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12:10 PM ET, December 19, 2021


 Top News: 
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Internal memo: CNN is closing its offices in the US to all nonessential employees as COVID-19 cases rise  —  President Jeff Zucker cited a surge of cases at the network in a memo on the decision  —  CNN is closing its offices to nonessential employees, network President Jeff Zucker told employees …
The Streamable:
Disney fails to reach a deal with YouTube TV, removing 17+ channels including ABC, Disney, ESPN, Freeform, and FX; YouTube TV drops its price to $49.99/month  —  After a year of bitter disputes with its partners, YouTube TV just took a gut-punch from one of the entertainment world's biggest titans.
Andy Maxwell / TorrentFreak:
Malaysia passes a bill to imprison illegal streaming pirates, primarily those involved in the provision or facilitation of illegal streams, for up to 20 years  —  Malaysia's House of Representatives has passed amendments to copyright law that will boost the country's deterrent …
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.
Danny Leigh / Financial Times:
Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley on releasing Trolls World Tour online at the start of the pandemic, shrinking theatrical release windows, and more  —  Donna Langley only looks ahead.  She moves at pace through the packed dining room of La Petite Maison, a French Mediterranean restaurant in a Mayfair side street.
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
NYT fires a Wirecutter editor for “repeatedly invoking the NYT's name in an unprofessional way” in messages she allegedly sent to a gun rights advocacy group  —  Erin Marquis, a staffer for the popular product-review site, had also lashed out at a gun-rights organization on Twitter.
Pew Research Center:
Analysis of news tweets from 500 US adults shows a focus on entertainment, politics, and sports; only 2% of news tweets had a hashtag, down from 34% in 2015  —  Most Americans who use Twitter get news on the platform, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen / Nieman Lab:
The news industry has neglected R&D and staff development for decades; Malaysiakini and South Africa's The Daily Maverick show how to do long-term investments  —  “The furniture industry seems able to invest in its future.  Maybe we can, too?”  —  The news industry is a technology …
Jonathan Burgos / Forbes:
BandLab, a Singapore-based music creation platform letting artists collaborate and engage with fans, raises a $53M Series B at a $303M post-money valuation  —  BandLab—a Singapore-based digital platform for music creators—said it raised $53 million from a funding round that will help …
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) …
Dan Froomkin / Press Watch:
Interview with former NYT reporter Nina Bernstein on traditional news media's “tics and timidities” that impoverish reporting out of a fear of taking sides  —  Nina Bernstein was covering homelessness for the New York Times in 1999 when then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced …
Gavin Bridge / Variety:
A record 1,923 original series were released across TV and streaming services in 2021, beating the previous 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
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 More News: 
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
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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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
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