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10:30 AM ET, July 9, 2024


 Top News: 
Dawn Chmielewski / Reuters:
Paramount Global and Skydance Media announce a merger of the two companies, ending months of chaotic talks; a memo says the deal is expected to close in H1 2025  —  Skydance Media and Paramount Global (PARA.O) agreed to merge, the companies announced late Sunday evening, opening a new chapter for one of Hollywood's oldest studios.
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
Jeff Shell, set to become “New Paramount” president, says Skydance executives have identified $2B+ in cost cuts, much of it from its linear media operations  —  To help Paramount Global to grow, its new owner needs to make cuts.  —  Skydance executives who are set to take over the owner of CBS …
Matt Donnelly / Variety:
A look at Skydance's vision for “New Paramount”, of which David Ellison will be the CEO: a $1.5B cash infusion to help woo creatives, a focus on tech, and more
Alex Weprin / The Hollywood Reporter:
The Paramount-Skydance deal has a “go shop” policy, where Paramount would pay Skydance a $400M breakup fee if Paramount finds another buyer within 45 days
Sherin Shibu / Entrepreneur:
OpenAI last week requested NYT documents, including reporters' notes and interview memos, to show that its articles are original; NYT calls it harassment  —  Key Takeaways … Now OpenAI is asking for proof that NYT articles are actually original — and the NYT is calling the request “irrelevant, improper, and harassing.”
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Spotify adds the ability for users to leave comments on podcasts, expanding on polls and Q&As; comments will be private by default, and creators can opt out  —  The company already lets Spotify podcasters offer polls and Q&As, so this new feature could give creators new ways to interact with their audiences.
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Q&A with NYT Executive Editor Joe Kahn about the NYT's Biden age coverage, the WSJ's investigative approach to the story, using anonymous GOP sources, and more  —  The New York Times executive editor takes on detractors.  —  In April 2023, President Biden felt comfortable enough …
Discussion: Poynter
Elizabeth Dilts Marshall / Billboard:
Filing: Hipgnosis shareholders vote to sell the fund to Blackstone for $1.58B, ending a roller coaster year for shareholders and the fund's board  —  Six years after going public on the London Stock exchange, a majority of Hipgnosis Songs Fund shareholders voted on Monday (July 8) …
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
ABC News names Rick Klein, who has been political director since 2013, as VP and Washington, DC bureau chief, succeeding Jonathan Greenberger who left in April  —  “As a seasoned and highly respected journalist, Rick is uniquely qualified to lead our Washington bureau at such a pivotal moment …
Levin Stamm / Bloomberg:
Switzerland announces an advertising ban on Russian outlets Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestia, and Rossiyskaya Gazeta, but lets them continue broadcasting  —  Switzerland will allow four Russian media outlets to continue broadcasting even after they were banned by the European Union.
Discussion: Reuters and
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 More News: 
Lauren Forristal / TechCrunch:
DreamFlare, a studio where creators make videos using third-party AI tools and distribute them through a subscription service, emerges from stealth with $1.6M
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Nielsen hires former HuffPost CEO Jared Grusd as the CEO of its content-solutions division Gracenote; he will report to Nielsen CEO Karthik Rao
Discussion: The Desk
Jeremy Scahill / Drop Site News:
The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill and DC bureau chief Ryan Grim leave the outlet to launch Drop Site News, an investigative news site on Substack
 Earlier Picks: 
Calum Jaspan / Sydney Morning Herald:
Memo: Nine's Pedestrian Group restructures as CEO departs, staff faces cuts, and licensing deals to publish Vice, Gizmodo, Kotaku, others in Australia get axed
Gillian McGoldrick / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
WURD says Biden's interview, with questions provided by his aides, was conducted without management knowledge and is parting ways with Andrea Lawful-Sanders