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Posts Tagged ‘Laurel Touby’ Founder Sits Down With…

Today at 1:30 p.m. founder Laurel Touby will sit down with cofounders David Liu and Carley Roney to chat about how their wedding planning site became a booming business venture. Among the many topics will be how the married couple persuaded then AOL-Prez Ted Leonsis to launch the site on the AOL network among other wonky details of running the company. Liu and Roney founded TheKnot in 1996. Three years later the business went public.

RSVP today at 1:30 p.m. on BNET Live. Visit here.

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Queen Bitches at 30,000 Feet: Snooki & JWoww

Snooki and JWoww were treated like royalty aboard American Airlines Flight 40 from LA to NYC on Saturday. Too bad they were seen behaving like animals.

Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby, sitting just behind TV’s Jersey Shore duo, got into a tussle with JWoww when trying to retrieve something in the overhead. At 5 ft tall, Touby, with a hot cup of coffee among other odds and ends, was struggling and temporarily placed a bag in JWoww’s space. At the time, JWoww was chatting on her cell and had her feet curled up on her seat. Still, this was entirely unacceptable to the Jersey royalty. “What are you doing?” JWoww snapped. “You’re coming into my space! You’re going to spill your coffee all over me!” Snooki huffed alongside her friend.

Touby, who said she felt slightly humiliated, gave in. “I said, okay, okay, I’m moving.” She described the anger emanating from JWoww as “atomic.” Touby told FishbowlDC, “The whole time I was glaring through their seats. [JWoww] made the whole trip toxic for me. She ruined the entire experience. She was so scarily nasty.”

On an important side note, Snooki was not sporting her signature hair poof. “No poof,” said Touby. “She was a flattened little wet pup of a thing.” She napped while cuddling a stuffed animal (as pictured above).

Famous faces that they are, the reality stars wowed the flight attendants, who fawned and asked for autographs for the entire flight crew. “It was gag inducing,” said Touby, who suffers from Prosopagnosia (more commonly known as Face Blindness) and had no idea who they were. It’s not personal. She didn’t recognize Robert Redford when she saw him in a movie, and was once introduced to a “short man” at a party who turned out to be New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. “They acted like queens,” Touby continued of JWoww and Snooki, who she called “self-important bitches” on Twitter.

After whisking them off the plane, flight attendants escorted them through a secret back door.

The masses waited 45 minutes at baggage claim.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Question for area journos: Sure the downpour was heavy over the weekend, but would you ever be caught in WaPo rain boots? A FishbowlDC reader sent in this photograph after spotting them inside Union Station at Comfort One Shoes.

Reporter spots unfortunate truths about Washington

“D.C.: Where you can’t walk 20 ft without being greeted by either a clipboard or a jangling cup of coins.” — WaPo feature writer Dan Zak in a weekend tweet.

Over the mountain and through the woods…

“Driving on a mountain road to a remote village.  Really interesting. Couldn’t fly today – but we could drive!” — FNC anchor Bret Baier in a weekend tweet en route to a village called Wardack west of Kabul. He posted the picture (at right) online.

D. Shuster: The Critic

“@davidgregory Is M. Bachman really worthy of MTP? I’ll keep an open mind on assumption you grill her on her nutjob quotes. Lots of material.” — Ex-MSNBCer David Shuster in a weekend tweet questioning Rep. Michele Bachmann‘s (R-Minn.) appearance this weekend on NBC’s MTP.

Capehart employs Sheen lingo

“Saw “The King’s Speech” tonight. #WINNING” — WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart in a weekend tweet.

Touby gets bitched out by JWoww and dirty looks from Snooki

“Who is [Snooki]? Whoever she is, she’s in the seat in front of me and a self-important bitch. She snarled at me!” — Mediabistro Founder Laurel Touby in a weekend tweet. (See full story momentarily….)

WH journo out on the town

“This is a disaster zone. How did I ever consider this appealing? #lookatyourlifelookatyourchoices.” — MetroWeekly‘s Senior Political Reporter  Chris Geidner in a weekend tweet. On the evening of this message, he was at Cobalt bar off Dupont Circle. He says this quote likely would have applied to any bar — he’s not a huge bar scene aficionado.

Where’s the outrage?

“Nice to see the Gap’s sexualizing of infants extends to boys too. This = size 3 mos.” — Politico‘s snappy observer Molly Ball in a weekend tweet. The T-shirt says: “Lock Up Your Daughters.”

Reporter is cat-friendly

“Okay off to buy kitty litter. Ah the glamour of the pundit’s life.” — NationalReviewOnline‘s Jonah Goldberg in a weekend tweet.

Politico reporter wins his birthday

“Happy birthday to a very precocious @zackpolitico who just celebrated 2-2. #winningthebirthday.” — Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein in a weekend tweet in what is one of countless variations on “Winning the Morning.” Happy Birthday to Zack Abrahamson.  The word “winning” has, of course, become a constant in the Urban Charlie Sheen Dictionary.

Surprise pairing: Knoller and Gaga?

“Sign of of the Apocalypse. Someone puts me in the same list of #FFs with @LadyGaGa.” — CBS News Radio White House Correspondent Mark Knoller in a weekend tweet.

Anticipation is…

“I’m in the middle of writing about Charlie Sheen for next week’s The Daily Beast: 3000 words and I’m not using the term #tigerblood once.” — Author Bret Easton Ellis in a weekend tweet.

Pickup line of the weekend

“Hey, there, wanna see my byline?” — MetroWeekly‘s Co-Publisher Sean Bugg in a weekend tweet.

In Mediabistro News…

Today our founder Laurel Touby wins the 2011 “Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award” for making an “extraordinary contribution” to the publishing industry.

Touby is the 14th recipient of the award. The EWIP president will present Touby with the award at the Women’s Leadership Conference today in San Francisco at their leadership conference hosted by Barbara Newton, President of Sunset Publishing.

Congratulations to Touby.

FishbowlDC Turns Six Today

Today is the sixth anniversary of FishbowlDC. So we give you answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Do you guys have an office? No, we work out of cafes, our homes and/or an office for another job. Cafes can be less or more irritating depending on the day, time and who is there. The main office of Web Media Brands (the company that owns us) is a space located in midtown Manhattan that has a warehouse feel. Cubicles occupy most inches of the space. We visit on occasion. Mediabistro (the name that comprises all the blogs, the job board etc…) offers a slew of excellent classes (I took one taught by a Self Magazine editor. Was well worth the three hours).

Who owns you? As mentioned above, Web Media Brands. Mediabistro is the company Laurel Touby founded. She sold the company for $23 million in July 2007. She still plays a part in Web Media Brands and comes into the office at least a few times a week.

Do you all get along? Of course. Like peas in a pod. But we don’t reveal our sources – not even to each other. There is no way to do this job and not get along with your playmates in the Fishbowl. There’s also a clear bond that comes with reading scathing anonymous emails that at first (and still sometimes do) make you want to unleash a torrent of profanity because you can’t answer back. The Fishbowl is its own weird world where laughter and joking is essential.

Past editors:

2005 Garrett Graff (A common misconception is that Washingtonian‘s Editor created FishbowlDC. He did not, but he was its first editor. Touby came up with the idea for the blog.)

2006 – 2009 Patrick Gavin (He now works for Politico)

2009 Matt Dornic (Currently co-edits FishbowlDC and works for QGA), Christine Delargy (Works for CBS News). Kenny Day wrote briefly for FBDC during this time frame.

When I first came on board, Washingtonian Editor Graff so kindly offered his two cents about working for FishbowlDC. Later I wrote about his Scotch junket that he failed to mention in a story about Scotch (and that didn’t go over so swimmingly). Here’s what he “advised”:

Hey Betsy,

Congratulations, by the way, in inheriting Fishbowl. It’s one of the great gigs in Washington, I believe, if used correctly. My one piece of advice, which I’ve given to every successive FBDC editor since I left, is to remember that the blog is the definitive voice on DC media: Don’t give people anything they can get elsewhere. Keep your focus laser-like on Washington media.


Spotted: Mediabistro Founder in Town

For the past few days, Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby and writer husband Jon Fine have been tooling around Washington. They drove from North Carolina and stayed here in Washington due to the blizzard in New York, where they live. Yesterday Touby unknowingly sent off an ironic tweet:

“Being stuck in DC today turning out to be fortuitous. Lunch w/ @FishbowlDC’s Betsy Rothstein and dinner w/ @Anamariecox!”

On Tuesday, the amusing, health conscious duo were spotted at Filomena in Georgetown (where we dined on Gnocchi and skim salad bar pickings). They were also seen at Filter, a basement coffee shop off Dupont Circle. For dinner, they dined with GQ‘s Ana Marie Cox at Dino.

In Mediabistro News…

Helping other entrepreneurs: The New York office of Web Media Brands (full disclosure: parent company to FishbowlDC) informs us that Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby will keynote the New Media Women Entrepreneurs Summit in Washington on Nov. 8. The day-long event is described as a “day-long gathering of women news creators and wannabe news creators” with workshops on everything from “teasing out contributors” to “launching niche news sites.”

Eventful: The event will be held at The Barbara Jordan Conference Center – Kaiser Family Foundation in downtown Washington. The cost: $30 or $15 for students.

Lessons learned: At 1 p.m. Touby will discuss “Lessons Learned From a Successful Startup.”

Praise: In other Touby news, the Women’s Leadership Exchange will give her the Compass Award on Nov. 30.

More on Touby’s experience after the jump…

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Morning Reading List 10.01.09

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.

mediabistro’s Laurel Touby is going on a six-month sabbatical to travel the world- and blog about it, of course- but not before a FishbowlNY “exit interview.” Laurel, take us with you!!

Yesterday was Christina Bellantoni‘s last day at TWT– she starts at TPM Monday. Bellantoni celebrated at Hawk and Dove for happy hour. How do Matt Cooper, Tommy McFly and FBDC get to work every morning? Find out who’s the laziest here. Happy Birthday to my Dad! What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday morning…



Is Comcast in deal talks with NBC Universal?

If it’s morning, it’s “Morning Joe” vs. “Imus.”


WTOP is getting foolish– pairing up with The Motley Fool, a multi-media financial services company based in Alexandria.

A listener questioned Scott Simon‘s pay after it was included in a recent WaPo survey. “There are a few other people in public radio who earn more, both at weekly and daily programs,” says the “Weekend Edition Saturday” host. “Most everybody in commercial broadcasting earns a lot more.” (via Romanesko)


Sarah Palin’s already a bestseller.


The Fix, WaPo‘s Chris Cilliza‘s 2009 edition of the “Best State-Based Political Reporters.”

WEST WING REPORTAGE took on Fox News and Glenn Beck yesterday with this “reality check” blog post.


Former RTNDA President Barbara Cochran will be honored with the “Giants Of Broadcasting Award” from the Library Of American Broadcasting in NY today. Cochran retired as RTNDA president this summer after 12 years and prior to that she was the Washington bureau chief of CBS News, the executive producer of “Meet the Press” and vice president of news at NPR.

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Politico, NJ‘s Wake-Up Call and Last Call!

Morning Reading List 07.01.09

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.

What we know and what we’re reading this Wednesday morning…



WSJ: Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by daily circulation, will cut between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs out of its 41,500-person work force in response to continuing revenue declines. The cuts will come from the U.S. Community Publishing division, which consists of more than 80 local dailies.


Check out mediabistro’s Laurel Touby on Carlos Watson‘s 11am hour on MSNBC today.

The Pew Research Center reports TV news devoted 28 hours to Michael Jackson coverage and 93% of cable airtime (h/t TVNewser). Early in the week the media gave ongoing attention to protests over the Iranian election. And by the end of the week Iran filled 19% of the newshole, making it the No. 1 topic of the week. By Wednesday attention shifted to the third biggest story of the week – the affair of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. But the passing of the “King of Pop” on Thursday, the #2 story of the week, dominated late week coverage. The TV nets devoted more than 28 hours to Jackson’s life and death. The cable nets devoted 93% of their airtime to Jackson on Thursday and Friday.

Tom Shales‘ in WaPo on why TV critics are needed more than ever: “Sadly, there are people who maintain that TV critics are anachronisms, unnecessary luxuries in a fidgety digital age. Unfortunately, some of those people happen to be newspaper editors. At more than just a handful of papers around the country, the job has simply been abolished.”


TVNewser profiles Aaron Brown and asks about Twitter. He’s doing a PBS series “Wide Angle.” “My students made me open a Twitter account, but I have never Twittered or read a Tweet,” he says. “It’s self-indulgent nonsense. I don’t get it. I’m 60. I’m not sure I’m supposed to get this stuff.”


Vibe Magazine is shutting down.


About that Todd Purdum piece on Sarah Palin in VFPolitico: “A hard-hitting piece on Sarah Palin in the new Vanity Fair has touched off a blistering exchange of insults among high-profile Republicans over last year’s GOP ticket — tearing open fresh wounds about leaks surrounding Palin and the internal wars that paralyzed the campaign in its final days.”

And Craig Crawford in CQ: “Now they tell us. John McCain’s staffers are lining up to anonymously trash Sarah Palin and feed a news media assault against the 2008 GOP running mate. These pathetic wimps offer nothing but unattributed quotes to Vanity Fair saying they felt she wasn’t up to snuff and whining that she refused to properly study up on policy issues.”


AP’s David Bauder writes about the selective coverage of the Obama girls, Sasha and Malia. “Images are great when they can be controlled. And when it comes to the Obama kids, the White House can be very controlling. Sasha and her 10-year-old sister Malia have been shielded carefully from the public, but they are by no means invisible.”

HAT TIPS: mediabistro

JOBS after the jump…

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Morning Reading List 04.28.09

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 99 covering the Obama administration and week 13 for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Tuesday morning…



Cheney for President.” That’s the title of Ross Douthat‘s first column in NYT today. Douthat replaces Bill Kristol at the Times.


As reported by TVNewser, CNN has finished the month of April in fourth place among the four cable news networks in the ad-friendly A25-54 demo in prime time. According to Nielsen Media Research, CNN finished the month with an average of 265,000 A25-54 viewers (Mon-Fri, 8pm-11pmET). Sister network HLN moved into third place with 274,000 A25-54 viewers on the continued success of Nancy Grace. Fox News was far out front averaging 662,000 demo viewers, more than CNN and MSNBC combined. MSNBC placed second averaging 298,000 A25-54 viewers.

Mediaweek’s Anthony Crupi writes about Fox News Channel’s ambition to be the #1 cable channel on the dial.

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and former colleague Tucker Carlson spar over the media’s bias over President Obama.

Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper, mediabistro’s Laurel Touby and others were honored at the Matrix Awards, emceed by Meredith Vieira. Check out TVNewser for the scoop.


Arianna Huffington fields a question about sensationalized headlines at HuffPost. Check out her response here.

More on politicians and Twitter in NYT’s magazine.


From Playbook this am: Matt Cooper quips on yesterday’s surprise closing of Portfolio magazine, one of his several employers: “Now I don’t have to do a 100-days story.”


Is the media overhyping swine flu? From WaPo: “Of course we’re doing too much to scare people,” said Mark Feldstein, a former correspondent for NBC, ABC, and CNN who teaches journalism at George Washington University. “Cable news has 24 hours to fill, and there isn’t 24 hours of exciting news going on. If you scare people, they’ll tune in more.”

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro

JOBS after the jump…

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