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8:40 AM ET, January 3, 2019


 Top News: 
Hadas Gold / CNN:
Netflix faced a tough balancing act when Saudi officials claimed an episode of Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act violated local law  —  London (CNN Business)What's the price of censoring one episode of a Netflix show in Saudi Arabia?  —  Though Netflix has not released specifics on the number …
Discussion: @krudell, @ase and Financial Times
Grace Dobush / Fortune:
First closed hearing in Jamal Khashoggi murder trial was held in Riyadh on Thursday, with 11 suspects present; prosecutor has requested death penalty for five  —  The first closed hearing in the Jamal Khashoggi murder trial was held in Riyadh today, with 11 suspects present.
Jenna Amatulli / HuffPost:
Netflix has removed an episode of “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj” in Saudi Arabia after the country complained about MBS criticism over Khashoggi murder in show  —  In an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj,” the host criticizes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Yemen war.
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Departed White House staffers, including John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, validate stories about the Trump administration, despite Trump's claims of “fake news”  —  The Trump White House isn't big on sharing information or answering questions asked on behalf of the public.
Radio & Television Business Report:
Gray TV completes acquisition of Raycom Media and now holds stations in 91 US markets; nine stations and Raycom's community newspaper unit, CNHI, were spun off  —  For the last time, we present to you the Raycom Media logo.  That's because Raycom no longer exists — it has been officially swallowed …
Li Yuan / New York Times:
Inside Beijing-based Beyondsoft and its “censorship factories”, with 4,000+ staff monitoring online content for media companies eager to please China's censors  —  Thousands of low-wage workers in “censorship factories” trawl the online world for forbidden content …
Meg James / Los Angeles Times:
A carriage dispute forces 33 Tribune Media stations off the air, affecting about 6M Charter cable customers, including 1.5M around Los Angeles  —  Nearly three dozen Tribune Media television stations, including KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles, went dark Wednesday afternoon …
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:
The US Senate confirms FCC commissioners Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks, bringing the five seats to three Republicans and two Democrats, for five-year terms  —  The Senate has officially confirmed the incoming FCC commissioners, Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks have been officially confirmed by the Senate for their five-year terms.
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
The Telegraph hires William Sitwell, the former Waitrose Food magazine editor who stepped down over comments made to a vegan freelancer, as a restaurant critic  —  The Telegraph has appointed William Sitwell, the former Waitrose Food magazine editor who stepped down over comments he made in an email …
Brian Stelter / CNN:
William Arkin, an analyst and reporter on national security, writes a long farewell memo to NBC critiquing war coverage, social media, and the “Trump circus”  —  New York (CNN Business)There are goodbye notes — and then there's William Arkin's frustrated farewell to NBC News.
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
How deepfakes, AI-generated videos that graft a person's face onto another's body, have been weaponized to harass and humiliate their subjects, mostly women  —  ‘Deepfake’ creators are making disturbingly realistic, computer-generated videos with photos taken from the Web, and ordinary women are suffering the damage
Discussion: @wesyang and IndieWire
Sara Salinas / CNBC:
Netflix confirms it has hired Spencer Neumann as new CFO; source says Activision Blizzard fired Neumann because he was pursuing another job  —  - Netflix has hired Spencer Neumann as chief financial officer.  He was the former CFO at Activision Blizzard.  — Activision Blizzard fired Neuman …
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 More News: 
Freddy Mayhew / Press Gazette:
BuzzFeed UK reduced its losses by £1M YoY in 2017 to £2.3M on revenues of £33.4M
 Earlier Picks: 
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Roku Channel adds premium subscriptions, with networks including Showtime, Starz, and Epix available on Roku devices and apps, Samsung smart TVs, and more
Howard Kurtz / Fox News:
In her new book “Merchants of Truth”, former NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson says the paper has become “unmistakably anti-Trump” under Dean Baquet