By Brian Stelter and the CNNMoney Media team.
"We all have to do better"
Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James opened tonight's ESPY Awards with a three and a half minute long message against injustice, racial profiling and gun violence... And a call to "create change." Watch it here.

Eric Holder praised the statement via Twitter. According to T.J. Holmes, "The start of the show was not a network idea. LeBron, Carmelo, CP3, and D-Wade approached the network and asked to open the show..."

And later in the evening, while introducing the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award, "Steph Curry gave a pointed speech against gun violence..."

 -- Related programming notes: Right now CNN is holding a two-hour town hall led by Don Lemon... And ABC is holding a town hall with President Obama Thursday night...

Hannity foots the bill for Gingrich's flight 

A scoop from the DB's, Dana Bash and Dylan Byers, revealing something about how the conservative media world works: Newt Gingrich -- whose Fox contributor contract was suspended just yesterday -- flew to Indianapolis to meet with Donald Trump today "on a private jet provided by Fox News host Sean Hannity." 

Hannity has been publicly advocating for Newt-as-VP for weeks. He defended the flight with two tweets tonight, saying "Whatever favors I do for my friends is my business..."

Dylan's take

Does it matter? It should, but it won't. Hannity has long claimed that the usual rules of journalistic ethics don't apply to him because he's a pundit: "I'm not a journalist, I'm a talk show host," he has said. Fine, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a prime time host on the country's most-watched cable news network and wields a great deal of influence. So it says a fair deal about Fox News that they don't seem to mind him footing the bill for the former Speaker...

VP announcement: Friday, 11am

Tonight Trump confirmed that he'll announce his running mate Friday at 11am ET in NYC. Gingrich? Mike Pence? Chris Christie? CNNPolitics has the latest state of play here. Personally I'm intrigued by Newt-as-VP because it would represent a victory for a certain kind of campaigning-by-media.

After all, Gingrich hasn't held public office since 1999... Nearly twenty years. What's he done since then? Along with numerous other for-profit ventures, he has opined on Fox, co-hosted "Crossfire" on CNN, published books, and produced documentaries. He and Trump have "media savviness" in common...
Roger Ailes sued

New accusations of harassment by Ailes 

It's been a week since Gretchen Carlson filed her lawsuit, and the claims against Roger Ailes and counterclaims are continuing. This afternoon NYMag's Gabriel Sherman reported: "According to sources I spoke with, at least three former Fox anchors have been harassed. One former rising star at the network has said that Ailes approached her during a barbecue at Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy's house in New Jersey while she was bouncing on a trampoline with children and said, 'Are you wearing any panties? I wish you weren't.' Another recently departed Fox host has claimed Ailes made her turn around in his office to show him her figure."

Sherman also included anonymous accounts from two "former models" alleging inappropriate, manipulative behavior by Ailes in the 1960s. But the possibility of present-day accounts by other Fox hosts is more significant. Citing "multiple sources," Sherman said that "a number of women at Fox, who work both on camera and off, have experienced sexual harassment and are eager to talk about it with investigators" from Paul, Weiss. 

A Fox spokesperson responded to the story this way: "Gabe Sherman continues to conduct a baseless smear campaign in concert with Gretchen Carlson's lawyer. Carlson's contract was not renewed because she was a failure with the audience. Once again, Sherman's twisted allegations from anonymous sources are completely false."

Carlson speaks

Yesterday Carlson, joined by her lawyers, gave this interview to NYT's John Koblin...

Thursday's NYT front page has another Fox-y story: "Gretchen Carlson's Contract Could Shroud Her Case in Secrecy"

So what about the Murdochs?

Last week's big Q remains the big Q today: What are the Murdochs thinking? This morning Michael Wolff subtweeted the rest of the media reporting pack with a column that purports to know better than the rest of us... Which means it's a delicious read.

Wolff says that "when news of the suit broke," Rupert Murdoch "called Ailes from the Sun Valley media moguls conference to say that he stood with him." As for the sons, Wolff says Lachlan is "now said to be quite close to Ailes," but James, not so much...

Defending Fox's style and culture

Tom Kludt emails his latest story: To many Fox observers, Carlson's allegations have confirmed a long-held perception that Ailes and his network have the social mores of a more misogynistic era. It’s why you’ve seen clips circulated of Carlson appearing annoyed as her male colleagues on “Fox & Friends” made sexist remarks. And it’s why you’ve seen renewed speculation surrounding Ailes’s purported ban on women in pants.

It's fascinating how, over the past few days, several female Fox personalities have not just raced to the defense of their embattled boss, they've levied a broader defense of Fox’s culture. Those women have called Ailes a great boss and mentor, but they have also insisted that nobody at Fox tells what they can or can't wear. Not even when it comes to legwear. A Fox News spokesperson, likewise, told me there is no "no pants" edict. Check out Tom's full story here...

Wanda to win Paramount stake?

Reuters' Liana Baker and Jessica Toonkel with the scoop: "Dalian Wanda Group has held talks with Viacom about acquiring a minority stake in its Paramount Pictures unit." The LATimes says the talks for a 49% stake are exclusive.

 -- But remember: Sumner Redstone "has so far opposed the sale, which is not possible without his consent..."

Chuck Lorre's producing a show for Netflix

Chuck Lorre's next multi-cam sitcom is going to Netflix instead of CBS! "Disjointed" will star Kathy Bates "as a lifelong advocate for legalization who's finally living her dream as the owner of an L.A.-area cannabis dispensary." Warner Bros. TV is producing. Netflix is ordering 20 episodes straight to series. The content was "probably a tough sell for a traditional network," EW observes...

NYT's Michael Cieply heading to Deadline 

I never thought I'd see this: Deadline just scooped up veteran NYT movie reporter Michael Cieply. He'll be executive editor of the site starting August 1. Cieply has been covering Hollywood and media for print papers since the 1980s... 

Here's why...

Luke Russert is leaving NBC

This news came as a genuine surprise: Luke Russert is giving up his NBC congressional correspondent job this Friday and "taking some time away from political reporting." 

Sources told me that Russert, 30, has grown tired and bored of the daily grind after eight years at NBC. "He just wants to get off the treadmill and make sure he is doing what he wants to do," a close friend of Russert's said.

Remember, Russert had just graduated from college when his dad died -- and he joined NBC six weeks later.
"He never really took a breath." Here's my full story...

 -- Down the road: Maybe he'll resume political reporting... Or maybe he'll try his hand at another sports talk show... Or maybe it'll be something altogether different...
 -- Q from a loyal reader: "What’s the over/under Russert will run for office?"

José Díaz-Balart's new job

José Díaz-Balart is now officially the Saturday "NBC Nightly News" anchor. He'll continue to anchor on Telemundo Sunday through Friday (yep, he'll have a seven-day-a-week schedule) but he will "cede his anchoring duties on MSNBC to NBC News correspondent Craig Melvin." More from Variety's Brian Steinberg, who broke the news, here...

Today's Time Inc. changes

End of a Time Inc. era: "Norm Pearlstine is stepping down as chief content officer," Tom Kludt reports, and Fortune editor Alan Murray is replacing him. Pearlstine will become a vice chairman, focusing on "international growth opportunities for our brands and content, as well as other projects."

In sorta-related news, Evelyn Webster ls leaving, and Rich Battista will now oversee all of Time Inc.'s U.S. brands...
For the record, part one
-- Troubling: NBCU exec Jeff Shell, who doubles as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, was "ordered to leave" Russia on Wednesday... (NYT)

 -- Another case of a shooting inadvertently shown on Facebook Live... (CNN)

 -- This is not official yet, but it's been Kafka'd: "Refinery29 "has raised a new round of funding led by Time Warner’s Turner unit..." (Recode)

 -- I missed this Paul Farhi story the other day: "TV networks raise the price of pool video — and concerns among other media..." (WashPost)

 -- CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany is engaged! (Twitter)
Road to Cleveland

Jay Rosen's must read

Jay Rosen's message to journos: "Beneath every common practice in election coverage there are premises about how candidates will behave. I want you to ask: Do these still apply? Trump isn’t behaving like a normal candidate; he’s acting like an unbound one. In response, journalists have to become less predictable themselves." Read the rest here... 

Lewandowski "still receiving severance"

Media Matters' Matt Gertz noticed a new disclosure on CNN during segments with Corey Lewandowski: "CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and host Don Lemon noted that Lewandowski is 'still receiving severance from the Trump campaign' while introducing him in July 11 and July 12 segments." Gertz's conclusion: "The network's ethical morass is worse than we thought..."

Speaking of Lewandowski...

Trump's decision to sue ex-aide Sam Nunberg, "alleging that the ex-staffer breached a confidentiality agreement," got a lot of media tongues wagging this afternoon.

Key graf of MJ Lee and Jeremy Diamond's story: In Nunberg's affidavit obtained by CNN, Nunberg denies being the source for a Page Six item about a public fight between Lewandowski and Hope Hicks. "Nunberg alleges that the Trump campaign is trying to 'silence media coverage' of the relationship between Lewandowski and Hicks, calling it a 'sordid and apparently illicit affair.'" Tonight Trump attorney Alan Garten said Nunberg "is simply looking for free publicity by using categorically false claims." More...

Observer rejected this "open letter"

New York Observer columnist/editor at large Ryan Holiday says he tried to submit an anti-Trump "open letter," but it was turned down, one week after Observer entertainment writer Dana Schwartz published an "open letter" to the paper's owner Jared Kushner.

Holiday says he was told that "editorial decided it would no longer accept columns of this nature on this topic." So he published his commentary -- "Dear Dad, Please Don’t Vote For Donald Trump" -- on Medium instead...
Quote of the day
"We don't believe that panic and pandering is a strategy." News Corp. must "resolve ​to not mortgage our future​ ​for the​ latest 'new-new' seductive ​​feature ​dangled as a come-hither by those who have no desire to pay for the creation and sustenance of vital journalism."

 --Raju Narisetti, News Corp. SVP of strategy, explaining to Bloomberg why the company is wary of Facebook...
68th annual Emmy nominations
How will the Emmy noms surprise us on Thursday morning? Lisa France has a curtain-raiser here. I'm rooting for "The Americans," "UnREAL," "Orange is the New Black," and "Veep..."
Why HBO will lead the way again
Brian Lowry emails: As usual, the Emmys offer no shortage of storylines. Given the lingering fallout from the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, one storyline will surely be how much diversity is reflected in the acting categories, an area where the TV Academy has generally outshone its movie brethren. And for those who think HBO might see its presence diminished after some high-profile missteps --including the cancellation of "Vinyl" after one season, and a recent executive shift -- think again. Part of that has to do not just with perennials like defending champs "Game of Thrones" and "Veep," but its onslaught of programs in other categories. This year, that includes the historical movies "All the Way" and "Confirmation" (both, notably, with D.C. themes) as well as Beyonce¹s "Lemonade" special. Read more from Brian here...
Announcement time: 8:30am ET (not 5:30) !
Lowry adds this footnote: Those of us in Los Angeles are very happy the Academy dispensed with announcing the nominees in time for the network morning shows at 5:30 a.m. PT...

Netflix orders more "Bloodline"

CNNMoney managing editor Rich Barbieri emails: Most exciting news of the day to me is word that Netflix has commissioned a third season of "Bloodline." Too impossibly dark to ever break out in a big way, "Bloodline" is wholly compelling to watch. It's a saga about an epically screwed up family whose dysfunction turns to murder. It apparently doesn't even get a big Netflix audience. Good for Netflix for bringing it back. If this is what a bubble in TV content looks like, so be it. Count me as a satisfied viewer...

Arianna thanks Aniston

"So grateful to Jen for so powerfully expressing what millions of women are thinking and feeling," Arianna Huffington wrote on Instagram today.

Huffington was personally involved in getting Jennifer Aniston's "For The Record" blog post online. But the work was entirely Aniston's — she even wrote the headline, which read, "For The Record."

"We didn't change a word," a source familiar with the essay said. HuffPost translated the post into 15 languages for its various global editions...

 -- Related: WashPost's Emily Yahr writes: "Tabloids just give you what you want. So why do you want Jennifer Aniston to be pregnant?"
For the record, part two
 -- Apple's "reality show" about the App Store now has a name... "Planet of the Apps..." And it will start filming in L.A. later this year... (CNNMoney)

 -- Lisa France emails: Selena Gomez just beat Justin Bieber -- and herself. The singer/actress now has the most liked photo on Instagram, overtaking her ex Bieber's pic of the two of them kissing... (CNN

 -- More from Lisa: You probably don't know who Rich Homie Quan is, but Twitter does, and they rose up against him for flubbing rap lyrics by the late Notorious B.I.G. on VH1's "Hip Hop Honors..." (CNN)

 -- Don't miss this THR feature about the future of Instagram... (THR)

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