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4:45 PM ET, January 3, 2018


 Top News: 
Michael Wolff / New York Magazine:
Book excerpt recounts Trump's interactions with various media figures including Roger Ailes, who encouraged him to float rumors of a TV network, and Murdoch  —  One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration's shocked first days.  —  Election Night: It “looked as if he had seen a ghost.”
Emily Smith / Page Six:
Sources: Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb is earning $18M less than her predecessor Matt Lauer, with a $7M/year deal, underlining huge wage disparity at NBC News  —  Hoda Kotb made history by officially landing Matt Lauer's former “Today” show job — but she is still being paid around $18 million less per year …
Eun Kyung Kim /
Hoda Kotb, who filled in for Matt Lauer since his firing, is named co-anchor of the Today show
Dan Primack / Axios:
Sources: Spotify confidentially filed IPO documents with the SEC at the end of December; indications are the company wants to list in Q1  —  Music streaming giant Spotify confidentially filed IPO documents with the SEC at the end of December, Axios has learned from multiple sources.
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
Spotify faces new copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music that suggests up to 21% of Spotify songs are unlicensed; plaintiff seeks $1.6B+ in damages
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Showtime's political documentary series The Circus will return in April without Mark Halperin; he is being replaced by CBS news anchor Alex Wagner  —  The Showtime political documentary series “The Circus” is set to return in April, minus its most recognizable star: Mark Halperin …
Greg Dool / Folio:
Time Inc. sells Essence magazine to group of investors led by Shea Moisture founder Richelieu Dennis; Michelle Ebanks will remain president and get equity stake  —  Time Inc. has officially sold Essence—the magazine as well as its website and events business—to a group of investors led …
James Risen / The Intercept:
James Risen recounts his struggles with the government and his NYT editors as he reported on US pre-war intelligence on Iraq and the NSA domestic spying effort  —  I was sitting in the nearly empty restaurant of the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, getting ready for a showdown …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
The New York Times, constantly under attack from all quarters, often resorts to “both-sides” reporting that fails to properly challenge those with power  —  When most newspapers get a new publisher, few people know or care.  It gets a shrug, except by those directly affected.
Steve Kovach / Business Insider:
YouTube had re-uploads of Logan Paul's video in Trending section before removing them, says non-graphic videos offering commentary don't violate guidelines  —  - YouTube users have posted multiple copies of a controversial video YouTube star Logan Paul deleted on Monday.
Davey Alba / BuzzFeed:
Logan Paul debacle highlights YouTube's content moderation problem, as experts say Paul's video isn't something AI moderation could catch on its own
Todd Spangler / Variety:
A&E Networks signs deal with Verizon's Oath to make some of its programming available to stream for free on Yahoo and AOL  —  Telco also gets exclusive window on original digital content from A+E's 45th & Dean studio  —  Episodes of History's “Vikings,” Lifetime's “Project Runway” …
Sources: Amazon in talks with Clorox, Procter & Gamble, others about product promotion on Echo; some discussions focus on sponsorship options within skills  —  - Ads will focus on sponsorship opportunities within skills or use data about a buyer's shopping history to suggest products.
Elisabeth Bumiller / The New York Times Company:
Memo: The New York Times appoints Lara Jakes as a deputy editor of its Washington bureau, overseeing coverage of foreign policy  —  Lara Jakes has been named a deputy editor in Washington, overseeing the coverage of foreign policy.  Read more in this note from Elisabeth Bumiller:  —  Great news.
Alicia A. Caldwell / Wall Street Journal:
National Press Club and others are advocating for Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez Soto, denied asylum and arrested after fleeing to US ~10 years ago  —  Emilio Gutierrez Soto, recently denied asylum and arrested after an initial appeal was rejected, says he and his son will be killed if they return to Mexico
Discussion: @snfettig
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 More News: 
Lucia Moses / Digiday:
News Corp CEO Robert Thomson says the company is in constant talks with Facebook and Google, praises Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin launches American Woman, an eight-part digital series profiling eminent women like Ava DuVernay and Sheryl Crow
Discussion: CNN
Raymond Zhong / New York Times:
Source: Beijing Bytedance Technology, the parent company of Toutiao news app, is in talks to raise funding that would increase its valuation from $20B to $30B+
 Earlier Picks: 
Tim Lockette / Anniston Star:
Former publisher and chairman of the company that publishes the Anniston Star, H. Brandt Ayers, accused of forced spanking staffers in the newsroom in the 1970s
Julia Ioffe / The Atlantic:
The few stories by Russian journalists about Russian influence on the US election show the importance of independent press abroad