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8:00 AM ET, December 24, 2020

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Bloomberg:
Source: Square has held talks to acquire music streaming service Tidal, which Jay-Z acquired for $56M in early 2015  —  - Streaming music platform has struggled to keep up with Spotify  — Dorsey has met with Jay-Z multiple times during the pandemic  —  Square Inc., the digital-payment …
Washington Post:
A study using 96,000 searches found that Google News put far more national news outlets than local outlets at the top of search results, even for local queries  —  Our audit reveals that Google News sends readers — and advertising dollars — away from local news outlets.
Julia Alexander / The Verge:
2020 has been the beginning of major streaming exclusivity plays, forcing users to pay for four or five services as big studios prioritize their own platforms  —  End-of-year turnover is always rough, and it's going to get worse  —  Two of the biggest movies people want to talk about this week …
Sarah Ellison / Washington Post:
Profile of Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo and her transformation from a serious business reporter to Trump cheerleader, most recently in a friendly interview  —  Maria Bartiromo is the solo host of more than 16 hours of television every week on sister networks Fox News and Fox Business.
Nadezhda Tsydenova / Reuters:
Russian lawmakers pass a bill allowing authorities to block or restrict websites like YouTube if they “discriminate” against Russian media, like RT  —  MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's lower house of parliament voted on Wednesday to pass legislation allowing authorities to block …
Discussion: Interfax-Ukraine
Ruti Levy / Haaretz:
Sources: Israeli content recommendation company Taboola is in talks to merge with ION group's SPAC that raised $259M in October  —  'There's no company with revenues of $100 million that's not considering going public,' source says after massive deal falls apart three months ago
Discussion: Sifted
Alexandra Steigrad / New York Post:
SEC filing shows Oprah Winfrey got a less than 1% stake in Discovery in a deal that a source says raised Discovery's ownership in OWN from 73% to 95%  —  Oprah Winfrey has swapped most of her interest in OWN for a small ownership in Discovery, home of TLC's trashy hit reality series, “90 Day Fiancé.”
Keach Hagey / Wall Street Journal:
Unredacted Google antitrust suit: execs referred to attempts to undermine header bidding and force publishers back onto their ad server as the “Holy Grail”  —  Accusations by Texas and nine other states give ground to publishers' frustrations that the digital-ad economy is rigged
Bente Birkeland / Colorado Public Radio:
A top Dominion Voting Systems staffer, who went into hiding after becoming the subject of conspiracies, is suing Newsmax, OANN, and others, alleging defamation  —  A top employee of Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, Eric Coomer, has sued the campaign of President Donald Trump …
 
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 More News: 
The Wire:
Ofcom fines Indian TV channel Republic Bharat £20K for hate speech against Pakistani people in a program hosted by EIC Arnab Goswami and broadcast last year
Bethan McKernan / The Guardian:
Turkey sentences Can Dündar, exiled ex-EIC of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet and a vocal critic of Erdoğan, to 27+ years in jail on terrorism-related charges
Jessica Jerreat / Voice of America:
Two bills Congress OK'ed would limit powers of USAGM's Michael Pack; Pack announced new heads at Radio Free Asia and Middle East Broadcasting Network on Tuesday
Sara Fischer / Axios:
NewsGuard: 17% of engagement among the top 100 news sources on social media in 2020 was with sources NewsGuard considers unreliable, compared to 8% in 2019
 Earlier Picks: 
Shoshana Wodinsky / Gizmodo:
An explainer on digital advertising's header bids, third-party brand safety vendors, and “evercookies”, illustrated by a ubiquitous pajama onesie ad
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
Brian Calle, CEO of LA Weekly owner Street Media, has acquired The Village Voice, plans to restart its website in January, and also plans quarterly print issues
Jon Allsop / Columbia Journalism Review:
A look at current ideas for federal journalism funding, including a revival of the New Deal Federal Writers' Project to hire journalists to capture this moment
Alex Gallagher / NME:
The COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress includes the Felony Streaming Bill, which makes illegal streaming for profit a felony, with up to 10 years jail time