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11:20 AM ET, December 20, 2021


 Top News: 
Ben Bowman / The Streamable:
YouTube TV reaches a deal with Disney to bring back 17+ channels including ABC, Disney, ESPN, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic  —  After one day of being dark, YouTube TV and Disney have reached a deal which will see more than 17 Disney-owned channels, including local ABC affiliates, Disney Channel, and ESPN return to the service.
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Internal memo: CNN is closing its US offices to all nonessential employees as COVID-19 cases rise at the network and nationwide  —  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 …
Mathew Ingram / Columbia Journalism Review:
The pursuit of “scale” drives media companies to merge, such as in the Vox-Group Nine deal, but what constitutes sufficient scale changes when valuations shrink  —  On Tuesday, Vox Media and Group Nine announced plans to merge their operations, in what Jim Bankoff …
The Atlantic:
Mark Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, will join The Atlantic as a staff writer in the spring  —  Leibovich to begin this spring, as The Atlantic continues to train its editorial focus on the crisis facing democracy
Discussion: @grace_segers and @brendanbuck
Rebecca Rubin / Variety:
Spider-Man: No Way Home generated $587M globally during its opening weekend, $253M in the US, making it the third-largest debut on record  —  Don't underestimate Peter Parker.  —  That's the takeaway this weekend after Sony's comic book adventure “Spider-Man: No Way Home” …
Andy Maxwell / TorrentFreak:
Malaysia passes a bill to imprison people who facilitate access to pirated content via illegal streaming, for up to 20 years  —  Laws that forbid the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted content are common around the world but the rise of streaming has sometimes exposed gaps in legislation.
Alex Pasternack / Fast Company:
How Chinese Wikipedia volunteers are exposing threats to Wikimedia's free-knowledge mission in their fight against censorship, threats, and violence  —  This past July, before he was banned from Wikipedia, Techyan was one of dozens of volunteers preparing to speak at the free-knowledge movement's annual conference, Wikimania.
The Guardian:
The BBC says UK political editor Laura Kuenssberg will step down at Easter to take on a senior presenting and reporting role  —  Kuenssberg says she will ‘miss daily drama’ as BBC confirms she will take senior presenting and reporting role  —  Laura Kuenssberg will step down as the BBC's political editor …
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.
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 Featured Newsletter: 
75% of large subscription publishers offer discounted trials  —  The majority of large publishers with digital subscription products are currently offering discounted trials to help drive new subscriber acquisition, according to Toolkits research.
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 More News: 
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
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
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
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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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