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7:40 PM ET, December 18, 2020


 Top News: 
David Folkenflik / NPR:
NYT retracts the core of Caliphate after a review finds that the podcast gave too much credence to its central character and reassigns Rukmini Callimachi  —  Toggle more options  —  The New York Times has retracted the core of its hit 2018 podcast series Caliphate after an internal review found …
Michael Schneider / Variety:
The New York Times has agreed to return the Peabody Award it won for Caliphate, following its retraction of core elements of the podcast series  —  Now that the New York Times has revealed that it can no longer confirm the tales shared by Shehroze Chaudhry, the central figure in the 2018 podcast …
Discussion: The Wrap
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Digital publishers including BuzzFeed, Group Nine, and Axios are prepping for a wave of consolidation, via acquisitions or going public through SPACs  —  Big players explore acquiring rivals and going public through blank-check companies  —  Momentum is building toward consolidation …
Dade Hayes / Deadline:
In a memo, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell says that Premier League soccer coverage is Peacock's number one driver of premium subscriptions and engagement  —  EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell didn't mince words about the “bad dream” that was 2020, but touted the success of Peacock and laid …
Discussion: The Streamable
Celine Castronuovo / The Hill:
The Washington Post plans to add 150 jobs next year, bringing its total staff to a record high of more than 1,000  —  The Washington Post plans to add more than 150 jobs to its newsroom next year, bringing its total staff to a record high of more than 1,000, the newspaper confirmed to The Hill Thursday.
Dominic Ponsford / Press Gazette:
FT's union suspends pay negotiations after learning that ex-EIC Lionel Barber made £1.92M in 2019 despite profit falling to £1.89M from £8.2M in 2018  —  Former FT editor Lionel Barber received pay and pension benefits worth £1.92m in 2019 as the FT Ltd …
Elaine Low / Variety:
Charli D'Amelio and her family will star in The D'Amelio Show, an eight-episode docuseries on Hulu that will follow “the first family of TikTok”  —  Charli D'Amelio, who at 16 rocketed to fame with over 150 million followers on TikTok, is getting her own show on Hulu alongside her sister …
Brandy Zadrozny / NBC News:
Some local news stations are credulously covering anti-vaxxers' response to the COVID-19 vaccine and failing to feature doctors or public health advocates  —  Friday night's newscast on WFXG-TV in Augusta, Georgia, a Fox affiliate, featured some exciting news: The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center …
Karlene Lukovitz / MediaPost:
Survey: US consumers used seven SVOD and free streaming services in October, up from five in April; 47% used free services in October, up from 39% in April  —  - by Karlene Lukovitz @KLmarketdaily, Yesterday  —  U.S consumers who stream now use seven subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) …
Robert Channick / Chicago Tribune:
Tribune agrees to sell product review site BestReviews to Nexstar for $160M and will enter into a licensing and revenue-sharing agreement for use of its content  —  Tribune Publishing and BR Holding Co. will sell the BestReviews website to TV station owner Nexstar Media Group for $160 million, the companies announced Wednesday.
Jack Morse / Mashable:
Twitter says it will stop prompting users to Quote Tweet, restoring the standard RT functionality, and says QT use increased but overall sharing dropped by 20%  —  Well, it was worth a shot.  —  Twitter announced Wednesday that it will cease prompting users to quote tweet in lieu of the standard retweet.
Twitter says it will start its new verification policy on January 21 and is developing profile labels to designate bots and memorial accounts
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 More News: 
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Hulu reaches agreement with Nexstar to bring back 20 ABC affiliates to Hulu + Live TV and launch WGN America on the service in January
Taylor Lorenz / Nieman Lab:
As journalists adopt influencer tactics for solo businesses, they'll see more drawbacks that influencers have faced, including reliance on fickle tech platforms
 Earlier Picks: 
Patricia Nilsson / Financial Times:
An investigation into who owns MindGeek, the secretive company behind Pornhub, which had $460M in revenue in 2018 and has 115M+ daily visitors to its sites
Patience Haggin / Wall Street Journal:
As its revenue surges, Roku has become increasingly forceful in its negotiations with media companies, as evidenced by its fights with Fox and WarnerMedia
Ben Collins / Nieman Lab:
Lots of Americans slipped into conspiracy thinking in the pandemic; we'll need news outlets and others to explain how fantasy took hold and how we can dig out