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8:25 PM ET, March 17, 2022


 Top News: 
Jennifer Maas / Variety:
Amazon finalizes its $8.5B acquisition of MGM, two days after the deal received clearance from the EU's antitrust regulator  —  Amazon has closed its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM first announced last May, the companies said Thursday.  —  “MGM has a nearly century-long legacy …
Leah Nylen / Politico:
Sources: the FTC will not challenge Amazon's MGM Studios acquisition as Lina Khan decided not to call for a vote, anticipating opposition from GOP commissioners  —  The Federal Trade Commission will not challenge Amazon's acquisition of MGM Studios after the agency's commissioners split on bringing a suit …
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
Gannett moves the printing of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and 10 other Wisconsin dailies 220 miles to Illinois' Peoria Journal Star, cutting 180 jobs  —  The move will result in the shuttering of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's printing plant and the loss of 180 jobs.
Dan Kennedy / Media Nation:
Gannett closes at least 19 print weekly newspapers in Eastern Massachusetts and merges nine weeklies into four  —  Gannett is closing at least 19 print weekly newspapers serving at least 26 communities in Eastern Massachusetts, according to notices posted on those papers' websites.
Shraddha Chakradhar / Nieman Lab:
Interview with Amethyst Davis, founder of the six-month-old Harvey World Herald in a Chicago suburb, on her non-traditional journalism route and building trust  —  Tales of local news dying are abundant, but against the odds of today's media landscape, there are many new ventures taking root.
Pjotr Sauer / The Guardian:
Food blogger Veronika Belotserkovskaya, who lives in France, is one of the first three Russians charged under the country's fake news law for anti-war posts  —  Socialite and food blogger Veronika Belotserkovskaya says she is both amused and shocked to be charged
Washington Post:
How Volodymyr Zelensky and associates from his former TV production company, now in government jobs, are using media expertise for strategic war communications  —  When President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking to U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, aired a video documenting the human toll of Russia's assault …
Jonathan Stempel / Reuters:
Fox News appeals a ruling letting Smartmatic sue for defamation, questions Smartmatic's $2.7B claim in damages, and seeks relief under New York's anti-SLAPP law  —  Fox News on Thursday appealed a judge's decision to let voting systems company Smartmatic pursue a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit alleging …
Manori Ravindran / Variety:
Vice takes full control of UK production company Pulse Films, and co-founders Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford have left the company  —  Vice Media Group has taken full control of “Gangs of London” producer Pulse Films.  —  Pulse co-founders Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford …
Discussion: Deadline and The Wrap
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
Magna hires NewsGuard to give “nutrition labels” for 20+ networks and 100+ news programs, to be used by parent company Interpublic's media clients like J&J  —  Anchors like Don Lemon, Joy Reid and Sean Hannity have long looked at Nielsen ratings as one of the primary measures of their performance on air.
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 More News: 
Zoe Tillman / @zoetillman:
Sarah Palin appeals the judgment tossing out her defamation case against the New York Times
Bron Maher / Press Gazette:
UK's Online Safety Bill, introduced in Parliament, exempts outlets from fines for false content but lets tech companies take down content without justification
Max Goldbart / Deadline:
ITV announces an £80M Diversity Commissioning Fund to be spent over the next three years on shows produced by or related to BAME or disabled people
Discussion: Variety and Hollywood Reporter
 Earlier Picks: 
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Justin Smith says his startup with Ben Smith will hire English-language-educated journalists globally and will launch in the US and at least one other market

From Techmeme:

Rachel Metz / Bloomberg:
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman says that co-founder Ilya Sutskever won't be a board member, but that the company is “discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI”

Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Meta plans to launch Threads in Europe in December, the largest expansion since its July debut, offering a choice of using Threads without a profile

Allison Johnson / The Verge:
Google says RCS in Google Messages now has over 1B MAUs, and adds Photomoji, Screen Effects, Custom Bubbles, and other features

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