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5:55 PM ET, February 9, 2021


 Top News: 
Fox News files motion to dismiss Smartmatic suit, saying it can't be held liable for “fairly reporting and commenting on competing allegations”  —  (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Media said on Monday it filed a motion to dismiss electronic voting systems maker Smartmatic's lawsuit …
Alexis Benveniste / CNN:
Fox News canceling Lou Dobbs is reminiscent of the way Murdoch handled phone-hacking scandals in UK: throw somebody over the side and see if that was enough
Anthony D'Alessandro / Deadline:
Disney is closing Blue Sky Studios, the former 20th Century Fox animation division known for the Ice Age franchise, affecting about 450 employees  —  EXCLUSIVE: Disney is shuttering Blue Sky Studios, the $5.9 billion global grossing former 20th Century Fox animation division which during …
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
CBS says it had an overall Super Bowl audience of 96.4M, down from 102.1M last year, and averaged 5.7M viewers per minute of the streaming broadcast, up 65% YoY  —  CBS announced today that Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs set a new streaming record.
Colby Hall / Mediaite:
Fox News signs CEO Suzanne Scott to a multi-year agreement, extending her contract  —  Fox News Media has announced that CEO Suzanne Scott has signed to a multi-year agreement with Fox Corporation in a sign of support for the Fox News head.  —  Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer …
Sarah E. Needleman / Wall Street Journal:
Reddit raises $250M+ Series E led by Vy Capital at a $6B valuation, doubling in value since its last funding round in February 2019  —  Its WallStreetBets community played a prominent role in recent stock-trading frenzy  —  Reddit Inc. doubled its valuation to $6 billion in a new round …
Chris Velazco / Engadget:
Spotify confirms it is testing its live lyrics feature in the US  —  Do you miss all the time you used to spend crammed in tiny karaoke rooms, belting out showtunes until three in the morning?  So do we, but Spotify might have something that will help with your impromptu singalongs.
Discussion: TechCrunch, MacRumors, 9to5Mac and @viticci
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Internal memo: Bloomberg Media is expecting $100M+ in consumer subscription revenue in 2021, forecasting 400,000 subscribers, up from 250,000 in 2020  —  Bloomberg Media is expecting to bring in at least $100 million in consumer subscription revenue in 2021, according to an internal memo sent to staff from CEO Justin Smith.
Discussion: Talking Biz News
Twitter - Investor Relations:
Twitter reports Q4 revenue of $1.29B, up 28% YoY, and average monetizable daily active usage growth of 27% to 192M, net income of $222M, up from $119M YoY  —  Q4 was a strong finish to the year with revenue of $1.29 billion, up 28% year over year, reflecting better-than-expected performance across all major products and geographies.
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
As conservative talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh fights lung cancer, his industry faces aging and shrinking audiences, competition from new tech, and more  —  The medium he pioneered is struggling to find new voices and a younger audience as podcasts and other digital media take over.
Dexter Thomas / VICE:
Police officers in Beverly Hills have played licensed music while being filmed by citizens, seemingly in an effort to trigger social networks' copyright filters  —  Police officers in Beverly Hills have been playing music while being filmed, seemingly in an effort to trigger Instagram's copyright filters.
Tom Dotan / The Information:
Filing: Netflix cut ad spending from $1.88B to $1.45B globally in 2020; one estimate says Netflix cut Facebook spending by more than half to $21.6M  —  The race to sign up subscribers in the streaming wars is a test of marketing prowess as much as it is of programming strength.
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 More News: 
Paul Berger / Wall Street Journal:
Filing: Advance-owned Condé Nast is withholding $2.4M in rent at One World Trade Center and could withhold more in a dispute with Port Authority landlords
Sara Guaglione / Digiday:
Taboola's SPAC could enable the company to expand its business, via another merger attempt with Outbrain, making publishers even more reliant on its ad revenue
Chris Gilliard / OneZero:
If reporters believe that surveillance data shouldn't exist, then they should not use info from invasive data brokers to make that point, like NYT did recently
 Earlier Picks: 
Financial Times:
EU lawmakers are considering regulations that would force Facebook and Google to pay for news content on their platforms, echoing a similar move in Australia

From Techmeme:

Natasha Singer / New York Times:
Court filings show how Zuckerberg and other Meta execs played down risks to young users, while rejecting staff pleas to bolster guardrails and hire more staff

Ashley Belanger / Ars Technica:
How the Internet Archive plans to defend its digital lending practices as it appeals a US court's 2023 ruling; IA says it was forced to remove over 500K books

Mark Sullivan / Fast Company:
In response to plagiarism allegations, Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas says the company “is not ignoring” robots.txt, but does rely on third-party web crawlers

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