State of Play 12/28

NYP editorial joins the party

TODAY’S TOP STORY: Murdoch dumps Trump

The biggest national story in the past 1.5 months has been Donald J. Trump’s inability to concede the 2020 election to Joseph Biden. He has undoubtedly loved the thrall he has kept the nation in, one final opportunity to be the focus of attention. The Murdoch empire has inched towards a rebuke of the President, opening up a vacuum for upstart media companies looking to court his more ardent supports. The soft-walking of criticism from the Murdoch media empire is undoubtedly with the hopes that he will pack it in. But as each day edges closer to Biden’s inauguration, the rapping of knuckles becomes more pronounced. For upstarts concerned more with building audience than the specter of credibility, it provides a real opening for recruitment of disaffected Fox, WSJ, NYP viewers and readers.

New York Post Tells Trump to ‘Give It Up’ Over Election Claim (Bloomberg)

“Mr. President, it’s time to end this dark charade,” the New York City tabloid’s editorial board wrote in Monday’s edition. The paper, which endorsed Trump for president, tells Trump to “Give it up,” adding “for your sake and the nation’s.”

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Instacart Looked Like a Savior. Now Stores Aren’t So Sure. (WSJ)

Instacart’s retailer partners say the service holds too much control over customer interactions and expect it to take an increasing share of money that food makers spend on marketing. All that has put grocers in a bind, as delivery continues to boom and becomes a necessity.

TAKEAWAY: Like restaurants and Grubhub/Seamless, stores are more openly communicating the impact third-party delivery services are having on their bottom lines.

Class Action Suit Filed for Cd Projekt Investors Over Cyberpunk 2077 (PC Gamer)

Primarily, the suit alleges that false or misleading statements were made about Cyberpunk 2077 being playable on the current-generation Xbox and PlayStation systems. The removal of Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation store, and the offer of refunds by Sony, Microsoft, and CD Projekt itself are widely cited in business circles as the reason for a plunge in CD Projekt's stock price despite its high sales numbers.

TAKEAWAY: While the suit has a high unlikelihood of succeeding, CDPR’s woes continue. Previously on Cyberpunk in MC.

Georgia Election Admins Battle COVID and Conspiracies Ahead of Senate Runoffs (POLITICO)

Georgia’s election administrators are fighting bizarre conspiracy theories, ballooning costs and coronavirus-related staffing problems as they prepare for the state’s contentious, nationally watched Senate runoffs next week.

TAKEAWAY: The modern campaign, evinced by the blueprint established by the 2020 Presidential election, will feature a healthy mix of disinfo around the actual legitimacy of the vote itself, straining resources and putting people in charge of election in real risk.

Heather Cox Richardson Offers a Break From the Media Maelstrom. It’s Working. (NYT)

She’s writing for people who want to leave an article feeling “smarter not dumber,” she says, and who don’t want to learn about the events of the day through the panicked channels of cable news and Twitter, but calmly situated in the long sweep of American history and values.

TAKEAWAY: Every new media distribution channel (blogs, Twitter, podcasts, now Substack - which is obviously a new coat of paint on email) creates a new opportunity to reinvent media. HCR is using her platform to avoid the kneejerk and rubbernecking pace of social media to provide a more languid approach of the news of the day. As Substack’s top earner, it’s clearly working.

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