Breakfast Briefing: HuffPost nixes unpaid contributions

Good Thursday morning to you. Scroll down to read our jam-packed list of the biggest comms stories you need to know before you get to your desk this morning. And unlike the Fake News Awards, these links should actually work.

New from PRWeek this morning: Fresh off its acquisition of London-based Templars Communications, Vested has hired Elspeth Rothwell as its first U.K. CEO. She was previously MD of financial services in FTI Consulting’s strategic comms unit.

Cross HuffPost off your list of potential guest op-ed destinations. The website is ending its unpaid contributors platform, effective immediately, in an effort to declutter the portal and focus on reporting. The contributors platform had included 100,000 guest writers at its peak (New York Times).

In its latest crackdown, YouTube is eliminating videos that encourage teens to take part in the "Tide Pod Challenge," a hard-to-believe-it’s-real fad in which kids eat the detergent packs (The Verge). Tide parent Procter & Gamble enlisted New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski this week to dissuade children from taking part.

You’ll want to take a few minutes out of your schedule today to read this story. Bloomberg has gone in-depth on the rise and (mostly) the fall of brash former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, whose turbulent tenure included soon-to-be-viral arguments with drivers, the #DeleteUber campaign, and, of course, the outrage over harassment in its workplace culture.

Like last year’s Oscars, the "Fake News Awards" suffered technical difficulties last night, with the page of winners crashing soon after President Donald Trump tweeted the link to it (CBS News). In politics news that actually matters, a government shutdown at the end of the week is looking more probable (NBC News), and Trump is set to campaign in southwestern Pennsylvania before a special congressional election (The Week). Trump also seemingly pushed back against comments made by his own chief of staff (NYT) this morning on Twitter. And White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday (CBSN).

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