after gaining 60K in 2021, and added an average of 1,000/day during Ukraine war's first two weeks  —  The Times gained an average of 1,000 new digital subscribers a day during the first two weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of its highest ever growth rates.
Ross A. Lincoln / The Wrap:
A UAE-based consortium, which includes ADQ and e& subsidiary E-Vision, acquires a majority 57% stake valued at ~$420M in Starzplay Arabia  —  On Thursday, Abu Dhabi-based investment companies ADQ and E-Vision (a subsidiary of e&), and Starz announced the signing of a binding agreement …
Max Goldbart / Deadline:
ITV announces an £80M Diversity Commissioning Fund to be spent over the next three years on shows produced by or related to BAME or disabled people  —  ITV has forged an £80M ($105M) Diversity Commissioning Fund to be spent over the next three years on shows produced by or related to Black …
Discussion: Variety and Hollywood Reporter
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
UK plans crackdown on oligarchs and companies intimidating media via SLAPP lawsuits, including strengthening the public interest defense in Defamation Act 2013  —  The UK Government has set out plans to crack down on wealthy people and businesses intimidating journalists using defamation and privacy SLAPP actions.
Discussion: The Guardian
Kyle Orland / Ars Technica:
The website of Wordle Archive, which let users play previous Wordle puzzles, says it has been taken down at the request of The New York Times  —  Move could signal a more aggressive stance on certain Wordle clones.  —  Wordle Archive—a website that let users play through hundreds …
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Interview with Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg, on the future of open-source WordPress, Tumblr and moderation, Atavist magazine, and more  —  Matt Mullenweg is the CEO of Automattic, the company that owns, which he co-founded, and Tumblr, the irrepressible social network it acquired …
Sources: Russian search engine Yandex nears a sale of its media unit, including Yandex News and personal recommendations site Yandex Zen, possibly to VK  —  Sources say the company is seeking a media exit as top exec hit with sanctions over propaganda charge
Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed in the incident that injured Fox correspondent Benjamin Hall  —  New York (CNN Business)Two journalists were killed while reporting in Ukraine on Monday, including Pierre Zakrzewski, a longtime Fox News photojournalist.
Jolie Lash / The Wrap:
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott says Benjamin Hall, the correspondent who was seriously injured in Ukraine, is safe and out of the country
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 More News: 
Dominic Patten / Deadline:
Chris Cuomo files a $125M arbitration claim against Turner and CNN, saying his journalistic integrity was “unjustifiably smeared” by the network
Valeriya Safronova / New York Times:
Since the invasion of Ukraine, many creative professionals in Russia have fled or are struggling to find work amid western sanctions and crackdowns on speech
New York Times:
As Russia's new censorship law criminalizes accurate war reporting, CNN and other outlets are scrambling to find ways to cover Russia from outside its borders
 Earlier Picks: 
Chris Bengel /
Spotify signs a sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona, including rebranding the soccer club's stadium to Spotify Camp Nou, reportedly worth $310M over four years
Interview with Marina Ovsyannikova, who says she is extremely concerned for her safety but has no plans to leave Russia
Alex Weprin / Hollywood Reporter:
Netflix brings back Servant of the People, the satirical series featuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that it streamed from 2017-2021, in the US
Nick Vivarelli / Variety:
Mediaset, the Italian broadcaster that rebranded as MediaForEurope last year, offers to buy Spain's leading private free-TV player Mediaset Espana for €780M
Discussion: Broadband TV News