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1:40 PM ET, December 20, 2019


 Top News: 
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
ViacomCBS acquires 49% stake in Miramax, which is owned by BeIN, for $375M  —  The L.A.-based company, which has been owned by Doha-based BeIN Media Group and run by CEO Bill Block, has a library with 700-plus titles, including such Oscar winners as ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Chicago.’
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 …
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
NY judge dismisses appeal by Michael Leidig of Central European News in libel case against BuzzFeed, saying he failed to prove BuzzFeed's reporting was false  —  News agency boss Michael Liedig has had his appeal against a libel judgment that backed Buzzfeed's 2015 story dubbing him the “king of bullshit news” thrown out.
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 …
Business Wire:
Triton to start publishing monthly reports on top networks and podcasts ranked by weekly downloads; NPR, Stitcher,, and Cumulus have signed on  —  NEW YORK—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Triton Digital®, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio and podcast industry …
Discussion: @nwquah and Radio Ink
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
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 …
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 …
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
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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
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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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+