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2:30 AM ET, February 29, 2024


 Top News: 
Dade Hayes / Deadline:
Paramount CFO Naveen Chopra says the company expects to take about a $1B charge in Q1 due to ongoing programming shifts and previously announced layoffs  —  Paramount Global expects to take a $1 billion charge in the current quarter due to ongoing programming shifts and the layoffs it announced earlier this month.
Laya Neelakandan / CNBC:
Paramount reports Q4 revenue of $7.64B vs. $7.85B est., and profit of $514M, up from $21M the year prior; Paramount+ reached 67.5M global subscribers, up 4.1M  —  - Paramount Global missed revenue expectations for the fourth quarter Wednesday but posted a surprise quarterly profit …
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Reliance and Disney merge their media businesses in India, creating the country's largest media conglomerate; Reliance values it at $8.5B and will invest $1.4B  —  Reliance, its portfolio Viacom18 and Disney are merging their media businesses in India, creating the largest media entity in the world's most populous nation.
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Analysts: Reliance-Disney India media merger will create an entity that captures 85% of India's on-demand streaming service audience and ~50% of the TV viewers
Discussion: Reuters
Aisha Malik / TechCrunch:
Substack debuts direct messaging, letting users have private one-on-one conversations; by default, users will only receive DMs from people they're connected to  —  Substack is introducing direct messaging, allowing users to have private one-on-one conversations, the company announced today.
Yiwen Lu / New York Times:
Raw Story, AlterNet, and, in a separate case, The Intercept sue OpenAI in a NY federal court for copyright infringement; The Intercept is also suing Microsoft  —  Raw Story, AlterNet and The Intercept sued for copyright infringement over the way the ChatGPT creator trains its technology.
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
An analysis of educational backgrounds of 460 NYT newsroom staff members shows the Ivy League is over-represented; about 75% of staffers are not Ivy Leaguers  —  They're not a majority, based on a new look at education data, but they are wildly overrepresented.
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
How newspaper leaders tried and failed to see how tech would change the business of journalism, framed by the career of digital newspaper pioneer Roger Fidler  —  Roger Fidler tried his best, but the excellent business of journalism is gone for good.  Can the idea of “news” survive in a digital world?
Jem Aswad / Variety:
ASCAP reports $1.737B in 2023 revenue, up 14.1% YoY, and $1.592B available for royalty distributions; US performance revenue surpassed $1.327B, up 12.6% YoY  —  The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced record financial results for 2023 …
Discussion: Inside Radio, RAIN News and Billboard
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
The White House calls on Fox News to correct coverage of bribery claims against Biden by an informant now charged with lying; source: Fox declines to make fixes  —  The White House is formally calling on Fox News to correct its dishonest coverage of bribery and corruption allegations against President Joe Biden.
Radio & Television Business Report:
The E.W. Scripps Company names Kate O'Brian as president of news, responsible for Scripps News, Court TV, and all news operations at local media stations  —  CINCINNATI — The E.W. Scripps Company has selected Kate O'Brian to fill the newly created role of President/News.
Rhodri Talfan Davies / BBC:
The BBC says it is running 12 generative AI pilots, including reformatting and translating existing content and a “headline helper” for journalists  —  Rhodri Talfan Davies is the BBC's Director of Nations.  He's responsible for bringing teams together across the BBC to shape …
Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
Axel Springer and 31 other media groups in Europe file a $2.3B lawsuit against Google, alleging that they suffered losses due to its digital ad practices  —  Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google was hit with a 2.1-billion-euro ($2.3 billion) lawsuit by 32 media groups including Axel Springer and Schibsted …
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 More News: 
Alexandra Bruell / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Essence Magazine's parent company is in talks to buy Refinery29 from Vice Media, which acquired the women's lifestyle site in 2019 for $400M
Los Angeles Times:
Netflix names Dan Lin, the producer of the Lego movies and the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, as head of film, replacing Scott Stuber
Benjamin Mullin / New York Times:
Sources: The Center for Public Integrity is considering merging with a competitor or shutting down, after falling ~$2.5M short of its $6M budget goal for 2023
Lachlan Cartwright / The Hollywood Reporter:
Source: Disney held talks in 2015 and 2016 about buying Vice for $3.4B; Shane Smith is believed to be paid millions in a 2019 deal finishing at the end of 2024
Dara Kerr / NPR:
Time owner Marc Benioff tells a reporter, who is looking into his Hawaii land acquisition, that he knows where she is staying and her family's personal details
 Earlier Picks: 
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: TikTok reached out to Universal with a proposal the music company felt didn't address its concerns on compensation, platform safety, or AI protections
Jake Kanter / Deadline:
A group of top journalists, including from CNN, BBC, and CBS, sign an open letter asking Israel and Egypt to provide foreign media “unfettered access” to Gaza
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Mehdi Hasan raises $4M to launch Zeteo, a digital media company on Substack, offering a weekly streaming show he hosts, contributor pieces, a podcast, and more
WBD proposes shutting down Newshub, one of New Zealand's major newsrooms, on June 30, as part of which ~200 journalists and other staff could lose their jobs
Angelique Jackson / Variety:
Study: 77 of the top 100 top-grossing domestic films in the US in 2023 featured more male characters than female characters in speaking roles
Discussion: Forbes