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7:25 PM ET, December 31, 2020

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 Top News: 
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Boards of RFE/RL and Radio Free Asia and their chairman Michael Pack have added binding contractual agreements that they can't be removed for the next two years  —  Michael Pack's stormy tenure over the federal agency that oversees government-funded broadcasters abroad — including Voice of America — appears to be coming to a close.
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Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Letter signed by leaders of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's news division and editorial board says Michael Pack appointed a board of “inexperienced” partisans  —  - Leaders of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty blasted the Trump-appointed CEO of the U.S. federal media agency.
Michael J. de la Merced / New York Times:
Alden says it is bidding for full control of Tribune Publishing, in which it has a ~32% stake, with an offer that values the newspaper chain at about $520.6M  —  Alden Global Capital, which is already Tribune's biggest shareholder, valued the company at about $520.6 million.
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Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Alden Global is seeking to buy Tribune Publishing, in which it already owns a 32% stake  —  Hedge fund already owns 32% of the Chicago Tribune publisher  —  A hedge fund that owns a big stake in Tribune Publishing Co. is seeking to buy the newspaper chain behind titles including …
Wall Street Journal:
Top nine streaming services to end 2020 with combined US subscribers up 50%+ YoY; US households now subscribe to 3.1 services on average, up from 2.7 in 2019  —  From Hulu to Disney+, largest streaming services are expected to end the year with 50% more U.S. subscribers
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MediaPost:
Parks Associates: 20% of US broadband households currently use ad-supported streaming services and 15% use a freemium service, like Peacock  —  - by Karlene Lukovitz @KLmarketdaily, Yesterday  —  Twenty percent of U.S. broadband households currently use an ad-supported OTT service …
About Amazon:
Amazon plans to acquire podcast network Wondery, which will join Amazon Music  —  We've signed an agreement to acquire Wondery, a top-rated podcast creator and producer that entertains and educates listeners.  —  We're pleased to announce that Wondery—an innovative podcast publisher …
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Lauren Hirsch / New York Times:
Source: Amazon's acquisition of Wondery values the podcasting company, which began in 2016, at roughly $300M  —  The deal, valued at $300 million, is the latest in a string of acquisitions as streaming platforms expand beyond music and video.  —  Amazon is acquiring Wondery …
Steve Inskeep / NPR:
Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki on not letting the briefing room become a “platform for propaganda”, engaging with right-wing media, dealing with leaks, more  —  Toggle more options  —  President-elect Joe Biden's choice for White House press secretary says she will restore a tradition.
Rachel Olding / The Daily Beast:
The 5 female anchors at NY1 who sued for age and gender discrimination say they have mutually agreed to leave the local news station after settling their suit  —  STARS DEPART  —  Five female anchors at NY1 said Thursday they have “mutually agreed” to leave the local news station after settling …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
ESPN Plus is raising the annual subscription for new subscribers by 20%, from $49.99 to $59.99, and increasing the price of UFC pay-per-view events to $69.99  —  UFC fans are going to pay more to catch the promoter's premiere fights on Disney's ESPN Plus streaming sports package next year.
 
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 More News: 
Cevheri Güven / Turkish Minute:
A YouTube channel run from Germany by exiled Turkish journalists was shut down due to copyright claims from Turkey; one expert blames YouTube's Turkey office
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:
Acting attorney general says WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl's accused killer could be prosecuted in the US if Pakistani courts fail to keep him in jail
Elizabeth A. Harris / New York Times:
Association of American Publishers: audiobooks revenue is up 17%+ YoY, e-book sales are up 16%+; NPD BookScan says US print book sales are up ~8% in 2020
 Earlier Picks: 
John Hopewell / Variety:
Comscore: global box office fell between 57%, in the Netherlands, and 76%, in UK, vs. 2019, depending on length of closure and strength of local movie industry
Discussion: Variety
Dave Lee / Financial Times:
FactSet: Amazon's “other” business unit, which is made up almost entirely of its ads business, will make $21B in revenue in 2020, up 47% YoY
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Interviews with 15 longtime Fox News loyalists on why they switched to Newsmax, often seeking programming that denies Joe Biden's victory
Wall Street Journal:
Unredacted draft version of the lawsuit filed by 10 states earlier this month details a Google-Facebook ad deal that allegedly constituted illegal price fixing