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5:05 PM ET, November 17, 2020


 Top News: 
Edmund Lee / New York Times:
Sources: News Corp is making a bid for Simon & Schuster; at least one offer for the publisher is for more than $1.7B, far above the minimum ViacomCBS had set  —  A sale of the venerable publisher of Stephen King and Hillary Clinton could fetch $1.7 billion and rev up consolidation in book publishing.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
YouTube is introducing audio-only ads for users who listen to music or podcasts in the background and letting advertisers buy ads targeted by mood  —  YouTube claims to be the world's biggest jukebox — and now it wants to wring more ad dollars from the platform's music fans.
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
How Real Clear Politics took a sharp right turn after donations from funds used by wealthy conservatives soared and it made business ties with The Federalist  —  Real Clear Politics has been catering to campaign obsessives since 2000.  It pitches itself as a “trusted, go-to source” for unbiased polling.
After its management bought the outlet from Uzabase, Quartz says it had a record week of signups, adding ~1,200 paying members, for a total of 25,000+ globally  —  Quartz enjoyed its best week ever for membership last week, adding nearly 1,200 new members.  The wave of signups came …
ProPublica selects six journalists for the inaugural edition of its Distinguished Fellows program, which will fund their salaries and benefits for three years  —  ProPublica announced on Monday six local reporters who have been selected as the inaugural members of the ProPublica Distinguished Fellows program.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Digital advertising service Outbrain launches newsletter curation app Listory, which includes 1,000+ newsletters and has a free tier and an ad-free, $5/mo. tier  —  Listory, a newsletter curation app created within the content recommendation company Outbrain, is launching this week, executives tell Axios.
Aurelien Breeden / New York Times:
Radio France Internationale accidentally published about 100 prewritten obituaries for prominent people as it moved its site to a new content management system  —  Queen Elizabeth II, Pelé and Clint Eastwood were among about 100 celebrities briefly reported as dead online by French public radio.
Sources: Sinclair is considering selling the naming rights of its 21 regional sports networks, possibly to sports betting partners  —  Sinclair Broadcast Group is considering selling naming rights to the 21 regional sports networks it acquired from Disney, according to multiple people familiar with the plans.
Tim Baysinger / The Wrap:
Conan O'Brien says he is ending his late-night TBS show in June 2021, then launching a weekly variety series on HBO Max  —  Conan O'Brien will end his late-night series “Conan” on TBS next year, but he's not leaving the WarnerMedia family.  He will then launch a new weekly variety series on HBO Max.
Clio Chang / Columbia Journalism Review:
Profile of Substack, whose founders insist it is a platform, not a media company, and say there is less need for moderation as readers opt in to newsletters  —  Did a newsletter company create a more equitable media system—or replicate the flaws of the old one?
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 More News: 
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
A roundup of 22 media-related analyses on the 2020 US election, including immediate thoughts, reflections, and early research insights from leading academics
New York Times:
Bookstores look to Obama's “A Promised Land” to buoy flagging sales; Crown has printed 3.4M copies for the US and Canada and 2.5M for international readers
Svea Herbst-Bayliss / Reuters:
Filing: Elliott Management, which took a $3.2B stake in AT&T in 2019 and pushed for leadership and strategy changes, has liquidated its investment
Discussion: @swanniontv
 Earlier Picks: 
Jeremy Fuster / The Wrap:
Universal signs with Cinemark to shorten theatrical window to 17 days, but films with $50M+ opening get 31 days, a new clause that sources say will apply to AMC
Jeremy Fuster / The Wrap:
Patricia Escárcega, LA Times' first Latinx food critic, denounces the paper, accusing it of paying her significantly less than her white male counterpart
Jennifer Maas / The Wrap:
WarnerMedia says HBO Max will be available on Amazon Fire devices from November 17
Financial Times:
Privacy campaigner Max Schrems files complaints in Spain and Germany claiming Apple's IDFA ad tracking tools unlawfully track users without consent
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Interview with President Macron on free speech and secularism, as he accuses the English-language press of “legitimizing” the violence of terrorist attacks