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9:45 AM ET, February 8, 2019


 Top News: 
Jeff Bezos:
Jeff Bezos publishes letters from National Enquirer owner AMI that he says show threats to publish his nude photos unless he stops probing AMI's reporting  —  Something unusual happened to me yesterday.  Actually, for me it wasn't just unusual—it was a first.  I was made an offer I couldn't refuse.
Discussion: @jeffbezos, The Verge, Poynter, @ronanfarrow, Columbia Journalism Review, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Bloomberg, CNN, @hypatiadotca, @maxwellstrachan, @felixsalmon, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Mashable, HuffPost, Page Six, @yashar, Fortune, Recode, The Guardian, Citi Newsroom, The Week, New York Times, Associated Press, Al Jazeera, @pkafka, Business Insider, Big League Politics, The Hill, @sonnybunch, @karaswisher, @nxthompson, @ndrew_lawrence, @kfile, @normative, @jamilsmith, @renato_mariotti, @kbiegel, @eisingerj, @anildash, @maxwellstrachan, @noahshachtman, @profgalloway, @mrtsmith81, @heidilifeldman, @donnarapado, @popehat, @renato_mariotti, @dmgshuey, @popehat, @tjl, @jeffjarvis, @po8crg, @yashar, @mkarolian, Mediaite, @dkahanerules, @maxwellstrachan, @erikwemple, Slate, @elisewho, @benjaminwittes, @maggienyt, @moorehn, @maggienyt, @mmasnick, @nycsouthpaw, @kevinmkruse, @samstein, @jenniferjjacobs, @billkristol, @xeni, @nycsouthpaw, @harryh, @michaelsteele, @fritinancy, The Wrap, @renato_mariotti, Deadline, @washingtonpost, @renato_mariotti, @borzou, @brianstelter, @waltshaub, @renato_mariotti, @yashar, @rachelwalexande, @ksadjadpour, @renato_mariotti, @maxwellstrachan, @mrbromwich, @shiratarlo, @marklittlenews, @hypatiadotca, @gaberivera, @heerjeet, @popehat, @nxthompson, @yashar, VICE, @nycjim, @michaelavenatti, @mariashriver, @sdkstl, @popehat, @jerrydunleavy, @donie, @sulliview, @gbrockell, @danbarker, NPR, Hollywood Life, Jezebel, Vox, WINK NEWS, Splinter, The A.V. Club, Contemptor, TechCrunch, USA Today, The Japan Times, Wall Street Journal, KTLA, Fast Company, Boing Boing, WIRED UK, Gizmodo, Variety, GeekWire, The Daily Caller, WPIX 11 New York, Engadget and Rehak/Stuebing Mostly Media, more at Techmeme »
Allyson Chiu / Washington Post:
Ronan Farrow said he and at least one other journalist involved in stories about National Enquirer and Trump faced “blackmail” threats from AMI  —  Ronan Farrow said Thursday that he and “at least one other prominent journalist” who had reported on the National Enquirer …
Washington Post:
Jill Abramson responds to plagiarism allegations, says some citations don't match with the right pages and some language is too close to sources, promises fixes  —  Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson responded Thursday to allegations that she plagiarized portions of her new book …
Mathew Ingram / Columbia Journalism Review:
While a fine line exists on what qualifies as plagiarism, it's irritating to have words borrowed for Jill Abramson's book with no apparent attribution  —  It's an odd feeling to have an otherwise unremarkable passage you wrote appear as an exhibit in an accusation of plagiarism …
Discussion: On my Om and @mathewi
Tamar Auber / Mediaite:
Vice News correspondent says former NYT executive editor Jill Abramson included plagiarized passages in chapters about Vice in her book, Merchants of Truth
Brendan Nyhan / Medium:
Research comparing 2016 and 2018 suggests Facebook's efforts to limit the reach of fake news are working, but the platform's scale remains an alluring target  —  After the shock of the 2016 presidential election, many Americans found psychological refuge in a simple explanation for why Donald Trump won: “fake news.”
Max Willens / Digiday:
IAC's Dotdash, which owns Investopedia and the remnants of, posts $131M in revenue in 2018, up 44% YoY, and expects 21% revenue growth YoY for 2019  —  In a year where publishers scrambled to diversify their revenues and their business models, Dotdash posted breakout growth stemming from a course it charted a long time ago.
Dami Lee / The Verge:
Spotify's new Terms of Service, which go into effect on March 1, will give Spotify the authority to immediately terminate accounts that use ad blockers  —  Cracking down on ad blockers  —  Spotify is now explicitly banning ad blockers, as stated in an updated Terms of Service policy sent out today.
Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
Newsletter provider Substack is now offering support for podcasts by notifying subscribers when a podcast is published, which they can listen to via web player  —  “It's not paying for the newsletter or the audio file.  It's the connection to the mind."  —  In another snippet of podcast news …
Discussion: Audio Newsletter and Off The Chain
Cara Lombardo / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Digital First Media, which owns ~7.5% of Gannett's stock and was rejected in a takeover attempt, has launched a proxy fight to remake Gannett's board  —  Digital First Media, the hedge-fund-backed newspaper chain whose takeover bid for Gannett was rejected, is preparing for a proxy fight to remake Gannett's board.
Discussion: @cararlombardo
Sankalp Phartiyal / Reuters:
Facebook's measures to increase transparency before India's election, including requiring advertisers to confirm identity and location, take effect Feb. 21  —  NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Facebook Inc is toughening up the rules governing political advertisements in India to create more transparency ahead …
The Moscow Times:
Report: Google pulls government-banned sites from Russian search results, blocks ~70% of sites blacklisted by Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor  —  Google has started to remove certain entries from its search results in Russia in compliance with long-standing demands from the authorities …
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 More News: 
Andrew Gruttadaro / The Ringer:
Interview with MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and EVP Khalid Itum about what went wrong, as they embark on an apology tour to win back distributors and customers
Alex Heath / Cheddar:
TikTok hires Vanessa Pappas, who was YouTube's Global Head of Creative Insights, as its first-ever General Manager for the US
Mark Little / Kinzen:
Kinzen, formerly Neva Labs, launches a free iOS app for aggregated news with limited channels; premium membership is $4.99/month and offers curated digests
Lucia Moses / Business Insider:
NYT to start testing raising prices for its digital subscriptions soon; it hasn't raised these prices in seven and a half years
Mark Sweney / The Guardian:
BBC to take control of the bulk of UKTV, a 10-channel broadcaster currently jointly owned with Discovery, with a one-off payment of as much as £250M
 Earlier Picks: 
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
Sources: NYT reporters Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang strike seven-figure deal with HarperCollins to write a book about Facebook
Discussion: @mikeisaac
Gene Maddaus / Variety:
Woody Allen sues Amazon for $68M, claiming Amazon breached a four-picture deal and refused to release A Rainy Day in New York
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
In Q4 2018, BBC Radio 4 had 10.5M listeners, down 750K listeners YoY, BBC 5 Live's audience fell 10% YoY; the BBC's total radio listening share fell to 50.9%