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By Brian Stelter and the CNNMoney Media team - reliablesources@cnn.com
Coming to you today from Santa Monica, CA... Out west for a weekend wedding...

How Facebook decides what's "trending"

Now it is crystal clear: Facebook's seemingly algorithmically-produced "Trending" topics list is really hand-crafted by "news curators" -- another name for "editors" -- who show editorial judgment all the time. 

"Facebook's manual for its Trending topics team include instructions on when reviewers can 'inject' a story into the list or 'blacklist' one. The 28-page document details a set of procedures that goes beyond relying on an algorithm to decide what stories appear as Trending," CNNMoney's Hope King reports.


How do we know? Because The Guardian's Sam Thielman published a version of the manual this afternoon, prompting Facebook to release an updated one. The company had defended its guidelines for "blacklisting" stories earlier this week, after an anonymous former contractor said he'd seen conservative stories get "suppressed," but now it's all out in the open. Read more from Hope here...

At deadline time, Mark Zuckerberg weighed in for the first time. "In the coming weeks," he said, "I'll also be inviting leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum to talk with me about this and share their points of view. I want to have a direct conversation..."
How Sam got the scoop
Sam Thielman emails: "I talked to a few folks who'd worked there" and "got documents from a source I don't want to say too much about since I'm sure someone down the pipeline signed an NDA... I think the story is less about whether or not Facebook is biased and more about whether or not Facebook's algorithm is good enough to be left at home by itself when mom and dad are away."
Why this matters 
Let's be honest: There are very good reasons for editors to be involved. Editors weed out spam, scams, hoaxes, and duplicative stories. But this week's controversy reinforces the uncomfortable feeling that Facebook is a "black box."

Dan Gillmor said it in 133 characters: "It's not about whether Facebook programmers or editors (or both) do stuff. It's about Facebook's growing power to decide what's news..."


Andrew Golis too: "Facebook has, by some definitions, become the most powerful media company ever. That power needs to come with responsibilities..."

 -- Great reads on this: Farhad Manjoo's column... Casey Newton's interview with FB execs... Ben Thompson's essay from Tuesday...
THR banned from Cannes event...
Woody says he has nothing to say 
Woody Allen's publicist Leslee Dart barred The Hollywood Reporter from attending a reporter luncheon with Woody Allen today, one day after THR published Ronan Farrow's essay calling Allen a "predator."

Matthew Belloni, who is in Cannes leading THR's coverage of the film fest (with 30 staffers!) texted: "Woody's publicist banned THR from a lunch for his movie in retaliation for publishing the Farrow piece. Which is a bit ironic considering Farrow's argument centered on how Allen's PR machine tries to manipulate media with tactics like denying access."

Reporters from Vanity Fair and Variety who WERE there asked Allen about the essay, and Allen said he hasn't read it. "I've said all I have to say about" the controversy, Allen said, referring to his 2014 denials in the NYT.

 -- A wise letter reader emails: "THR went from running a puffy Woody Allen cover story to getting banned from one of his press avails literally in the span of a week, with an adversarial Ronan Farrow op-ed piece in the middle. That has to be some kind of record..."


 -- Programming note: THR boss Janice Min will join me on Sunday's "Reliable Sources..."
Kelly says bye to Michael...
Michael Strahan's last morning alongside Kelly Ripa is on Friday — and it's not a moment too soon. Today Ripa was photographed wearing a jacket with the word "Freedom" written on the back. And regular viewers of the talk show say the relationship between the co-hosts has been visibly strained ever since last month's botched announcement. Here's my preview... The send-off will be live at 9am ET...
...And she says "Stay tuned"
Jimmy Kimmel will guest host with Ripa on Monday, and then the auditions for a new co-host begin. The name that's come up the most, CNN's Anderson Cooper, is not yet scheduled to fill in. But Cooper and Ripa are close friends, and neither is ruling out the possibility of co-hosting together, contracts permitting. Cooper told David Axelrod on a podcast this week that "I don't see leaving CNN. Anything I do would be an add-on." Ripa, when asked by People magazine if Cooper is the frontrunner for the co-host job, said only, "Stay tuned..."
NYT Mag stands behind Ben Rhodes story
Dylan Byers emails: NYT Magazine EIC Jake Silverstein says he and his fellow editors stand "100%" behind their controversial profile of Obama foreign policy guru Ben Rhodes, which continues to be a subject of heated conversation in DC and beyond. In a series of tweets today, Silverstein stressed that the piece was thoroughly fact-checked. He also defended the article's author David Samuels, who has been accused of agenda-driven reporting (he's been a vocal opponent of Obama's foreign policy.)

"The fundamental thing to understand about this story is that it is a profile of Ben Rhodes, not a story about the Iran Deal specifically... It is not accurate to say, as some are, that David is an ardent neocon who assiduously opposed the Iran Deal," Silverstein tweeted. "David's views, whatever they are, didn't distort his portrayal of how Rhodes & co operated."
Charter gets final TWC thumbs up
Charter received the final regulatory approval it needed today from the Public Utilities Commission here in California. So its transaction with Time Warner Cable and Bright House will take effect next week... May 18, to be exact, I hear... 

A Charter spox says TWC customers "won’t really see any real changes" on day one. But Charter will gradually apply its "playbook..." Including its Spectrum branding, pricing and packaging... In the months to come.
Early preview of Sunday's "Reliable Sources"
We're still a long ways from Sunday, but we have a superb guest lineup in the works. Along with Janice Min (joining me at CNN's Hollywood bureau) we'll have CNNers Brian Lowry and Dylan ByersLarry KingJeff Greenfield… and Nate Silver
Road to 2016
Dana Milbank swallows his pride...

...And some newsprint

Dana Milbank said last October that if Donald Trump became the GOP nominee, he'd "eat the page on which this column is printed in Sunday's Post." Well today he ate the entire page -- and then some -- while a bunch of us watched on Facebook Live.

Tom Kludt reports: There was a newspaper smoked wagyu steak, served well done, just the way Trump likes it... Two Mexican dishes, including a taco bowl with grilled newspaper guacamole... And lots of Trump Wine. Watch + read all about it here...
TV upfronts time! 
With the broadcast TV upfronts starting on Monday, orders and renewals and cancellations are coming fast and furiously...
The end of "CSI"
CBS killed "CBS: Cyber" this afternoon, which means that for the first time since 2000, there won't be a "CSI" show on the network's schedule. BrewPR's Whitney McIntosh jokes: ‏"It looks like this is one murder that not even the show could solve…" Yes, but I'm with Andrew Wallenstein: "I don't believe we've seen the last of the CSI franchise…"
"Supergirl" from CBS to CW
Frank Pallotta emails: The CW is picking up up "Riverdale," a live action series based on the long-time "Archie" comic book. And that's not the only comic book news from the network today. "Supergirl” is moving from CBS to The CW for its second season. 

Joe Adalian tweets: "I've long thought it would be great for a CW series to air simultaneously on CBS for a few weeks/months, just for the exposure... Because basically, S1 of Supergirl could end up being just a great marketing push for a 6-season CW show…"
"Nothing But Chicago"
Dick Wolf's "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D.," and "Chicago Med" will be joined by "Chicago Justice" next season, Variety reports. Brian Lowry tweets: "At least we know what the NBC stands for: Nothing But Chicago."
Cuts, cuts and more cuts
TV reporters compared ABC's sweeping cuts today to the Red Wedding. "Nashville" is cancelled… "Agent Carter" is cancelled… "Castle" is cancelled… "Galavant" is cancelled… "The Muppets" is cancelled… But there were cuts at Fox too: "The Grinder" is cancelled… "Grandfather" is cancelled… Etc etc… On a brighter note: "American Crime" is renewed… "The Catch" is renewed… "Dr. Ken" is renewed… "The Real O'Neals" is renewed… and a new Shondaland series, "Still Star-Crossed," is getting a chance…
How the DVR changed the game
This is a great read by Brian Lowry: A close look at how the DVR has changed the way they talk about their lineups. The notion that people don’t have to miss one show to watch another has taken the in-your-face gamesmanship out of the process, and as a veteran scheduler notes, some of the fun. Check out Preston Beckman's comments...
A Chris Licht bump for Colbert?
Frank Pallotta emails: Did Stephen Colbert just get a Chris Licht bump? It appears so. "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" had its best weekly audience since mid-February, averaging 2.57 million viewers for the week ending May 6. The positive numbers are notable because they come roughly a month after Licht took the reins of "The Late Show" as its new showrunner. But alas for Colbert, Jimmy Fallon still reigns over the late night kingdom. NBC's "The Tonight Show" had a healthy lead over his closest rival, averaging 3.20 million viewers. Read more...
Azealia Banks suspended from Twitter
Lisa France reports: "One Direction fans who petitioned for Twitter to suspend Azealia Banks' account after her racist and homophobic rant against Zayn Malik got their wish. Anyone trying to access the rapper's account early Thursday was greeted with a page which read, 'This account has been suspended. Learn more about why Twitter suspends accounts, or return to your timeline.'" Read more...
Correction to yesterday's Page Six item
Last night we said that "Page Six TV" will get a try-out on some Fox stations. That's true! But we also said it would launch next Wednesday, May 18. The actual start date is July 18. We'll tune in then! 

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If you could change one thing about this newsletter, what would it be? Email your feedback to reliablesources@cnn.com. We'll be back tomorrow with more media news...
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