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Posts Tagged ‘Hugo Gurdon’

Separated at Birth: The Hill’s Hugo Gurdon

Today we see similarities (especially in the skull and hairline) between the Mad Men character Lane Pryce and The Hill‘s Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon. Pryce, played by Jared Harris, and Gurdon are both British. Of course, no similarities between Lane’s recent suicide storyline of the AMC series and Gurdon.

New York Daily News Takes Passive Stance on Commenters Doubting Logan’s Rape

The New York Daily News published a new account this morning on CBS’ Lara Logan a year after her sexual assault in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Logan says she is suffering from latent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The profile goes through the painful details and aftermath of what it’s like to be a rape victim. While the publication takes a sympathetic view, some commenters attack Logan, making claims that she is exaggerating, lying or that she was asking to be raped. Some suggest that she’s not a real victim of rape: “Nice try, CBS. Next time ask a REAL victim of rape what it feels like.” Another says Logan has no business covering a story like this because she’s a woman: “Stay home, watch your kids, make sandwiches, and leave work like this to men.” Still another calls her a “liberal beyotch.”

The New York Daily News has no plans to remove the comments. They are fair game as far as the newspaper’s policy goes. A spokesperson for the web desk tells FishbowlDC, “It depends on the nature of the comment. If it gives away personal information or things of that nature, we definitely flag them. If it’s just something mean-spirited, it’s not our policy to delete them.”

Late last year, we reported on The Hill and how they planned to change their comments section for this very reason. Editor-in-chief Hugo Gurdon told us, “We have been testing a new comment system for a few weeks on the Washington Scene and we’ll be introducing it to our main site in the next couple of weeks. Up until now, comment boards have been entirely open access and this has led to some problems. We sometimes do feel the need to take down comments that are offensive and the new system will alert us to those more efficiently. We want our comment boards to be open forums for debate, but obviously there need to be limits.”

They aren’t the only ones. More and more publications such as Politico and Mediaite to name a few are keeping a more watchful eye over comments being left on their pages.

The Hill Shifts Blogger to New Foreign Policy Blog

Fans of The Hill‘s French-American journalist Julian Pecquet will be pleased to learn that soon he’ll move from the Healthwatch blog to a new foreign policy blog that will launch later this month.

In a memo from Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon, he says of Julian: “He has done a great job on Healthwatch, to which he brought detailed policy expertise. But foreign policy has always been his passion, ever since he was in the French diplomatic corps in 1999-2000. So this is a perfect fit for Julian and it’s very pleasing that an internal move allows us to fill a new position with a reporter whose talents we already know well. Thanks, Hugo”

The Hill Attracts Raunchy Commenters

On Wednesday The Hill ran a story by Josiah Ryan regard House Democrat Rush Holt (N.J.) and federal spending levels. All pretty standard fare for a Capitol Hill publication. But the initial commentary that came after from readers? That was all about President Obama having gay sex and snorting Coke.

RedState.com Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson noticed and said The Hill may want to take those comments down. “Note to The Hill, you might want to get rid of the spammy first comment here, but it made me really laugh,” he wrote Thursday.

Alas, they didn’t entirely take his advice. The lewd commenter who claims to be “100 percent true” is still there. But “Honest Abe’s” comments on Obama’s alleged cocaine use have been pulled.

The Hill is in the process of changing it’s commenting system. Editor-in-chief Hugo Gurdon tells FishbowlDC, “We have been testing a new comment system for a few weeks on the Washington Scene and we’ll be introducing it to our main site in the next couple of weeks. Up until now, comment boards have been entirely open access and this has led to some problems. We sometimes do feel the need to take down comments that are offensive and the new system will alert us to those more efficiently. We want our comment boards to be open forums for debate, but obviously there need to be limits.”

 

Parnes to Smooch for The Hill

In a shocking twist, Amie Parnes is leaving Politico for a job at The Hill covering the White House beat. She replaces Sam Youngman, who recently left the publication for Reuters. Amie will write the weekly political column that Sam wrote.

But the real question is: Will she continue to smooch the White House and first lady Michelle Obama? We soon shall see.

Congratulations to Parnes.

See Editor Hugo Gurdon‘s memo after the jump…

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Youngman to Reuters

Polish up your resumes because The Hill is on the hunt for a new White House correspondent.  After five years, veteran reporter Sam Youngman is leaving his post for a new gig at Reuters.  Hugo Gurdon announced news of Youngman’s departure via internal memo today:

“After five action-packed years at The Hill, Sam Youngman is leaving to take up a new reporting opportunity. He is joining Reuters, where he will cover the presidential campaign. Sam has done great work here, first as a campaign reporter and then as our White House correspondent. He has broken terrific stories and seized many opportunities to shine.For the past year he has also written an insightful weekly column. I am sorry to see him go but am grateful for all that he has done for The Hill. Please join me in wishing him all the very best , Hugo”

Congrats to Sam!

The Hill Finds Error in TheWrap Story

The Hill‘s Editor Hugo Gurdon uncovered a sizable error in TheWrap’s recent story on traffic at congressional news sites, in which Politico topped The Hill and Roll Call.

“ComScore didn’t measure Roll Call‘s July traffic at 690,000 but at only 69,000, so the story was out by a factor of ten,” he wrote. “The comparison shows The Hill‘s traffic is 15 times higher than Roll Call‘s.”

TheWrap is taking the correction seriously, has amended the story and is even in the midst of changing the graphic on the original piece.

Politico is a Revenue God, Says TheWrap

This week TheWrap‘s Lucas Shaw exalted Politico‘s current business model with high praise and backed it up with numbers. In his 965-word story, he pegs Politico far ahead of other Capitol Hill competitors, with The Hill in second and Roll Call below that.

In Shaw’s mind Politico is God. At least for now.

What Shaw doesn’t explain is context. When Politico first landed on the scene in 2008, there was curiosity and then fear. Until then, longtime fierce rivals, Roll Call and The Hill, never fretted about a third competitor. Life moves on, but it was exceedingly odd that The Hill‘s former Editor-in-Chief Martin Tolchin was helping to launch a new competitor to a publication he parented for years. Newsroom chatter was full of talk of how surprising this was. The real fright set in after Capitol Leader changed that initial horrid name to Politico. Autumn VandeHei, wife of Executive Editor Jim VandeHei, was responsible for the change. Today they compete for ad dollars and Hill dominance, though Politico considers its real competitors to be Bloomberg, NYT and WaPo.

Shaw also fails to mention that Roll Call is behind a subscriber pay wall. Some media insiders claim he’s comparing apples and oranges, that it’s abhorrent to use their metrics to illustrate Politico‘s competitive edge. Still, other observers see it as right on target and insist that Roll Call putting their work behind a pay wall shows a lack of business savvy. “Roll Call will argue ‘not fair! We’re behind a firewall!’ But they’re missing the point that being behind a firewall is keeping them out of
the conversation and hurting traffic,” said a media source on condition of anonymity. “They use that excuse at their own peril.”

Shaw explained to FishbowlDC, “The story’s focus was more on Politico finding a revenue model that seems to be working (for now) and less about their beating the competition. As you know, traffic really only plays one part in attracting advertisers and an even smaller one in generating revenue, but the numbers are still relevant.”

The numbers indicate that Politico is on top, followed by The Hill followed by Roll Call, which, at least according to the author’s analysis, now languishes in last place amongst the three.

An excerpt: According to comScore, Politico.com has drawn more than 4 million unique visitors for months, rising from around 3.8 million monthly uniques earlier this year. That’s far more than notched by TheHill.com or RollCall.com all year. In July, the most recent month available, traffic shot up at TheHill.com to 1 million uniques, but still lagged behind the 4.2 million at Politico.com. And RollCall.com? It attracted 0.69 million uniques in July.

Like a cherry atop a large hot fudge sundae, there is major snuggling up to Politico‘s Mike Allen for his Playbook. CBS News Senior Political Reporter Brian Montopoli told TheWrap: “When I write a story or if I get mentioned in Playbook I’ll get 10 emails from people saying ‘I saw you in Playbook.’ It becomes a measure of success.”

Shaw added, “I hope the main point still appeared to be the growth in the online business and how profitability has enabled the site to launch new initiatives. Unfortunately, I could not get revenue figures since Politico is not a public company.”

We’ve requested comment from Politico, The Hill and Roll Call on TheWrap’s assertions. We’ll report back to you should we hear from them.

FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic contributing to the reporting of this post.

UPDATE: A clarification is in order. The Hill‘s Editor Hugo Gurdon found an error in TheWrap’s original story. He writes, “ComScore didn’t measure Roll Call‘s July traffic at 690,000 but at only 69,000, so the story was out by a factor of ten,” he wrote. “The comparison shows The Hill‘s traffic is 15 times higher than Roll Call‘s.”

 

Summer Superlatives Winners, Part III

And the final four…

In a pool of sex machines like The Hill‘s Hugo Gurdon and Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson it’s tough to imagine anyone winning FishbowlDC’s Sexiest Male of 2011 title by a landslide.  But believe it or not, the boyish good looks of Politico’s Patrick Reis clobbered the competition with over 50% of the popular vote.  Capitol Hill Ken Doll aka Kevin Madden came in a distant second with 16.3% of the vote.  Tucker Carlson, just shy of the silver, trailed Madden by only three votes.

The stress of the spotlight proved too much for Coral Davenport, Amy Harder and Olga Belogolova.  Citing migraines and lack of sleep, NJ’s Energy trio accidentally moved sexy forward when they should have been bringing it back.  The slip bumped them into second place while WUSA-9′s Kristin Fisher took gold and the title of Sexiest Female of 2011 with 38.5% of the vote.  In case you’re wondering, sultry senior seductress Helen Thomas finished third.

The title of Most Underrated went to Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post.  The rock-solid reporter earned 36.61% of the vote, pushing him ahead of Roll Call’s Paul Singer who snagged  a respectable 28.5% of the vote.

Winning by only a hair, Cabbage Patch lookalike and 2011′s Biggest Self-Promoter Matt Mackowiak upset Daily Caller’s Kurt Bardella and stole all the glory with 36.36% of the vote to Bardella’s 34.93%.  Ouch!

Congrats to Reis, Fisher, Grim and Mackowiak!   And there you have the FishbowlDC Class of 2011!

Summer Superlatives: Sexiest Male


It’s the fourth and final day of FishbowlDC’s 2011 Summer Superlatives.  Though the results are under lock and key, the winners from our first nine categories are already locked-in. By this time tomorrow, the entire Class of 2011 will have been decided and each unknowing honoree will be a mere 48 hours from FishbowlDC glory (winners and results will be announced Monday).

But before we get going today – a tiny twist.  Due to an overwhelming tally of Twitter Feud nominations for one Ms. Betsy Rothstein and an underwhelming number for anyone else, we scrapped the category.  Instead we’re bringing sexy back like you read about and splitting the Sexiest category by gender.  Up first, the dudes…

This motley crew of spicy stallions proves “sexy” is in the eye of the anonymous tipster.  Like your studs surly and British?  Got it.  Devastatingly handsome? Yepper. Youthful?  Conservative?  Quirky?  Liberal?  Beefy?  Lean?  Check.  Check.  Check.  We’ve got something for everyone but only your vote will determine which one of these sultry sex gods will take home the title (and coordinating Speedo) of FishbowlDC’s Sexiest Male of 2011. Will it be MSNBC and The Grio’s Jeff Johnson, Politico’s Patrick Reis, The Hill’s Hugo Gurdon, Washington’s own George Clooney Kevin Madden or Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson?

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