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Posts Tagged ‘Felix Gillette’

Mimi Gurbst: Career Counselor or Cruella Deville?

Early this week, New York Observer‘s Felix Gillette wrote a somewhat glowing story about top ABC News producer Mimi Gurbst and her new career path as a high school guidance counselor.

Gillette wrote:

Ms. Gurbst became a kind of cherished, if unofficial, career counselor at ABC News, helping countless young producers and correspondents find their way at a particularly tumultuous time in an already confusing business.

But since Gillette’s story was published, 67 comments tell a very different story. A FishbowlDC source who worked for Gurbst says, “This woman was the de facto head of news…assigned every reporter and producer for years…and was so cruel. The joke is she’s leaving to oversee children so she can now torture the powerless.”

Another source who pointed out the comments about Gurbst to FishbowlDC said, “Its all about the comments section. The one about having to tell her your sexual preferences, curse and compliment her shoes is so dead-on its hysterical.”

Ouch. Check out Gillette’s story here.

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Chuck Todd To Write Second Obama Book

NBC Chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd will write a book about the first few years of Obama’s presidency, as first reported by Felix Gillette at The New York Observer.

Todd’s agent says the new book will be a “nuanced analytical narrative” focusing on the political relationship between Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The book would likely come out in the months before the 2012 election.

His first book “How Barack Obama Won: A State-by-State Guide to the Historic 2008 Presidential Election,” written with NBC director of elections Sheldon Gawiser, was published in January.

Morning Reading List 05.14.09

Good morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

It is day 115 covering the Obama administration and week 15 for us. Happy Birthday to David Gelles and Rebecca Adelman! What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday morning…



NYT columnist and author Thomas Friedman returned a $75,000 speaker’s fee. LAT reports that the reversal came after a “misunderstanding” about the engagement with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America.”


One of the biggest stories this week was the murder of five American troops by a fellow sergeant at Camp Liberty in Baghdad. In her report, ABC’s senior foreign affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz had video from inside the clinic where the shooting took place. “Just a few weeks earlier, on her 20th reporting trip to Iraq, she had spent an afternoon at Camp Liberty in Baghdad,” reports The New York Observer’s Felix Gillette. “Ms. Raddatz had spent an entire afternoon interviewing the clinic’s staff members for her report on how the military was coping with the recent uptick in suicides.”

TVNewser reports news orgs were asked not to name the “other woman” during interviews with Elizabeth Edwards. In three TV interviews, Hunter, “the other woman” in the John Edwards affair, Rielle Hunter, was not mentioned.

On the same note, AP reports that it was twice denied interviews with Edwards’ because it refused to omit the name of Edwards’ mistress from its articles about Elizabeth and her book. The article quotes Michael Oreskes, the AP’s vice president and senior managing editor who said simply, “We don’t let other people edit our wire.”

ABC financial correspondent Bianna Golodryga joined the Morning Media Menu today to talk about covering the financial crisis and the differences between working for network and cable news.


In memoriam, from NYT: Robert R. Pauley, a former president of the ABC Radio network who championed radio at a time when television was replacing it as a dominant medium, died on May 2. When Pauley became the president of the network in 1961, he reinvigorated it, in part by emphasizing live events, especially sports.


NYT: Craigslist will close its erotic services category, which critics have said is a forum that fosters prostitution and other illegal activities. To replace it, the company has created a category called adult services, in which postings will be reviewed by employees.


Reuters: North Korea said it would put two U.S. journalists it arrested in March on trial on June 4, ratcheting up tension with Washington. Analysts said the reclusive North sees the two reporters as bargaining chips to try to win concessions.

Time Mag asks, Dick Cheney: Why So Chatty All of a Sudden?

There was some confusion at Columbia University over whether Attorney General Eric Holder‘s Graduate School of Journalism commencement speech on May 19th would be open or closed to the press. Page Six caught up with a rep from the school- “There is nothing at all we want to hide.”


UCLA’s Anderson School of Management announced the finalists for its 2009 Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. WSJ and NYT had the most finalists, with seven each across multiple categories. Bloomberg, “60 Minutes” and CBS were also recognized with a handful of nominations each, while now defunct magazine Portfolio received three nods. FishbowlNY has the complete list of awards here.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro

JOBS and REVOLVING DOOR after the jump…

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Extreme Makeover: NBC Washington HQ Edition

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Someone call Ty Pennington because it sounds like NBC’s Washington HQ could use an extreme makeover.

Unfortunately, a little TLC isn’t going to cut it this time. The NY Observer reports that on Sunday evening, NBC management alerted staff that asbestos was found on the first floor of their Nebraska Ave HQ. Allegedly, the contaminated area was home to Chuck Todd, Lisa Myers and the central interview room.

Felix Gillette‘s got the full scoop and the NBC memo. Check it out here.

Taking Out The Trash

What we almost missed today…

• Tonight’s primetime press conference is a costly one. B&C reports that according to the latest ad pricing data from Nielsen, this 8-9pm Wednesday slot generates around $21.5 million for the big four. Maybe that’s why Fox is only carrying it on cable.

• NYO’s Felix Gillette reports today that the NBC Washington Bureau is considering renting out some space, possibly to neighboring American University.

• E&P reports the Newspaper Association of America is cutting its staff by 50% and will no longer print its magazine Presstime.

• Al Jazeera is coming to a TV near you. WaPo reports that through an agreement with MHz, Al Jazeera English “will become available today to households throughout the Washington area, and to cable and broadcast viewers in 20 other cities in a few months.”

• The Roosevelt Institute has pulled together a bunch of media types and progressive advocacy people as contributors for a new progressive economics blog, New Deal 2.0. Regular contributors include The Nation‘s Chris Hayes, The New Yorker‘s Hendrik Hertzberg, NYO‘s Joe Conason, The American Prospect‘s Robert Kuttner and more.

• Just who does Dan Froomkin think should be covering tonight’s press conference? Find out here.

Morning Reading List 04.23.09

Good morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

Its day 94 covering the Obama administration and week 12 for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday morning…



Peter Kaplan, the longest-serving editor of The New York Observer, announced he is resigning from the newspaper effective June 1st. Kaplan joined the newspaper in 1994, after working as a magazine editor, the executive producer of The Charlie Rose show, and as a reporter for NYT.

From NYT: A number of staffers at The Observer said that a push for shorter articles and a desire for cuts in an already small newsroom budget helped Kaplan decide it was time to go. And the NY Post: Jared Kushner is rumored to be trying to unload the salmon-colored weekly.

Fifty-three newsroom employees were laid off at the Chicago Tribune. From the Trib: Editor Gerould Kern said in a letter to staff that cuts are part of a newsroom reorganization that “will focus us more clearly on our core mission” going forward with a newsgathering team of around 430.


Shepard Smith dropped the “F” bomb on’s Strategy Room yesterday and WebNewser has the clip.

HuffPo’s Danny Shea reports Fox News has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Homeland Security seeking the entire report on “right-wing extremist groups” identified as a national security threat.

Do CBS and NBC have plans to team up on a Kabul bureau? NY Observer’s Felix Gillette takes a look here.


Michael Wolff asks Why Do Liberals Still Care About Matt Drudge? “I do not think [Matt] Drudge has disappeared. I think he is dead. Certainly the Drudge Report has been on automatic pilot for several years… Drudge doesn’t count for anything. He’s from another time — a leftover. In fact, his disappearance might just be a mid-life crisis.”

This is astounding- In the last year, people somehow found a way to spend 73% more time on Facebook and other social networking sites. In February, Nielsen found, people used social network sites more than they used Web-based email for the first time ever.


Check out the collection of photographs on the walls of the White House, commentated by John Dickerson on Slate here.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romenesko

JOBS after the jump…

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Could Chuck Get A Weekend Show?

The NY Observer’s Felix Gillette reports today that NBC’s Chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd could get his own weekend show to air on MSNBC.

You’d remember Todd was one of the names considered as the new host of Meet the Press prior to the announcement of David Gregory.

From the Observer piece:

The new show on MSNBC, to debut in late spring, would give Mr. Todd more experience as a political moderator and provide him with a good opportunity to develop his long-form interviewing skills. At the same time, it would give MSNBC an original political program to show off on a weekend schedule that is currently dominated by crime documentaries and taped content.

According to sources, the specifics of the show—live vs. taped, one-on-one interview vs. a panel of guests, half-hour vs. an hour, Saturday vs. Sunday-are still being worked out. Presumably the show will originate out of NBC’s Washington D.C. bureau, where Mr. Todd is stationed. Staffing has yet to be determined.

Morning Reading List 04.09.09

Good morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

Its day 80 covering the Obama administration and week ten for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday morning…



Why the Boston Globe is on deathwatch: With a weekday circulation of about 350,000, the Globe is reported to be on track to lost $85 million in 2009. A high proportion of Boston’s residents are college students, who tend not to read newspapers, and a high proportion of its businesses are financial institutions, which, of course, have gotten hammered over the past two years.

More on Boston Globe from NYT: Perhaps most controversial, the Times wants to do away with lifetime job guarantees for Globe employees who were on board when the Taylor family sold the paper to the Times in 1993. “How long and how hard we negotiate is based on your feedback tonight,” union president Daniel Totten told Guild members at a Wednesday meeting.


It takes a real TV anchorman to cry. The NY Observer’s Felix Gillette writes about this trend in the cover story for yesterday’s paper. “Not long ago, television news was a no-cry zone,” he writes. “The top newsmen were celebrated for their emotional control in the face of gut-punching developments.” Gillette notes Glenn Beck‘s “We Surround Them” special, Roland Martin‘s tears after President Obama’s election, Rick Santelli‘s rant, Chris Matthews‘ “thrill” and Anderson Cooper‘s Katrina reports as just some of the examples of a changing cable news style.

I’ve heard of drunk dialing, but drunk online shopping? MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow buys a TV.


WSJ is planning to launch a “premium iniative” to sell “narrower information services” at a higher subscription rate to subsets of its readership.

Tucker Carlson joined the gang on the Morning Media Menu yesterday. Topics du jour: bailouts (“I don’t think anybody has a right to a federally subsidized job. I certainly didn’t. I bounced around over the past 20 years in journalism and the taxpayers have never stepped in to save my job.”), ratings sensation Glenn Beck (“If you’re doing those numbers at 5:00, you’re doing something remarkable.”) and coverage of President Obama’s Europe trip (“fawning and childish”).

Is Yahoo a better friend to news than Google?


Baltimore Sun sat down with predictions guru and founder Nate Silver: “People like Chuck Todd at NBC are pretty good. But I don’t think the election coverage is all that strong necessarily, in part because people have very short memories… In politics, you may have Capitol Hill correspondents who are thrown on the election trail every four years and maybe don’t have expertise in that area. It’s kind of like Olympic coverage. Where do you find a good curling analyst, you know?”


More on beat-sweetener’s from Slate: “At a time when readers are abandoning newspapers and magazines in droves, it hardly behooves reporters to bore them” with pieces designed to suck up to government officials, says Tim Noah. “What’s the value of access if you have no public to share it with?”

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romenesko

JOBS after the jump…

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Today’s Morning Media Menu: Obama’s Newspaper Snub

Today the Morning Media Menu was joined by New York Observer media reporter Felix Gillette.

The main topic: last night’s President Obama news conference. Although he picked each of the major network and cable news outlets, he didn’t call on any of the major newspapers. “Will that create some anxiety, further anxiety, for big newspaper reporters about their status in the world? Yes,” said Gillette, but: “A lot of times some of the coverage of who gets question at these press conferences is a little bit self-serious.”

Also, Ed Schultz and his future at MSNBC, the current state of Drudge and the New York Observer’s recent Website redesign is going.

Morning Reading List, 03.07.08

Good morning Washington.

Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:


  • You think Hillary can still score the Democratic nomination.


  • Does the Greenhouse Defect Signal a ‘Times’ Brain Drain?

  • The Pew Weekly News Interest Index shows, “As is often the case with campaign news, voters say they would like to see more coverage of the candidates’ positions on the issues. More than three-quarters of the public (78%) would like to see more coverage of the candidates’ positions on domestic issues and 74% would like to see more coverage of foreign policy positions.”

  • Obama’s New Strategy: Blame The Media!

  • Ashton Kutcher’s gonna punk the media.

  • Poynter Online reports, “The Times informed the Guild late Tuesday afternoon they may not have enough volunteers from the Newsroom to achieve the staff reductions announced last month. Terry Hayes, V.P. of Labor Relations, told the Guild that The Times may need to resort to involuntary layoffs and that there is a possibility some of those layoffs would be done out of seniority order. Bill O’Meara, President of The Newspaper Guild of New York, requested the Times extend the deadline for volunteers to apply for a buyout in the hope enough people would step forward and avoid the need for an involuntary layoff.”

  • Robert Niles writes, “Competition is back in journalism, and many reporters are losing their jobs in the confusion. Here are some tips to help you avoid that end.”

  • Peggy Drexler writes her “long goodbye” to the newspaper.

  • Slate’s Jack Shafer writes, “Last month, the New York Times conceded plagiarism when I informed it that a Feb. 23 Times dispatch had lifted — almost verbatim — two lines from an 18-month-old Miami Herald story about the illicit drug paco. The Times reporter, Alexei Barrionuevo, told his bosses that he didn’t remember pinching the lines from the Herald but acknowledged that he must have retrieved them while Googling for information. A second case of plagiarism by Barrionuevo has come to my attention. On July 15, 2005, Bloomberg News moved a story about the United States lifting ‘mad cow’ import restrictions on Canadian cattle. On July 16, 2005, the Times ran a very similar story, also pegged to a conference call with Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns.”

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  • An ABC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research for Sunday, March 2, 2008, ABC News’ ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ outperformed CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’ among both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54. This is the 13th time this season ‘This Week’ beat ‘Face’ in Total Viewers and the 12th time beating CBS among the key Adults 25-54 demo. ‘This Week’ posted 3.06 million Total Viewers, outperforming ‘Face’ by 410,000. This is the program’s largest lead over ‘Face’ since November 11th. Among Adults 25-54, the program posted 1.21 million, beating CBS by 290,000. This is the program’s largest lead over ‘Face’ since January 27th.”

  • A NBC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘Meet the Press with Tim Russert’ was the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program, winning the week ending Sunday, March 2, 2008 in all categories. On Sunday, the Russert-moderated program was top rated averaging 4.563 million total viewers”

  • Also from NBC, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘Meet
    the Press with Tim Russert’ topped the Sunday morning public affairs
    competition in all categories throughout the February 2008 sweep period. During the sweep, the Russert-moderated program attracted 4.338 million total viewers”

  • Also from ABC, “According to Nielsen Media Research for the week of February 25, 2008, ABC News’ ‘Nightline’ outperformed CBS ‘Letterman’ among the key Adults 25-54 demographic. This is ‘Nightline’s’ best performance among Adults 25-54 since the week of December 3, 2007. The program posted 1.75 million, beating CBS by 90,000.”

  • The Huffington Post reports,David Gregory Gives Obama A Pass On ‘I Won Michigan’ Slip”

  • TVNewser reports,Felix Gillette writes in the New York Observer about CBS anchor Katie Couric missing out on moderating a debate during this primary season. Gillette notes that Couric is one of the only high profile anchors yet to host a debate. ‘How did the highest-paid anchor on evening television get upstaged by Brian Williams, Brit Hume, Charles Gibson, Wolf Blitzer, Tim Russert, George Stephanopoulos, Campbell Brown, Chris Wallace, Natalie Morales and on and on?’ asks Gillette.”

  • “FNC’s Brit Hume talked with the magazine of his alma mater, the University of Virginia about how he got his start in the biz and about the current state of TV journalism,” reports TVNewser.

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  • BNA is looking for a Daily Environmental Reporter.

  • NewsUSA is looking for a Feature Writer.

  • The Daily Record is looking for a Multimedia Reporter.

  • Carroll County Times is looking for an Online Community Reporter.

  • Inside Lacrosse is looking for an Online Editor.

  • International Center for Journalists is seeking a Website Editor/Program Officer.

  • Inside Washington Publishers is looking for Print and online reporters.

  • SmartBrief is seeking a summer editorial intern.

  • Need To Know News is looking for On-Air Talent and a FX Writer.

  • The Advisory Board Company is looking for a Health Writer: Nursing & Healthcare Finance.

  • The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is seeking an experienced editor.

  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute is looking for a Communications Coordinator.

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    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext