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12:30 AM ET, February 20, 2020

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Casey Egan / S&P Global:
During its Q4 earnings call, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen said that he believes the merger between DirecTV and Dish is “probably inevitable”  —  DISH Network Corp. Chairman Charlie Ergen believes it is “probably inevitable” that DISH and AT&T Inc.'s DIRECTV, as the two largest U.S. satellite pay TV providers, should merge.
RELATED:
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Report: traditional pay TV operators in the US lost ~6M subscribers in 2019, a decline of 7% YoY, dropping to about 83M by the year's end  —  The U.S. satellite and cable TV business declined at an unprecedented rate last year — with traditional pay-TV providers dropping a staggering 6 million customers, a 7% decline year-over-year.
Discussion: @mcproulx
Wall Street Journal:
China revokes press credentials of three WSJ reporters, ordering them to leave the country within five days as punishment for a recent opinion piece in the WSJ  —  China's Foreign Ministry says move was punishment for a recent opinion piece published by the Journal
The Hill:
The Hill posts its review of 14 John Solomon columns, says in some cases the sources were his own attorneys and he should have been labeled an opinion columnist  —  On Nov. 18, 2019, The Hill announced it was reviewing John Solomon's opinion columns on Ukraine after State Department diplomats …
New York Times:
E. Jean Carroll, the Elle magazine advice columnist who last year accused Trump of rape, says she was fired because of Trump's repeated insults against her  —  The longtime columnist blamed Donald J. Trump for her departure from the magazine, saying in a defamation lawsuit he had damaged her reputation by calling her a liar.
Cameron Wilson / BuzzFeed:
Facebook has 17M users in Australia but just seven fact checkers, from AFP and Australian Associated Press, who completed 220 fact checks since April 2019  —  “It's incredible the sheer speed at which lies travel, particularly when they're targeted at groups," one fact checker said.
Marc Tracy / New York Times:
Polk Award winners announced, including The Wichita Eagle, The Baltimore Sun, WaPo's The Afghanistan Papers, and a special award for NYT's The 1619 Project  —  The New York Times received four George Polk Awards on Wednesday, the most of any news organization, including one for The 1619 Project …
The Markup:
The Markup says it will begin publishing on February 25 and announces its board of directors  —  The Markup, a nonpartisan and nonprofit newsroom investigating how powerful institutions are using technology in ways that impact society, today announced its Board of Directors ahead of its February 25th launch.
Laura Wagner / VICE:
Vox claims it owns a SB Nation blogger's Twitter account with ~10K followers after an exec took over the contractor's account and changed login credentials  —  On Friday, Feb. 14, a senior executive from Vox Media managed to break into a sports blogger's Twitter account and change the login credentials …
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
Study: in Germany, news was the top genre on Apple Podcasts at 23.5% but on Spotify it was the fifth most popular genre at 8.36%, behind comedy and sports  —  We've written a lot (well, Nick Quah has written a lot) about Spotify's efforts to move in on Apple's 15-year position as the undisputed No. 1 platform for podcasts.
Lucinda Southern / Digiday:
German publisher Spiegel introduces Spiegel Pur, which offers content without ads and tracking for €4.99/mo for non-subscribers, €1.99/mo extra for subscribers  —  As privacy regulations and internet browsers tighten up, anti-tracking options emerge from publishers.
Discussion: @148
 
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 More News: 
Pew Research Center:
Survey: 23% of US adults who don't follow political news closely are very concerned about disinformation, compared to 75% of those who do follow news closely
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
An Edinburgh Evening News editor will oversee six Scottish newspapers, including The Scotsman, as JPI Media restructures newsrooms to focus on digital growth
Discussion: Behind Local News UK
Kayleigh Barber / Digiday:
The Information and Bloomberg are testing a digital subscription bundle which offers access to both publications, streams, newsletters, more, for $499 per year
Financial Times:
WHSmith removes the Daily Telegraph from its railway station outlets after the pub raised its cover price without increasing retailers' cut proportionately
Tom Kludt / Vanity Fair:
MSNBC's sway over Democratic politics is waning as Bernie Sanders opens a path to the nomination, similar to how Fox's power over the GOP was eclipsed by Trump
 Earlier Picks: 
Nicholas Quah / Hot Pod News:
Patreon has launched Patreon Capital, which provides creators with cash advances they pay back with slight interest using income earned on the platform
New York Times:
US designates Xinhua, CGTN, China Radio, China Daily, and The People's Daily as government entities, subject to the same rules as diplomats stationed in the US
CNN:
Senior Campaign Adviser Timothy O'Brien says Michael Bloomberg will sell Bloomberg LP if he is elected President
Hanaa' Tameez / Nieman Lab:
The AP StoryShare platform facilitates collaboration as newsrooms find and upload articles; 25 outlets have shared 200 stories since last month's launch