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8:00 AM ET, February 1, 2022


 Top News: 
The New York Times Company:
The New York Times acquires Wordle, the simple word game that has amassed “millions of daily players”, for “an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures”  —  Wordle, Josh Wardle's stimulating and wildly popular daily word game, is joining The New York Times's portfolio of original …
Discussion: @powerlanguish, New York Times, New York Times, @marcatracy, Axios, @kevinroose, Variety, @katierogers, The Guardian, Insider, @karaswisher, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, @nytguildtech, @asteadwesley, @vogon, Barrett Media, Semiotech, @hshaban, @dhchait, Forbes, @wfkars, @xor, @ofirahy, @sherman4949, @scott_tobias, @seanludwig, @helaineolen, @reckless, @nrarmour, @phillyd, @everyteam_mark, @jackmirkinson, @jonnelledge, @aedwardslevy, @benfritz, Financial Times, @isaacfitzgerald, @byjayking, TechCrunch, @kfury, @shalomgood, Gawker, The Comeback, @starfire2258, @bafeldman, @pjputh, @jasonschreier, @dharmesh, @starfire2258, @jessicalessin, @tonyajoriley, @adambvary, @grahamstarr, @levie, @ditzkoff, @tomcoates, @stshank, @chrisvannini, @jephjacques, CNET, @benadida, @parkermolloy, @manruss, @teroterotero, @dylanmatt, @ellievhall, @jonporty, New York Post, @sayssimonson, @danlamothe, Nieman Lab, @jackmirkinson, @dcseifert, @andreawoo, Wall Street Journal, UPROXX, @jonrussell, @sherman4949, The A.V. Club, @maxkennerly, The Verge, @benjysarlin, @christinemhall, 9to5Mac, @sherman4949, @laurenpelley, @edmundlee, @emilybell, @brennacgray, @lpolgreen, @pkafka, @janinegibson, @marcoarment, @farnazfassihi, @daveyalba, @jbflint, @daveleeft, @brianstelter, @maggiekb1, @levie, The Register, @damiencave, @sherman4949, @katienotopoulos, Mediaite, @ofirahy, @alexweprin, @by_cjewett, @domdelport, @dongwon, @robertjimison, @reckless, @zackbeauchamp, PC Gamer, @budgetben, @bdsams, @rodger, @levie, @jeremymbarr, @fredsmith914, Deadline, @ernietedeschi, CNBC, @bombur, The Hollywood Reporter, @rover829, @engadget and @jbflint, more at Techmeme »
Daniel Ek / Spotify:
Spotify publishes its long-standing Platform Rules and says it is working to add a content advisory to podcast episodes that discuss COVID-19  —  A decade ago, we created Spotify to enable the work of creators around the world to be heard and enjoyed by listeners around the world.
Sam Byford / The Verge:
Joe Rogan posts a video to Instagram defending booking contentious guests, apologizes to Spotify for the backlash, and says he may book more “experts”  —  'I'm very sorry that this is happening to them.'  —  Joe Rogan has issued a response to the ongoing controversy …
Ryan Broderick / Garbage Day:
Spotify made an editorial choice by paying $100M to be Joe Rogan's publisher and can't shirk its responsibility by just adding a content warning to his episodes  —  Read to the end for Pumpkin Cowboy  —  Please Do Not Let Spotify Convince You That Joe Rogan Is A Content Moderation Problem
Elahe Izadi / Washington Post:
Capital B, a US local nonprofit news organization focused on Black audiences, launches with $9M in philanthropic backing and 16 employees with plans to hire 11  —  Capital B, a new digital-media start-up, will provide hard news and investigative reporting aimed at Black audiences.
Wall Street Journal:
Antenna: Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, and others struggle to retain US subscribers who joined to watch a hit show or movie; many unsubscribe within a few months  —  Roughly half of U.S. viewers who joined right after ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ were gone in six months, data show
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
The FT's US journalists seek to unionize with the NewsGuild, ask for voluntary recognition from the FT, and say their 40-person unit has over two-thirds support  —  Journalists at the Financial Times are seeking to unionize the publication's U.S. operation, the latest in a wave of organizing efforts in the news media.
Cassandra Garrison / Reuters:
Univision and Televisa complete their merger and plan to launch the world's biggest Spanish-language streaming service in H1 2022, targeting nearly 600M people  —  Mexican broadcast powerhouse Grupo Televisa and U.S. based Univision (UVN.UL) are preparing to launch what would be the biggest …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
AT&T will spin off WarnerMedia rather than split it off, giving shareholders ~0.24 shares of WarnerMedia-Discovery stock for each share of AT&T stock  —  The transaction will spin off 100% of AT&T's interest in WarnerMedia to AT&T's existing shareholders in a pro-rata distribution …
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Sources: Amazon paid $100M+ for exclusive ad and distribution rights to the podcast My Favorite Murder and all other Exactly Right Media shows  —  Two Canadian folk singers have forced Spotify to do what thousands of angry social media users could not.  —  Spotify on Sunday outlined a series …
Discussion: @lucas_shaw and @alexanderchee
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 More News: 
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
UK media regulator Ofcom launches an investigation into an incident at Red Bee that led to a subtitle outage at Channel 4 for several weeks in 2021
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
With SCOTUS eager to revisit precedent, Sarah Palin's NYT lawsuit is a serious challenge to the press-friendly standard for libel set by Times vs. Sullivan
Sharon Moshavi / International Center for Journalists:
Velocidad, a media accelerator that invested nearly $1.5M in 10 Latin American news outlets, says its grantees generated new revenue over six times their grants
 Earlier Picks: 
Glen Owen / Daily Mail:
Source: UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is planning legislation where the DMU force Meta, Google, and others to negotiate payment deals with news publishers
William Turvill / Press Gazette:
The Seattle Times says it now has 81,000 digital-only subscribers, up 10% over the past 12 months and almost doubling its 41,000 subscribers in January 2019
Sarah Scire / Nieman Lab:
Pigeon 605, which sells ads and sponsored posts, emails news to 4K of 200K residents in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, based on interest topics users pick
Discussion: Pigeon605
J. Clara Chan / Hollywood Reporter:
Podcast network Lemonada Media, which grew its annual revenue from $1.5M in 2020 to over $5M in 2021 and reaches 2M+ listeners per month, raises an $8M Series A