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Rumors and/or Gossip

Perfect Friday Fodder – WaPo Subscription Phone Line Allegedly Diverts to ‘Sex Talk’

An anonymous tipster wrote in to tell us that The Washington Post’s subscription phone line answered as “some kind of sex talk line.”

We gave the number a call – 1.800.477.5555 – but it now seems to be disconnected. After two rings, Fishbowl repeatedly got a recording saying, “We’re sorry. You have reached a number that has been disconnected, or is no longer in service. If you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and try your call again. Thank you.”

We reached out to Post PR who said that they were unaware of any issue with the line.

So much for some real Friday fun getting my subscription.

Update: We’ve heard back from The Post, who said that the wrong number was a placeholder on a page design that went live yesterday. It has since been updated with the number 1.800.577.4679, which does allow individuals to subscribe.

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In Memory of Long-time Washington Gossip Columnist Diana McLellan

f76c7db648450ad8986c43.L._V210171762_SX200_Former Washington Star, Times, and Post gossip columnist Diana McLellan died yesterday at 76. McLellan was a legend in Washington, known for her column “The Ear,” which she wrote for the Star before it folded in 1981.

In November 2013, a dinner was held in honor of Emily Heil after taking over The Washington Post‘s “Reliable Sources” column alongside Helena Andrews. McLellan offered advice for Heil via email.

“The best advice I can give – and I doubt you could do any of it now – is collect info sober, write drunk, and edit after coffee…Also, keep expenses as high as possible or they won’t respect you.” And, “Only deal with the top editor so you don’t get nibbled to death by ducks.” Read more

A Little Birdy Tells Us…

yellowbirdsA little birdy tells us that a member of the Washington media has been cast for the third season of “House of Cards.”

Last Saturday in Bel Air, Md., Kimberly Skyrme Casting held an open casting call for the upcoming season of the popular Netflix series. More than 1,000 fans and actors were there to audition for the show.

Now who might it be? For now, you’ll just have to wait and see!

A Little Birdie Tells Us…

HeadshotA little birdie tells us that Erik Wasson is leaving The Hill - where he currently serves as a staff writer covering US economic and fiscal policy – for Bloomberg. No official announcement has yet to be made that we know of and no bird droppings on Twitter as of yet.

UPDATE: A 4:08 pm email from The Hill’s Peter Schroeder to staff confirmed Wasson’s jump to Bloomberg. Thanks birdie! Internal memo after the jump. Read more

The Risks and Rewards of DC Gossip Reporting

wpoIn a piece published today in The Washington Post’s Opinion section, former FishbowlDC editor Patrick Gavin, who most recently left POLITICO after 5 years to work on a documentary about the WHCA dinner, assesses the current state of gossip reporting in Washington and its decline over the past several years.

Every outlet is called out – POLITICO Click (for which he wrote) that was disbanded in December 2013, WaPo, U.S. News, The Hill, Roll Call, and FishbowlDC – as Gavin explores the transformation of traditional gossip reporters to the writing of traditional, “more serious,” reporters.

“Readers know what they’re getting when they pick up People magazine vs. the Economist,” writes Gavin. “And while there is room and reason for both hallmark reporters and gossip chroniclers, blurring the line between them is risky. In an effort to satisfy the varied needs of their consumers, many reporters are trying to be all things to all people: Straight and saucy, proper and prattling.”

Check out Gavin’s full take on the rise and fall of DC gossip reporting.

InTheCapital’s Sophie Pyle Starting New Venture

sophieWord on the street is that Sophie Pyle is leaving her journalism career. Pyle, who launched Guest of a Guest DC from nothing to a popular event coverage site in the District, joined InTheCapital seven months ago, and is now moving on to social media.

InTheCapital is a new-media company with a “community-driven platform for editorial content and discussion with a funny/satirical, smart, empowering tone” whose parent company – Streetwise Media – also operates ChicagoInno and BostInno.

According to her recently updated Twitter bio, she is managing social media programs for several boutique clients and is launching a wedding social media service called Tweet The Bride, to offer live Tweeting and Instagramming at weddings.

She is the second writer to leave InTheCapital after city news writer Anthony Sodd left two weeks ago. At the time of posting, both Pyle and Sodd are still listed as writers on the site.

WJLA’s Britt McHenry Is Such A Tease!

Here in the Fishbowl, we’ve been hearing for a while now that WJLA sports reporter Britt McHenry is planning a career move. Thing is, we’re mostly hearing it from her.

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In late January, we did report that someone other than McHenry said she was in talks with ESPN to be a reporter and wanted out of her WJLA contract early to take the gig.

More than a month after her January 10 tease, McHenry is still at it on her social media, declaring an upcoming final travel trip with ABC7 and ending the post with “then… You’ll see :)

Our guess, she’s soon to be named ESPN’s first Emoji Correspondent. Make sure to let us know when it’s official, Britt. :)

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New Reliable Source Team Unveiled!

Hooray! WaPo has officially introduced Emily Heil and Helena Andrews as the new team behind the Reliable Source gossip column and blog. FishbowlDC has been anxiously awaiting this moment ever since last November, when we first learned of Emily’s new gig at one of Janet Donovan‘s fancy dinner parties. News of Helena’s selection followed shortly thereafter. Check out the video below to hear from the dynamic duo themselves -and join us in sending them a big FishbowlDC congratulations!

Heil Gets Served and Grilled

More than twenty media types gathered last night at LOOK to eat a course (or three) and raise a glass (or twelve) to Emily Heil’s gig as the new half of WaPo’s “Reliable Source” column.

Neither Amy Argetsinger, who is vacating the column, nor Reliable’s Roxanne Roberts were in attendance but dinner host Janet Donovan still managed to pull together an impressive and multi-generational roster of Washington gossip columnists and journos.  Among those in attendance were Annie Groer, radio hosts Bill Press and John McCaslin, Politico’s Patrick Gavin and wife Anne, Whispers columnist Nikki Schwab, USA Today’s Sue Davis, CNN’s Matt Dornic, NJ’s Ben Terris, K Street Kate Michael, Mary Bird, Washington Life’s Kevin Chaffee, The Hill‘s Emily Goodin, Roll Call‘s Warren Rojas, and LOOK owner Michael Kosmides.

Read more

WaPo’s Heil At Helm of Gossip Beat

EmilyH007_052910It’s a natural fit.

Before going to work for WaPo on Al Kamen‘s “In the Loop” column, Emily Heil worked at Roll Call where she covered features as well as wrote HOH, the publication’s Capitol Hill gossip column. Before that, she covered the gossip beat for The Hill with a column that no longer exists called “Under the Dome.” 

And now that Amy Argetsinger is pregnant and moving on to a more family friendly beat, Heil is sliding into gossip once again as she replaces Argetsinger at “Reliable Sources.”

Rest assured, with Heil soon at the helm, things are bound to improve. It’s WaPo — so they won’t let her take that many risks — but up is the only direction things can go.

See the internal memo sent around by WaPo‘s Jen Crandell. Read more

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