By Brian Stelter and the CNNMoney Media team.
Goodbye, Philippe.

The Viacom board met tonight and approved a settlement that will change the face of the company. Philippe Dauman, CEO for the past 10 years, is stepping down. COO Tom Dooley is the interim CEO. And the Redstones are in charge. I'm staying up for the official announcement... And we'll update our CNNMoney story when it happens...

 -- Important: Via WSJ: "National Amusements would appoint five new directors to the board, including Thomas May, chairman of Eversource Energy, who is expected to be named chairman after Mr. Dauman leaves that role. Three Viacom directors would depart the board after the annual meeting under the deal..."
What would you do with $72 million?
Per a source, Dauman will receive a severance package of roughly $72 million. NYT's Emily Steel reported the same $$ figure earlier this evening. THR is saying the package is worth almost $90 million. No word on what he'll do next... Or how he'll spend the money...
What do the Redstones get?
True control of Viacom. And this: "The settlement allows Sumner Redstone to avoid disclosures in court about mental competence, physical frailties & personal peccadillos," David Folkenflik tweets. "Shari Redstone avoids difficult questions about timing of her reconciliation with previously estranged father that leads to her control..."
What now?! 
Activist investor Eric Jackson published this 99-page report demanding a Viacom turnaround all the way back in January.

I asked him for comment -- and he just texted back -- "Since our 99 pager came out 8 months ago, we've always said there was no single action that the Redstones could take to help increase Viacom's stock than the removal of Philippe Dauman. This company can finally get creative again and breathe some life into the stock. Call all the Sam Bees, the John Olivers, the Brian Robbins, the Shane Smiths, and the Jon Stewarts and tell them that it's safe to return to Viacom..."
Exclusive: two more Fox News departures
The Fox News housecleaning continues: Two more executives closely associated with ex-chairman Roger Ailes, Brigette Boyle and Nikole King, left the network this week.

A Fox spokeswoman described Boyle's departure as a "mutual and amicable parting." She was a former Ailes assistant who became the SVP of recruitment for both Fox News and Fox Biz -- an important job that also entailed running diversity and college recruitment programs. King was the SVP of biz development and mobile for Fox News. The spokeswoman said King's job was eliminated. Here's my full story...

 -- Also: Today Gabriel Sherman reported that longtime Fox News contributor Bo Dietl "has been cut" from the payroll. The Daily Beast has details, including a lawsuit threat against Sherman...

-- NYT's James Stewart says Fox News HR boss Dianne Brandi "would appear to have plenty to answer for..." But for now, she remains at the network...

 -- Law prof Catherine MacKinnon to Stewart: "It's hard to overstate how important it is that even someone as powerful as Ailes was held accountable..."
Exclusive: VandeHei's first exec hires
Dylan Byers emails this scoop:

Former Politico CEO Jim VandeHei has made the first executive hires for the highly anticipated and still very mysterious new media company he and Mike Allen are launching this fall -- and both come from NYT Labs, the New York Times' Research & Development Group. Alexis Lloyd will serve as chief design officer at the yet-to-be-named company; Matt Boggie will serve as chief technology officer.

Both will be based out of New York, where the company's tech operations will be housed. (The company itself will be based in DC.) VandeHei has also made a number of notable editorial hires in recent weeks, including Politico reporter David Nather, Bloomberg reporter Nick Johnston and IJ Review editor Bubba Atkinson.

As for what the new VandeHei/Allen project will actually be? As anyone who's talked to them in recent months knows, "It'll be a media company!" They're holding this one closer to the chest than Biden held Hillary...
The Gawker auction
Denton says goodbye 
Tom Kludt reports: Gawker's flagship site will be shut down next week. The news was first reported, naturally, by Gawker. "Sadly, neither I nor, the buccaneering flagship of the group I built with my colleagues, are coming along for this next stage," Nick Denton said in a memo. "Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on" Tom is updating his story now... Read it here...
Univision officially takes control
The REST of Gawker Media is now in Isaac Lee's capable hands. Univision's $135 million acquisition of the company -- Jezebel, Gizmodo, Deadspin, etc -- was approved this afternoon by a judge presiding over the bankruptcy proceeding. The brands will become a part of the Fusion Media Group...
Denton in his own words
Denton's full memo is well worth reading. Here's the key part:

"Even if the appeals court overturns this spring’s Florida jury verdict, Peter Thiel has already achieved many of his objectives. I will move on to other projects, working to make the web a forum for the open exchange of ideas and information, but out of the news and gossip business. may, like Spy Magazine in its day, have a second act. For the moment, however, it will be mothballed, until the smoke clears and a new owner can be found..."
For the record, part one
 -- Has the national media under-covered the flooding disaster in Louisiana? Frank Pallotta examined this today...

 -- Vice's Broadly "is looking for a new editor in chief..." (Politico)

 -- The New York Times has decided to drop its NYT Now app, Jackie Wattles reports...

 -- Eugene Scott: "Wired magazine made its first presidential endorsement today, backing Hillary Clinton in the name of optimism..."

 -- The most human moment of the day on TV: Kate Bolduan beginning to cry while sharing this photo of a child in Syria... (Mediaite)
Some of Rio's weakest #'s yet
NBC continues to miss its Rio ratings guarantees: "The network hit its second lowest viewership of the games so far Wednesday night," Frank Pallotta reports. "Primetime coverage drew 20.7 million viewers on Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET... Well below the 29.1 million who watched the same night in 2012 during the London games..."
Usain Bolt is a photographer's dream
A photo from tonight's competition, via @TodayShow:
Good night, "Nightly Show"
Larry Wilmore will sign off later tonight. Bethonie Butler says late night is losing its "underdog..." And Brian Steinberg says "the question Wilmore’s departure brings is whether the economics of late-night can support alternative voices..."
"Late-night election" rolls on
Stephen Colbert has Tim Kaine next Thursday. Brian Lowry tweets that Tony Hale is booked on the same night: "Have to imagine there's a 'Veep' sketch in there somewhere…"
Ashleigh Banfield succeeding Nancy Grace on HLN
This afternoon Ashleigh Banfield announced that she is moving from CNN's 12pm hour to HLN's 8pm hour. She will take over Nancy Grace's time slot in October.

Grace was a prosecutor at heart; Banfield is a journalist. Grace was based in Atlanta; Banfield is based in NYC. Grace usually taped her show; Banfield will be live. But here's what the old and new shows have in common: They'll tackle social and legal issues... And they'll be produced by Liz Yuskaitis, the E.P. well known as "Liz" by Grace's viewers.

Banfield's last day at noon will be September 23... Grace signs off on HLN on October 13... Banfield starts on October 17. Here's my full story...
John King on weekdays
CNN's Sunday morning program "Inside Politics," hosted by John King, will expand to the 12 p.m. time slot between September 26 and Election Day. Banfield's Atlanta-based show team, led by Christina Ginn, will produce "Inside Politics." Loyal CNN viewers will remember that "IP" aired at noon during the conventions in July...
Bret Baier on Sunday nights
While King adds a weekday shift on CNN, Bret Baier is adding a weekend shift on Fox News. The "Special Report" anchor will helm the 8 p.m. hour on Sundays starting on Sept. 11, continuing through the election, Joe Concha reports...
Final "McLaughlin Group" this Sunday
"After 34 years, the curtain will fall on 'The McLaughlin Group' after this week’s installment," Variety's Cynthia Littleton reports. "The current 'McLaughlin Group' panel — consisting of Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, Clarence Page and Tom Rogan — is expected to tape one more half-hour on Friday in Washington, D.C." They will pay tribute to John McLaughlin, who died Tuesday at age 89...

More: "There are plans down the road for an hourlong retrospective episode but those details are still being firmed up..."
81 days til Election Day
With this quote, 1,000 hours of news coverage were born
That sound you heard at 7:40pm? It was cable news producers throwing out their rundowns. "Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," Trump said. "I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain."

Reporters were stunned. REGRET? From Trump? Who? When? Why? Trump didn't share any of those details. But now he will surely be pressed for specifics in future interviews...

 -- Trump biographer Tim O'Brien tweets: "This is the Hail Mary Pass moment in the Trump campaign. Turn on your stopwatches..."
Green Party town hall #'s
The Green Party ticket is polling at 3-5% while the Libertarian Party is drawing 9-10% support in national polls. With that in mind, these ratings results are no surprise: Wednesday's #GreenTownHall had 278,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo and 778,000 total viewers. The #LibTownHall earlier this month had 642,000 in the demo and 1.61 million viewers overall. IMHO: What CNN lacked in viewers, it gained in reputation, for being willing to hold prime time forums for these parties...

 -- Perhaps more interesting was the MSNBC/Fox race at 9pm: Megyn Kelly had 401,000 in the 25-54 demo while Rachel Maddow had 400,000...
This TV series title proved prescient, eh?
A no-brainer programming move: The Esquire Network is airing a marathon of the single season reality TV show "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" on Friday. The show is three years old... But who knows, it could have record ratings tomorrow... Chloe Melas has the story here...
Once the smoke clears...
Brian Lowry emails: There are always stars coming out of the Olympics, with all the endorsements that entails. The Ryan Lochte situation, on the other hand, is truly in a league by itself. Lochte has already had his run-in with reality TV -- see above -- but I suspect once the smoke clears on this situation he'll be in considerable demand again, which is, frankly, a pretty sad commentary on the genre...
"Ben-Hur" in theaters this weekend
Brian Lowry emails: The footnote to "Ben-Hur" is that it represents taking Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's faith-based drama strategy into another arena.

The "Survivor" producer and his actress wife have made a pretty significant mark in TV with series like "The Bible" and miniseries "The Dovekeepers." Here, they're testing the theatrical waters. And one of the knocks on Christian movies, even among the faithful, is that a lot of them are cheaply made and not particularly good, despite the potentially vast market for them.

Even as a scaled-down version of the 1959 classic, "Ben-Hur" isn't cheap, but as most reviews (including mine) have noted, it isn't very good either. Given modest domestic box-office projections, that means it will likely be up to international returns to redeem it.

Read Brian's full review here...
For the record, part two
By Lisa France:

 -- "The Birth of a Nation" was set to be the film of this year and next and a darling of awards season. But that was before the story of rape accusations against against its star/writer/director Nate Parker resurfaced. Will the film be able to survive the controversy? It depends on who you ask...

 -- For half a second there, it looked like Amy Schumer might be trying to get out of doing the fifth season of her Comedy Central show. But it's alright guys, "Inside Amy Schumer" is not over...

 -- Here's a Throwback Thursday goodie for you: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar have reprised their classic "Batman" roles for a new, animated film... 

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