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Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Spierling’

Afternoon Reading List 08.14.13.

WaPo can’t be Politico and shouldn’t try, says ex-Politico writer — The recent sale of WaPo to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has sparked a lot of analysis of why the newspaper’s profits have slumped. But in a piece for BuzzFeed, Steve Friess   — who left Politico just last Friday after writing for Politico Pro –  argues that much of that analysis has been misguided and that “if the Washington Post becomes Politico we all lose.” Friess, who was a senior reporter for the publication, is careful not to burn bridges despite what the subhead says: “A recently departed Politico reporter on why The Washington Post should steer clear of his old employer’s model.” He writes that Politico has been profitable because of their very close coverage of a niche, and that most of the profits come from Politico Pro. WaPo, on the other hand, must focus on a broader array of coverage and couldn’t make a revenue if it took to Politico’s model. Friess cited analysis from NYT’s Ross Douthat that WaPo’s “fatal sin is an alleged failure to fully embrace to internet and deploy the sort of kinetic, report-ever-bowel-movement coverage of official Washington that has turned Politico into a juggernaut.” He argues that there’s a market for both, but WaPo needs to be itself, not Politico.

Why you should read it: There’s been a lot of coverage of the WaPo sale, and Friess puts a compelling argument that goes against the grain of popular analysis of the sale.

What can Bezos do? WaPo doesn’t get sold every day, so we’re going with another look at the sale to finish off today’s reading list. Though it doesn’t happen often, WaPo has changed hands before. And, TNR’s Todd Gitlin reports, the newest owner may “figure out not only how to get people to read journalism but how to create it somewhat afresh. Or he may take one or another low road.” Gitlin offers no solution, but says WaPo’s woes “will not be reversed if new money tries to do more of what the old money failed to do successfully–retrench and shift digital.”

Why you should read it: Gitlin offers not just insight into Bezos takeover of the paper but puts it in context with past sales and acquisitions by other tech billionaires.

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Conservative Pubs: WATCH YOUR BACKS!

Conservative news outlets around Washington may want to chain their top reporters down to their desks these days, as Breitbart.com is moving in on their territory. Reporters from a number of publications such as The Daily Caller and The Washington Times are receiving enticing offers, with some scribes seeing their salaries increased by as much as $25k with yearly bonuses of $5k. Breitbart.com will provide full benefits starting in February. Until then, they’re offering a reimbursement plan.

But there’s a catch. Sources tell FishbowlDC the would-be hires are being asked to sign four-year contracts. To his credit, Steve Bannon, who is heading up the hiring process in Washington, is succeeding despite rubbing some the wrong way. Some who have dealt with him say he tells you what he needs to and skimps on the truth. So far, however, he has snagged The Daily Caller‘s ever controversial Matthew Boyle and over the weekend TWT’s Kerry Picket announced on Twitter that she is going to work for Breitbart.com as an investigative reporter.

Reporters around town being wooed for Breitbart.com include: Katie Pavlich of Townhall, Lachlan Markay of Heritage, Charlie Spiering of the Washington Examiner, Caroline May of The Daily Caller and Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard.

Some have described a cultish feel to the process, with phrases such as “This is the way Andrew would have wanted it” being bandied about in conversation. But some in conservative media circles aren’t taking any of this all that well. “I predict this cast of misfits once fully assembled are now going to walk around events in DC slinging their cocks around like they’re the new cool kids,” said one scribe. And another: “They look like a bunch of a folk that were rejected from working at BuzzFeed, who was like, ‘Can they post cat pics?’ And then said, ‘nevermind’ to hiring them.”

Picket, a well-known conservative reporter who wrote TWT‘s The Water Cooler blog, is well regarded within Washington’s media… Read more