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What the experts wrote

Henry Blodget: We’re “deeply underestimating how big digital media can be” in the next decade

“What has happened to print over the past 10 to 20 years will happen to television over the next 10 to 20. That will create a big opportunity for big digital brands to make inroads. Not to kill anybody — nobody ever gets killed in the media business, they just get niche-ified. All this change should create opportunities for some companies to get much larger than some companies currently think.”

Digital media companies, Gawker aside, may not outright die very often, but calling the painful layoffs and bankruptcies and rebrandings they go through to stay afloat niche-ification is pretty generous. The rest of the interview focuses on Business Insider’s content strategy, which features a worrying amount of social video.

To Close Digital Divide, Microsoft to Harness Unused Television Channels

The technology is sometimes known as “super Wi-Fi” because it behaves like regular Wi-Fi but uses low-powered television channels to cover far greater distances than wireless hot spots. It is also more powerful than cellular service because the frequencies can penetrate concrete walls and other obstacles.

It’s not clear from the headline, but Microsoft wants to partner with local ISPs in this endeavor, putting up some money for capital costs and splitting revenue. Also only hinted at in this piece: If Microsoft and company can offer wireless internet to tens of millions of rural customers at a competitive price, they’re going to monopolize the market. There are only so many TV channels for ISPs to scoop up.

Chicago Sun-Times sold to group including unions, former politician

A source involved in the deal indicated that it would close by day’s end after the paper’s owners succumbed to pressure from the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The department had made clear it would not approve an initial agreement to sell to Tronc, owner of the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune is Chicago’s leading newspaper, though it’s circulation and revenues have plummeted amid the industry downturn of the past decade. The scrappy tabloid Sun-Times trails it markedly in a two-paper town.

Sinclair Broadcast Group acquires Tribune Media, the Sun-Times goes to a coalition of local buyers and the Chicago media shuffle continues.

My take

What I wrote on Medium

There’s no way to ask Facebook for fewer videos

Publishers are embracing one of the most consumer-hostile trends in digital media today. Many people hate the sudden influx of autoplay videos they’ve been subjected to. Instead of listening to that feedback, Facebook just shut off the criticism.

Great reads

Well-told stories

The $5,000 decision to get rid of my past

That’s how things fall apart when you live with someone in your 20s. You barely understand your own heart, and that makes it very hard to be what someone else needs. I went on a trip for work, and when I returned, there was a note where a person used to be. I sat very still for a very long time.

Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign​

Google operates a little-known program to harness the brain power of university researchers to help sway opinion and public policy, cultivating financial relationships with professors nationwide.

(If you have a WSJ subscription, let me know if this is good.)

How To Rank Women

A 5 on the lido deck is a *9 in an emergency lifeboat evacuation.
*Number adjusted for extenuating circumstances. This may be the last woman you see before you die.

Tweet of the week