Todd Spangler
Todd Spangler
Todd Spangler covers digital media and technology for Variety, which he joined in 2013. A business and technology journalist with more than 25 years of experience, he previously was technology editor at cable industry publication Multichannel News and news editor at IT journal Baseline. Earlier in his career, Todd worked at tech and internet publications including PC Magazine, Interactive Week, Web Week and Internet World. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.Source
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Rotten Tomatoes Revamps Movie Audience Scores to Focus on Verified Ticket Buyers

Rotten Tomatoes Revamps Movie Audience Scores to Focus on Verified Ticket Buyers

Rotten Tomatoes is dramatically changing its Audience Score methodology for movies: The site’s standard user rating will now reflect only moviegoers who can prove they’ve bought a ticket to see it in a theater. It’s another troll-fighting move by Rotten Tomatoes, designed to curb coordinated “review bombs” aimed at pushing down the Audience Score for films that certain bad-faith actors dislike. In February, the site disabled user comments prior to a movie’s release and changed the “Want to See” rating from a percentage score (which had been subject to tampering by trolls) to show the raw...

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Todd Spangler
May 23, 2019
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Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon CEO

Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon CEO

Amazon announced that founder Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO in the third quarter of 2021, moving into a new role as executive chair. Andy Jassy, currently CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), will become Amazon.com’s CEO at that time. The ecommerce giant made the announcement alongside blowout fourth-quarter 2020 earnings. Bezos didn’t directly address the executive transition plan in his prepared remarks. “Amazon is what it is because of invention,” Bezos said in a statement. “We do crazy things together and then make them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized...

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Todd Spangler
Feb 2
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E3 2021 Will Take Place as a Free Virtual Conference, In-Person L.A. Event Targeted for Next Year

E3 2021 Will Take Place as a Free Virtual Conference, In-Person L.A. Event Targeted for Next Year

Video game trade group ESA hopes to return event to Los Angeles in 2022After because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade group that runs the video-game convention confirmed there will be one in 2021 — although it will be online-only.The Entertainment Software Association () announced plans for a “reimagined” all-virtual 2021, set to take place June 12-15, 2021, featuring news and game reveals. The ESA said it will team up with media partners globally “to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free.”ESA said it has “early commitments” for participation from Nintendo,...

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Todd Spangler
Apr 6
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Dr. Seuss Books Rocket Up Amazon Best-Selling Books Chart

Dr. Seuss Books Rocket Up Amazon Best-Selling Books Chart

More than a dozen books penned by hopped onto ’s best-sellers ranking after the company that oversees the estate of the iconic children’s author said it decided toAs of Tuesday afternoon, 13 of the top 20 best-selling books listed on Amazon in the U.S. were by Dr. Seuss.Among those were four of the books that Dr. Seuss Enterprises said it will stop publishing and licensing: “If I Ran the Zoo” (No. 6), “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” (No. 12), “On Beyond Zebra!” (No. 19) and “Scrambled Eggs Super!” (No. 14). The surge in sales reflected a desire by fans to get copies of the...

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Todd Spangler
Mar 2
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Comcast Postpones Unpopular Data-Usage Cap Plan for Northeast Customers Until 2022

Comcast Postpones Unpopular Data-Usage Cap Plan for Northeast Customers Until 2022

has again delayed a plan to impose data-usage limits on Xfinity Internet broadband customers in its northeast U.S. region — which sparked a backlash from customers and politicos — this time, until sometime in 2022.Originally, the cable giant said it would start enforcing usage caps in 14 states and Washington, D.C., and levying surcharges of up to $100 for usage that exceeds the caps beginning in April 2021. The company then pushed the start date to July, after because of the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “This is not the time to change the rules when it comes to internet data...

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Todd Spangler
Feb 19
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Disney Plus Pops to 95 Million Paid Subscribers

Disney Plus Pops to 95 Million Paid Subscribers

Courtesy of Marvel StudiosPlus had the wind at its back to close out 2020: The streaming service notched 94.9 million customers worldwide as of Jan. 2, 2021, the company announced.That’s up more than 8 million in just one month, from . It also now tops Disney’s original projections of landing up to 90 million subs for within four years.Disney Plus’ continued growth through December benefited from the premiere of Pixar’s “Soul” on the platform and the culmination of Season 2 of Star Wars-set hit series “The Mandalorian,” , according to Nielsen. It’s also scored another buzzy release with...

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Todd Spangler
Feb 11
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Parler CEO Says He Was Fired by Board After He Proposed Cracking Down on QAnon, Terrorists and Hate Speech

Parler CEO Says He Was Fired by Board After He Proposed Cracking Down on QAnon, Terrorists and Hate Speech

The chief executive of said he was fired by the board of directors of the “free speech” social-media company — whose app was kicked off the internet for hosting violent content after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — after he advocated for stricter moderation policies.Former Parler CEO John Matze said he was terminated Jan. 29 by the board, which he said is “controlled by Rebekah Mercer,” the GOP donor who is among Parler’s investors. The news was first .Matze, who once briefly worked for Amazon’s AWS division as a software developer before joining Parler in early 2018, said in a that...

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Todd Spangler
Feb 4
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Teen Vogue Editor Alexi McCammond Quits Over Past Racist Tweets

Teen Vogue Editor Alexi McCammond Quits Over Past Racist Tweets

One week before was to start as editor-in-chief of Condé Nast’s , she has agreed to “part ways” with the company over racist tweets she had posted as a teenager a decade ago.Condé Nast announced the appointment of McCammond, formerly a political reporter at Axios, to the EIC spot at the all-digital Teen Vogue brand on March 5. Soon afterward, since-deleted Twitter posts came to light in which she used derogatory stereotypes about Asians and homophobic language. McCammond had deleted the offensive tweets two years ago but screenshots of the tweets were recirculated after news of her Teen...

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Todd Spangler
Mar 18
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No Evidence of Anti-Conservative Bias by Social Media, New Study Asserts

No Evidence of Anti-Conservative Bias by Social Media, New Study Asserts

Internet platforms like , and are not systematically biased against conservatives or right-wing viewpoints in their content moderation practices, according to an analysis from NYU researchers.According to released Monday, “False Accusation: The Unfounded Claim that Social Media Companies Censor Conservatives,” the allegation that social media companies engage in anti-conservative bias “is itself a form of disinformation: a falsehood with no reliable evidence to support it.”“No trustworthy large-scale studies have determined that conservative content is being removed for ideological...

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Todd Spangler
Feb 1
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Survey: 39% of Americans Say Netflix Has Best Original Content of All Streaming Services

Survey: 39% of Americans Say Netflix Has Best Original Content of All Streaming Services

’s multibillion-dollar content spending continues paying off: The lion’s share of U.S. consumers say the streamer has the best original programming, according to a new Morgan Stanley survey.Netflix remains the most frequently cited as offering the best original programming — with 38% of survey respondents picking it as No. 1, per the Wall Street analyst firm’s 2021 streaming survey. That’s roughly in line with Morgan Stanley’s .On the 2021 survey, 12% of respondents said offers the best original programming, followed by , Hulu and which each scored 6%-7% of total responses.According to the...

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Todd Spangler
Apr 14
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