Breakfast Briefing: 5 things to know Thursday

The year's top 10 most read PRWeek agency stories; LinkedIn's co-founder funded an election disinformation group; MSNBC beat Fox in the ratings war; and sports stars don't own the copyrights to their tattoos.

The biggest agency merger in recent memory resulted in several stories in the list of the year's top 10 most read PRWeek agency stories. But topping the list was the piece about Baylor University infiltrating sexual assault survivor groups to shape its PR strategy.

The co-founder of LinkedIn, billionaire Reid Hoffman apologized for funding a group tied to election disinformation. Hoffman made a statement Wednesday saying he was sorry for giving money to a group linked to a scheme to spread disinformation in last year’s Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones. (Washington Post)

Fox lost in the ratings war to MSNBC. MSNBC outranked Fox in total viewers for the first time since 2000. From December 17 to 21, in the 25-54 age demographic, MSNBC had an average of 1,558,000 total viewers. Fox News had 1,541,000 and CNN averaged 975,000. (The Hill)

Do sports stars own the copyrights to their tattoos? No, and neither do you. The tattoo artist does. In real life it’s not an issue because it’s generally accepted that people with tattoos have an implied licence to display them. But at least three lawsuits say that licence does not carry over into the world of video games, which could affect sports stars who are characters in those worlds. (New York Times)

Another flare up in the carriage wars. Verizon Communications Inc. says Fios TV customers may lose access to ESPN, Disney Channel and other networks if doesn’t reach a deal with Walt Disney Co. It’s the latest battle between media companies over carrying and paying for content. (Wall Street Journal)

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