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Brian Weiss Leaves WaPo to Join The Justice Network

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 11.50.50 AMThe Washington Post’s Brian Weiss is leaving D.C. to join a new Atlanta-based television network startup dedicated to criminal justice and true crime investigations. The Justice Network bills itself as the “first-of-its-kind-public-service-iniative” where viewers will be enlisted to “track down criminals and missing children.”

According to its website, the network will feature true crime stories with the intent of making communities safer  ”by empowering viewers to take action.”  The Justice Network is partnering with Gannet Broadcasting to air its programs across nearly one third of the country beginning in January.

Weiss, who has served as The Post’s manager of business development and content partnerships for more than two years, and held similar roles at Bloomberg, will be going back to his roots in television production. At The Justice Network, he’ll be the director of distribution and business development, as well as leading the network’s digital strategy.

He will be joined by a team of some of the industry’s top executives like CEO Steve Shiffman, the former president of National Geographic Channels, the head of distribution, Barry Wallach, former president of NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution; and head of programming John Ford,  former president of the Discovery Channel.  

“Recognizing that by 2013, half of the top 50-rated prime shows on television were justice-oriented programming, our management team saw the need to satisfy America’s obsession with justice,” Schiffman said in a statement. “We are proud to be a part of this unique multicast network’s efforts to make a difference in people’s lives, fight crime and to keep communities safer.”

Bezos Introduces New Kindle App for WaPo

amazon_jeff_bezosJeffrey Bezos has finally brought Amazon and The Washington Post together. The two companies will collaborate for the first time since the Amazon founder bought The Post for $250 million a year ago.

Kindle owners will be receiving a full 6-month digital subscription to The Washington Post for free. For another six months, users will have to pay $1. It’ll then turn into a monthly subscription. According to, ”the monthly rate is still under discussion, but Post officials said it would most likely be between $3 and $5 a month.”

The app’s focus will be on national and global news, rather than local and regional, and will feature two editions each day at 5 am and 5 pm.

For now, the app is exclusively for Kindle owners and will be automatically added to certain Kindle Fire tablets as part of a software update. However, a version of the app will be available for Andriod and iOS operating systems next year.

Good Times Ahead at The Washington Times: Paper Expects First Profitable Year Ever

Good news over at The Washington Times. The paper is expecting to turn a profit next year for the first time since it was founded in 1982.

“We’re on course to erase what in 2012 was a $25 million annual loss,” Larry Beasley, president and CEO of The Washington Times said in a statement. “In 2012, monthly losses averaged $2.1 million. By the end of this year, monthly losses are expected to be in the low six figures. Starting next spring or summer, we expect to be profitable because of continued revenue growth and some more belt-tightening.”

The Times attributes much of the good news to its website—which has seen its number of unique monthly visits jump 35 percent to 9.2 million per month from 6.8 million in 2012.

“The Times will continue to publish its print editions while increasing the number of its digital products,” John Solomon, editor and vice president for content and business development, said in a statement. “The Times used to be a newspaper with a web site. Today it’s a multimedia company with an influential print newspaper that’s read and distributed on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.”

Of course, the paper has had to make some tough business decisions to get on a more sustainable path. According to Beasily, The Times‘ national weekly edition has outsourced its customer service operations and the daily print edition of the paper has had to increase its subscription prices in order to boost its revenue.

CQ Roll Call Names David Ellis as Chief Content Officer

David Ellis

CQ Roll Call announced today that their current vice president of news, David Ellis, would be promoted to chief content officer. Ellis will replace David Rapp in the top editorial position.

“David Ellis has brought world class expectations for innovation and collaboration to our news operation, while holding a deep respect for our history and our culture of collaboration,” says Keith White, managing director and executive vice president. “He is the perfect person to help propel us to the future.”

“David not only understands CQ Roll Call and its unique position in Washington journalism, he knows where it needs to go,” adds outgoing Chief Content Officer David Rapp. “I couldn’t be happier leaving the newsroom in his capable hands.” Read more

Roll Call’s Abby Livingston to Run Texas Trib’s New DC Bureau

CQ Roll Call’s Abby Livingston is heading over to The Texas Tribune’s newly created DC bureau. Livingston, a Texas native, will be the Tribune’s bureau chief and one-woman-band on the Washington beat.Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.36.04 PM

She told Fishbowl DC she’s “most looking forward to writing political stories for the people I care about most: Texans.”

Livingston leaves Roll Call after three years of covering political campaigns and Congress for the Capitol Hill newspaper. Before that, she worked for CNN, National Journal’s The Hotline and NBC Washington.

She’s slated to start work in mid-December, when the Tribune’s DC bureau officially opens for business.

“Our D.C. reporter will keep tabs on the 36 Texans in the U.S. House, the two Texans in the U.S. Senate, and other Texans on the Potomac; provide presidential campaign coverage if — who are we kidding, when — Rick Perry and Ted Cruz hit the trail; and cover the key politics and policy moves in Washington that affect the rest of us back home,” The Tribune said in an announcement posted last week.

NYT Editorial Board Pushes Back Against Chinese President’s Comments

The New York Times pushed back against Chinese President Xi Jinping in an editorial published Wednesday evening after Xi Jinping snubbed Times’ reporter Mark Landler during a press conference and all but confirmed the Chinese government had been blocking reporters from getting credentials to report in the country.

During a media briefing Wednesday, Landler asked Xi Jinping about the Chinese government’s backlog of visa applications for foreign journalists. According to the Times, China has failed to issue visas to at least six of its reporters—several denials came after the paper  published a series of critical stories exposing the super rich government leaders and their families.

After first ignoring the question, Xi Jinping responded by blaming the journalists: “The party which has created the problem, should be the one to help solve it,” he said.

The New York Times

That did not sit well with the Times’ edit board.

“The metaphor may have been oblique, but the message was clear: He was warning foreign news organizations that their troubles are self-inflicted; they are being penalized for unfavorable or controversial news coverage and could correct the problem by changing that approach,” The Times wrote.” Demanding that journalists tailor their coverage to suit the state only protects the powerful and those with something to hide. A confident regime that considers itself a world leader should be able to handle truthful examination and criticism.”

For more, check out The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple on the story here.

Issuses with Zakaria’s WaPo Columns ‘Problematic’


The Washington Post is likely to add editor’s notes to five columns by Fareed Zakaria following a report by plagiarism watchdog Our Bad Media. The report encourages The Post to correct six columns in which Zakaria used material from other sources without “proper attribution.”

Last week, Our Bad Media reported seven additional columns of Zakaria’s that required correction, which Newsweek eventually modified.

The Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt told POLITICO in an email on Monday, ”Five of the six cases cited in the latest anonymous posting strike me as problematic in their absence of full attribution. This is unfair to readers and to the original sources. We will take a fuller look over the next day or two, but we probably will attach messages to the archived editions of the five original columns.”

“All these examples predate August 2012, when Fareed acknowledged similar problems in a column for Time magazine,” Hiatt continued. “At that time he said that he was overextended and that he would simplify his schedule to put more priority on his column and to make sure no such problems recurred.”


Job Moves at WaPo

washingtonpost130Some post-election changes at The Washington Post. Greg Jaffe and Steve Mufson will now cover the White House. Previously, Jaffe worked as a Pentagon reporter there, while Mufson covered the energy industry (particularly China). Herman Wong, who previously worked on social media at Quartz, will be joining the Post’s social media team.  Last but not least, Peter Holley is now a reporter on the general assignment desk at the Post. Holley was an associate editor at Houstonia magazine.

We, here at FishbowlDC, wish them good luck in their new roles.

The Washington Post Announces New CFO, Names Two New VPs

The Washington Post today named Stephen P. Gibson CFO and VP of finance and administration. The announcement was made by publisher Fred Ryan and president and general manager Steve Hills in a memo to staff.

Gibson most recently served as CFO of Allbritton Communications for the past 16 years. He’ll step into the role November 20.

The memo also announced two VP promotions, effective immediately.

Beth Diaz, who has been with The Post since 2003, has been named VP of audience development and analytics. In this role, she’ll oversee Post “research, analytics, business development and digital marketing,” according to a release.

Kristine Coratti, who joined in 2006, has been named VP of communications.

New Media Desk, Several New Hires, and One Promotion at the Washington Examiner

logo-washington-examiner-medium21The Washington Examiner Wednesday announced several new hires and one promotion.

Former FishbowlDC writer Eddie Scarry is departing Mediaite for the Examiner’s newly created Media Desk, to be joined by T. Becket Adams from the Examiner’s commentary section. Both will hold the title of media writer and report to executive editor Mark Tapscott. Scarry and Adams start November 17.

Sarah Westwood and Ethan Barton have both also been hired as investigative reporters. Westwood comes from the Young Americas Foundation’s National Journalism Center and Barton from the Capitol News Service, an output of UMD’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

And joining in December, Claire Daniel, a contributor to Mediabistro’s GalleyCat and the digital and social publicity director of Hilsinger-Mendelson, will join the Examiner as a senior digital media strategist. Read more