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8:10 AM ET, December 31, 2020

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 Top News: 
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 …
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
RELATED:
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 …
Lisa Richwine / Reuters:
Nielsen: Fox News tops all news and basic cable channels for the fifth consecutive year, averaging 1.9M viewers/day; CNN had its most-watched year in history  —  LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ratings for Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel topped all news and basic cable channels for a fifth straight year in 2020 …
Discussion: TVNewser
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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
Reuters:
Reuters cameraman Kumerra Gemechu has been detained in Ethiopia without charge; police say they are investigating allegations of spreading false information  —  NAIROBI (Reuters) - Reuters cameraman Kumerra Gemechu has been held in solitary confinement for nearly a week without charge …
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  —  If Pakistanis fail to keep suspect imprisoned, U.S. stands ready, acting attorney general says  —  The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday raised …
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  —  With people stuck at home and so many other activities shut down, a lot of reading — or at least a lot of book buying — happened this year.
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  —  Savaged by COVID-19, global box office plunged between 57% and 76% in major markets outside the U.S., with the U.K. and Ireland leading the rout …
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  —  Ads unit is growing faster than retail or cloud computing divisions  —  The surge in online shopping triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic …
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  —  Lawmakers have called for an investigation into the tech giants' contract, dubbed ‘Jedi Blue,’ which allegedly allowed for auction rigging
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: 
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Verizon is telling Fios TV customers that nine local Hearst stations may go dark on Fios on Jan. 1, saying Hearst is demanding carriage fee hikes of 45%+
Committee to Protect Journalists:
Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Moroccan authorities to release journalist Maati Monjib, arrested amid a money laundering probe
Emily Birnbaum / Protocol:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is tying the fate of $2,000 stimulus checks to the repeal of Section 230
 Earlier Picks: 
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
Washington reporters, including Olivia Nuzzi, Jim Acosta, and Yamiche Alcindor, on being recast as “resistance heroes” during the Trump era and what comes next
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
Politico announces it is acquiring E&E News, a high-price subscription trade publication focused on the energy industry and environmental news
Will Thorne / Variety:
First ever NFL game streamed exclusively had an average minute audience of 4.8M on Prime, Twitch, and others, almost as much as traditional TV viewership