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9:45 PM ET, March 13, 2021


 Top News: 
Gideon Lichfield / @glichfield:
[Thread] A look at Facebook's PR tactics to push back against unflattering stories, including trying to overwhelm editors with lists of supposed factual errors  —  With all the pushback from Facebook against @_KarenHao's recent story, and as one of the editors on the piece, I thought it worth making some observations on the PR strategy Facebook has adopted in response. Other journalists may find this useful. ...
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Sources: Fox's free streaming service Tubi is planning to start funding original movies and TV shows; Roku and Pluto TV are also exploring original programming  —  Free streaming services increase their ambitions after growing like weeds during pandemic  —  Fox Corp.'s free streaming service Tubi …
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
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.
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.
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
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
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 120M-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 …
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
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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
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
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
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