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1:50 PM ET, December 3, 2020


 Top News: 
Clare Jim / Reuters:
HK activist Jimmy Lai has been charged with fraud over the lease of the building that houses his Apple Daily paper; its daily operations shouldn't be impacted  —  HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was denied bail on Thursday on a charge …
Stephanie Sengwe / The Streamable:
HBO Max removes its free trial option ahead of the release of Wonder Woman 1984 on Dec. 25, mirroring a step Netflix and Disney+ have taken before big releases  —  It looks like there is a new trend emerging as HBO Max joins the list of streaming services doing away with the free trial option.
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Watchdog finds “substantial likelihood of wrongdoing” at VOA parent agency under Michael Pack; sources say they fear Pack will do more damage before he departs  —  The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog, disclosed Wednesday that it had found “a substantial likelihood …
William Turvill / Press Gazette:
Interview with Jarrod Dicker, WaPo's VP for commercial technology, about its revenue platform Zeus, which has signed up 100+ websites in its first year  —  Since the global financial crisis, news publishers - many hit by crippling revenue declines - have made several failed attempts to pool …
Julia Alexander / The Verge:
YouTube will warn users before they post comments that “may be offensive to others” and adds better content filter systems for creators  —  An attempt to weed out offensive comments  —  YouTube is trying to combat offensive comments that appear under videos by following …
US pay-TV subscribers will soon start receiving refunds and credits from providers, compensating them for the year's pandemic-related sports cancellations  —  - Customers are to get back the value of games that never aired  — Credits and ‘courtesy adjustments’ will show up on bills soon
Discussion: @kevinwhitelaw1
Lindsey Ellefson / The Wrap:
Sources: JD Heyman was ousted as EIC of EW after multiple senior staffers filed complaints to HR accusing him of inappropriate, racially insensitive comments  —  JD Heyman was ousted as the top editor at Meredith's Entertainment Weekly on Monday after multiple senior staffers filed complaints …
Dave McNary / Variety:
Updated Top Critic criteria on Rotten Tomatoes emphasize individual qualifications instead of outlets and include those working in other media like podcasts  —  Rotten Tomatoes has launched a new Top Critics program for its Tomatometer rating system, including new criteria aimed at boosting inclusion …
Discussion: The Wrap, Rotten Tomatoes and IndieWire
Abhrajyoti Chakraborty / New York Times:
Profile of Anand Patwardhan, a leading documentarian in India, who says he is now forced to hold screenings in secret due to threats from Hindu nationalists  —  Anand Patwardhan spent decades tracking the rise of Hindu nationalism.  And now, under an increasingly repressive government, he holds his screenings in secret.
Steve Pond / The Wrap:
Sundance Film Festival replaces its Park City, Utah, event with a virtual festival that will take place from Jan. 28-Feb. 3 on a custom-designed online platform  —  In an attempt to maintain a sense of community at a time when large gatherings are impossible, the Sundance Film Festival …
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 More News: 
Elahe Izadi / Washington Post:
Trump lawyer Joseph diGenova, who suggested an ex-government official be executed, resigns under pressure from The Gridiron Club, a Washington media social club
Berber Jin / Business Insider:
Ex-Pando journalist Paul Carr is starting a news site, Techworker; contributors include Google Walkout organizer Claire Stapleton, Pando founder Sarah Lacy
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Hulu's Watch Party feature is now expanding to all subscribers, allows up to seven other subscribers to join, and will have a “click to catch up button”
Group Nine Media:
Thrillist launches a vertical, The New Gameplan, with content about food, drinks, sports, fan traditions, and home entertaining during a socially distanced era
Discussion: MediaPost
Rachelle Hampton / Slate:
A look at the disconnect between how the Black community sees Charlamagne tha God and how white media portrays him as that community's political voice
 Earlier Picks: 
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Amazon is in exclusive talks to buy Wondery, in a deal valuing the podcast network at $300M+; Wondery's on track to increase revenue to $40M+ this year
Michelle Gao / CNBC:
Discovery to launch its streaming service, Discovery+, in Jan. 2021, with a $4.99 per month ad-supported tier and a $6.99 per month ad-free tier
Julia Alexander / The Verge:
TikTok appears to be experimenting with allowing three-minute videos, up from its current 60-second limit
J. Clara Chan / The Wrap:
After Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe called in to a morning CNN editorial call with Jeff Zucker, CNN says it has referred the incident to law enforcement