Media Insider: Quibi and NBC News Make a Content Deal, NowThis Launches Daily Newsletter, The Dodo Launches Kids Vertical

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.Hands holding smartphone while social media icons float around 

Quibi Strikes Content Deal With NBC News

Quibi, the short-form TV-content mobile-first platform, has made a deal with NBC News to provide daily news programming targeted to millennials. Quibi says NBC News is the first major producer for “Daily Essentials,” its news and information programming. NBC News’ morning and evening news shows for Quibi will each be under six minutes, seven days a week, and created only for mobile platforms. Quibi has amassed a large group of initial investors, such has Walt Disney and Viacom, totaling $1 billion.

ICYMI: Los Angeles Times further separates from former owner Tribune Publishing with the rollout of a home-grown content management system.

‘NowThis’ Launches ‘KnowThis’ Newsletter, Follows Success of Facebook Show

NowThis is launching a newsletter called KnowThis, slated to land in subscribers’ inboxes five nights a week. The site approached the idea of a daily newsletter based on the success of its popular Facebook show of the same name. It summarizes the day’s top news stories in short segments appropriate for mobile viewing. The newsletter, the site’s first written product, will be headed by NowThis senior correspondent Versha Sharma, with KnowThis host Zinhle Essumuah also contributing. Recently, NowThis has produced pieces that feature in-depth original reporting in both mid- and long-form formats across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. 

More digital brands are seeing on the value of daily news products, including TheSkimm, which recently launched a daily news podcast.

How Free Press Convinced New Jersey to Allocate $2 Million for Rehabilitating Local News

When the state of New Jersey was about to make more than $300 million off the FCC’s spectrum sale auction, it was a moment Free Press had been waiting for. Free Press is an advocacy group focused on getting the public more involved in the future of journalism and information-sharing, which often involves community organizing, research, and lobbying the government. New Jersey is so far the first state to provide public money for local news innovations, aside from traditional funding for PBS and NPR stations. The final amount allocated is between $1 million and $2 million. It will be distributed through grants to people working on projects that support the information needs of underserved New Jerseyans, decided by a Civic Information Consortium composed of 15 board members.

In more local news, here’s how some for-profit local news outlets are building subscriptions.

CBS and Viacom Set August Target Date for Merger Talks, After Exploring for More Than a Year

CBS and Viacom continue to bob along with merger talks and are now circling Aug. 8 as an internal deadline to agree to a deal, according to people familiar with the matter. While a transaction could be announced sooner — or later — than that, CBS and Viacom happen to share Aug. 8 as the day both companies report second-quarter earnings. That makes it a natural goal post for a merger that’s been speculated about for more than a year. Both companies have conceptually agreed that a deal to gain scale makes sense. The price of the transaction, which will come in the form of a merger exchange ratio, hasn’t been discussed and won’t be addressed until all strategic and management issues are sorted out.

Meanwhile, negotiations to complete the merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint are dragging on as the parties haggle over Dish Network.

The Dodo Launches a Kids Vertical

The Dodo, a digital publisher focused on animal content, launched a new kids vertical this week called Dodo Kid that lives across multiple channels, as well as a commerce line and book publishing. The new vertical includes three new video series that live on YouTube and other social platforms, as well as the Dodo’s website. Paramount Pictures serves as the launch partner for the vertical and will work with The Dodo to build a custom video series to promote Paramount’s upcoming summer film, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.”

Related: The FTC is gearing up to revisit rules governing online data collection from children younger than 13.

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Maria Perez is Director, Web Experience & Operations at PR Newswire. An animal lover, she curates content for @PRNPets – that is, when she’s not busy cuddling with her 11-year-old blind Maltese, Toody.

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