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2:25 PM ET, May 18, 2021


 Top News: 
The Information:
Source: Amazon is in talks to acquire MGM for between $7B and $10B, in what would be its biggest move to expand into entertainment  —  Amazon is in discussions to acquire MGM, said a person familiar with the situation, in what would be the ecommerce giant's biggest move yet to expand in entertainment.
Brian Stelter / CNN:
AT&T to spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery in a $43B deal; the new company will be run by Discovery CEO David Zaslav
Discussion: AT&T, Variety, Axios, American Press Institute, The Wrap, Columbia Journalism Review, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, @sherman4949, Washington Post, @frankpallotta, @claireatki, Axios, American Prospect, Variety, The Week, New Republic, SHERO, The Ringer, CNN, @brianstelter, @jbarro, The Wrap, The Information, @kerrymflynn, @senblumenthal, @sherman4949, @loudmouthjulia, @lucas_shaw, @lucas_shaw, @lucas_shaw, @sadogre, @lucas_shaw, @nycsouthpaw, @gadyepstein, @pkafka, @hblodget, Insider, @karlbode, @andrearene, @benyt, Variety, @panzer, @mattdraperyt, @thetruebrendanf, @magsvisaggs, @jeremymbarr, @dylanbyers, @dylanbyers, @jasonlynch, @sherman4949, @loudmouthjulia, @mims, @cnbc, @digitalshields, @erikdavis, @rakeshlobster, @karaswisher, @ditzkoff, @keithboykin, Hollywood Reporter, @cgasparino, @edmundlee, @pkafka, @brianstelter, @jackmirkinson, @frankpallotta, @nichcarlson, @awallenstein, @jbflint, @scottporch, @sherman4949, @zakiscorner, @thatjakepc, @cgasparino, @gracerandolph, @backlon, @pkafka, @sarafischer, @richlightshed, @w7voa, @alexweprin, @carnage4life, @mbgelman, @sherman4949, @sherman4949, @loudmouthjulia, @kerrymflynn, @sherman4949, @brazilbrian, @brianstelter, @richlightshed, @sivavaid, @sherman4949, @loudmouthjulia, @brianstelter, @sherman4949, @lucas_shaw, @jimwaterson, Forbes, MediaPost, Scrawler, IndieWire, CNBC, @oliverdarcy, ScreenRant, Den of Geek, Vanity Fair, Variety, Digiday, The Hill, Fast Company, Gizmodo, /Film, Protocol, Bloomberg, AppleInsider and Mediaite, more at Techmeme »
Hollywood Reporter:
John Stankey and David Zaslav discuss their vision for the WarnerMedia deal, saying the company will have a content spend that exceeds most competitors at $20B
Lillian Rizzo / Wall Street Journal:
WarnerMedia-Discovery merger puts pressure on rivals without enough scale, like NBCUniversal, which sources say viewed WarnerMedia as a possible target
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Sources: Jason Kilar is negotiating his departure as CEO of WarnerMedia, after being kept in the dark about the deal with Discovery until recent days
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
Forbes staffers announce plans to form a union; more than 80% of about 105 editorial staffers have signed union cards with the NewsGuild of New York  —  New York (CNN Business)At Forbes, a publication known for its coverage of the rich and powerful, its employees are fighting …
Tyler Falk / Current:
After an outside investigation, New York Public Radio has fired On the Media host Bob Garfield for violating its anti-bullying policy  —  New York Public Radio has fired On the Media host Bob Garfield for violating its anti-bullying policy, the organization said Monday.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Sources: Coinbase is launching its own media unit that will create content for retail and institutional investors and report to its marketing team  —  Crypto giant Coinbase is launching its own media operation and looking to poach a top media editor to guide the effort, sources tell Axios.
Reporters Without Borders:
Reporters Without Borders launches an online tool for its Journalism Trust Initiative to identify and reward trustworthy news sources  —  - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) launches new web offer designed to identify and reward trustworthy news sources;  — Media outlets can use the online app …
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Piano, which offers analytics, subscription, and personalization tools for publishers, raises $88M Series B, bringing its total raised to $241M+  —  As publishers face up to whatever might be their next existential crisis — there are so many options from which to choose …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Facebook debuts “Live Shopping Fridays” event series, featuring brands live streaming beauty, skincare, and fashion content on a weekly basis starting May 22  —  Facebook wants to whet consumers' appetite for live streamed shopping with this week's launch of “Live Shopping Fridays” …
Jonathan Easton / Digital TV Europe:
Digital TV Research: pay TV revenue will fall from $173B in 2020 to $143B in 2026 across 138 countries; US revenue to fall from $80B in 2020 to $57B in 2026  —  Global pay TV revenues are set to drop by US$30 billion over the next five years as cord cutting continues to prove decisive for the industry.
Paul Karp / The Guardian:
Australian high court is hearing a case on whether News Corp and Fairfax Media are responsible for defamatory third-party comments on their Facebook pages  —  News Corp and Fairfax Media challenge ruling they are liable for defamatory comments on their Facebook posts
Discussion: @paul_karp
Alexandra Bruell / Wall Street Journal:
Brad Bender / The Keyword:
Google News Showcase launches in India with 30 news publishers; the Google initiative is now running in more than a dozen countries  —  At a time when the need for access to trustworthy information is critical, we are announcing a slew of investments to support India's large and diverse news industry.
Zack Zwiezen / Kotaku:
In a letter to management, 66 IGN staffers demand a post listing Palestinian charities be reinstated after its removal, saying editorial integrity was subverted  —  Today, the IGN editorial staff published an open letter decrying Sunday's removal of an IGN article and its associated tweet …
Zack Zwiezen / Kotaku:
After publishing and removing an article listing Palestinian charities, IGN says it didn't mean to make it seem “we were politically aligned with one side”
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 More News: 
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Spotify will auto-transcribe certain original shows in the coming weeks as part of a beta rollout of the feature that it aims to eventually enable for all shows
Washington Post:
Researchers detail a sprawling disinformation network in the US, including media websites such as GTV, that's pushing falsehoods about COVID-19 and the election
 Earlier Picks: 
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Twitch says it is switching to localized subscription prices in some non-US markets, which will often be lower, starting with Turkey and Mexico on May 20