Viacom buys Pluto and Netflix joins the MPAA

Local journalism is "a binding agent for our democracy," Charles Sennott says. So Sennott and Steven Waldman are leading "Report for America," an AmeriCorps-like effort to help revive local newsrooms. They discuss the role of philanthropy in journalism with Brian Stelter.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 6:54 AM


A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Netflix scores its first Best Picture nomination

"Netflix has morphed into a full-blown Oscars force," THR's Pamela McClintock wrote. "The streamer scored 15 Academy Award nominations Tuesday," 10 of them for Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma," which is up for best picture. "The 15 noms Netflix amassed this year equal the 15 nods total it has collected in previous years," McClintock noted.

Fox Searchlight also scored 15 nominations... Disney and Universal(including Focus) landed 17 each... But Netflix was the standout.

"With its nominations," CNN's Sandra Gonzalez wrote, "'Roma' has tied the record held by 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' for the most nominations received by a foreign language film." Keep reading for full Oscars coverage...

The MPAA's new member

Netflix is the newest member of the Motion Picture Association of America, a development first reported by Politico on Tuesday. It is "the first tech company to join the Hollywood trade group" that includes all the big studios, Deadline noted. Will Amazon join next?

Viacom buys Pluto

Claire Atkinson broke the news with a tweet on Tuesday: Viacom is acquiring Pluto TV. It's an ad-supported streaming service that comes preloaded on lots of smart TV sets.

Pluto is "the latest digital technology company that Viacom has acquired over the past year," after AwesomenessTV and VidCon and Whosay, Axios' Sara Fischer wrote Tuesday evening. She says more acquisitions "are expected..."

Another record-breaking year for the games biz

"American gamers helped fuel a record-breaking $43.4 billion in revenue for the U.S. video game industry in 2018," Variety's Emily Gera wrote Tuesday, citing data from a market research firm and the gaming world's trade association. This is an 18% uptick from 2017.

Acting ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis: "The impressive economic growth of the industry announced today parallels the growth of the industry in mainstream American culture..."

The Economist's version of "The Daily"

The Economist is preparing to launch its first daily podcast -- titled "The Intelligence." This trailer describes it as a "new current-affairs podcast, published every weekday by Economist Radio, that provides a unique perspective on the events shaping your world." As far as I can tell, it's the first daily podcast produced by the magazine...

FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE

-- Russell Baker, who wrote decades of prize-winning newspaper columns, authored 15 books, and hosted "Masterpiece Theater," has died. He was 93. (NYT)

-- Bret Baier returned to "Special Report" on Tuesday night after a terrifying car accident in Montana over the weekend. Watch his emotional description of what happened... (Twitter)

-- The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards were handed out at Columbia U. on Tuesday night. Here are the winners. CNN and WNYC each took home two awards... It's especially notable to see a local news outfit like WNYC winning twice in one year... (Columbia)

-- For the first time in a decade, the duPont judges awarded a "gold baton," to the PBS newsmag "FRONTLINE..." (PBS)

Headline of the day

From CNN.com: "State Department cancels border security conference due to shutdown over border security."

Politico: "Trump exasperated by gaffe-prone Giuliani"

That was Politico's news-making headline on Tuesday night... The story said Trump has been enraged by Rudy Giuliani's "walk-backs" and reversals... Although many observers have posited that Rudy has been doing this intentionally...

NYT's Maggie Haberman tweeted out the story and said "Trump is definitely frustrated with Giuliani but Giuliani isn't going anywhere. Overall Trump likes what he does."

Here is CNN's latest reporting on the subject: "A member of the Trump legal team tells Evan Perez tonight 'Rudy's not getting fired.'" And according to Jeff Zeleny, a source who spoke with Trump on Tuesday "said Trump likes the obfuscation of it all, and doesn't detect any sense of firing..."

Remember W.H. briefings?

ABC News reported on Monday: "White House sets record for longest span with no press briefings during the Trump presidency." This record spurred some criticism on Tuesday...

Trump offers an excuse

Oliver Darcy emails: It has been more than a month since Sarah Sanders last held a press briefing -- and now, we have an explanation from the President. Trump turned to Twitter Tuesday morning to explain that "the reason" Sanders does not hold briefings anymore is because he feels "the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately." Trump said "certain members of the press" are worse than others and added that he told Sanders "not to bother" since "the word gets out anyway!"

>> Trump's tweet prompted a response from WHCA president Olivier Knox, who said in a statement that the Trump admin's move "sets a terrible precedent..."

Trump's "irrelevant" press shop

Darcy emails: CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak published a must-read on Tuesday about the White House comms team. Their story said a prolonged power struggle has led to a muddled messaging strategy during the shutdown, which has resulted in West Wing staffers deeming the dysfunctional press shop to be "irrelevant."

According to Collins and Liptak, there is no clear leader among Sanders, Bill Shine, Kellyanne Conway or Mercedes Schlapp -- though Collins and Liptak reported that Trump has developed a warm relationship with Sanders and offers her praise in private...

What is Bill Shine doing?

Darcy sends one more: Since Shine accepted a position in the Trump W.H., it has been unclear exactly what impact or role he has had. Collins and Liptak reported that some officials have been disappointed by his approach. "So far, Shine's contribution has largely consisted of phoning Fox News hosts and booking officials on the shows so they can defend the President on a network whose audience largely already favors him," Collins and Liptak wrote...

If you were POTUS...

...Would you spend time live-tweeting Fox News?

I ask because Trump spent a lot of time doing that on Tuesday. It's not new at this point, but it's still odd. As WaPo's Philip Bump tweeted in the A.M., "Two years in, it's still remarkable that the president of the United States starts most days by hyping things he's watching on a morning cable news show."

Trump resumed his Fox-watching in the evening, leading former Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer to tweet: "The President can have dinner with anyone in the world, can go anywhere, can get anyone on the phone, has access to movies before they come out and instead sits alone in his bathrobe every night and live tweets Tucker Carlson while begging for praise."

Read more of Tuesday's "Reliable Sources" newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO

-- About Cliff Sims' book: The author of "Team of Vipers" (I can't believe I called it "Team of Rivals" last night!) will be on "GMA" next Monday, followed by "Nightline" and "The View..." It's an ABC rollout...

-- CNN's Fareed Zakaria (the man I'm very lucky to count as my "lead-in" on Sunday mornings!) made Foreign Policy's annual list of the top 100 Global Thinkers, AND the mag's Top Ten of the Last 10 Years... (FP)

-- CBS "does not currently accept any cannabis-related advertising," so it apparently turned down this wannabe Super Bowl advertiser... (CNN)

-- "While some states have legalized marijuana used for medical purposes, federal law would prevent TV outlets from running national commercials," Brian Steinberg explains... (Variety)

-- "A bankruptcy court judge on Tuesday confirmed iHeartMedia Inc.'s restructuring plan that allows the company to slash its debt load and hand over control to a group of bondholders..." (WSJ)

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1680908

Reported Deaths: 28023
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63626111214
DuPage1086211379
Will915681128
Lake802871090
Kane68604874
Winnebago41222561
Madison40178598
St. Clair36326599
McHenry34856331
Champaign27087197
Peoria26991368
Sangamon25818287
McLean23073220
Tazewell20689331
Rock Island18919362
Kankakee17959249
Kendall16268114
Macon15344252
LaSalle15078287
Vermilion14453201
Adams13188152
DeKalb12201134
Williamson12091175
Whiteside8328183
Jackson810494
Boone796583
Coles7918125
Ogle759290
Grundy741386
Franklin7339115
Knox7321169
Clinton7136102
Macoupin6988106
Marion6935144
Henry666177
Effingham6639100
Jefferson6573143
Livingston599498
Stephenson587893
Woodford578492
Randolph5563100
Christian536682
Fulton527977
Monroe5258103
Morgan5088100
Logan495675
Montgomery492882
Lee479760
Bureau444291
Saline436169
Perry433975
Fayette432464
Iroquois422577
McDonough374861
Shelby349848
Jersey336953
Lawrence335533
Crawford333730
Douglas328437
Union307748
Wayne304863
White280833
Richland280157
Hancock274435
Clark266940
Cass266531
Pike265658
Edgar260649
Clay259854
Bond257525
Ford246059
Warren244866
Carroll237138
Moultrie236333
Johnson229732
Wabash217319
Jo Daviess216629
Massac216551
Mason214452
Washington212928
De Witt206530
Greene205640
Mercer205036
Piatt202814
Cumberland190126
Menard172513
Jasper161621
Marshall141721
Hamilton134222
Schuyler108810
Brown106610
Pulaski104612
Edwards104118
Stark81828
Gallatin7939
Alexander73212
Scott7126
Henderson70914
Calhoun6932
Hardin60916
Putnam5674
Pope5566
Unassigned1342433
Out of IL140

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 1007681

Reported Deaths: 16470
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1355212121
Lake664101166
Allen57993801
Hamilton46350465
St. Joseph44397615
Elkhart35949510
Vanderburgh32251480
Tippecanoe27933260
Johnson25107445
Hendricks23897359
Porter22929365
Madison18748409
Clark18557252
Vigo17479303
Monroe15263200
LaPorte15173250
Delaware15073263
Howard14748290
Kosciusko12348148
Hancock11728176
Bartholomew11639180
Warrick11292189
Floyd11108215
Wayne10986253
Grant10082220
Morgan9472176
Boone8926115
Dubois8271131
Henry8229152
Dearborn822393
Noble8031106
Marshall7939135
Cass7546121
Lawrence7457171
Shelby7189119
Jackson698289
Gibson6597115
Harrison649192
Knox6421106
Huntington6395100
DeKalb632399
Montgomery6264111
Miami593398
Putnam581278
Clinton576171
Whitley565755
Steuben562576
Wabash5332104
Jasper532079
Jefferson511297
Ripley500586
Adams482576
Daviess4677114
Scott438974
Greene425196
Wells424888
Clay423360
White418764
Decatur4169102
Fayette406587
Jennings387361
Posey376644
Washington359151
LaGrange359078
Randolph3452100
Spencer340243
Fountain335760
Sullivan329452
Starke317171
Owen314771
Fulton312667
Orange293664
Jay284645
Franklin265643
Perry265452
Rush262432
Carroll261934
Vermillion258654
Parke231426
Pike229243
Tipton228159
Blackford193142
Pulaski183757
Crawford159823
Newton158348
Benton150617
Brown146747
Martin138719
Switzerland135011
Warren121116
Union107016
Ohio84613
Unassigned0540