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1:45 PM ET, March 18, 2021


 Top News: 
Annalee Newitz / The Hypothesis:
Substack's decision to pay some to write on the platform is an editorial one as it chooses what writing to support; its secrecy is a breach of journalism ethics  —  I think of myself as having decent critical faculties, but somehow I got suckered again by a bog-standard publishing venture masquerading as a useful communications tool.
Mark Stenberg / Adweek:
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
Manori Ravindran / Variety:
BBC unveils a six-year, £700M plan to expand services outside of London including relocation of 400 positions and creation of 200-300 roles in local journalism  —  The BBC has unveiled a six-year plan that will see the corporation expand key services outside of London and further afield …
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Spotify launches a site to show how much it pays artists: $5B in 2020, up from $3.3B in 2017, and 13K artists made $50K+ in royalties, up 80% from 2017  —  The company's making an effort to be more transparent  —  Musicians aren't thrilled with Spotify — they say the streaming platform undervalues …
The Daily Beast:
Teen Vogue's new EIC Alexi McCammond, who was meant to start in the coming days, will no longer be joining the publication  —  The Condé-owned outlet's new editor has exited the job just days before she was set to take on the gig. … Just days before she was set to begin the job …
Discussion: @alexi, New York Times and Slate
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
NBCU says it will seek primetime TV rates for ads that run on Peacock as viewers can now stream primetime shows at the times of their choosing  —  The priciest stuff on TV for advertisers always runs in primetime.  When viewers can stream “This Is Us” or “Young Rock” at moments of their own choosing, however, primetime is anytime.
Discussion: /Film, MediaPost, @bristei and @dylanbyers
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.
Lance Venta / RadioInsight:
Westwood One fills Rush Limbaugh's former slot with the Dan Bongino Show in major markets like NYC, DC, LA, SF, Chicago, and Dallas  —  Update 7:30pm: As we first reported this morning (see below), Cumulus Media and Westwood One have announced that Dan Bongino will move to a live 12-3pm eastern timeslot.
Discussion: Fox News, PR Newswire, The Hill and OutKick
Sam Thielman / Columbia Journalism Review:
Profile of Adbusters, a magazine of catchy font design that is synonymous with the early-2000s political left and the birthplace of Occupy Wall Street activism  —  On November 15, 2011, just outside a boarded-up vacant lot in Lower Manhattan, several NYPD officers held down a protester …
Discussion: and @micahuetricht
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
YouTube is rolling out its TikTok rival YouTube Shorts in the US, but the beta is missing features and feels half-baked  —  Rolling out to everyone in the US ‘over the next several weeks’  —  YouTube Shorts, the company's short-form answer to TikTok, is launching in beta in the United States starting today.
Sources: DOJ investigators are asking ad executives whether Google's plan to ban third-party cookies will hobble its smaller rivals  —  (Reuters) - Google's plan to block a popular web tracking tool called “cookies” is a source of concern for U.S. Justice Department investigators …
Discussion: Wired, more at Techmeme »
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 More News: 
Ryan Faughnder / Los Angeles Times:
MPAA: global video subscriptions grew to 1.1B, up 26% YoY; global spending on home entertainment grew 23% YoY to $68.8B with digital entertainment making up 76%
Discussion: Variety and The Wrap
Manori Ravindran / Variety:
Vice UK reported £160M in revenue in 2019, up 50% YoY, with profits of £18M, up 163% YoY, thanks largely to its majority stake in production company Pulse Films
Alex Kantrowitz / OneZero:
Q&A with Rest of World founder Sophie Schmidt and editor Louise Matsakis on training reporters around the world, covering non-Western tech, and more
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:
AT&T says it will no longer exempt HBO Max from mobile data caps starting March 25, after a US court upheld CA's net neutrality law; change will apply beyond CA
 Earlier Picks: 
Chris Roush / Talking Biz News:
Quartz has turned one of its articles into an NFT, or nonfungible token, with bids ending at 8PM ET on March 21; proceeds go to IWMF's Lauren Brown Fellowship