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6:40 PM ET, January 17, 2021

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 Top News: 
Alex Barker / Financial Times:
Without naming Fox, James Murdoch blasts media owners who enabled “toxic politics” and says their lies have unleashed “insidious and uncontrollable” forces  —  Comments from Rupert's son are his strongest rebuke of industry practices since leaving the family business
Kali Hays / WWD:
In a tweet, Michael Barbaro apologized for actions around Caliphate, saying he shouldn't have DMed and blocked critics; he didn't address Andy Mills concerns  —  Michael Barbaro is seen to have pressured some reporters and radio stations over coverage of issues with another NYT podcast, produced by his fiancée.
BuzzFeed News:
Facebook says it is temporarily banning ads for gun accessories and military gear through next week's inauguration “out of an abundance of caution”  —  Following complaints from Senators and employees, Facebook on Saturday said it was temporarily halting ads for gun accessories …
Washington Post:
Analytics firm Zignal Labs: online misinformation about election fraud dropped 73% in the week after several social media sites suspended Trump and key allies  —  Zignal Labs charts 73 percent decline on Twitter and beyond following historic action against the president
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Radio Free Asia veterans say its new president Stephen Yates' links to a company owned by Taiwan threaten the broadcaster's credibility  —  The new president of the federally funded Radio Free Asia network most recently ran a consulting company from Boise, Idaho that has represented foreign governments and interests.
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
Profile of the Queens Daily Eagle, a small outlet in the borough that has gone viral for giving local-angle treatment to major Trump news like the impeachment  —  A series of headlines have brought attention to the Queens Daily Eagle, a small outlet in the borough where the president was born.
Hollywood Reporter:
Sources: proposed deals tied to the HBO Max day-and-date release plan will be costly for WB, with talent making below $4M getting 25% bonus, $4M+ receiving 40%  —  Denzel Washington is said to be getting his $20 million plus backend fee, while the sheer number of bonuses tied to the HBO Max …
Jane Zhang / South China Morning Post:
A look at the rise and fall of Xiami, Alibaba's discontinued music streaming service, which only had 22.4M MAUs by Oct. vs. 450M+ for Tencent's three music apps  —  Once a leader, Xiami saw its monthly active users (MAUs) fall to 22.4 million by October 2020, a tiny fraction of the 450 million …
Discussion: @scmpnews
Janko Roettgers / Protocol:
Remote controls of new TVs show how streaming services and tech giants are vying for users' attention through branded buttons and voice assistants  —  Don't touch that dial: As TV manufacturers are unveiling their 2021 models at this year's virtual CES, they're also giving us a first look …
Berny Belvedere / Arc Digital:
Politico staffers were upset about Shapiro guest-curating Playbook not because he is a conservative but because he is the apotheosis of culture war excess  —  Berny Belvedere DISSOLVES THE FLESH of Ben Shapiro's takes through a REVERSE OSMOSIS OF PAIN  —  Politico invited Ben Shapiro to guest-curate its Playbook newsletter.
Eva Mathews / Reuters:
Tencent Music acquires China-based Lazy Audio, which provides audiobooks, podcasts, and radio shows, for $417M  —  (Reuters) - China's Tencent Music Entertainment Group said on Friday it acquired audiobook platform Lazy Audio, owned by Shenzhen Lanren Online Technology Co, for 2.7 billion yuan ($417 million).
Discussion: PR Newswire
William Turvill / Press Gazette:
Q&A with Pranay Prabhat, senior director of digital ad tech at NYT, about its new first-party data ad program, losing third-party cookie revenue, and more  —  From the outside, it may appear that advertising is now insignificant for the New York Times when compared with its soaring digital subscriptions business.
Discussion: @mrdylancollins
 
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From Techmeme:

Nick Robins-Early / The Guardian:
Insurer Parametrix estimates that the global outage sparked by CrowdStrike's faulty update will cost US Fortune 500 companies, excluding Microsoft, $5.4B

Zac Bowden / Windows Central:
Microsoft unveils Bing generative search, which shows AI-generated answers with the sources used to create them, currently available to a small subset of users

Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Around 500 World of Warcraft workers vote to unionize with the CWA, bringing the number of unionized US gaming employees at Microsoft to around 1,750

 
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