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9:35 PM ET, December 21, 2019

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Davey Alba / New York Times:
Facebook and Twitter shut down a network of fake accounts using AI-generated faces to “masquerade” as Americans; Facebook links the network to Epoch Media Group  —  Researchers said the profiles, linked to the Epoch Media Group, used photos generated by artificial intelligence in a preview of an …
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Stephen Gregory / The Epoch Times:
Epoch Media Group asks Facebook to withdraw claim that it is involved with The BL, which was tied to fake accounts, says Epoch Times Vietnam publishes The BL  —  Facebook claims that it has removed accounts operated by the website BL that are linked to The Epoch Media Group.
John Ourand / Sports Business Daily:
CBS says it will end its SEC football contract after 2023; sources: ESPN/ABC in final talks to take over, paying over 6x the $55M/year that CBS currently pays  —  CBS will walk away from the SEC when its contract ends after the 2023 football season, and all indications are that the package will move to ESPN/ABC.
Alan Rappeport / New York Times:
Columbia University finds Monica Crowley committed “localized instances of plagiarism” in a dissertation but concludes she did not commit research misconduct  —  An investigation concluded that the Treasury Department's top spokeswoman did not commit research misconduct, but required extensive revisions.
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.’
Bryan Curtis / The Ringer:
Profile of Josh Katzenstein, who once covered the New Orleans Saints for the Times-Picayune and who has transferred his reporting skills to CBD product sales  —  For now, at least.  The New Orleans Saints journalist who lost his job this year has made a career transition.
Craig Newmark / Nieman Lab:
2020 prediction: some newsrooms will adopt rules requiring tweets, headlines, and stories to never present falsities without first clearly stating the truth  —  Craig Newmark is the founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.  —  For 2019, I predicted that news organizations …
Deanna Ting / Digiday:
Small publishers see more traffic from mobile news aggregators like TopBuzz, News Break, and Flipboard, than Facebook and Google  —  This November, Inquisitr CEO Dominick Miserandino noticed that TopBuzz News, the news aggregator app from ByteDance, the same company behind wildly popular …
Lacey Rose / Hollywood Reporter:
Q&A with WarnerMedia's Bob Greenblatt on pitching streaming at NBC in 2015, the limits of HBO without HBO Max, and how streaming gives a home to midlevel movies  —  AT&T's new streaming service chief opens up about his strategy to expand a treasured brand with 10,000 hours of programs targeting a younger demo.
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.
Discussion: @craigsilverman
 
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 More News: 
Omar Rashid / The Hindu:
The Hindu's Omar Rashid recalls how police detained and threatened him before letting him go, amid a crackdown in India on protests against a citizenship bill
Alex Sherman / CNBC:
Sources: NBC's Peacock to integrate NBC News Now, have a free, limited-content tier, a limited-ads tier for $5/month, and an ad-free tier for $10/month
Business Wire:
Triton to start publishing monthly reports on top networks and podcasts ranked by weekly downloads; NPR, Stitcher, Radio.com, and Cumulus have signed on
Discussion: RAIN News, @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
Discussion: Chartbeat Blog
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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
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