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6:55 PM ET, January 31, 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: New York Times, @powerlanguish, New York Times, @marcatracy, Variety, Axios, @kevinroose, Mediaite, Financial Times, The Guardian, Forbes, CNET, Gawker, The Wrap, @katierogers, TechCrunch, The Hill, Insider, @karaswisher, New York Post, Deadline, Wall Street Journal, PC Gamer, IGN, @lpolgreen, NPR, CNBC, AppleInsider, The Verge, The A.V. Club, @ellievhall, @xor, @manruss, @daveyalba, @jonporty, @benjysarlin, @janinegibson, @bafeldman, @benadida, @dharmesh, @dhchait, @levie, 9to5Mac, @dylanmatt, @maggiekb1, @jonnelledge, @sherman4949, @jeremymbarr, @daveleeft, @shalomgood, @adambvary, @teroterotero, @starfire2258, @jonrussell, @engadget, @christinemhall, @hshaban, @dcseifert, @bdsams, Slate, @phillyd, @starfire2258, @tomcoates, @kfury, @reckless, @reckless, The Hollywood Reporter, @sherman4949, @levie, @jessicalessin, @jackmirkinson, @seanludwig, @levie, @domdelport, @zackbeauchamp, @benfritz, @scott_tobias, @helaineolen, @nrarmour, @everyteam_mark, @pjputh, @jasonschreier, @ditzkoff, @parkermolloy, @jackmirkinson, @katienotopoulos, @ofirahy, @ernietedeschi, @bombur, @emilybell, @alexweprin, @rodger, @jbflint, @wfkars, @ofirahy, @byjayking, @tonyajoriley, @grahamstarr, @stshank, @sayssimonson, @danlamothe, @andreawoo, @laurenpelley, @brennacgray, @farnazfassihi, @damiencave, @by_cjewett, @robertjimison, @fredsmith914, @rover829, @aedwardslevy, @jbflint, @jephjacques, @sherman4949, @pkafka, @sherman4949, @marcoarment, @edmundlee, @brianstelter, @budgetben and @chrisvannini, 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.
Discussion: New York Times, @mikeisaac, Variety, Wall Street Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, @justinjm1, Protocol, The Verge, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Hill, @spotifynews,, Insider, Media Matters for America, @sarafischer, Vanity Fair, @reckless, @eldsjal, @lucas_shaw, Reason, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, @willoremus, Hollywood Reporter, CNN, @caseynewton, The Daily Beast, USA Today, @mathewi, @pkafka, CNET, Joni Mitchell, @stanphylcap, The Crucial Years, @kevinroose, @davidgura, @rvawonk, @mikeisaac, @shannonrwatts, @loudmouthjulia, @brianstelter, @scobie, The Grapevine, Ty Burr's Watch List, @solomonmissouri, @lucas_shaw, New York Post, Complete Music Update, @reckless, MediaPost, Don't Let It Go, RAIN News, Breitbart, Gawker, @eaton, Bastonate per Posta, Podcast Movement, NBC4 Washington, Music Ally, @dfsparks, @mmasnick, The Why Axis, @danahull, @ericboehlert, @jason, Tubefilter, @paulbernaluk, @jeffjarvis, @nandoodles, @molly0xfff, @maxnordau, @future_of_music, @shanselman, @texasinafrica, Digital Threat Digest, @intelwire, The Morning Dispatch, @davidbix, @amlwhere, @ejdickson, @darnelsugarfoo, Fioremonte, Reclaim The Net, Mindless Drivel, The Signal, Webb Chatham Report, @naveedajamali, @noupside, @lethalityjane, @juliarosen, @abbieasr, NPR, @lionelralaurent, @lucas_shaw, @vladsavov, JOMO, TechCrunch, @amaditalks, @karaswisher, @pkafka, @jbflint, @kazweida, @carnage4life, @dada_drummer, Light Reading, @timmarchman, Top Celebrity News …, @djolder, UPROXX, @bostonjoan, Bustle, @lorakolodny, @oneunderscore__ and @ruckcohlchez, more at Techmeme »
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.
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  —  But none of these landmark cases are as potentially consequential as Sarah Palin's suit against the New York Times
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: 
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
Meta says it has paused new users from joining its social media tracking tool CrowdTangle as it works “through some staffing constraints”
Stefanie Murray / Center for Cooperative Media:
A look at Ad Lab, which launched last year as an advertising network of 16 independent media organizations in New Jersey with a shared sales representative
Discussion: Nieman Lab