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2:10 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Hicks Equity Partners, a PE firm with ties to a co-chair of RNC, has held talks in recent months about acquiring and investing in Newsmax
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.
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  —  “A Promised Land” is a potential lifeline for booksellers whose sales have plummeted during the pandemic.
Bijan Stephen / The Verge:
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Sources: Instagram is considering a plan to create a revenue share program with publishers for IGTV ads; it's funded BuzzFeed and ATTN: content recently  —  Instagram is mulling plans to pay publishers on its platform as it grows as a news and information source for users, sources tell Axios.
Discussion: @mattnavarra and @leratomannya
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 More News: 
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
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
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:
Baidu says it will buy Joyy's Chinese livestreaming business YY Live, which touts 4M paying users who can tip their favorite performers, for ~$3.6B
Discussion: Variety and TechCrunch
Elaine Low / Variety:
NBC's co-president of scripted programming Tracey Pakosta is leaving the company to join Netflix as its head of comedy
 Earlier Picks: 
Tim Baysinger / The Wrap:
Beatrice Springborn, most recently VP of content development at Hulu, named as the new president of NBCUniversal's Universal Content Productions
Discussion: Hollywood Reporter and Variety
Natalie Jarvey / Hollywood Reporter:
Hulu says it will raise the price of its Hulu+ Live TV service from $55 to $65 per month on December 18
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