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4:40 PM ET, March 17, 2021


 Top News: 
Alex Sherman / CNBC:
Interview with Kevin Mayer, passed over for a job as Disney CEO, then sidelined as TikTok CEO after Trump said he'd ban the app, on SPACs and pay TV's decline  —  - Kevin Mayer speaks about how he was disappointed when he didn't get the Disney CEO job and how he got railroaded by the Trump administration when at TikTok.
Sara Guaglione / Digiday:
Vox says podcast revenue doubled across its network, which has 200+ podcasts, in 2020, as it tests spinning off podcast episodes into standalone shows  —  Vox Media is testing out how one popular podcast can be an incubator for more audio shows not tied to the news.
Discussion: @jason_kint
Julia Alexander / The Verge:
YouTube rolls out Checks, a creator tool that scans videos ahead of uploading for copyrighted material; the system relies on YouTube's Content ID  —  Theoretically, Checks will help with demonetization issues  —  In an effort to make the process of uploading a video and receiving ad revenue easier …
Sam Schechner / Wall Street Journal:
France says Apple's upcoming IDFA ad privacy changes are not abusive but will investigate if Apple has stricter rules for third-party apps than for its own apps  —  French competition authority says Apple's changes 'don't appear to be abusive'  —  France's competition regulator rejected …
Julia Ainsley / NBC News:
Sources: Biden administration is restricting the information Border Patrol can share with media about migrant surge at the southern border  —  WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is restricting the information Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs can share with the media as a surge …
Shirley Zhao / Bloomberg:
Sources: China told media to stagger Oscars telecast, after nomination of a HK protests documentary and concern over views of Best Director contender Chloe Zhao  —  - The awards ceremony shouldn't be broadcast in real time  — Outlets should only report on awards not deemed sensitive
Substack Blog:
Substack shares details on its Pro program after criticism, saying 30+ writers with a “diverse set of viewpoints” have signed up, none of whom are anti-trans  —  In recent days, we've heard from some people who are concerned that we might have been using Substack Pro …
Thomas Seal / Bloomberg:
GroupM says global smart TV advertising grew 7.4% to $12B in 2020; DoubleVerify estimates the number of smart TV fraud impressions tripled in 2020  —  - Ad industry plays whac-a-mole to tackle fake ad views  — The $12 billion smart-TV ad market is biggest area of fraud
Sara Morrison / Vox:
TikTok says most users will be unable to opt out of personalized ads starting April 15; users in the European Union will be exempted due to GDPR  —  On April 15, TikTok's ad targeting will get more aggressive.  —  SHARE All sharing options  —  If you have a TikTok account …
Discussion: MediaPost, @samuelstolton and The Verge
Brad Esposito / Very Fine Day:
Interview with Brandy Zadrozny of NBC News, on working as a researcher at Fox News, the odd politics of 2016, QAnon, and the sadness of dark stories  —  Well, it's March again.  Get 50% off a paid subscription to VFD - forever.  Check it out HERE.  —  Don't know what Very Fine Day is?
Analysis of New York Times' A/B tests of its headlines, which often use dramatic, emotionally-charged language to boost engagement  —  The New York Times is a big deal.  As they tell their advertisers, the NYT is the #1 news source for young, rich thought leaders:
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 More News: 
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Facebook unveils a policy on human rights standards and says it's starting a fund to pay for security and support for human rights activists and journalists
James Ball / New Statesman:
BuzzFeed and HuffPost showed digital sites can reach huge audiences and create social value; what's missing are involved owners who don't seek VC-scale profits
Sarah Scire / Nieman Lab:
Google's GNI awards $3M to new orgs to fight vaccine misinfo, including to India's The Quint, which provides fact checks to rural women via a grassroots network
 Earlier Picks: 
Adam Tinworth / One Man & His Blog:
The Telegraph's plan to reward journalists who attract and retain subscribers will not reward clickbait
Chris Roush / Talking Biz News:
Report: Fortune employees are staging a day-long strike to protest performance targets like byline counts and traffic goals and to push for diversity measures
Sara Rimer / BU Today:
BU and Boston Globe Opinion to launch The Emancipator, an antiracist multimedia project, this summer, with op-eds, debates, and more by journalists and scholars
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Facebook will begin testing its publishing platform, including website and newsletter tools, with a small group of writers, some of whom will be paid
Archie Bland / The Guardian:
UK columnist Julie Burchill apologizes to journalist Ash Sarkar and will pay damages after accusing her of being an Islamist, worshipping a pedophile, and more