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2:10 PM ET, December 19, 2019


 Top News: 
Megan Graham / CNBC:
Ad tech companies Rubicon Project and Telaria have merged, creating a major independent sell-side ad platform  —  - Public ad tech companies Telaria and Rubicon Project have agreed to merge as they try to make a stronger play in the growth of connected television and bring an alternative to walled gardens like Google and Facebook.
Kayleigh Barber / Digiday:
Snopes to launch a new membership model in early 2020 with access to Snopes editors via a community board; prices start at $30 per year  —  Fact-checking site Snopes is hoping to transition away from its dependence on advertising.  So it is asking its supporters to help the brand grow in 2020.
Discussion: @snopes
Tamar Lapin / New York Post:
Cooper Hefner joins the US Air Force, putting on hold his earlier plans to launch a media company separate from Playboy  —  Hugh Hefner's son Cooper has joined the Air Force.  —  The youngest child of the late Playboy founder departed for basic training Tuesday, his wife, “Harry Potter” actress Scarlett Byrne, posted on Instagram.
Discussion: Fox News and @whatthebit
Research and publishing orgs pen letter against proposed policy to mandate free distribution of peer-reviewed journal articles reporting on govt-funded research  —  MORE THAN 125 SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND PUBLISHING ORGANIZATIONS JOIN TOGETHER IN OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED ADMINISTRATION POLICY …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
TiVo announces a ~$3 billion merger with Xperi, a company that sells audio, imaging and computing tech, scrapping its plan to split into two companies  —  TiVo has scrapped plans to split itself into two separate companies, and instead announced a $3 billion merger with Xperi …
Trey Williams / The Wrap:
TikTok rival Triller announces investments from notable music industry figures totaling $10M+, source says; Triller says it has 26.5M MAUs in the US  —  Triller, a music-focused social video platform rivaling TikTok, has secured strategic investments from major music industry figures amounting to more than $10 million.
Aminda Marqués González / Miami Herald:
Miami Herald to drop Saturday print edition starting March 21 in favor of expanded Friday and Sunday editions  —  To our readers:  —  The Miami Herald is changing to meet the needs of our readers and the communities we serve long into the future.  Providing the news that's essential to your life …
Discussion: Poynter, MediaPost and Talking Biz News
Tripp Mickle / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Apple executives met with MGM representatives and the Pac-12 Conference this year to find ways to broaden the appeal of Apple TV app and TV+  —  Tech giant is considering ways to broaden the appeal of its Apple TV app and TV+ service that launched with nine original programs
Discussion: 9to5Mac
Sources: Fox declined to run ads for Bombshell on its network, though Lions Gate did not attempt to advertise directly on Fox News  —  - Lions Gate sought to promote the film on Fox network  —  Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corp. declined to run advertisements for “Bombshell,” …
Raissa Robles / South China Morning Post:
Philippine court finds an ex-mayor and four family members guilty of murder of 57 in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, which included a large group of journalists  —  Ampatuan political dynasty sought to quash an election challenge by rounding up rivals and journalists, killing them and dumping bodies …
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 More News: 
Rebecca Rubin / Variety:
Imax surpasses $1B in ticket sales for the second year in a row with release of the new Star Wars film
Discussion: The Wrap
Independence Media:
Philadelphia's Independence Public Media Foundation announces a second round of grants, totaling $4.3M, to Media Mobilizing Project, Free Press, Chalkbeat, more
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
A group formed by 3 former Fox News staffers who sued Fox or Roger Ailes ask presidential candidates to condemn NDAs dealing with workplace environment issues
 Earlier Picks: 
Evette Alexander / Knight Foundation:
Knight study of 86M+ tweets: CNN and Yahoo! News attract a politically balanced following; the center left is the most vocal segment discussing political news
Paul Blest / The Outline:
Publishers like Hearst should realize that opposing unions is counterproductive, as it delays the inevitable, costs money, and could ruin morale
Andy Serwer / Yahoo News:
Talking Biz News, which tracks business journalists, was quietly sold to Qwoted, a site owned by two PR firms whose clients include newsrooms like Bloomberg