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6:30 PM ET, December 19, 2019


 Top News: 
Megan Graham / CNBC:
Ad exchange Rubicon Project agrees to merge with video advertising management platform Telaria, to better compete with Google and Facebook  —  - 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 …
Stanford Internet Observatory:
Microsoft's Bing appears to return an alarming amount of disinformation for user queries, far more than Google does, based on a test of 13 queries  —  Bing's importance in the information landscape of the U.S. shouldn't be overlooked.  While its share of the search market in the U.S. might …
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
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, @whatthebit and @noonanjo
Tim Baysinger / The Wrap:
NY governor signs a bill prompting a study of opportunities for female and minority TV writers and directors and providing $5M to spur more diversity in hiring  —  State will allocate $5 million in tax credits to incentivize the hiring of women and people of color
Discussion: Multichannel News, Variety and Deadline
Association of American Publishers:
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 135 scientific research and publishing organizations join together in opposition to proposed Administration policy …
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.
Quartz names Katherine Bell as editor-in-chief, succeeding Kevin Delaney; Bell has served as EIC of Barron's magazine and worked at Harvard Business Review  —  Quartz announced today the appointment of Katherine Bell as editor-in-chief.  Bell brings a wealth of business journalism and leadership experience …
Gavin Bridge / Variety:
Analysis: Netflix has released 371 original TV shows and movies in the US in 2019, a 54.6% increase over 2018 and more than the entire US TV industry in 2005  —  371 series, movies represents over 50% increase in streaming service's content volume vs. 2018  —  Netflix averaged …
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.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
NBC News forms a team to report on US election security issues, led by SVP Janelle Rodriguez, and has created a dedicated landing page called Vote Watch  —  NBC News has created a new editorial team to report on issues related to U.S. election security and voting called “Vote Watch.”
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 More News: 
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Sources: Facebook is pursuing rights to music videos from record labels to boost interest in Watch, has already begun testing music videos in Thailand and India
Discussion: CNET and Engadget, more at Techmeme »
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
Todd Spangler / Variety:
TiVo to merge with technology licensing company Xperi; the combined company will have a fully diluted equity value of $2.4B, with TiVo owning ~53.5% of it
 Earlier Picks: 
Sources: Fox declined to run ads for Bombshell on its network, though Lions Gate did not attempt to advertise directly on Fox News
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
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