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Media & Comm, editor's picks: Tribune-Sinclair deal collapse; Fox-Disney update

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Media & Comm, editor's picks: Tribune-Sinclair deal collapse; Fox-Disney update

Here are the editor's top picks for the week.

With Disney deal looming, New Fox takes shape amid fiscal Q4 earnings beat

After securing U.S. approval to sell a range of assets to Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc. executives spent much of one of their final earnings calls as a stand-alone company discussing what lies ahead. "Steady progress" is being made on the transaction in the U.S., as Disney prepares to divest 22 regional sports networks currently owned by Fox, per U.S. Department of Justice conditions, and the focus is now on "obtaining regulatory approvals outside of the United States," Executive Co-Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said during the Aug. 8 call, adding that the parties are "on track to close our transaction in the first half of calendar 2019." 21st Century Fox's fiscal fourth-quarter net income attributable to company stockholders almost doubled to $920 million, or 49 cents per share, from $476 million, or 26 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 increased 18% year over year to $7.94 billion from $6.75 billion.

Snap CEO: 'Biggest frustrations' from redesign have been addressed

Despite posting a drop in daily active users due to its recent redesign, Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel said on an Aug. 7 earnings webcast that the company has adequately addressed backlash over a controversial update to its namesake Snapchat platform. The social media giant's daily active users, or DAUs, dropped 2% in the second quarter from the previous quarter, down to 188 million. On a year-over-year basis, that represented an 8% increase in DAUs. Snap reported revenue of $262.3 million, up 44% from $181.7 million in the year-ago quarter

Tribune CEO pledges to hold Sinclair 'accountable for its actions' with lawsuit

While Tribune Media Co. executives said they are "disappointed" with the end of the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. transaction, they said the company is nevertheless ready to execute on several fronts, including in pursuing a lawsuit against Sinclair and remaining open to new alternatives for growth. Tribune on Aug. 9 terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair and filed a lawsuit against the broadcaster in the Delaware Chancery Court for allegedly breaching the merger agreement between the two companies. Specifically, Tribune is seeking approximately $1 billion reflecting a lost premium to Tribune’s stockholders and additional damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

Data Dispatch: Analysis: Debt load, build-out deadlines complicate DISH's wireless ambitions

After a decadelong, $21 billion spectrum-buying spree, DISH Network Corp. is running out of time to deploy a wireless network that meets federal build-out requirements. To meet a March 2020 deadline for deploying a network that covers at least 70% of the population in each of its spectrum license areas, DISH plans to spend between $500 million and $1 billion to build a narrowband network, known as an NB-IoT network, specialized for the low-power machine-to-machine communications that characterize the internet of things. But DISH's heavy debt load and increasing scrutiny regarding its initial build-out plans have some analysts questioning whether the satellite pay TV operator needs to find a wireless partner.

Conference Chatter: Cable group previews potential of 10 gigabit networks

Many industry observers wonder how people will use next-generation networks — whether wireless or fixed — which has implications for how the networks are funded and built. To shed more light, CableLabs, the cable industry's nonprofit research lab, has released the latest installment in its Near Future film series, envisioning how communities will use high-speed broadband networks in classrooms and schools. The research lab envisions students using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to explore different environments, such as the moon or a jungle.