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8:05 AM ET, March 30, 2023


 Top News: 
Skyler Swisher / Orlando Sentinel:
Board members handpicked by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to oversee Disney World's district say Disney set up covenants blocking the new board's power for decades  —  LAKE BUENA VISTA — Gov. Ron DeSantis' handpicked board overseeing Disney World's government services is gearing …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Disney has laid off over 300 employees in Beijing who worked on its streaming services, as the company carries out the first wave of 7,000 job cuts  —  Entertainment company began this week to carry out the first wave of a plan to cut 7,000 jobs  —  Walt Disney Co. DIS 2.16%increase …
Discussion: @jtoonkel, Deadline and New York Post
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Disney laid off Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac Perlmutter as part of its 7,000 job cuts, after his unsuccessful effort to shake up Disney's board in 2022  —  The move was part of a company cost-cutting campaign and came after Mr. Perlmutter was part of an unsuccessful attempt to shake up Disney's board.
Russia's Federal Security Service says it detained WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich over suspicion of “espionage in the interests of the American government”  —  Russia's Federal Security Service said it detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in Yekaterinburg on spying allegations …
Sewell Chan / The Texas Tribune:
The Texas Observer's publisher says the 68-year-old outlet will keep publishing after staff crowdfund $300K+ and the board votes unanimously to rescind layoffs  —  The crusading liberal magazine had planned to lay off its staff after its nonprofit board voted to shut down.  But it reversed course on Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: to comply with EU privacy rulings, Meta will let users opt out of some highly personalized ads, using an online form that Meta will review and approve  —  Facebook, Instagram parent hopes plans to alter a privacy approach that would limit the impact from EU orders  —  Facebook's Top Posts Were Trash.
Financial Times:
Sources: Meta is considering a company-wide political ads ban in Europe, concerned its platforms will be unable to comply with forthcoming online campaign laws  —  Facebook parent concerned how it will police social networks in wake of new EU regulations  —  Meta executives are discussing …
Charlotte Klein / Vanity Fair:
Inside The Messenger's acquisition of Grid News, which came as a surprise to some Grid staff, who say they were told the startup had a two- to three-year runway  —  Grid News, a one-year-old start-up, shuttered this week after getting acquired by The Messenger, which launches next month.
Amanda Terkel / NBC News:
Newly released Dominion court presentation slides show Fox News aired 2020 election conspiracies despite its fact-checking “Brain Room” deciding they were false  —  A presentation from Dominion Voting Systems show emails detailing the Fox News fact checks, which were released Wednesday …
Elizabeth Lopatto / The Verge:
Substack's fundraising email, lacking any real financial information, reads like a cynical ploy and is not a good omen for the platform's longevity  —  Substack is desperate, huh?  That's what I understand from their fundraising email, anyway.  They're now hitting up retail investors …
Jay Peters / The Verge:
The YES Network, which airs New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Liberty games, launches a streaming service for $24.99/month in its regional territory  —  The Yankee Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network, a regional channel that broadcasts games from the New York Yankees …
Aidan McLaughlin / Mediaite:
Sources detail the tensions between Tucker Carlson and Suzanne Scott, as Carlson is unaccountable to leadership and operates in his own fiefdom at the network  —  As Fox News finds itself beset by an internal crisis fueled by Dominion's $1.6 billion defamation suit, long-simmering tensions …
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 More News: 
Jem Aswad / Variety:
Email: Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl plans to cut 270 positions, or ~4% of the company's global staff, as part of “some hard choices in order to evolve”
 Earlier Picks: 
Ryan Barwick / Marketing Brew:
Google launches an Ads Transparency Center, showing all the ads from verified advertisers on its platforms, in the formats, the regions, and the dates they ran
Elias Leight / Billboard:
A Billboard charts analysis: it's a bit harder to get a top 40 hit than 20 years ago, but artists that do have similar odds of building a catalog of big tracks
Discussion: Music Industry Blog
A report claims Amazon is considering acquiring theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings, whose stock initially jumped 18% and closed up 13.19% on March 28

From Techmeme:

Adam Satariano / New York Times:
The EU reaches a deal on the AI Act, a comprehensive attempt to limit the use of the technology; the law still needs to go through a few steps for approval

Nitasha Tiku / Washington Post:
Sources: complaints from some senior OpenAI leaders that Sam Altman had been psychologically abusive were a major factor in the board's decision to fire Altman

Leah Nylen / Bloomberg:
Source: the US FTC is examining the nature of Microsoft's investment in OpenAI and potentially antitrust law violations but hasn't opened a formal investigation

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