Amazon has plans to launch a free, advertising-supported video service for its Fire TV streaming video devices, according to a report on tech-focused website The Information. The service, which is expected to be called Free Dive, will not be part of Amazon’s ad-free Prime Video service. Amazon is allegedly in talks with major studios to license older TV shows, which have already aired on TV networks, for the new service. The company currently programs ad-supported shows on its IMDB vertical, and runs ads on NFL games on Prime Video. Amazon competitor Roku says its Roku Channel, an ad-supported app that runs on its devices as well as on smart TVs, brought in $90 million last quarter. YouTube and Facebook have also started up ad-supported services. Amazon generated $2.03 billion in advertising revenue in the first quarter of this year.
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has made a $1 million gift to left-leaning news and commentary magazine Mother Jones. The gift comes with no guidelines about how it should be used. The magazine launched a fundraising initiative called “Moment for Mother Jones” in 2016, and says it has raised almost $20 million in gifts and pledges toward its goal of $25 million. The magazine says that the money will be earmarked for areas such as improving its investigative reporting, covering disinformation and investing in audience engagement. ProPublica and the Columbia Journalsm Review are among the other organizations that have received donations from Newmark. “We’re in the middle of an online information war, and the stakes are a free press, an informed public and strong democratic institutions,” Newmark said in a piece posted on the magazine’s website.
Jemele Hill, the ESPN on-air personality who started up a controversy when she called president Trump “a white supremacist” on Twitter, will be leaving Aug. 31, according to a report in the New York Post. Hill's exit comes as ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro works to remove political commentary from the network’s programming. “I have been very, very clear with employees here that it is not our job to cover politics,” Pitaro said. Hill, who joined ESPN in 2006 as a national columnist for ESPN.com, was one of the anchors of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” prior to the Trump dustup, at which point she was taken off the program. Since January, she has been chief correspondent and senior columnist for The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative covering sports, race and culture. She is now developing Lodge Freeway Media, an independent media company, in collaboration with Undefeated writer Kelley Carter.