Advertising and Media Insider newsletter February 27

game of thrones
AT&T’s “Game of Thrones”


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It was a big day for AT&T. An appeals court upheld its merger with Time Warner. The court rejected the US Department of Justice’s argument that a federal judge didn’t understand the case. The ruling ends a multiyear fight between AT&T and the government, which had argued that the deal would mean higher prices for consumers. Analysts saw this ruling as ending the fight and setting the stage for AT&T to continue its transformation as a media company, as Google and Facebook gobble up digital advertising.

— Lucia

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Here’s what else we’ve been reporting on this week.

The cofounder of Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune is leaving the publication Jaymee Messler is leaving The Players’ Tribune, which she co-founded with ex-New York Yankee Derek Jeter in 2014. It’s unclear what it means for the publication, but its success depended on getting sports stars to contribute to it, and as an ex-agent, Messler brought the connection to the athletes.

Cannabis retailer MedMen’s CMO talks about the challenges of marketing marijuana and why education is a key pillar of its strategy Marijuana is becoming increasingly legal and mainstream, but TV networks still aren’t entirely ready to run cannabis commercials, as pot retailer MedMen recently found when Spectrum rejected an ad it tried to run in Southern California.

The last 16 best-picture Oscar winners show how out of touch Hollywood’s biggest night is with general audiences We looked back at the lifetime domestic gross for the last 16 best-picture Oscar winners and matched those with the lifetime gross for the movies that topped those years at the box office. And only once did they match up (2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”).

Jeff Bezos saved The Washington Post. Here’s what employees are saying about his recent scandals Bezos has been heralded as the ideal steward of The Washington Post, using his billions to save the paper while leaving the editorial side alone. Some Post employees have big feelings after sexy photos and texts he sent to his mistress were leaked to the National Enquirer, with some saying the scandal humanized him and others being less forgiving.

YouTube is facing another brand-safety crisis, and agencies see it as an opportunity to get the video platform to pay the brand safety tab McDonald’s, AT&T, and other advertisers pulled their YouTube ads after it was discovered that YouTube videos featuring children included inappropriate comments that linked to pornography. Now agencies think the latest controversy could give them new leverage over YouTube, which wants them to pay the cost of making sure their ads don’t show up next to such controversial content.

Feel free to send tips or thoughts to me at [email protected]

Here are other good stories from tech, media, and entertainment:

Google says the built-in microphone it never told Nest users about was ‘never supposed to be a secret

Goldman Sachs is right: Samsung’s folding phone may be a genuine threat to Apple’s iPhone How consumers rank Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube on privacy, fake news, content relevance, safety, and sharing ‘Green Book’ is the worst Oscar best picture winner since ‘Crash,’ according to movie critics Satya Nadella has steered Microsoft into the cloud computing ‘catbird’s seat’ and it could make the company untouchable


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