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5:30 AM ET, January 19, 2020

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 Top News: 
CNN:
Three Capitol Hill press orgs issue statements supporting CNN's Manu Raju after Sen. Martha McSally's “liberal hack” remark, calling it “inappropriate”  —  New York (CNN Business)The Capitol Hill press corps on Friday rallied behind Manu Raju, CNN's senior congressional correspondent …
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Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Senate impeachment trial press restrictions force reporters into pens and prevent them from the common practice of interviewing senators in the Senate basement  —  New York (CNN Business)Reporters on Capitol Hill are facing a security crackdown that limits their ability to question US Senators during …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Spotify in early talks to buy The Ringer, founded by Bill Simmons, which has a podcast network that had revenue of $15M+ in 2018  —  The Ringer, founded in 2016 by former ESPN commentator Bill Simmons, has over 30 podcasts  —  Spotify Technology SA is in talks to buy sports …
Variety:
Disney drops the “Fox” brand for some units, with 20th Century Fox becoming 20th Century Studios and Fox Searchlight Pictures changed to Searchlight Pictures  —  The mouse has officially killed the fox.  —  In a move at once unsurprising and highly symbolic …
New York Times:
Oprah confirms Russell Simmons pressured her to drop support for a documentary about women who accused him of rape or assault  —  Ms. Winfrey acknowledged that Russell Simmons pushed her to abandon a documentary about his accusers, but said her own concerns led her to pull support.
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Facebook removes a network of several dozen Pages that were coordinating posts defending a Trump impeachment probe figure, which BuzzFeed first revealed in Nov.  —  Some of the pages describe themselves as representing groups of supporters of President Trump from different states
New York Times:
In a Q&A, Joe Biden says Section 230 should be immediately revoked for Facebook and other platforms and that Zuckerberg should be submitted to civil liability  —  The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.
Politico:
Researchers: France Libre 24, a far-right site which looks like a French news outlet and has ~150K visitors/mo, is run by a group of Polish far-right activists  —  Research conducted by EU DisinfoLab and POLITICO prompts backers of France Libre 24 to disclose their ties to Poland.
Catherine Adams / Nieman Lab:
Newsrooms in Europe, inspired by the US' Pop-Up Magazine, are experimenting with live news formats, like presenting unpublished stories, in theaters  —  Audiences want proximity and, perhaps more than ever, humanity.  Telling stories in a real physical space can be an antidote to the virtual epidemic.
Thanks:@sdp
Alex Hern / The Guardian:
Study finds the world's biggest brands, including Samsung and L'Oreal, are unwittingly running ads alongside climate misinformation videos on YouTube  —  Avaaz says firms are unaware commercials being played alongside misleading videos  —  Some of the biggest companies in the world …
Tim Ingham / Music Business Worldwide:
SoundCloud's filing in the UK shows its 2018 revenue grew 19% YoY to ~$127M, with operating losses dropping to $38.7M  —  If there's one stat that says everything about the recovery of SoundCloud in recent years, it's this: in calendar 2017, the company turned over circa $102m.
 
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 More News: 
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
A deep look at NYT's Opinion section, with changes coming in February that will streamline operations, blending the editorial board with the op-ed team
Ben Sisario / New York Times:
Recording Academy's removal of its CEO came three weeks after she filed a memo about voting irregularities and financial mismanagement
 Earlier Picks: 
Madhumita Murgia / Financial Times:
Exec at ICO, the UK's data protection regulator, says adtech companies are not complying with GDPR and must “prepare for the ICO to utilize its wider powers”
Gerry Smith / Bloomberg:
In an attempt to diversify into non-politics coverage, Fox News' streaming service Fox Nation will add programming for country music, hunting, fishing, and more
Discussion: Best Evidence
Adam Goldman / New York Times:
Sources: DOJ is investigating a years-old leak about a Russian intelligence document, focusing on whether James Comey illegally supplied details to reporters
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Facebook puts off its effort to build ads into WhatsApp as it focuses on B2C communications, but will sell ads in WhatsApp's Status at some point
Julia Alexander / The Verge:
NBC says Peacock will launch on July 15 and have a free tier with limited programming and two premium tiers, at $4.99/month with ads and $9.99/month with no ads