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8:10 AM ET, May 19, 2021


 Top News: 
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Profile of David Zaslav, one of the highest-paid US corporate CEOs, who spent 14 years building Discovery into the preeminent player in unscripted programming  —  The TV deal maker will head the new venture formed by his company's merger with AT&T's WarnerMedia, as he seeks to build a streaming juggernaut
New York Times:
Sources: Jeff Zucker, who said he expects to leave CNN at the end of 2021, may be open to a longer stay as his “best friend” David Zaslav becomes his boss  —  Phone buddies and golf partners, Jeff Zucker and David Zaslav have a 30-year history.  Now Zucker may be open to working for the man he calls a “best friend.”
David Dayen / American Prospect:
The main legacies from AT&T/Time Warner are lost jobs and a $400M payout for Time Warner's former CEO; now, Discovery and WarnerMedia promise savings of $3B/yr
Billy Steele / Engadget:
Spotify announces a virtual concert series, offering “prerecorded livestreams” of 40-75 minutes from The Black Keys and others for $15 each, starting May 27  —  If you're a fan of live music, you probably paid to stream at least one performance at some point in the last year.
Discussion: TechCrunch and Spotify
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The attempt by Bill Barr's DOJ to unmask a Twitter parody account showed its willingness to use power to intimidate critics, in violation of the First Amendment  —  Of all the extraordinarily hackish maneuvers Bill Barr's Justice Department undertook to protect Donald Trump …
Hanaa' Tameez / Nieman Lab:
Harvard's The Future of Media Project unveils the US Media Index database, which compiles information on owners, shareholders, and donors of news outlets  —  If you ever wanted to track down who owns a news outlet, it's now much easier to do it.  The U.S. Media Index database by the Future …
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
The NewsGuild of New York is facing opposition from some members against a dues increase proposal after recent expansion forced it to dip into budget reserves  —  The NewsGuild of New York, overextended from a spate of organizing, is running into opposition from members over footing the bill.
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
Fox News files a motion to dismiss the $1.6B lawsuit by voting technology company Dominion, saying it just “provided a forum for the losing side”  —  Fox News filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss a massive $1.6 billion lawsuit from by voting-technology firm Dominion Voting Systems …
Discussion: Insider, NPR, CNN, TVNewser and The Hill
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.
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 More News: 
Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette:
A small UK study found that online abuse has become “more commonplace, more vile and more serious”, and journalism students need training on what they'll face
Reporters Without Borders:
Reporters Without Borders launches an online tool for its Journalism Trust Initiative to identify and reward trustworthy news sources
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Piano, which offers analytics, subscription, and personalization tools for publishers, raises $88M Series B, bringing its total raised to $241M+
Discussion: Insider and MediaPost
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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
Alexandra Bruell / Wall Street Journal:
VideoAmp, which helps brands measure ad campaigns across digital and traditional TV, raises $75M in debt financing; source: it expects $80M in revenue this year
Discussion: Business Wire and AdExchanger
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
Discussion: @paul_karp
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
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