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8:25 AM ET, September 15, 2023


 Top News: 
Sources: Disney held talks exploring selling its ABC network and TV stations to Nexstar Media Group, which has 200 owned or partner TV stations in 116 markets  —  Walt Disney Co. has held exploratory talks about selling its ABC network and TV stations to local broadcaster Nexstar Media Group Inc. …
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Sources including ABC News staffers describe a feeling of dread and trepidation inside ABC; employees say they heard news of a possible sale from the press  —  Editor's Note: A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter.  Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here.
Emma Roth / The Verge:
TikTok and Billboard launch the TikTok Billboard Top 50 Chart to track the most popular songs on the app each week in the US, refreshed every Thursday morning  —  TikTok is partnering with Billboard to launch a top 50 chart that tracks the most popular songs on the platform.
Haroon Siddique / The Guardian:
MailOnline to pay BBC presenter Gabby Logan and her husband “substantial damages” over false claims; ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie will pay damages for a tweet  —  Payout relates to article that wrongly claimed pair had received £500,000 to promote tax avoidance schemes
Joe Otterson / Variety:
Study: US major streamers canceled TV series at a combined average rate of 12.2% from 2020 to 2023; Max had the highest rate at 26.9%, Apple TV+, the lowest  —  WBD's Max wielded the heaviest ax from 2020 to 2023 while Apple TV+ was most merciful  —  The Streaming Era began with a promise …
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Jeremy Fuster / The Wrap:
The WGA and studios agree to resume labor negotiations next week, in a meeting that would be their first since August 22  —  Date for discussions has yet to be determined, AMPTP says  —  The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have agreed to resume negotiations next week.
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:
Pixis, which sells AI tools that help marketers run and monitor campaigns, raised an $85M Series C1 led by Touring Capital, taking its total funding to $209M  —  Pixis, an AI-powered platform for brands to monitor and orchestrate their marketing campaigns, today announced that it raised $85 million …
Sources: Disney expects to fall far short of its Disney+ subscriber target for 2024, set in mid-2022; its Charter deal will add millions, at a reduced price  —  Walt Disney Co. expects to fall tens of millions of subscribers short of its last publicly stated 2024 target for the Disney+ streaming service …
Discussion: The Wrap and New York Times
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 Featured Newsletter: 
Introductory discounts drive subscription purchases, consumers say  —  73% of consumers say they're more likely to subscribe to digital publications when offered introductory discounts.
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 More News: 
Matthew Keys / StreamTV Insider:
US House hearing: lawmakers expressed frustration over rising pay TV prices and blackouts, and four industry experts called cable and broadcast rules outdated
Carolyn Giardina / The Hollywood Reporter:
Generative AI startup Metaphysic claims its new system can help actors navigate AI likeness rights, and says its early users include Tom Hanks and Anne Hathaway
Discussion: National Review
DAZN plans to bid for Ligue de Football Professionnel media rights for which the local league is seeking €800M+ per year; source: beIN is also considering a bid
 Earlier Picks: 
Victor Tangermann / Futurism:
Microsoft's Start news website published a garbled, seemingly AI-generated obit for former NBA player Brandon Hunter, headlined, “Brandon Hunter useless at 42”
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
Newsquest reports 2022 revenue up 6% to £150.6M, passing 65K paying digital subscribers, and that almost 50% of its advertising revenue now comes from digital
Discussion: HoldtheFrontPage
Virginia Chamlee / People:
Fox News adds Lawrence Jones as a permanent co-host of Fox & Friends, starting on September 18; at 30, Jones will be the youngest Black co-host on cable news
Joe Flint / Wall Street Journal:
Nielsen names Karthik Rao, a 23-year veteran of the company, as its CEO, succeeding David Kenny, who was CEO for five years and will become executive chairman
Matt Pearce / Los Angeles Times:
Bill Maher says his show will return sans writers, as some talk shows resume production amid strikes; HBO says Real Time With Bill Maher returns on September 22