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CNN+, The Upcoming Streaming Service WarnerMedia Is Hurling Cash At

The news giant has already poached Audie Cornish from NPR and Chris Wallace from Fox for CNN+ (rumor has it they dangled $20 million at Rachel Maddow), and it's bringing on its own stars (Anderson Cooper, Sara Sidner) as well. The suits insist, "This is not CNN 2." - Vanity Fair

Boris’s Government Says It Will Eliminate The BBC TV License Fee. What Is That? (An Explainer)

It's the way the BBC is funded — a flat fee, currently £159 ($217) a year, charged to every household in the UK that has a television. Here's an explanation of how that money is spent, why the fee was just frozen, and why the Tories want to kill it. - BBC

YouTube Removes “Dislike” Buttons And Engagement Goes Down

YouTube’s controversial move to remove public dislike counts in November was aimed at shielding smaller creators from harassment campaigns but has already started to discourage certain viewers from engaging with videos on the platform, new data suggests. -Variety

End Of The BBC As We Know It?

Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell said the Government is signalling “the end of the BBC as we know it” in a “pathetic” attempt to distract from Boris Johnson’s difficulties over Downing Street parties. - The Press-Gazette

The Tories Freeze BBC’s License Fee For Two Years

Sounds great during a pandemic, right? But the BBC is commercial-free, and the license fee is its income, so when the fee doesn't keep up with inflation, the broadcaster must plan for budget cuts all around. - Variety

Sundance Is All Online Again, And That’s Great

Cheers aren't what one might expect for yet another canceled in-person event - and yet, 80 films will be on offer, with art houses across the country screening films in-person. Sorry, Park City, but this is "a more democratic and authentic representation of audiences." - Washington Post

Familiar Faces At The Oscars May Crowd Out Potential Newcomers

"The directors’ branch has been known to be an exclusive club that has snubbed" newcomers like Ava DuVernay and Shaka King. "Crowding the race this year are such big names as Joel Coen for The Tragedy of Macbeth and Steven Spielberg for West Side Story." - Variety

Why Superheroes Are So Often Orphans

Basically, it's easier for the writers and creators of tales: "It is a tried and tested, tragic narrative formula that efficiently releases them into the wider world, as well as exposing them to danger." - The Guardian (UK)

How Disney Defines America Now

Just take a look at Moana and Encanto, and "the message seems fairly clear: America is broken (but don’t worry, all is not lost)." - The Atlantic

Streamers’ Successes (And Failures) Reignite Debate Over Who Reaps The Profits

At issue: Money, or at least how and when it's parceled out. Generally, it's better for actors if streamers pay talent up front, but "the rare phenomenon of a hit is the only downside." - Variety

World’s Second Largest Movie Theatre Chain Reports Sharp Rebound In Ticket Sales

Box office and concession revenues saw significant growth across the second half of 2021. Notably, group performance was at 50% of 2019 levels in July, increasing to 90% in October and with December reaching 88%. - Deadline

NBC Universal Picks New Audience-Measuring Service

The company announced today it will use data from iSpot.tv, a Bellevue, Wash.-based company that measures audiences across linear TV and streaming platforms to provide viewing information on the two major events next month. - Los Angeles Times

The “Intangible Sludge”: Why Do So Many Movies Have Washed-Out Color These Days?

"Desaturation is not in and of itself bad. It's a tool that can be used poorly or well. But why is it everywhere now? There's no one answer to that question, but here are my five best guesses as to what might be behind the desaturation of Hollywood." - Vox

The Armorer For “Rust”, Which Had That Fatal Shooting On Set, Sues Supplier For Mixing Live Bullets With Blanks

Star Alec Baldwin accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on October 21 with a prop gun that was supposed to be loaded with dummy ammunition. The film's armorer is suing PDQ Arm and Prop for false and deceptive labeling and trade practices. - CNN

NPR Does Its Own Report On How It Is “Hemorrhaging Hosts From Marginalized Backgrounds”

The job went to media reporter David Folkenflik, by now quite experienced in, and respected for, stories about his employer — and he finds that the situation there is more complex than the quote in the headline (from ATC host Ari Shapiro) might indicate. - NPR

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