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10:00 PM ET, December 17, 2021


 Top News: 
Wall Street Journal:
Documents and sources: WaPo execs weigh how to attract young readers and expand features content as the outlet faces a slump in readership and subscriber growth  —  News outlet's audience is down sharply, amid sector-wide declines; subscription growth has stagnated as readers look beyond politics
Randall Lane / Forbes:
Forbes says two of its editors testified about two old stories in front of a New York grand jury investigating Trump, after fighting subpoenas for months  —  Almost three months ago, I was subpoenaed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to appear before the grand jury investigating Donald Trump.
The Citizen Lab:
The phone of an exiled Egyptian TV news host was compromised in June using Cytrox's Predator spyware via a single-click link in a WhatsApp message  —  Key Findings  — Two Egyptians—exiled politician Ayman Nour and the host of a popular news program (who wishes to remain anonymous) …
Gerry Smith / Bloomberg:
CNN plans to pull its original series off HBO Max and put them on its own streaming service, CNN+, which a source says has a planned March debut for $5.99/month  —  - News channel eyes $5.99 price and March launch date for CNN+  —  CNN plans to pull its original series off HBO Max and put …
Daniel Tilles / Notes From Poland:
Polish parliament passes a bill that limits foreign ownership of media, affecting Discovery-owned TVN; the president hinted he may veto the bill  —  A bill to restrict foreign ownership of Polish media was unexpectedly passed by parliament today.  The proposed law is seen to be aimed …
Dan Froomkin / Press Watch:
Interview with former NYT reporter Nina Bernstein on the outlet's long-standing “tics and timidities” that impoverish reporting out of the fear of taking sides  —  Nina Bernstein was covering homelessness for the New York Times in 1999 when then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced …
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:
Judge lets Dominion proceed with its Fox lawsuit because Fox had “countervailing evidence of election fraud” and says “hyperbolic” rhetoric can be defamatory  —  - Fox had enough information to know claims false, judge says  — Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson also targets of lawsuit
Gavin Bridge / Variety:
There were a record 1,923 original series in 2021 across TV and streaming platforms, beating the prior high of 1,628 in 2019  —  - 2021 saw a record number of original series across TV & streaming  — Subscription streaming is now the platform with the largest number of original shows
William Turvill / Press Gazette:
Sources: Google delayed the US launch of News Showcase, live in 14 countries, to at least Q1 2022 as pubs find the offers underwhelming and doubt its efficacy  —  Google is struggling to persuade some of America's largest publishers to sign up to its News Showcase aggregation scheme, an investigation by Press Gazette has found.
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
Researchers find evidence suggesting that IAB Europe's TCF lets many adtech vendors track and profile users even when they've rejected personalized ads  —  New research examining what happens after Internet users in Europe land on an ad-supported website and express their “privacy choices” …
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 More News: 
Henry Meyer / Bloomberg:
Google loses a court appeal in Russia and faces daily fines following a lawsuit to unblock a YouTube account of a TV channel owned by a sanctioned Putin ally
Andrew Beaujon / Washingtonian:
Washingtonian Editor Michael Schaffer is leaving to write a weekly Politico column as a senior editor; Sherri Dalphonse becomes interim Washingtonian editor
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Spotify acquires Australian company Whooshkaa, which helps radio broadcasters and others turn existing content into podcasts and sell ads around them
New York Times:
For over a year, female journalists in India were targets of an elaborate online scam offering work at Harvard, but who was targeting them and why is unknown
 Earlier Picks: 
Washington Post:
The NYT's Project Veritas reporting has now been restrained for 28 days, 14 more than for the Pentagon Papers, although a judge on December 14 gave some leeway
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Spotify rolls out a podcast ratings system that will let users rate a show from one to five stars only after listening to it
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Alden sues Lee Enterprises, arguing Lee's board infringed on company bylaws by denying Alden's request to nominate three board members due to paperwork issues
Alistair Gray / Financial Times:
Lord Rothermere secures enough shareholder votes to take Daily Mail and General Trust private at an £885M valuation
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Suzanne Vranica / Wall Street Journal:
Talent agency UTA acquires marketing and media consulting firm MediaLink, whose clients include NBCUniversal, AT&T, and Unilever, for $125M