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3:20 PM ET, February 20, 2024

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Lucas Manfredi / The Wrap:
Nielsen: US monthly TV viewership rose 1.4% YoY to a four-year high in January, which included three of the top 10 days with the most TV viewing since May 2021  —  Monthly TV usage hit a four-year high in January 2024, according to Nielsen, with three of the top 10 days (Jan. 1, 14 and 28) …
RELATED:
Dade Hayes / Deadline:
As YouTube marks one year as Nielsen's top US streaming service, a Q&A with YouTube VPs Nicky Rettke and Tara Levy on the NFL, ad innovation, creators, and more  —  EXCLUSIVE: YouTube has been racking up milestones lately.  Its pay-TV bundle, YouTube TV, just passed 8 million subscribers.
Arijit Barman / The Economic Times:
Sources: Zee has re-engaged with Sony in a last-ditch attempt to revive their $10B merger, which had been called off on January 22; ZEEL closed up 7.93%  —  Zee Entertainment Enterprises has re-engaged with Sony Group Corp in a last-ditch attempt to revive their $10-billion merger.
RELATED:
Bloomberg:
Sources: India's market regulator has found a $241M gap in Zee Entertainment's accounting  —  - Diverted funds may be 10 times of what was estimated initially  — Zee's merger with Sony's local unit was called off last month  —  India's market regulator has found a hole of more than $240 million …
Discussion: The Economic Times
Jacob Pramuk / CNBC:
Walmart agrees to acquire TV maker Vizio for $2.3B, or $11.50/share, to boost its ad business via Vizio's SmartCast OS, which lets users stream content with ads  —  - Walmart is buying TV maker Vizio for $2.3 billion in cash.  — The move is a bid to boost the big-box retailer's high-margin ad business.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
The New York Times is recruiting select advertising partners to test its new generative AI ad-targeting tool, which it plans to make widely available in H2 2024  —  The New York Times is recruiting partners to test new ad-targeting solutions using generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) beginning next quarter, executives told Axios.
Discussion: The Wrap and @sarafischer
Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac:
Apple Music introduces a monthly version of Replay, with insights like total listening time, top songs, artists, and albums  —  Apple today updated the Apple Music Replay experience, available at replay.music.apple.com, with visualizations of your favorite music habits by month, rather than just by year.
Rick Porter / The Hollywood Reporter:
HBO delays posting Last Week Tonight With John Oliver segments on YouTube for a few days after episodes premiere, to nudge more people to watch the show on Max  —  The delay in posting to the video site is intended to nudge more people to watch the show on Max.
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
Q&A with Monty Sarhan, CEO of European streamer SkyShowtime, on adding a cheaper ad-supported tier, not revealing subscriber numbers, cutting spending, and more  —  The European streaming joint venture of Comcast and Paramount is not cutting back because “the U.S. narrative is not our narrative …
Discussion: Media Play News
Scott Roxborough / The Hollywood Reporter:
Fremantle plans to buy Asacha Media after taking an 80% stake in TV group Beach House; both acquisitions combined will cost Fremantle's parent RTL Group €200M+  —  The deal, which is still subject to closing conditions, adds eight more production labels to Fremantle's growing portfolio.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Pinterest plans to release its first streaming show with Tastemade on February 23 for free on Tastemade's channel and apps, featuring QR codes of shoppable Pins  —  Pinterest is readying the launch of its first-ever streaming show, cooking and lifestyle series “Deliciously Entertaining” …
Discussion: Media Play News
 
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 More News: 
Jude Rogers / The Guardian:
Q&A with BBC Disinformation & Social Media Correspondent Marianna Spring on her book Among the Trolls, being the target of 80% of BBC's online abuse, and more
Bron Maher / Press Gazette:
The UK's National Association of Press Agencies criticizes News UK for its freelance rates remaining unchanged in 40 years; The Sun pays £20 for a news in brief
 Earlier Picks: 
The Economic Times:
The Misinformation Combat Alliance and Meta plan to launch a dedicated fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp in India so users can flag deepfakes for analysis
Eduardo Suárez / Reuters Institute:
Q&A with AG Sulzberger on becoming the NYT publisher, what he misses about being a reporter, the NYT's goal of reaching 15M subscribers by 2025, and more
Samantha Chery / Washington Post:
Polk Awards: The New York Times and ProPublica both win three awards, Vice News wins for Television Reporting, Reuters wins for Business Reporting, and more