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6:30 PM ET, December 8, 2020


 Top News: 
Kim Masters / Hollywood Reporter:
WarnerMedia's decision to debut 2021 films on HBO Max had blindsided creatives and their reps; sources: Warner Bros. COO Carolyn Blackwood came up with the plan  —  To many insiders, WarnerMedia's blindsiding of talent and their reps with a reveal that it's sending 17 films directly to HBO Max in 2021 felt like an insult.
Dade Hayes / Deadline:
AT&T CEO says HBO Max now has 12.6M subscribers in the US, up from 8.6M at the end of Q3; ~30% of HBO subscribers have exercised their right to access HBO Max  —  HBO Max, which closed the third quarter at 8.6 million activated subscribers in the U.S., has added another four million …
Sources: Legendary, which co-financed Dune, is considering suing Warner Bros. over its decision to release movies simultaneously on HBO Max and in cinemas
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Q&A with Substack CEO Chris Best on why it is not a media company, content moderation, making a reader app for users to easily read their newsletters, and more  —  On today's episode of Decoder, I'm talking to Chris Best, co-founder and CEO of Substack, the subscription newsletter startup that's taken …
Michael J. Socolow / Nieman Lab:
Substack isn't a new model for journalism, but it's better than the “tip jar” financing model and might help retrain readers to pay for good journalism  —  Since 2017, Substack has provided aspiring web pundits with a one-stop service for distributing their work and collecting fees from readers.
David Folkenflik / @davidfolkenflik:
[Thread] Sources: USAGM CEO Michael Pack has removed acting VOA Director Elez Biberaj and intends to name conservative writer Robert Reilly to replace him
Sam Kille / Report for America:
Report for America expands to 200+ newsrooms that will host 300+ journalists next year; 33%+ of beats cover communities of color, 50% of outlets are nonprofits  —  Report for America unveils more than sixty new newsroom partners—including a doubling of Black and Hispanic owned media—and opens the application window for new reporters
Jason Lynch / Adweek:
Nielsen introduces Nielsen One, a video analytics tool that will measure total video consumption across linear and digital platforms, to debut in Q4 2022  —  But the new solution, Nielsen One, won't be ready until late 2022  —  Farewell, Total Audience Measurement.  Hello, Nielsen One.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
STAT hit $10M+ in revenue this year, up 66% YoY, plans to grow staff ~40% in 2021, and has 6M MAUs, up from ~1.5M pre-pandemic; ad deal volume rose 33% YoY  —  STAT News is planning a big expansion next year, thanks in part to explosive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sarah Scire / Nieman Lab:
Scroll, which offers ad-free browsing at 300+ sites, partners with McClatchy to bundle Scroll membership with McClatchy subscriptions at 8 McClatchy news sites  —  A little less than a year after launch, Scroll is partnering with McClatchy to experiment with bundling subscriptions to its ad-free network.
Brian Braiker / Brooklyn Magazine:
Brooklyn Magazine relaunches under EIC Brian Braiker, former Ad Age EIC; Braiker and a partner bought the outlet and The L Magazine from Northside Media Group  —  So you think New York is dead?  We here in Brooklyn see things differently.  —  Today we are introducing a new Brooklyn Magazine …
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Challenger, Gray & Christmas: of the 30,000 media jobs lost in 2020 in the US, 16,000 were in digital, print, and broadcast newsrooms  —  Data: Challenger, Gray & Christmas; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios.  Newsroom jobs include jobs in digital, print and broadcast.
Discussion: @thebradmielke
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 More News: 
Kelsey Sutton / Adweek:
AMC Networks' UMC, a streaming service that focuses on Black television and cinema, is rebranding to AllBlk in January
Discussion: Variety and Hollywood Reporter
Karl Bode / VICE:
Senate votes 49-47 to appoint Trump ally Nathan Simington to the FCC for a five-year term, which could mire the FCC in partisan gridlock
Jon Porter / The Verge:
YouTube expands HDR support to live streams; HDR lets videos show a wider range of colors and brightness
Adweek promotes Lisa Granatstein to chief content officer, overseeing editorial and events, and Stephanie Pateric to editor-in-chief
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
Aides say Biden's media diet includes the Atlantic, NYT, WaPo, WSJ, Philly Inquirer, Delaware News-Journal; he watches some MSNBC and Fox News, uses Apple News
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
Howard Stern signs a five-year deal with SiriusXM, which has also licensed his show's archive for seven years
 Earlier Picks: 
Jem Aswad / Variety:
How Spotify's New Music Friday playlist, entirely curated by human editors and with 3.6M subscribers, has become an important part of launching new songs
Dominic Rushe / The Guardian:
Profile of former Wonkette owner Ken Layne, who refuses to establish an online presence for his pocket-sized mag, The Desert Oracle, which has become a cult hit
Washington Post:
An investigation into the 2012 killing of Mexican reporter Regina Martínez, one of the 27+ journalists killed in the country's Veracruz region since 2003
Ellen Peirson-Hagger / New Statesman:, considered an “ethical” alternative to Amazon, faces increasing skepticism from independent booksellers who say they earn more via direct sales
Wall Street Journal:
MSNBC names SVP of News Rashida Jones as its next president, the first Black executive to run a major cable news network; Phil Griffin will leave in January
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
After Google's announcement in May that it would start blocking “heavy” ads in Chrome, it is now blocking some ads that publishers sell if they hog resources