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11:10 AM ET, February 28, 2024

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Reliance and Disney merge their media businesses in India, creating the country's largest media conglomerate; Reliance values it at $8.5B and will invest $1.4B  —  Reliance, its portfolio Viacom18 and Disney are merging their media businesses in India, creating the largest media entity in the South Asian market.
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Mehdi Hasan raises $4M to launch Zeteo, a digital media company on Substack, offering a weekly streaming show he hosts, contributor pieces, a podcast, and more  —  Hasan, whose MSNBC cancellation triggered an outpouring from fans, follows other political pundits who have struck out on their own
RELATED:
Jem Aswad / Variety:
TikTok removes all songs published by Universal Music Publishing Group, expanding a licensing spat; at first only songs owned or distributed by UMG were removed
Angelique Jackson / Variety:
Study: 77 of the top 100 top-grossing domestic films in the US in 2023 featured more male characters than female characters in speaking roles  —  The latest 'It's a Man's (Celluloid) World' report shows 77% of movies had more male than female characters  —  A new study indicates that the tenets …
Discussion: Screen Rant, IndieWire and Deadline
Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
Axel Springer and 31 other media groups in Europe file a $2.3B lawsuit against Google, alleging that they suffered losses due to its digital ad practices  —  Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google was hit with a 2.1-billion-euro ($2.3 billion) lawsuit by 32 media groups including Axel Springer and Schibsted …
Newshub:
WBD proposes shutting down Newshub, one of New Zealand's major newsrooms, on June 30, as part of which ~200 journalists and other staff could lose their jobs  —  One of the country's major newsrooms could close, thanks to a collapse in TV advertising revenue and changes in viewing habits.
Byron Tau / Wired:
A look at some government contractors that are helping US intelligence agencies and others use targeted mobile ads to track down people  —  Meet the guy who taught US intelligence agencies how to make the most of the ad tech ecosystem, “the largest information-gathering enterprise ever conceived by man.”
Samantha Cole / 404 Media:
Internal docs: Tumblr staff compiled users' data in preparation for deals where Automattic would sell the data to OpenAI and Midjourney to train AI tools  —  Tumblr and WordPress.com are preparing to sell user data to Midjourney and OpenAI, according to a source with internal knowledge …
 
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 More News: 
Alexis Ong / The Verge:
A look at the underground floppy disk music scene; Discogs data shows 500+ floppy music releases in the 2020s, more than in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s combined
Ben Strauss / Washington Post:
Authentic says it has recouped its ~$90M SI purchase via licensing; sources: SI has 1M print subs, breaks even, and Minute Media is a potential new publisher
 Earlier Picks: 
Mark Stenberg / Adweek:
Docs: Google is paying a handful of independent publishers a five-figure sum for one year to use an unreleased suite of generative AI tools to post stories
Blake Brittain / Reuters:
Filing: OpenAI asks a US federal judge to dismiss parts of NYT's copyright suit, alleging it “paid someone to hack OpenAI's products” and violated OpenAI's TOS
Alex Sherman / CNBC:
Sources: WBD is no longer pursuing a merger with Paramount, Skydance is doing due diligence, and Comcast is exploring commercial partnerships with Paramount
 

 
From Techmeme:

Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:
Report: alleged ringleader of the Scattered Spider hacking group was arrested in Spain; sources: the accused is a 22-year-old Scottish man named Tyler Buchanan

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
A look at Apple's slow rollout of AI features, impressive visionOS 2 beta, plans for thinnest, lightest devices in tech, including a phone in the iPhone 17 line

Caroline O'Donovan / Washington Post:
Leaked documents reveal life-threatening issues at Amazon's primary-care service One Medical, raising concerns about Amazon's frugal approach to health care

 
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