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Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Levin’

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Racy thoughts from WaPo‘s ME

“Rock stars get room keys. I get business cards.” — WaPo Managing Editor Raju Narisetti.

HuffPost‘s Sam Stein attempts bribery

“Free drinks to anyone who rt’s my story huff.to/w1ZJoM #anewtactic” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein in a funny reaction to James O’Keefe‘s absurd charge that he boozes up his sources to get stories. Read more about the Stein ordeal here on Mediaite. Also read their interview with O’Keefe by White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher.

A question we should all ponder…“How long do lights on Twinkle Toe Princess shoes last? Got pairs for our 8 & 4 yr old today. Already close to desperation.” — NPR’s Scott Simon.

TV reporter to Mr. Conductor: Leave me alone!

“Not only is @Amtrak overcrowded and overpriced the customer service is awful! Mr. Conductor don’t take your bad day out on me.” — NBC Washington’s  John Schriffen.

TV cameraman scares crap out of radio reporter

“Just had the S scared out of me, bumping into @newmediajim outside Starbucks when he cheerfully shouted ‘Neal!’ Always good to see him, tho.” — WTOP’s Neal Augenstein in a recent tweet. He’s referring to NBC News cameraman Jim Long.

TMZ’s Harvey Levin: A Visionary?

A note was slipped to me by a stranger during TMZ founder Harvey Levin’s speech at the National Press Club on Monday. It read, “I’ve been a member here for almost 25 years. Heard Pres. candidiates, CEO’s of largest corporations, cabinet secretaries. He is far and away the best speaker we’ve heard at the NPC. Relevant; speaking/not reading; Visionary.” Among other things, Levin said Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), with whom he had dinner some months ago, would thank him for putting him and his abs on TMZ. He said the NYT has figured out the web better than most; he remarked that LAT has a “good” website with issues. Levin stressed the need to “reinvent” and “evolve.” He said, “Newspapers don’t need to fold — they need to reinvent themselves. …There’s this holy grail, that we must preserve newspapers. Why?” He calls the rush to publish web stories a “cop out,” saying, “the web doesn’t force you to publish before you’re ready to publish. You still decide when to pull the trigger.”

Favorite lines from WaPo Monica Hess‘s story on Dangerous Instincts by a former FBI profiler and serial killer expert: “Reading the book is likely to do one of two things. If you tend to be lackadaisical about things such as door-locking, then the book will introduce you to the deadbolt. If you’re already vigilant, then it will make you purchase a Navy SEAL dog with bionic teeth.” If you don’t care about sleeping, read the full story here.

The FishbowlDC Interview with TMZ’s Harvey Levin

It’s hard for TMZ’s founder Harvey Levin to chill and stop working. At the National Press Club today to keynote a luncheon, he sat in a tan leather chair upstairs to prepare his speech and do this interview. He’s intense, but polite, friendly and not a big shot Hollywood figure who can’t be bothered. He wants to be bothered — within reason. He also wants to get his thoughts together and use the men’s room before his speech because “it would be bad form to pee in my pants,” he says, laughing. Something else that immediately jumps out: He’s smaller than he appears on TV. Throughout the day it will be the first observation people make. He’s svelte and proportional and has expensive-looking black sneakers with no laces and fashionable holes. “Are those Crocs?” asks American Urban Radio’s White House Correspondent April Ryan out of earshot at a VIP reception before the luncheon. Random but noteworthy: He’s newly vegetarian and no longer wears leather. He skips the juicy steak swimming in gravy and potatoes lunch and doesn’t opt for the vegetarian alternative — a mushroom with a thick, bubbling layer of cheese. Instead, he sips ice water. On the show, Levin stands and hangs over a newsroom wall, making it harder to tell how tall or short he is. He’s 5’7,” at least according to the driver’s license he pulled out to show me when I asked.

Before the FishbowlDC interview gets underway, first, a phone call to the office to check in. “Hey it’s me,” he says into his BlackBerry. “Are they still in the meeting? Anything I need to know? We have to talk about Scarlett Johansson. It’s the weirdest thing…” (A producer was in Paris recently and had an inappropriate interaction with Johansson, something that will not run on air. Levin’s producer tells me Harvey’s just having fun and giving the producer as hard a time as possible.)

On starting TMZ in Washington: “Yes, it’s just an issue of time. It will happen. I just need time to do it right. This is going to require me to be here for awhile.Favorite politicians?Not really. Therein lies the problem.” Does he support President Obama’s reelection? “Not going to say.”

Let’s begin.

Which GOP presidential contender is the most TMZ-worthy? Too soon to tell. (His producer chimes in, “Rick Perry. He’s bound to do the dumbest thing.” Levin’s not necessarily convinced.)

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Orange crush.

What is the one question you get asked most frequently? What’s in your cup?

How often do you Google yourself? Almost never.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Anderson Cooper, because he’s honest.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Here’s the thing.”

What’s the worst thing a stranger/heckler ever said to him? Find out…
Read more

Caption This

This afternooon American Urban Radio White House Correspondent April Ryan sat on the dais of the National Press Club during a luncheon where the keynote speaker was TMZ founder Harvey Levin. Beforehand, she attended a V.I.P. reception where she got to meet him and tell him how much she enjoys watching his show.

Please, Fishbowlers, we’d really like to see your creative captions. Send to FishbowlDC@mediabistro.com or to Betsy@mediabistro.com. Or tweet us your caption at @FishbowlDC.

“Bo may look like an ordinary dog but trust me, Harvey, he’s so much more.”

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Coincidence? We think not. Last night FishbowlMatt and I were texting about a variety of hot topics when he entered the Chipotle and saw this.

Deep Thoughts…

“Sun. Grass. Newspapers. People. A family of teeny mice tiptoe through the shrubs in their own private world. #sittingstill #whatching” — National Geographic Contributing Editor Carl Hoffman.

Luke and Maureen off to see Bruce

“On my way to see Springsteen with Luke. Wrote Newsweek cover story on Bruce exactly 36 years ago this coming week.” — Vanity Fair Correspondent Maureen Orth. (The late Tim Russert‘s favorite musician was Springsteen. The musician gave a surprise performance at Russert’s memorial service in 2008.)

The Political Consultant

“Sen. @DavidVitter uses Twitter to congratulate individual Republicans for winning in Saturday’s La. Election #notnecessary” — CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston.

Flashback

“Mechanic told me today my car failed inspection. He had a look of disappointment as I tried to explain what happened #highschoolflashbacks” — The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack.

TWT Senior Op-ed Writer Emily Miller‘s reaction to ex-Gov. Mark Sanford being hired by Fox News: “WTF?”

Really?

“I’m so tempted to ad-lib but I won’t.” — TIME‘s Mark Halperin on this morning’s “Morning Joe.” After calling President Obama “kind of a dick” on national TV we’d think Halperin wouldn’t even think about ad-libbing. This involved a reenactment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s interview to Parade Magazine. Willie Geist played Perry. Halperin played the interviewer.

Happy 24th wedding anniversary to WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty.

ABC’s Klein welcomes baby into world

“A warm welcome to Max Rubin Klein (9lb 8oz!). Future slugger? Congrats to parents Laine and @rickklein and big brother Jack.” — ABC’s Jonathan Karl.

Reminder: TMZ’s Harvey Levin talks to GWU students and then he’s off to the National Press Club for lunch.

If you’re up…

Call Trail Mix blogger Craig Crawford on C-SPAN starting at 7:45 a.m.

Democrats: (202) 737-0001
Republicans: (202) 737-0002
Independents: (202) 628-0205
Outside U.S.: (202) 628-0184

TMZ’s Levin to Pop Into D.C. for a Visit

That’s right. TMZ’s Executive Producer Harvey Levin is coming to the National Press Club Speakers luncheon on Oct. 24 to discuss — what else? — the future of news coverage in a speech entitled “Will the evening news become TMZ?”

Levin will discuss how the TMZ news model, with its online and TV components, has changed the way people receive entertainment and political news. He’ll address the rapid 24-hour news cycle and threats to accuracy and rigorous journalism standards, as well as TMZ critics who dismiss its coverage as crappy celebrity gossip.

“Number one–we don’t do gossip; we do news,” Levin said in a PRNewswire release. “Number two–everybody takes our stories.  If you look at CNN, if you look at all the shows, a lot of people tell us they literally get their rundowns from our site.”

Allbritton and VandeHarris Make VF’s “New Establishment 2009″ List

Politico‘s Robert Allbritton, John Harris, and Jim VandeHei join the ranks of Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett and Eric Schmidt (though we question his #5 ranking we suffered through Gmail glitches for hours yesterday) for the first time this year on Vanity Fair‘s annual top 100 Information Age powers list.

By our count, Allbritton and VandeHarris (sharing #84) are the only true DC’ers to make the list- other media types include faux-newsman Jon Stewart (48), PBS’ Charlie Rose (60), CBS’ Leslie Moonves (58), NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker (61), CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett (sharing 69), NYT‘s Bill Keller (75), Fox News’ Glenn Beck (81), NYT‘s Frank Rich (83), TMZ’s Harvey Levin (85), HuffPost’s Arianna Huffington (88) and NYT‘s Paul Krugman (93).

Early Sunday Show Preview

NBC’s Meet the Press: Programming Note: Meet the Press will not air Sunday, July 5 due to NBC’s coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals. We will return at our regular time on July 12.

CBS’ Face the Nation: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

ABC’s This Week: Vice President Joe Biden and a roundtable with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Liz Cheney, ABC’s Matthew Dowd and George Will and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ABC News contributor Cynthia Tucker

Fox News Sunday: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and a panel with Weekly Standard and Fox News’ Bill Kristol, AP’s Jennifer Loven, Weekly Standard and Fox News’ Stephen Hayes and NPR and Fox News’ Juan Williams

CNN’s State of the Union: Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Chair, King Hussein Foundation and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: CNN’s Don Lemon, TMZ’s Harvey Levin, TheWrap.com’s Sharon Waxman and the Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik

CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, “Dead Aid” author Dambisa Moyo and “The Blue Sweater” author Jacqueline Novogratz

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: WaPo‘s Bob Woodward, The Daily Beast’s Tina Brown, Time‘s Joe Klein and CNN’s Gloria Borger (The panel will discuss the future of print journalism.)

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: ABC’s Martha Raddatz, WaPo‘s Dan Balz, WSJ‘s Naftali Bendavid and USA Today‘s Joan Biskupic

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

Will update as we learn them.

Noon Reading List 04.03.09

Good afternoon FishbowlDC! Sorry for the delay…

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 74 covering the Obama administration and week nine for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Friday…

NEWSPAPERS | TV | ONLINE | MAGAZINES | NEWS NOTES

NEWPAPERS

NYT executive editor Bill Keller tells Politico that readers have offered to donate money to keep the Times alive, and suggested that GM probably isn’t getting similar offers. “Saving the New York Times now ranks with saving Darfur as a high-minded cause.”

That has gotten some attention on the blogosphere- check out NYT: “Screw Darfur, Save Maureen.”

Howard Kurtz: “The first lady has generated endless media chatter about everything from her sleeveless dresses to her vegetable garden. And she has a disarming candor. But this week’s coverage has an over-the-top feel. Are journalists in danger of exhausting their supply of superlatives?”

Jon Friedman: You can usually identify a New York Times column by the writer’s agenda. Nicholas Kristof wants to save Darfur. Maureen Dowd relishes sticking the needle in some Beltway blowhard. Paul Krugman seeks to put his stamp on economic policy. But what about Thomas Friedman?

Ten experts from inside and outside the newspaper industry were asked to write mission statements for the core print product, say what elements of the current paper they would include if they were starting a print product from scratch and gaze into their crystal balls to predict the industry’s future. Check it out here.

TV

LAT: “Allowing free viewing of marquee prime-time shows on the Internet is causing anxiety among some in the media industry, who worry that the practice mirrors the potentially fatal error newspapers made of losing subscribers by not charging for online editions.”

The Reliable Source confirms. Dating: “CNN anchors John Roberts and Kyra Phillips, sources close to the situation confirm. She accompanied him last month to his induction into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame in Toronto; he showed up in support as she emceed the TAPS Honor Guard Gala at the Mellon Auditorium here Tuesday, benefiting families who have lost service members. Also seen together that night dining at Zola. A commuter relationship: He’s based in NYC, she’s in Atlanta.”

ONLINE

Paul Farhi: “For years, newspapers have effectively been handing their online competitors one of their chief weapons in the fight for the news audience, the AP wire. Could this situation — and the more or less collective decision to offer free access to news online — have been avoided?”

MAGAZINES

For the first time in memory, the magazine death rate has surpassed the magazine birth rate. The number of print magazines that folded in the first quarter reached 101 titles. By contrast, the number of print magazines that launched in the first quarter totaled 95.

Google is rumored to be in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter. They can be assumed to be well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding. Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars.

NEWS NOTES

TMZ.com is expanding its coverage of Washington and attempting to put a new face on U.S. lawmakers with its unique coverage of body shapes, car styles, sidewalk interviews, and legal snafus. TMZ’s Harvey Levin was in Washington on Thursday looking to hire a second D.C. staff member.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro

TMZ To DC

If you swim in the shallow end of Washington’s intellectual circles (aka: gossip), then you may have spent Friday meeting with TMZ.com’s Harvey Levin, who quietly snuck into town to interview people for his next gig: TMZDC.com.

Yes, apparently there’s room for even more gossip mongers.

You’ll recall that TMZ broke such stories as of Mel Gibson’s drunk driving arrest, Nicole Richie driving on the wrong side of the freeway, Michael Richards’ scary stand-up performance, Miss USA scandals and plenty of Britney Spears crotch shots.

We can tell some of what we’re hearing about Levin’s project, which he’s hoping to launch sooner rather than later:

  • TMZDC.com will be prominently linked from TMZ.com, which is, by most yardsticks, the most popular entertainment website in the world.

  • Levin is shooting for an audience outside, not inside, the Beltway. Fun ideas include things like this “Separated at Birth” -like comparison of Sen. Barack Obama and Will Smith, which generated over 200 comments.

  • To give you a flavor of the kind of stories TMZDC will work on, here are some of the examples we’ve heard (all true, apparently):

    -A certain congresswoman hurling on the floor of the House of Representatives

    -A pilot who kicked off a congressmen (and his luggagge) from the plane for refusing to get off his cell phone.

    -A certain tall White House reporter who stuffed a certain petite White House reporter into an overhead bin.

  • And yes: TMZDC.com is already taken.

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