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Letter from the Editor: Relaunch!

A preview of what we've got in store for mediabistro 4.0.

January 26, 2005

Dear Readers,

In five days, mediabistro is going to look a lot different. It will still have all the usual features you've come to know and love ("How to Pitch" articles, the Revolving Door, back-end services like job listings, courses, and the Freelance Marketplace) but with whole new look and feel.

One of the biggest developments in what will be mediabistro's fourth homepage redesign is that we're launching 5 new blogs (5.5 technically) and relaunching 2 existing mediabistro blogs (TVNewser.com and Galleycat.com). So we thought we'd give you a preview:

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TVNEWSER is one of mb's existing blogs. You may have missed it because the link on the front page (below the feature listings) is, well,...very small. TVNewser covers TV news and is written by Brian Stelter. Brian's bio: Brian is an 18-year-old sophomore at Towson University near Baltimore, Maryland, and a native of Maryland's Washington, D.C., suburbs. He founded CableNewser, the predecessor weblog to mediabistro.com's TVNewser, on January 1, 2004, and he ran it New York Times profile on May 27, 2004. In addition to providing up-to-date commentary on daily happenings in broadcast TV, Brian has broken news on several key occasions (most recently, Tucker Carlson's departure from CNN) and we're excited to see what he does with a fresh new website.

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GALLEYCAT, mediabistro's book and publishing blog, is written by Nathalie Chicha. Galleycat also has a [very small] link on the mediabistro homepage. That linkóand TVNewser'sówill be much more prominent when mediabistro relaunches on Monday. Nathalie's bio: Nathalie moved to New York in August, 2004, after completing an MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She began Cup of Chicha, her personal weblog about arts and culture, in 2001, and, when not writing about books for GalleyCat, she can still be found there.

And now on to the new blogs:

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First up is UNBEIGE, a blog about design. It's mostly graphic and product design, but with a sprinkling of architecture and anything else that's remotely interesting and/or relevant. (The title was inspired by this quote by the late Tibor Kalman.) UnBeige is a small but important step in mediabistro's efforts to better serve the art side of the media business. UnBeige is written by Jen Bekman. Jen's bio: Jen Bekman is the owner and director of the jen bekman gallery, which is located on Spring St in New York City. Established in 2003, the gallery emphasizes emerging artists and has a program that includes unique and innovative group exhibitions. She was previously the VP of User Development at Meetup, the Chief Creative Officer for an AOL-greenhouse streaming video startup, called Earthnoise and an independent consultant specializing in online community and audience development. In San Francisco, she held executive positions at both Netscape and Disney, where she developed editorial and community products for their web sites. Jen was born and raised in New York City, where she currently resides.

Below TVNEWSER, GALLEYCAT, and UNBEIGE are our new "FISHBOWL" blogs. The fishbowls are regional media gossip blogs for New York, LA and D.C. If they work well, we'll launch them elsewhere. The fishbowls, as the name implies, are a little more insider-y than the content on the homepage and they cover media and industries that are somewhat peripheral, but related (entertainment in LA, advertising in New York, etc.)

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FishbowlNY is being co-authored by Christian Moerk and myself (Elizabeth Spiers). Christian's bio: Christian Moerk cut his teeth as a reporter for Variety in New York and as film editor for Daily Variety in Los Angeles. Later, he served as a production executive at Warner Bros. Pictures, working on movies like Devil's Advocate and Eraser before returning fulltime to writing. He was also senior correspondent to the late, lamented Inside.com. A graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, he now contributes to the New York Times and is at work on his third novel. My bio: Before joining mb as editor-in-chief in November, I was a contributing writer and editor at New York magazine, which I joined in September of '03. Prior to New York, I was the founding editor of Gawker.com, a Manhattan gossip blog. Before Gawker, I was analyzing stocks for hedge funds, which tells you all you need to know about the hedge fund industry.

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FishbowlLA is being written by Michael Sonnenschein. Michael's bio: Michael Sonnenschein lives in Los Angeles, where he writes for television and contributes to LA Innuendo, a magazine and website about Southern California life and culture. He has never worked professionally as a journalist. However, he often goes to parties attended by journalists, at which he stands in the corner eating chips and watching these professional journalists move around the room. He hopes to bring this expertise to FishbowlLA.

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FishbowlDC is written by Garrett Graff. Garrett's bio: Garrett Graff is vice president of communications at EchoDitto, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based technology consulting firm. A Vermont native, he served formerly as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean's presidential campaign and, beginning in 1997, was then-Governor Dean's first webmaster. In college, he was a news writer and executive editor at the Harvard Crimson, Harvard University's daily newspaper, where he wrote more news articles than any other writer in half-a-century and held internships at ABCNews' Political Unit and at the Atlantic Monthly. He is also a frequent speaker on blogging and the intersection of politics and technology.

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And finally, MBTOOLBOX, our catch-all blog about freelance writing and useful resources for journalists. MBToolbox is written by Claire Zulkey. Claire's bio: Claire Zulkey is a Chicago writer whose work has appeared on NPR, at Second City and in the Chicago Tribune, Modern Bride and ELLEgirl. She also runs her personal site, Zulkey.com, and is pursuing her Masters degree at Northwestern University.

We're looking forward to next week's relaunch and we hope you are, too.

Elizabeth Spiers
Editor-in-Chief



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