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8:40 PM ET, December 23, 2020

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
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.
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 …
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
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Draft lawsuit filed last week says Facebook and Google agreed to help each other in case of investigation of their pact to work together in online advertising
Ryan Gallagher / Bloomberg:
A coalition of human rights and press freedom groups, including Reporters Without Borders, file an amicus brief in support of WhatsApp in its NSO Group lawsuit  —  - Filing of brief follows similar move by technology giants  — NSO Group's product can secretly access phone's contents
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.”
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 …
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
Sources: WaPo's Marty Baron indicated to colleagues he may step down soon but not before staff can return to the newsroom, which is June 1 at the earliest  —  Kevin Merida?  Steven Ginsberg?  Sources insist the paper hasn't officially started the search for a new leader …
 
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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: 
Angelique Jackson / Variety:
Blumhouse won a bidding war and will team up with NYT for a film or series based on a story about a Mexican mother who tracked down her daughter's killers
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
Jessica Bursztynsky / CNBC:
IAC says it plans to spin off its full stake in Vimeo, making it an independent, publicly trade company in Q2 2021