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11:40 AM ET, March 13, 2021


 Top News: 
Archie Bland / The Guardian:
Emails: BuzzFeed is shutting down HuffPost UK's news operation and video desk, except for its politics team, affecting 16 of 29 journalists  —  Exclusive: Owner BuzzFeed's move leaves more than half of editorial staff at risk  —  BuzzFeed has told the UK staff of its recently acquired HuffPost website …
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:
As House holds hearing on tech and news, Microsoft accuses Google of making publishers depend on it and Google claims Microsoft just wants to undercut a rival  —  - Microsoft and Google sparred over their practices and treatment of news outlets in a battle between antitrust targets of past and present.
Hamish McKenzie / Substack Blog:
Substack co-founder on how Substack Pro works: year one, writers get upfront pay, Substack keeps 85% of revenue; later, writers keep 90% revenue, no minimum pay  —  When we started Substack in mid-2017, the future for writers was frightening.  The news industry was rapidly contracting, eliminating countless journalism jobs.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
A SPAC led by ex-Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II, raised $350M in an IPO to focus on tech, media, telecoms companies  —  A special-purpose acquisition corporation targeting tech, media and telecom firms led by two former senior Disney execs …
Discussion: Deadline and The Wrap
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
AT&T says it plans to launch HBO Max international and AVOD in June and expects HBO Max and HBO subscribers worldwide to reach 120-150M by 2025  —  That is up from AT&T's previous forecast of 75-90 million.  —  AT&T Corp. said Friday that it now expects to reach 120-15 million HBO Max …
Natalie Jarvey / Hollywood Reporter:
Roku has hired several former Quibi executives as it prepares to roll out content from Quibi's library of 75+ shows to The Roku Channel  —  Former Quibi senior content executives Colin Davis and Brian Tannenbaum are among those who have joined Roku.  —  Two months after acquiring the Quibi library …
Discussion: Realscreen
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Netflix is running a test cracking down on password sharing, prompting some users to get their own account if they don't live with the owner of the account  —  Earlier this week, some Netflix subscribers began to notice that it might be a bit harder to “borrow” someone's password.
Dan Abrams / Mediaite:
Media and politics news site Mediaite is launching a paywall that allows 10 free articles per month; subscriptions will cost $4.99 per month or $44.99 per year  —  As you may know, Mediaite is one of the few major websites in the country that is personally funded (and not by a wildly wealthy banker …
Discussion: @dorseyshaw
Nicole Sperling / New York Times:
McKinsey report: Hollywood is leaving $10B/year on the table by ignoring racial inequities in film and TV and should set concrete goals to increase diversity  —  A McKinsey report that combined previous research and new interviews argues that concrete steps like company bonuses tied to improved representation can lead to change.
Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg / Wall Street Journal:
In a letter to GOP Senators, Amazon says it removed a book because of its policy not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness  —  Company states policy in response to inquiry by several Republican senators over recent removal of book by conservative author
Ashley Gold / Axios:
YouTube says it has taken down 30,000 videos that made false or misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines over the last six months  —  YouTube has taken down more than 30,000 videos that made misleading or false claims about COVID-19 vaccines over the last six months, YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez …
Jake Kanter / Deadline:
Daily Mail owner demands ViacomCBS remove images of its headlines, which were “taken out of context or deliberately edited”, from Meghan and Harry interview  —  Associated Newspapers, the owner of UK tabloid the Daily Mail, has written to ViacomCBS demanding the removal of …
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 More News: 
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Epidemic Sound, a marketplace for online creators looking for background music, raises $450M from Blackstone and EQT Growth, at a valuation of $1.4B
Ben Sisario / New York Times:
The Weeknd says his albums will no longer be submitted to the Grammys due to its anonymous voting committees, which some believe subvert the will of the voters
 Earlier Picks: 
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
Interview with Anthony Barnett, founding EIC of openDemocracy, on the invisible pact between UK's tabloid press and the royal family, as noted by Prince Harry
Sarah Sluis / AdExchanger:
Google is further integrating the Publisher Provided Identifier into its Ad Manager, aiding publishers' first-party tracking in lieu of third-party cookies
New UK action plan to protect journalists includes training for police, a call for evidence from journalists, and the introduction of an Online Safety Bill
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
How YouTube celebrity Tim Pool and others failed to launch a news site backed with $1M+ in crowdfunding after infighting, which included a dispute over a cat

From Techmeme:

Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:
Report: alleged ringleader of the Scattered Spider hacking group was arrested in Spain; sources: the accused is a 22-year-old Scottish man named Tyler Buchanan

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
A look at Apple's slow rollout of AI features, impressive visionOS 2 beta, plans for thinnest, lightest devices in tech, including a phone in the iPhone 17 line

Caroline O'Donovan / Washington Post:
Leaked documents reveal life-threatening issues at Amazon's primary-care service One Medical, raising concerns about Amazon's frugal approach to health care

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