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9:35 AM ET, January 26, 2021

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
Rupert Murdoch says free speech is being suppressed by an “awful woke orthodoxy” and says he is “far from done”  —  Mr. Murdoch of News Corp, who spoke in a video, has been relatively quiet publicly in recent years.  He called conformity on social media “a straitjacket on sensibility.”
Margaret Carmel / BoiseDev:
Idaho News Guild says Idaho Statesman's top editor was fired over her tweet advocating for staff resources in a protest letter sent to McClatchy management  —  Idaho's largest daily newspaper abruptly changed editorial leadership Monday.  —  As of Monday, the Statesman's top editor …
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
Insider Inc. says it was profitable in 2020 and added 200 jobs as revenue grew 30% YoY; sources: it generated $150M+ in revenue as subscribers doubled to 100K+  —  Business-news site generated 30% revenue growth in 2020 despite Covid-19 crisis thanks to subscriptions, automated ads
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Facebook News launches in the UK, partners with Axel Springer and Samsung owned Upday for curation; announces new partnerships and payments for some publishers  —  As the United Kingdom prepares to sharpen its focus on how it regulates big tech companies, Facebook is taking a big step …
RELATED:
Politico:
White House says it will work with WHCA to develop new standards for media passes and won't tolerate outlets trafficking in conspiracy theories and propaganda
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
Sources: NYT told Lauren Wolfe, who had a temporary position, that her name and NYT's name were in headlines after her “chills” tweet, and “we can't have that”  —  The paper of record's treatment of a freelance editor getting “chills” on Twitter drew accusations …
Sara Fischer / Axios:
North Equity, which owns Popular Science, Saveur, and other brands, is acquiring Domino Media, a home design magazine and digital outlet, from Multiply Media  —  North Equity, a venture equity firm that acquires and invests in media brands, is acquiring Domino Media Group …
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Sources: 100+ Politico staffers sent a letter to Allbritton criticizing the decision to publish Ben Shapiro and calling out EIC Kaminski's internal response  —  More than 100 Politico staffers signed onto a letter sent to publisher Robert Allbritton, expressing disgust with allowing right …
Politico:
Former NYT op-ed editor James Bennet has been hired by The Economist as a visiting senior editor for one year, writing mostly on foreign policy  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  We've done some digging and pieced together who occupies most of the offices on the first two floors of the West Wing.
Archie Bland / The Guardian:
Margit Wennmachers / Andreessen Horowitz:
a16z plans to launch a “new and separate media property” later this year focused on “the future” and names ex-CNN editor Maggie Leung executive editor  —  We embraced speaking directly to our audience — from the builders of the future to the tech-curious — right as the firm was started in 2009.
 
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 More News: 
Alex Sherman / CNBC:
Sources: Group Nine's SPAC is eyeing ~20 targets, including BuzzFeed with its ~$300M in annual revenue, for an acquisition, as it wants $500M+ in annual revenue
Issie Lapowsky / Protocol:
Facebook says it will give researchers targeting data on 1.3M social issue, electoral, and political ads from August 3 through November 3, 2020
Alex Weprin / Hollywood Reporter:
Nexstar to rebrand its national cable channel WGN America as NewsNation, positioning it as a “fact-based and unbiased” competitor to CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget:
Spotify says it is testing a pilot of audiobooks on the platform, with nine public-domain titles read by well-known names like Hilary Swank
 Earlier Picks: 
Joe Flint / Wall Street Journal:
NBC's Peacock signs a deal for exclusive streaming rights for WWE Network content in the US from March; source says the deal runs five years and is worth $1B+
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Apple launches Time to Walk for Apple Watch and Fitness+, offering 25- to 40-minute episodes of original audio from influential people, available today
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Google details its work on a privacy-conscious cookie substitute, called Federated Learning of Cohorts, claims ~95% effectiveness compared to cookie-based ads
Russell Contreras / Axios:
Ex-CNN exec S. Mitra Kalita and PA radio exec Sara Lomax-Reese launch URL Media, a newsletter seeking to expand local news on Black and brown communities
Alexander Gladstone / Wall Street Journal:
AMC Entertainment says it signed deals for $917M in funding to survive the COVID-19 pandemic for months and avoid bankruptcy
Robert P. Baird / Columbia Journalism Review:
An in-depth look at Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective, which a source says has spent $250M on journalism, buying stakes in The Atlantic, Axios, and others
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Content recommendation company Taboola says it has agreed to go public via a SPAC, valuing the company at $2.6B and raising $545M