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4:20 PM ET, December 14, 2017


 Top News: 
Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
FCC votes to dismantle Obama administration net neutrality rules in a 3-2 vote  —  WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies power to potentially reshape Americans' online experiences.
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
The inability of Ajit Pai and Republican FCC commissioners to make a fact-based case for repeal of popular net neutrality rules will be a problem for GOP  —  Killing net neutrality isn't just bad policy, it's bad politics  —  Well, it happened.  —  Republican Ajit Pai's FCC voted 3-2 …
The Walt Disney Company:
Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox, including stakes in Sky and Hulu, after spinoff of certain businesses like Fox News, for $52.4B in stock  —  21st Century Fox to spin off Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network to its shareholders
Amy Chozick / New York Times:
With Disney deal, Murdoch's decades-long acquisition streak comes to an end in the face of the rise of streaming, despite past and current efforts to scale  —  For a while, Rupert Murdoch seemed invincible.  —  First, the mogul emerged relatively unscathed from a 2011 phone hacking scandal involving …
Mark Sweney / The Guardian:
Post-merger, “New Fox” to include live news, sports, and the Fox brand, as a return to “our roots as a lean, aggressive, challenger brand”, per Lachlan Murdoch  —  Sale of 21st Century Fox assets includes stakes in Sky in the UK and Hollywood film studio as tycoon focuses on Fox News and newspapers
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Disney-Fox deal gives Disney controlling Hulu stake, a Sky stake, a network of local sports cable channels; Fox gets to cash out and resolve succession plans  —  Ultimately, it was the Mouse that roared — and the Fox that beat a retreat from the global stage.
Meg James / Los Angeles Times:
Robert Iger's contract as Disney Chairman and CEO is extended from 2019 to 2021 as a condition of Disney-21st Century Fox deal
Discussion: CinemaBlend
Sydney Ember / New York Times:
Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. to retire as New York Times publisher on Dec. 31 but remain as chairman, as his son, Arthur G. Sulzberger, replaces him  —  In a generational changing of the guard, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, 37, will become the publisher of The New York Times on Jan. 1.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook confirms it will stop subsidies for Facebook Live publishers, encouraging them to use mid-roll ads, and says pre-roll ads are coming to Watch  —  Everyone's least favorite ads are coming to Facebook, but six-second pre-rolls will only appear on original Watch tab videos you purposefully view and not in the News Feed.
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
Sources: NYT investigation of WH correspondent Glenn Thrush is winding down, after Vox post on “unwanted groping and kissing”, with result expected by Christmas  —  Some three dozen detailed interviews will determine whether the star White House correspondent will keep his job …
New York Times:
Four women detail violent sexual behavior by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons between 1988 and 2014, and three say he raped them; Simmons denies rape allegations  —  Mr. Simmons, a powerful gatekeeper in the entertainment and media worlds, damaged careers and self-confidence with his pattern …
Jason Schwartz / Politico:
NYT hires fact-checker for DC desk, an unprecedented move for a newspaper, in response to political weaponization of reporting errors and the volume of news  —  As news errors become fodder for Trump's attacks, the venerable daily makes an extra push for accuracy.
Discussion: @brithume and @moorehn
Mike Shields / Business Insider:
Internal memo: Refinery29 is laying off 34 staffers, or about 7.5% of its workforce, and sees “a correction” in digital media  —  - Refinery29 is letting go of 34 staffers, or 7.5% of its workforce.  — It's the latest sign of a turbulent market for digital publishers battling the duopoly of Facebook and Google.
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 More News: 
Sources: Spotify shares have been priced at $4,000+ in recent private trades, up 20% over the past few months, valuing the company at ~$19B
Alex Hern / The Guardian:
UK lawmaker calls on Twitter to provide more info about Russia-linked accounts' activity during Brexit referendum, saying its initial response was inadequate
Andy Grimm / Chicago Sun Times:
Judge rules journalist Jamie Kalven won't have to testify and reveal sources after subpoena claimed the information may have influenced witnesses in murder case
Selina Wang / Bloomberg:
Alibaba's video streaming unit, Youku Tudou, has signed multiyear content licensing deals with NBCUniversal and Sony Pictures
David Uberti / Splinter:
Judge rules R.J. Bell's defamation suit over '16 Deadspin story should not proceed, calls arguments “disingenuous”; suit against author Ryan Goldberg is ongoing
Discussion: Fusion Media Group
Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg:
Sources: Tencent Music plans IPO in 2018, is expected to raise $1B+, valued at $10B; unit has 120M paying subscribers vs Spotify's 60M
 Earlier Picks: 
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:
Microsoft updates Bing with Reddit partnership, improved conversational search, Intelligent Image Search, ability to better surface different viewpoints, more
Yahoo! News:
Nine European press agencies call for internet giants including Facebook, Google, and Twitter to be forced to pay copyright for using their news content
Anthony Noto / New York Business Journal:
Sophia Amoruso's Girlboss raises $2M, led by Lightspeed to close a $3.1M seed round, to grow website, podcast, rallies; Lightspeed's Nicole Quinn to join board
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Redbox launches Redbox On Demand with 6,000+ movies and TV shows to rent or buy, without Disney titles, starting at $3.99 for 48-hour VOD rentals
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed:
How ad networks and publishers are using page redirects and “pop-unders” to create tons of legitimate-looking traffic, a technique commonly found on porn sites