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Posts Tagged ‘Cathy Taylor’

The O.C. Comes to Washington

Cathy Taylor, formerly Editor of Human Events who was brought in from the Orange County Register, is returning to her old stomping grounds. Sort of, anyhow. She’s opening up the Washington bureau of the Orange County Register.

“I had a wonderful year at Human Events working with Joe, John Gizzi, David Harsanyi and more and was very sad to see the print edition closed,” she wrote FishbowlDC. “But, here’s the latest. …Now, I’m returning to cover a market and audience I know well, and bring our readers news and analysis from Washington. My reporting will be enriched for having worked with the fine people at Human Events.”

She explained that the Register is expanding under the leadership of Publisher Aaron Kushner and Editor Ken Brusic. Her new boss, Political Editor Mark Mattasa, calls it a bit of “journo-heaven.”

Taylor said goodbye to the Register in October 2011. She was the publication’s Opinion Editor. Most recently Human Events shut down its print edition, leaving some employees out of jobs.

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How the Chips Fell At Human Events

Higher-ups at Human Events warned staff on Tuesday that there would be a big announcement at a 10:30 a.m. meeting the next day. Many employees had a feeling it would be bad news, possibly more layoffs.

Workers who showed up at the office before the meeting went to their desks and computers as usual. Then they gathered in the conference room where V.P. and Group Publisher Joe Guerriero announced that the last payday for nearly all staff members would be this Friday. After the meeting, employees returned to their computers, only to find they couldn’t use them. While the bad news was delivered, the log-in information had been changed.

Employees were told if they needed to retrieve any personal information from what was now their former computers, management would watch them while they did so. Today will be their last day in the office. Human Events will no longer be available in print. Feb. 18th was their last issue.

Guerriero would not comment on the record for this story.

What happened in the meeting…Despite the somber news, no negative energy was felt inside the conference room, a source who was present for the meeting told FBDC. Read more

Coulter on Alter: ‘Is he considered a journalist?’

Conservative author Ann Coulter showed up to her book signing at the Americans for Tax Reform headquarters 30 minutes late. “I blame it all on Human Events,” she announced when she arrived.

Coulter was interviewed by Human Events prior to the signing and it ran long. Thomas Winter, the paper’s editor, told FishbowlDC Coulter alerted him she was going to return to her hotel to change clothes before heading to ATR. “Having a wife… I know what it’s like when a woman says she’s going to be somewhere as soon as she can,” he said.

Some 70 people showed up at the event to have Coulter sign copies of her new book Mugged. She signed all of them before heading to the “First Friday” monthly gathering of young conservatives near Capitol Hill.

On CSPAN Friday morning, Coulter, known for attacking the news media, said “the entire mainstream media is pretending” her new book “doesn’t exist.” On her way out we asked her to name the most fair national reporter. “[Fox News'] Brit Hume,” she said without skipping a beat. When asked to name the least fair reporter, she said “Everyone on MSNBC.” How about one specific reporter? She named former Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter. “Is he considered a journalist? Probably not,” she said.

With that, Coulter exited the building, cup of wine in hand.

Alter responded to Coulter’s comments in an email to FBDC. He said she named him “because we appeared on television many times together before she was famous and she insisted on going on alone, and each time I owned her.”

Coulter must have struck a chord. Alter sent another email immediate after: “P.S: Does she even know what the word ‘fair’ means?” he said. “We know that if she does, she doesn’t consider it a compliment.  That means she must be saying something nice about me. Thanks, Ann!”

Notables: TWT‘s Kerry Picket; GOProud Co-Founder Jimmy LaSalvia; Town Hall‘s Derek Hunter; Human Event‘s Cathy Taylor, Neil W. McCabe and Audrey Hudson; and WMAL’s Chris Plante.

Quotable: “So we had to sit there in the cab right next to each other in complete silence.”– Picket, describing her latest troubles flying into D.C. from Denver, Colo. at 2 a.m. She said the line to hail a cab outside of Reagan National Airport was long and when she finally flagged one down, a woman jumped the line to hop in. “I guess the New York in me came out,” Picket said. The two females argued over who was going to take the cab before the driver told them he could take them both. The last time we saw Picket at a book-related event, she sported a black and blue banged up leg — the result of a mountain biking accident.

Author Ed Klein: ‘It is Not I Who Has Changed’

Ed Klein, author of the book The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, was in Washington Tuesday to celebrate his book holding steadfast at No. 1 on the NYT bestsellers list for three weeks in a row.

FBDC met with Klein at a book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Union Station (the very one where Mother Jones’ David Corn blew his fuse). We inquired about criticism he has received from the left and right on his work as a journalist since being an editor at NYT Magazine back in the 1980s (a recent column in The Weekly Standard called Klein’s book “thin material”).

“I left the New York Times 25 years ago,” Klein said. “The New York Times at that point was a down-the-middle newspaper. Before that, I was at Newsweek which was also a down-the-middle-of-the-road magazine. Those two publications have lurched way over to the left since I left. So, it’s not I who have changed. It’s the publications who have changed.”

Klein’s handlers said about a dozen people showed up to get books signed.

Later in the evening, Regnery, Klein’s publisher, hosted a soirée for Klein at the uber masculine Morton’s. “I’d tell the men to take off their jackets but I know we’re all Republicans here,” Klein joked in his remarks.

The event attracted a crowed of about 50 people and was exceedingly drama free. It did, however, feature an open bar and shrimp cocktail hors d’oeurves so huge that they could choke a walrus. Delicious.

Notables: The Washington Examiner‘s Paul Bedard, Human Events Editor Cathy Taylor and The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas, Josh Peterson, Jamie Weinstein and Michelle Fields.

Quotable: “It’s in the freezer.”– The Daily Caller‘s Tech Editor Josh Peterson telling us the current location of a Bonsai tree he owns. We were just happy he wasn’t talking about a severed head.

Random Observation: A highly sociable Michelle Fields was spotted wearing her woodshop glasses. CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield she’s not, but the glasses are fast becoming her signature look.

Botched Bylines Give Human Events a Blemish

Relaunching a website often comes with growing pains. We recently reported that Human Events had some kinks to work out as it reintroduced its website. Then, it was some coding issues. Today, it’s bylines.

During the switch from Site Manager to WordPress as the website’s administrative system, several stories screwed up who wrote what. For instance, former contributor Steven Robinson‘s name, which appeared as a double byline on a few stories, was deleted from the site. Articles originally bearing his name appeared are now authored by “Main Admin” or by Audrey Hudson, the publication’s congressional correspondent. Robinson recently left Eagle Publishing, which owns Human Events. He now works on the website for the Paul Revere Project, which aims to coordinate messaging among conservative groups in D.C. and nationwide.

As recently as this morning a story co-written by Robinson was changed to only show Hudson’s name. Three days ago, Robinson asked his old employers about it and was told about internal system issues. His byline was not restored until today after FishbowlDC’s inquiry.

Joe Guerriero, VP and Group Publisher of Eagle Publishing, told FBDC by email that the mix up had to do with “transferring a massive number of files to a new system” and the order in which they were sent.

Though Robinson said he thought there might be something more nefarious at hand, Human Events‘ Editor Cathy Taylor said the issue also happened with at least one other author out of the 200 the publication had in its system. “Steve Robinson’s byline was confused with another periodic author’s byline, Ron Robinson. Also, when Steve double-bylined with Audrey Hudson, his name apparently was dropped off,” Taylor said. “The good news is that all data transferred.”

The bad news, however, is that Robinson (the whistle blower) won’t be writing for Human Events anytime soon.

Human Events Empanada Giveaway Draws Long Line

To celebrate the relaunch of its paper product, Human Events spent Monday treating hungry people to food from the DC Empanadas food truck.

The line was long when the truck parked for the lunch hours at Farragut Square. Betsy asked me if it was as long as the famed gargantuan Lobster truck lines. I’d say longer.

Human Events‘ Publisher Joe Guerriero, Editor Cathy Taylor, Senior Reporter David Harsanyi and videographer Pat Frank were out to help promote the publication. But while Taylor occasionally worked the line, plugging the paper, most of the promoting was done by the sign on the food truck that said it all: “Human Events, it’s on us.”

VP/Group Publisher Joe Guerriero remarked to FBDC, “Wish I owned the empanada truck.  More than 700 meals today.”

FBDC took a look at the paper’s new design. It’s printed on full-color tabloid and contains more content than before. The editorial content has been moved closer to the back end. Taylor told us her goal is exclusive content by Human Events in every story. A new website for the publication launches in about two weeks, she said.

As an aside, I tried the Mr. Miyagi empanada. Two, actually. (This empanada can loosely be described as chicken and vegetables in a teriyaki sauce “with a kick.”)

UPDATED Human Events Faces Shakeup, Layoffs

Cathy Taylor is barely four months into her gig as the editor of Human Events and the conservative weekly is already facing a massive shakeup under her leadership.

Taylor recently terminated Tony Lee who spearheaded the publication’s election blog and also dropped Brian H. Darling, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a regular columnist for nearly four years. FishbowlDC hears there are more major changes on the horizon and possibly more layoffs.

Sources close to Human Events tell us Taylor is moving the news outlet, known for its hard right conservatism, into a more “big tent” direction with an emphasis on original reporting. There will be a relaunch of the paper product and website in mid April.

Despite not pulling in a profit, Human Events isn’t thought to be in financial trouble. It is funded by its parent company Eagle Publishing.

Dismissing Lee

Lee joined Human Events in late 2010. He was initially hired to report on politics and culture but moved into political analysis with the website’s launch of “The Chase,” an opinion blog on the Republican presidential field.

Lee faced long-term health issues before and during his tenure at Human Events. A source close to the publication told FishbowlDC that this was likely a major factor in his termination, but there was also a series of conflicts between him and Taylor regarding the direction of Human Events into more centrist territory. Multiple sources expressed doubt over Taylor’s bona fides as a conservative.

The New Direction

At the core of Human Event‘s makeover…

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Fishbowl5 With Eagle Pub’s VP Joe Guerriero

Human Events is playing a game of musical chairs in its editorial department. Jason Materra, who came on board in April 2010, is out and Cathy Taylor, an op-ed writer at the Orange County Register, is in. Materra, the infamous ambusher, isn’t leaving Human Events. But he has been on his way out of his role as Editor for quite sometime as an outside recruiter has been slowly but methodically conducting a nationwide search for his replacement. Oddly, Materra, who is working on a new book called Hollywood Hypocrites, knew this was coming — higher-ups sensed he wasn’t a good fit for the top spot and told him so. Several inside sources say he wept over the news in an office meeting in early 2011. Brass swears it never happened and say those who may want to stick it to him are lying. By and large, employees are not surprised or upset about Materra switching roles. Furthermore, they don’t really care about his departure from the top role and some wouldn’t mind if he left altogether. As it was explained to FBDC, “He’s in a position where his talents are not being used properly. He should be in a role where he can roam around and do videos and the stuff he is known for. So there is a mismatch between the position and skill set.” So as Materra shifts into his new role after a recent surge of attention surrounding his dust-up with V.P. Biden, we spoke with his boss, Eagle Publishing’s VP and Group Publisher Joe Guerriero by phone Thursday morning. He was in a busy, noisy Manhattan hotel lobby, but stepped out into the street (car horns, traffic, etc..) to find some quiet and chat about the company shuffle. In his past…Prior to Eagle Publishing, Guerriero worked at Success as Publisher and Senior V.P. Before that he was the head of sales and marketing at Billboard Magazine. A Bronx native, he was a Catholic schoolboy who graduated from Mount St. Michael High School and Manhattanville College, where he taught for a few years. In 1982 he began his career selling advertising in the medical business followed by a decade at Crain Communications. For more on Guerriero, read Politico Patrick Gavin‘s story from earlier in the week in which he breaks the news of Materra’s in-house move.

1. How did you first meet Jason Materra? I met Jason after during 2010 CPAC. I had read a galley of his book Obama Zombies. I thought it was really well done, pretty expensively researched.

2. How did you come to hire him as Editor of Human Events? We had been looking to make a change [with] the editor position. But there was really nobody that was really emerging as terrific. Here is a talented, charismatic, young guy. Let’s give him a shot. We knew we were taking a chance putting him in this position. Is he really enjoying himself? It was clear that it wasn’t singing to him.

3. When did you realize that it wasn’t, as you say, singing for him? There was no moment really. There was no defining moment. I said, ‘Do you want to be a star in the conservative movement or do you want to be an editor?’ Basically he was enjoying the radio show and working on his book so much. I would always say, ‘Are you sure you want to be doing this, chained to your desk?’ He was honest. We were like, we love you, we want to support your career. I have weekly one-on-ones with all my staff [to discuss their lives and careers]. We determined right now that he needs to be doing books and TV and not building an editorial operation that we need to be competitive. There was no animus, no bad feelings.

4. Several sources have said they saw Jason cry about the news when it was first brought up to him earlier in the year. What do you make of that? Not once have I see him come close to shedding a tear. Whoever you’re speaking with clearly has a bone to pick. Jason is from Brooklyn. He’s not going to cry.

5. Tell me about the search to replace him. We had a number of people in and out of D.C. We had a recruiter out of New York handle the search. The search itself started with about 40 to 42 candidates in the U.S. and UK. Some were eliminated immediately. We got it down to five candidates. [Guerrriero suddenly returns to the previous question on Jason crying.] “If you just thought about it for a minute, it’s comical. I happen to love the person who would say something like that too.”

Bonus Q: Was Cathy the clear pick? She was number 1. The 1a was not from D.C. and had just relocated their family, and were not wanting to relocate their family. We had excellent candidates. I’d say she wasn’t our top choice from the beginning [but emerged as 1 in the end.]

More on Materra’s ambush techniques after the jump as Guerriero compares him to the Beatles…yes, you read that right, The BEATLES

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