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7:20 AM ET, December 20, 2019


 Top News: 
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 …
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 …
Keida Kostreci / Voice of America:
Albania approves a set of anti-defamation laws which critics see as an attempt to muzzle the media and give the nation's top media regulator too much power  —  Albania's Parliament approved a controversial set of government-proposed anti-defamation laws on Wednesday, which critics say grant …
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.”
Chris Eggertsen / Billboard:
Jury finds Cox Communications liable for its customers' piracy of 10,000+ musical works, awards $1B to Sony Music, EMI, Universal, and Warner Music  —  Cox Communications was found liable for piracy infringement of more than 10,000 musical works by a U.S. District Court jury in Virgina on Thursday …
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
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  —  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the state's Television Diversity Tax Credit Bill into law on Thursday.
Discussion: Multichannel News, Variety and Deadline
Sara Guaglione / MediaPost:
The Atlantic's feature on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which was read for 30M+ “total engaged minutes”, is #1 in Chartbeat's Most Engaging Stories of 2019  —  Chartbeat, the digital publisher data and analytics company, has revealed its annual list of most engaging stories of the year.
Discussion: Chartbeat Blog
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  —  Facebook Inc. is pursuing rights to music videos from major record labels, programming that could boost interest in its Watch video service …
Discussion: CNET and Engadget, more at Techmeme »
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
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 …
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 More News: 
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
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
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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
Sources: Fox declined to run ads for Bombshell on its network, though Lions Gate did not attempt to advertise directly on Fox News
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