When the book “Hollywood on the Potomac” was recently released in Washington, long-time DC publicist Janet Donovan bit her tongue. But she’s talking now to FBDC…
Donovan writes about celebrities and happenings around town on her blog “Hollywood on the Potomac” and for a Washington Life column by the same title– she even owns the Trademark rights. So she was a bit surprised, to say the least, when Jason Killian Meath‘s photo book was published with that name.
Tell us about how you came up with “Hollywood on the Potomac.”
When I first came to Washington some of my friends would show up on movie sets as extras to make some money. Occasionally I went with them. I think I even showed up in something with Burt Lancaster but probably ended up on the cutting room floor. Because I live in Georgetown, many films have been shot here including right outside of my old house on O Street. The amount of work that goes into these shoots is staggering and it was fun interacting with the crews. I have always had a great respect for the movie industry. Imagine life without Sesame Street for children, old Betty Davis movies for folks in retirement living, Disney family night at the cinema…
Around 2000 I started thinking maybe there is Hollywood on the Potomac and started following it. Now, of course, it is a mega attraction for the industry, not only in the film business but lobbying for various causes. Ironically, all of my children ended up in this creative world. My oldest son became a film producer, my youngest went to USC Film school and is now on staff there, my daughter went to journalism school at NYU and is Senior Product Director Interactive One LLC, a Radio One Company.
What makes you “Hollywood on the Potomac?”
I got there first. I also took it to the conventions a few elections ago where I did a daily column for CQ and covered the stars in Boston and New York.
Like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy hails from South Florida. When FishbowlDC sat down with Ruddy, we asked him about operating his magazine and website in the midst of the conservative media conglomerate that has formed around Palm Beach. “Coincidence,” he told us before clarifying that Newsmax is “not right-wing.” Ruddy prefers to describe his media group as “center-right but inclusive.”
Something about “center-right” seems to be working for Newsmax. The eleven year old company has been turning a profit for over five years and is expected to generate $30 million dollars in 2009 – up from $25 million last year and $19 million in 2007. The company employs 30 editors and 110 full-time employees. Not too shabby for a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter’s leap into entrepreneurship.
With traffic numbers that regularly rival Drudge Report’s (3 million uniques – give or take) and bylines by names like WaPo & WSJ alum Ronald Kessler; the group’s chief Washington correspondent, Ruddy feels confident about a plan for Newsmax expansion – even in today’s troubled economy.
Expect to hear more chatter about Newsmax in the coming months. Until then, Ruddy offered FishbowlDC a sneak preview of things to come:
Washington Workspace: Plans for a Newsmax DC office are in the works. Ruddy tells FishbowlDC that they plan on establishing District digs in the next six months.
Strength in Numbers: The only organization currently listed as a “News Partner” on newsmax.com is The Washington Times. Expect that to change as Newsmax actively pursues new partnerships and considers strategic acquisitions.
On the Ground: Expect to see a lot more of Ruddy and the Newsmax brand around town. Ruddy’s team plans to “walk the walk” with some big Washington events planned for the fall.
AP: The NYT Co. says its first-quarter losses worsened amid a dramatic downturn in ad revenue at its newspapers. The setback was even worse than analysts expected. Revenue for the period totaled $609 million, a 19% drop from last year. Advertising sales plunged nearly $124 million, or 27%.
NYPreports as NYT “tries to bask in the glory of having bagged five Pulitzers, the company is facing a cash crunch that could put it on the path toward insolvency. The Times is having a rough time raising cash, and has few other options.” E&P adds “NYT Co. CEO stresses Web site’s ‘good growth’ during earnings call.”
LAT: When MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show debuted during the historic campaign of Barack Obama, the program’s ratings soared and made its host a breakout star on cable. But as the president’s administration nears its 100-day milestone, Maddow’s show has seen its numbers cool.
As for the rest of those changes at MSNBC, TVNewser fills us in that after initially tweeting the start date for his 3pmET MSNBC show was this week, David Shuster tweets the program (with co-anchor Tamron Hall) is still “coming together.” Shuster fills in again tonight on Countdown, as Keith Olbermann is recovering from “flu/allergy season.”
Mark Pennpublished a story in the WSJ yesterday claiming that almost 500,000 people make their living from blogging. “The best studies we can find say we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, with 1.7 million profiting from the work, and 452,000 of those using blogging as their primary source of income.” Find out why some are calling shenanigans here.
It’s new, it cool and whoa does it waste time– Google has launched News Timeline.
Mediaweek reports PBS will significantly dial up its online video strategy with the launch of a new video-only channel which will aggregate thousands of full-length episodes from the network’s top series, along with complete seasons of current shows and full back-catalogues of classic series.
WebNewser interviewsDoonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, whose fictitious Fox News reporter character has recently become obsessed with Twitter, and gives his take on real-life journalists “smitten with the idea of a personal broadcasting system.”
An update on American journalist Roxana Saberi imprisoned in Iran- AP reports yesterday that her eight-year jail sentence may be reconsidered on an appeal and commuted.
Following in Christopher Hitchens‘ footsteps, a Playboy journalist bet he could endure 15 seconds of waterboarding- HuffPost has the video.
A state judge has nixed impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to appear on NBC’s summer reality show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. According to MSNBC (via TV Week), the Illinois judge in the case turned down the request because he believed Mr. Blagojevich wasn’t taking his criminal case seriously.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a bill yesterday to save newspapers. The legislation would allow newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofilts with a variety of tax breaks. A Cardin spokesman tells Reuters the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors, but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.
The Chicago Tribune and LATimes are combining their international reporting operations as their corporate parent tries to save money while reorganizing in bankruptcy court. The international cooperative, to be based in Los Angeles, will serve all newspapers owned by the Tribune Co.
A “historic” memo from managing editor Robert Thomson to WSJ has left some feathers ruffled, according to Portfolio.
Howard Kurtz on the President’s presser, Mr. Cool, Budget-in-Chief: “Obama generally spun long paragraphs, in that even-keeled way of his, rather than delivering a Reaganesque or Clintonesque one-liner that can deflect or defuse a question. Only once did he deliver a sharp rejoinder, when Henry pressed him on why it took him days to express outrage about the AIG bonuses. ‘I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak,’ the president said.”
WaPo’s Tom Shales‘ review here. “Most of the facets of President Obama’s personality that have made him intensely popular were on display last night during his second prime-time news conference, and so he emerged from it still every inch ‘President Wonderful,’ a itt were, untouched and intact.”
Playbook notes Ezra Klein: “Some press corps. I managed to miss it, but the transcript suggests that there wasn’t A SINGLE QUESTION about the massive plan to risk a trillion dollars in taxpayer money to save the banking system. But The Washington Times managed to ask about stem cells. WTF, press?” Also check out Playbook for a “speed read” on the presser.
Larry Kudlow announced on CNBC yesterday evening that he is not running for US Senate. From HuffPost: “It was a flattering conversation and one that I thought about, but to me it was never really a serious proposition… This evening, I’m letting the world know that I am not running for the US Senate, and here’s why: in my heart I know that I belong right here at CNBC… This is my love.”
Politico caught up with CSPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb, who just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the network. He Topics of discussion: the thin skin of journalists, his pessimism that cameras will be let into the Gridiron Dinner and the Supreme Court and CSPAN’s potention. Listen here.
DCRTV: The weekly audience for WAMU’s Diane Rehm show, distributed nationally by NPR, grew 28 percent over the past year, to 2.2 million in fall 2008, setting a new record audience for the fifth consecutive national survey. “Listener participation has been such an important part of the show’s growth and success. It’s very gratifying to know the program is touching so many people,” Rehm says.
Looks like HuffPo is getting ready for more additions. Take a look at this job listing from our jobs page: “Looking for web editors with expertise in the following areas: sports; technology and gadgets; and books. Each editor will create and manage one of three new sections — Sports, Technology & Gadgets, and Books — being launched on The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com) — “The Internet Newspaper.” Editors will develop “destination” pages by overseeing news and a subject-specific group blog.
From Politico, Obama seeks filter-free news: “At a time when his Washington honeymoon is turning into a hazing, President Barack Obama and his team are launched on a strategy to sail above the traditional White House press corps by reaching out to liberal commentators, local reporters and ethnic media… But those moves are only part of a much larger strategy aimed at communicating directly with audiences the White House believes are more sympathetic to the president’s agenda – and one in which much of the work is being done by Obama’s top advisers.”
Full circle: the Times-Picayune reports that the TSA has cleared Senator David Vitter (R-LA) on the aforementioned airport gate incident.
Good morning Washington. It’s Emily Lawrimore’s birthday (Hat Tip: Playbook), the 2008 Dart Award Winners have been announced, Dana Priest and Anne Hull have won yet another award, yesterday was Monica Lewinsky’s 34th birthday and on this day in 1634, the first colonists to Maryland found the settlement of St. Mary’s (Hat Tip: MicCheckRadio).
Mary Shaffrey of The Hill and Winston-Salem Journal fame is the new communications director at BIPAC.
Mike Allen’s Playbook reports, “Katie Levinson has joined Edelman as senior vice president and political director in its New York Public Affairs practice. Levinson’s background includes serving as communications director and spokeswoman for the RNC, Bush-Cheney ’04, President Bush, Governor Schwarzenegger’s reelection and Mayor Giuliani’s presidential campaign.”
Variety reports, “Tribune owner hopes to revive embattled Times”
One reader wonders why this AP story never mentions Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s party (Democrat).
The Huffington Post asks, “Did Only Two Papers Feature 4,000 Iraq Deaths Across Their Front Pages?”
Politico’s Michael Calderonereports, “For days, the Obama campaign refused to confirm where the senator and his family were heading on a short Easter vacation, even as rumors spread among the press corps that they were bound for the Virgin Islands. So that presented a conundrum for news organizations: Should they send a correspondent on the — presumably enjoyable — assignment to the Caribbean, to investigate the white sand beaches and clear blue waters? As it turns out, CNN was the lone cable network to play a game of ‘Where in the World is Barack Obama?’ Chris Welch, an off-air producer covering the Obama campaign since the Iowa caucuses, headed out to the islands.”
The Huffington Post reports, “Fox Hosts Claim Friday’s Walk-Off Was A Joke”
New York Times’ Brian Stelterreports, “Chris Wallace took some of his Fox colleagues to task, claiming that they took Senator Barack Obama’s comments about race out of context.”
MarketWatch’s Jon Friedmanwrites, “One of the mysteries of television is why PBS’ Tavis Smiley continues to fly below the radar. He has an easy charm and a keen curiosity, and deserves to be better known.”
Variety reports, “While preparing to take Fox Television to the Supreme Court over a handful of expletives, the Federal Communications Commission let expire a separate indecency fine against the network for airing a movie with multiple repetitions of one of the same expletives. The FCC blamed a recent federal appeals court decision, saying it has created confusion over how the agency can enforce its indecency rules.”
The Kalb Report has the video of “Covering the World: A Conversation with Christiane Amanpour”
New York Times reports, “Bob Schieffer, right, the host of the CBS News Sunday morning program ‘Face the Nation’ since 1982, has agreed to postpone his planned retirement. ‘Yes, Iâ€™m going to remain with the show after the inauguration,’ Mr. Schieffer, 71, said Friday.”
A GWU release announced, “The George Washington University’s Prime Movers Program recently received a gift of $1,500 from the Washington, D.C.-area chapter of the Radio-Television News Directors Association to help purchase broadcast equipment and train students producing local high school radio and television programs. The Prime Movers Program is a partnership between Washington-area news media and local high schools in collaboration with GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. Its goal is to provide journalism education and hands-on training in minority and diverse high schools.”
A release announced, “Government Executive Media Group, a division of Atlantic Media Company, today launched NextGov, an interactive online platform serving the complete federal technology community. Breaking the traditional media model of one-way reporting by journalists toward readers, NextGov is designed to foster a multilayered dialogue between and among federal IT officials, program managers, private sector officials and outside observers about building the high-performance, results-driven federal agencies of the future. NextGov.com is designed specifically to support the needs of federal IT decision-makers, delivering three essential components to the decision-making process.”
All Things Digital’s Kara Swisherreports, “In February, for the first time ever, Arianna Huffington’s liberal political mega-blog and news site, the Huffington Post, has apparently surpassed the longtime mighty blog leader, Matt Drudge of the conservative/populist-leaning Drudge Report, according to recent traffic data reports from both comScore (SCOR) and Nielsen Online.”
Machinist reports, “The Wall Street Journal’s Web site is already (secretly) free”
The AP reports, “Details on Some of the Online Ad Networks Formed by Traditional Media Companies.”
BeetTV reports, “The Washington Post, long an innovator in expanding its online presence, has created a popular application on Facebook with some 350,000 downloads, Jim Brady, Executive Editor of the washingtonpost.com tells Beet.TV. The application is a kind of political badge which members put on their Facebook pages, showing their political leanings from liberal to conservative.”
Billboard reports, “Search for an artist on any of the popular search engines, and the top three results are practically guaranteed: the artist’s official Web site, Wikipedia entry and MySpace page — often in that order. But while artists and their handlers devote massive attention to the Web site and MySpace, the Wikipedia page is often overlooked. Recent data suggests they may want to reconsider their priorities.”
The AP reports, “Traditional media companies trying to stem the flow of advertising dollars to Google and other large Internet companies are increasingly building ad networks of their own, anchored by their brands. The latest, Forbes Inc., announced Monday that it will start selling ads this spring for about 400 financial blogs. In recent months, Conde Nast, Viacom Inc., CBS Corp. and other major media companies also have unveiled topic-specific ad networks to lure advertisers that want to buy more ads than any single site can sell.”
Fortune reports, “As the United States slips into recession, advertising spending is set to fall — spelling trouble for traditional media companies already battered by Internet upstarts.”
Media Daily News reports, “A full-blown recession would probably take a substantial bite out of traditional media, according to a survey of industry analysts and independent researchers. But digital media will benefit from these draw-downs as financially strapped marketing executives shift dollars online, seeking more transparent measures of ROI. In many cases, a recession would simply accelerate a long-term trend that is already underway.”
In Washington Post Magazine, Gene Weingartenwrites, “One man with more courage than brains sacrifices himself on the altar of punditry, and, in so doing, fails to redeem us all”
His Extreme-ness reports, “During Sunday’s ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos’ roundtable on Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright, Clarie Shipman offered some thoughts. Then came her husband, Jay Carney. He said, ‘I will agree with my wife.’ Good move. Probably smart to maintain peace in that household. But hardly unique for Jay Carney.”
CNet News.com has a Q&A with Wired founder John Battelle talking “blog roll-ups, Google, and Federated Media’s future”
MinOnline reports, “min has put together a one-day program that’s all about the magazine brand and its relationship with new media, from improving your Web play to making the right call on mobile opportunities; from appealing to clients who want to see more than a banner/print bundle to engaging your customers with meaningful content offerings. Don’t miss out on the publishing event of the year! Go to www.minday2008.com for registration and Early Bird Rate details”
The New Yorker’s Eric Altermanchronicles “The death and life of the American newspaper.”
New York Daily News reports, “Gore Vidal is wasting no time sticking knives in the corpse of his old foe William F. Buckley Jr. In an attack brutal even by Vidal standards, Gore writes on TruthDig.com that the National Review founder was ‘a hysterical queen’ and ‘a world-class American liar. … Buckley was often drunk and out of control.’ Vidal blames the ‘tired hacks’ at Newsweek for letting Buckley’s ‘creepy,’ ‘brain-dead’ son, Christopher, talk them into a reverential cover story on his father. Vidal concludes, ‘RIP WFB — in hell.’ We asked Christopher and Newsweek if they’d care to fire back. They declined.”
Washington Post’s Howard Kurtzwrites, “With BlogTalkRadio, the Commentary Universe Expands”
Washington Post reports, “As the audience for AM and FM radio declines, start-up entrepreneurs and giant media companies alike search for the ‘next radio’ — a way to make money by helping listeners discover new music. Online music providers such as Pandora, Imeem and Last.fm provide an early glance at that next chapter in radio history.”
Good morning Washington. One year ago we said goodbye to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and AP said hello (again) to Ron Fournier. It’s the birthday of Alexander Graham Bell, Jessica Biel and, yes, me, which is the closest I’ll ever get to the lovely Biel. And to answer your questions: 1.) No, I don’t feel older, 2.) I was sick of my 20s anyway and 3.) A flat screen tv would be great, thanks.
The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows, “Barack Obama is riding high as the March 4 primaries approach. Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest and holds a 50%-43% lead over John McCain in a general election matchup.”
Gannett Blog reports, “Batting three for three, The Arizona Republic appears to be protecting another top Gannett executive from embarrassing online reader comments. The paper published its story about newly appointed newspaper division President Robert Dickey (left) — without allowing comments at the story’s end. Dickey, 50, the Republic’ s chairman, replaces retiring Sue Clark-Johnson, 61 — another former Republic executive.”
Los Angeles Times reports, “At the San Jose Mercury News, reporters have been instructed to wait at home on the morning of March 7. If they don’t get a phone call by 10 a.m. telling them that they’ve lost their jobs, they should head to work.”
The Crimson reports, “Linda J. Greenhouse ’68, the New York Times reporter and former Crimson editor who has covered the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 praise-filled years, will retire from her beat, the newspaper confirmed yesterday.”
From a reader: “Here’s another one on everyone’s fave new media honco, Zell: If you look at the AP’s board of directors’ history, they hardly ever eliminate a Trib/NYT/WaPo member from their board, so Zell’s a shoo-in. If you were Ken Lowe/Gary Pruitt, would YOU piss off this man and vote ‘no?’ Me neither. When he visited the DC buros, I hear he had Randy Michaels, the up & coming CEO, in tow the whole time…”
The AP reports, “The Boston Globe says it plans to cut 60 jobs by offering voluntary employee buyouts. Publisher P. Steven Ainsley is telling staff that the buyout packages are a difficult but necessary step to lower costs and keep the business healthy. The plan is part of a broader cost-cutting effort.”
The AP reports, “The New York Times Co. said Friday its January revenue from continuing operations dropped 5.5 percent, weighed down by a significant classified ad sales decline. The company, whose properties include The Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune and its namesake daily, said revenue from continuing operations slipped to $272.3 million from $288 million in the prior-year period.”
Newsday.com reports, “Newsday publisher Tim Knight Thursday announced that the newspaper will be cutting about 120 jobs throughout the company, citing declining sales and the ‘soft advertising revenue environment.’”
Bloomberg reports, “McClatchy Co., the newspaper publisher that paid $4.1 billion for Knight Ridder Inc. in 2006, wrote down the value of its publications for the second time in four months.”
MarketWatch reports, “Harbinger Capital Partners NY LLC and its affiliate Harbert Management Corp. on Friday filed a proxy with the Securities and Exchange Commission to elect four directors to New York Times Co.’s board at the 2008 annual meeting, scheduled for April 22″
Regarding The New York Times, Jay Rosenasks Romenesko readers, “What were the editors thinking?”
StuffWhitePeopleLike has The New York Times at #46. “Mornings are exceptionally important to white people, as witnessed by their love of breakfast places. However, some white people never go out for breakfast on a Sunday Morning. The reason? The Sunday edition of the New York Times.”
A NBC release announced, “‘The Chris Matthews Show’ was the number-two rated Sunday morning public affairs show tying CBS’s ‘Face the Nation,’ and topping ABC’s ‘This Week’ and ‘FOX News Sunday’ in households nationally for the week ending February 24, 2008.”
And NBC announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘Meet the Press with Tim Russert’ was the top rated Sunday morning public affairs program, winning the week ending Sunday, February 24, 2008 in all categories.”
C-SPAN 2 & C-SPAN Radio will air the election results at 7:30 p.m., pending the Senate schedule.
A CNN release announced, “On the heels of CNN’s ratings win for the month of February and the network’s nine presidential primary debates, seven of which were among the most-watched in cable news history, CNN’s political team will report live from the CNN Election Center and across the country for the Tuesday, March 4 primaries. Voters in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island will cast their ballots and CNN journalists and analysts will be on-hand to report the results and what it means for the remaining presidential candidates.”
TVNewser reports, “Fox & Friends saw double digit gains year-to-year. The 7-9amET morning show is up 22% in Total Viewers, averaging 953,000 viewers this month. CNN’s American Morning is up 13% from last year, and is averaging 469,000 viewers.”
Poynter Online reports, “Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning host of the NPR talk show Fresh Air, is a guest voice — as herself — on The Simpsons airing Sunday, March 2 on FOX. Actor Topher Grace also makes a guest voice appearance in the episode.”
TVNewser reported that Megyn Kelly got married this weekend. Sorry guys.
The Washington Post reports, “The recently resolved Hollywood writers’ strike took its toll on local ratings during the February sweeps period that ended Wednesday. Prime-time ratings declined last month compared with the same period in 2007 for nearly all Washington stations, which because of the strike aired more reruns and reality programming. The dip in prime-time viewership in turn affected ratings for some of the station’s late-night and early-morning newscasts.”
TVNewser reports, “Liz Cox Barrett writes in the Columbia Journalism Review about an exchange on Morning Joe Wednesday morning with Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough. Buchanan and Scarborough were discussing Sen. Hillary Clinton and the difference between her speech pattern and that of Sen. Barack Obama.”
Power Line reports, “The Times Goes Looking for Media Bias … Not, as you might expect, in the mirror. Instead, the Times pointed its finger at a television station in the Republican South. This is a spin-off from the recent 60 Minutes story that apparently claimed it was Karl Rove’s fault that former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman was convicted of bribery and mail fraud. I haven’t followed that story closely, assuming that it is another 60 Minutes hoax.”
Media Money reports, “Time Warner’s new CEO Jeff Bewkes just showed Wall Street that he means business about cost cutting and getting the company on track. He just made his first big move: consolidating Time Warner’s New Line studio into its separate and larger Warner Bros.”
FreePress.net reports, “We just caught Comcast Corp. stacking an FCC hearing with paid (and apparently sleepy) seat-fillers. The hearing was set up to investigate Comcast’s recent blocking of the Internet. But Comcast packed the room so that the public couldn’t get in to voice their support for Net Neutrality.”
TVNewser reports, “CBS’ Bob Schieffer is this year’s recipient of the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award. It will be presented to him by PBS’ Jim Lehrer at the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s First Amendment Awards Dinner next week in Washington, D.C. CNN’s John Roberts will emcee the March 6 event. Other award presenters are to include ABC News President David Westin and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker.”
TVNewser has a round-up of the ratings and reviews from MSNBC’s Tuesday’s Democratic debate.
Washingtonian presents, “David Simon Chats About The Wire’s Final Weeks”
His Extreme-ness says, “If you base fictional politicians on real-life politicians, are you allowed to flip-flop on the issues â€” just like the real guys do? Apparently so if youâ€™re David Simon, creator of the mega HBO hit ‘The Wire.’”
A release announced, “New America Foundation’s Next Social Contract Initiative and Pollster Cliff Zukin released new findings on how public opinion shapes national values and informs the potential for policy reform, particularly in the areas of health care, education, taxes and economic security.” Check out the report entitled “The American Public and the Next Social Contract: Public Opinion and Political Culture in 2007″ here.
“FaithfulAmerica.org, now operated by Faith in Public Life, sent a letter individually signed by 9,000 people of faith to the polling directors at the media organizations that sponsor the presidential primary exit polls. The letter asks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the AP to stop stereotyping people of faith by asking all voters — Republicans and Democrats — the same religion questions on the exit poll surveys. We expressed particular concern that Republican voters in every state have been asked if they are evangelical, while Democrats have not been asked if they are evangelical in a single state. Signatures are still streaming in at FaithfulAmerica.org.”
MarketWatch reports, “In the convoluted saga of Microsoft Corp. bidding to gobble up Yahoo Inc., speculation about News Corp. emerging as the white knight to rescue the beleaguered Internet giant refuses to die.”
Post I.T. writes, “Craig Newmark seems pretty content with his business, the hugely successful craigslist.org. He hasn’t accepted any outside funding, has declined offers to buy the site, and he doesn’t have any big plans to change its formats or features. So why was Newmark one of the keynote speakers this morning at the Southeast Venture Capital Conference in Tysons Corner? ‘I’m a curiosity,’ he said, sounding somewhat baffled by the attention he’s gotten since launching the site in 1995. The product hasn’t changed much. He still lists free classified ads from all over the world, charging only for job listings in 11 major markets and for apartment listings in New York City.”
NMA reports, “Hearst Digital Network, the online division of the National Magazine Company, is to close a host of its magazine websites. The move is part of a rationalisation of the network’s key brands that will see it reduce its focus from 13 titles down to five. The four magazine sites being closed include Good Housekeeping and Country Living, which will be wrapped into a single portal, Allaboutyou.com.”
Portfolio reports, “TechCrunch is the talk of Silicon Valley. Now the founder of the blog talks about the battle between Microsoft and Yahoo, Barry Diller, and why he says Gawker Media’s Nick Denton is ‘amoral.’”
ClickZ reports, “Yahoo has started testing behavioral and geo-targeting across its growing network of newspaper publisher sites. A preview of its nascent display ad management platform and recent statements from Yahoo execs indicate the firm’s sales restructuring, newspaper consortium project and network ambitions are aligning.”
Reuters reports, “Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch, and nearly half are turning to the Internet to get their news, according to a new survey.”
A release announced, “DCist.com is pleased to announce its second annual DCist Exposed Photography Show, in partnership with Civilian Art Projects, running March 7-15, 2008. 44 local photographers, both amateur and professional, were chosen out of over 250 who submitted their work for the show through the DCist Flickr site. Every day DCist.com selects photos from a user-generated Flickr photo pool to use in its daily coverage of local news, arts and entertainment, politics, food and sports.”
Eric Boehlertwrites, “The press will torment Obama, too”
Huffington Post’s Rachel Sklartalks to George Carlin and finds out he “Reads More Blogs Than You Do”
Wonkette reports, “Important New York Times editorial decisions
New Republic Investigates NY Times Newsroom Politics Over Single Article, Again”
“Two thirds of Americans — 67% — believe traditional journalism is out of touch with what Americans want from their news, a new We Media/Zogby Interactive poll shows.”
Mark Glaserwrites, “Distinction Between Bloggers, Journalists Blurring More Than Ever”
The Telegraph reports, “Ten years ago, he was a reclusive, pasty-faced 31-year-old who, bashing away on his laptop in his grungy Hollywood apartment, shot to prominence when he threatened to bring down Bill Clinton’s presidency by breaking news of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Now, Matt Drudge owns a luxurious Mediterranean-style stucco house on Rivo Alto Island in Florida’s Biscayne Bay, a condominium at the Four Seasons in Miami and is said to drive a black Mustang. He remains an elusive, mysterious figure but the internet pioneer is arguably the single most powerful journalist — though his detractors even deny that is his occupation — in the world.”
National Journal’s William Powerswrites, “Some say that the media have fallen hard for Barack Obama. Others note that journalists once carried a torch for John McCain and may well do so again. Watch the coverage closely, however, and it turns out that the most powerful media bias in this campaign is not for a person but for a decade.”
The Nation’s Richard Kimwrites, “I won’t attempt a grand summary of the late William F. Buckley’s legacy. The man was undeniably one of the great political forces of the 20th century — so too were Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman. But in seeking to capture the scope of his influence, writers on the left have taken to applauding Buckley’s ‘brilliance.’”
On Buckley, Slate’s Timothy Noahwrites, “Why we should be (mostly) glad that he outlived his brand of conservatism.”
Slate’s Michael Kinsley “On Intellectual Honesty – Bill Buckley had it, journalism should strive for it, and politics needs more of it.”
Yale Daily News reports, “William F. Buckley Jr. ’50, whose penchant for the pen beginning in his earliest years at Yale popularized the conservative movement and transformed a generation of American politics, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 82.”
DMNews.com reports, “In an effort to heighten brand awareness of its online and print magazine titles, Hearst Magazines Digital Media will participate in Yahoo Buzz. Yahoo Buzz allows readers to vote on the popularity of online stories. Yahoo then posts the winners on its homepage. Hearst has signed on ten of its titles, including Esquire, Cosmopolitan and Redbook, as Buzz content partners.”
The Progressive announced that they have added two new columnists: “Dave Zirin, who delves into the politics of sports, and Jim Hightower, the greatâ€”and funnyâ€”Texas populist.”
A NPR release announced, “NPR News journalists Larry Abramson and Marisa Penaloza have been honored by the Education Writers Association with its ‘National Award for Education Reporting’ in the radio category for a year-long NPR on-air and online series following a Baltimore-area high school’s efforts to improve student achievement.”
Washington Whispers reports, “Conservative talker Laura Ingraham gave her a big break, and now former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wants her own radio show. ‘I think it would be so much fun,’ she tells us. ‘I love talking, listening, and asking and responding to questions.’ Albright was recently on Ingraham’s show talking up Sen. Hillary Clinton when she felt the urge to have the mike to herself. ‘I like to be provocative and like to be provoked,’ she says. ‘Having been on many radio shows, I know they provide great opportunities to learn about many different subjects and allow you to have fun while doing itâ€”all without having to put on makeup!’”
Radio Ink reports, “XM Satellite Radio CEO Nate Davis this morning detailed some cost-saving changes his company is making to its marketing strategy, and also revealed how he’s working with Apple to make XM programming more accessible to iPod users.”
Reuters reports, “XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc have extended by two months a deadline to potentially terminate without penalty Sirius’s year-old proposed acquisition of its bigger rival.”
EWA reports, “The National Education Writers Association has ventured into new territory with the hiring of former Washington Post reporter Linda Perlstein as its newly created Public Editor.”
The New York Times reports, “In just the last few weeks, The San Diego Union-Tribune eliminated more than 100 jobs, one-tenth of its work force. The Chicago Sun-Times began a major round of newsroom layoffs, then put itself up for sale, and publishers in Minneapolis and Philadelphia warned that tough economics could force cuts there. Some major newpapers have several times as many readers online as in print, but grim financial reports have forced the papers to downsize.
Not long ago, news like that would have drawn much commentary and hand-wringing in the newspaper business, but in the last few months, reductions have become so routine that they barely make a ripple outside each paper’s hometown. Since mid-2007, major downsizing — often coupled with grim financial reports — has been imposed at The San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, The San Jose Mercury News, USA Today and many others.”
MergersUnleashed.com reports, “Randy Michaels, who late last year was tapped to be the Tribune Co.’s Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of broadcasting and interactive properties, will be elevated to CEO of the entire company, according to a source familiar with the Chicago-based media conglomerate.”
The Pew Weekly News Interest Index shows, “Public interest in economic news remained high last week as 40% of Americans followed news about the condition of the U.S. economy very closely. The economy has also become the dominant issue in the presidential campaign â€“ when asked to name the one issue they have heard the most about from the candidates recently, 29% name the economy. While public interest in economic news is growing, the media remains mainly on the campaign.”
Chicago Tribune reports, “The streamlining of Tribune Co. corporate operations that billionaire Sam Zell promised when he assumed control in December has begun with a string of layoffs this week. Around a dozen employees in the Chicago-based media concern’s human resources department were informed their positions at Tribune Tower are being eliminated, according to sources.”
Mixed Media reports, “The New York Times’s op-ed section has been catching a lot of flak of late over everything from the hiring of intellectually-threadbare neoconservative Bill Kristol to Maureen Dowd’s dateline sleight-of-hand to Roger Cohen’s general suckiness. So I figured it was time to say something nice for a change. Fortunately, there’s Gail Collins.”
Is Philip Seib, a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California, a Politico advertiser? In the Baltimore Sun, Seib said “his focus this election year has shifted to Web sites like Politico.com. ‘I am spending more and more time with my computer,” Seib says. “It is hard to find anything on TV that can compare with the kind of analysis of vote totals offered at Politico.com.’”
E&P reports, “The clear focus on editorial pages is the promotion of ideas and views and, of course, opinion. Some want newspapers to quit backing candidates, but these choices are among the most valid of those opinions and, for many readers, instructive or even nececessary.”
Financial Times gets James Woods’take on living in DC.
An 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, February 3, 2008. On Sunday, the Russert-moderated program was No. 1, averaging 4.231 million total viewers”
TVNewser reports, “Romney Out: FNC is First, With The Source”
A release announced, “American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT) is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2008 AWRT International Outreach Award is international journalist and author Mariane Pearl.”
AJC.com reports, “Super Tuesday? Try the nightly combat between CNN, the Fox News Channel and MSNBC. A month ago, CNN finally whupped long-time cable news leader Fox News Channel, edging out its arch rivals in the New Hampshire primary coverage.”
An ABC release announced, “During February 5th’s Super Tuesday presidential primaries and caucuses, web and mobile users turned to ABC News’ digital platforms for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. On Super Tuesday, ABC News Digital garnered all-time highs in traffic across all platforms continuing its record-breaking growth in January.”
The Washington Blogger Meetup February Meetup is scheduled for Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00PM. Mark those calendars!
VentureBeat.com reports, “Search engine Ask.com has launched a new area of their site called Ask BigNews which combines news aggregation with elements of social news site Digg. Ask Big News describes itself as ‘a search and browse service that helps you find and track the most important and most talked about stories in the news.’”
AP reports, “AOL had its slowest quarter of advertising growth since beginning its ambitious transformation into an ad-focused Internet business, increasing uncertainty about AOL’s future especially as Microsoft Corp. boosts its ambitions in the same arena.”
Dow Jones reports, “Chief Executive Barry Diller said Wednesday he doubted he would be interested in buying Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) AOL Internet portal unless it was reduced to a ‘ridiculous’ price.”
Wired reports, “Last year, there were a couple of articles about a back channel love-fest between senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Matt Drudge. But it seems that Drudge still isn’t beyond posting mean-spirited items online about the senator, and now in multi-media dimensions. Yesterday, Drudge posted this footage of Clinton on YouTube suffering from a coughing fit, and it quickly became the most viewed item, garnering more than 300,000 views overnight.”
Google News reports, “Something you already know about Google News is that we crawl thousands of sources from around the world. This means you get as many different perspectives on a story from many perspectives. A while back, we started thinking about how to bring this same diversity of sources to local news, so that “local” doesn’t necessarily mean ‘limited’. Today we’re releasing a new feature to find your local news by simply typing in a city name or zip code. While we’re not the first news site to aggregate local news, weâ€™re doing it a bit differently — we’re able to create a local section for any city, state or country in the world and include thousands of sources. We’re not simply looking at the byline or the source, but instead we analyze every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located.”
TextandIdeas.com reports, “Bill Adair is one of the lucky ones. His bosses at the St. Petersburg Times let him experiment with a new way of delivering news and do it full time, he told me in a recent e-mail Q&A. Adair founded PolitiFact.com and runs it with a small staff of writers and fact checkers from the St. Pete Times and its sister publication, Congressional Quarterly. Not only do they check the claims of candidates running for president, but they rate the truthfulness of those claims on a scale from ‘True’ to ‘Pants-on-fire.’”
Check out The Prince of Petworth’s profile of The Washington City Paper’s Angela Valdez.
Poynter Online reports, “As many newspapers continue to falter financially, the quest for a new business model to support journalism continues. The Jan. 29 episode of American Public Media’s Future Tense explored a controversial option: direct or indirect government subsidies to prop up newspapers.”
“Over the years, Washingtonian has written profiles about nearly every important political candidate in this year’s presidential race. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite political articles.”
Time’s James Poniewozik writes, “Writing about election coverage, I have disclosed, probably to the point of tediousness, that I voted for Obama. I think it’s a good thing for you to know, but I really do it for me. It’s important to me that I have enough perspective to critique campaign coverage whether it works for my candidate or against him. Having you know more about where I’m coming from helps you keep me honest and forces me to police myself.”
A release announced, “Beginning Feb. 11, 2008, WAMU 88.5′s The Kojo Nnamdi Show will join XM Radio as part of the satellite radio service’s line-up for ‘The Power’ (XM Channel 169), the nation’s only 24-hour radio channel exclusively dedicated to African-American talk programming. The Kojo Nnamdi Show will air at 7 p.m., and 11 p.m., weekdays on ‘The Power.’”
Also, “WAMU 88.5 will broadcast live coverage of the Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia presidential primaries at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. Kojo Nnamdi, host of The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and WAMU 88.5 News Director Jim Asendio will co-host the program. Jonetta Rose Barras, political analyst for The Politics Hour with Kojo and Jonetta, will provide in-studio analysis and commentary. WAMU 88.5 news reporters will contribute live field reports from polling sites throughout the region.”
Public Radio reports, “The number of people turning to the Internet for campaign coverage has tripled since 2000. While the Web still lags television in viewership and ad revenue, it’s making some big gains as a source of political coverage.”
Washingtonpost.com launched the Presidential Campaign Tracker, using “information from campaigns, media reports and other sources to compile a listing of events involving presidential candidates and their spouses. (Hat Tip: Wonkette)
AFP reports, “America Online, the Internet arm of media giant Time Warner, said it will expand “aggressively” worldwide after stepping into Asia for the first time with the launch of an India portal.”
A NARA release announced, “On Tuesday, April 24, Dr. Robert M. Warner, sixth Archivist of the United States, died after a long battle with cancer.”
PRWeb announced, “Tiempos del Mundo … was awarded two Gold Honor distinctions — one for the Best Business section and the other for the Best Technology section. The publication also received Bronze Honor distinctions for outstanding Special Section and for the Most Improved Publication of the Year.”
Joseph FarahcallsMatt Drudge “the guy who got one president impeached and played a significant role in the election of another. The impact of this man can hardly be overstated.”
Today, NPR and the National Geographic Society launch a yearlong news series, “Climate Connections,” focusing on climate-related issues. According to the release, the “initiative will launch with coverage from radio, television, magazine and online elements and will incorporate diverse, shared resources of National Geographic and NPR. It also marks the expansion of a 15-year content relationship between the two organizations.”
Bloomberg reports, “Comcast plans to buy Cablevision’s stakes in two sports networks for $570 million in cash.”
YouTube cofounder and CEO Chad Hurley writes in Forbes, “The relationship between online video and the big media companies has been in the news a lot these days. Many people reporting on this seem to feel that there is a dividing line between old media and new media. We don’t see the world in those terms.”
“Cable network MSNBC has aroused the wrath of Jeff Jarvis, Lawrence Lessig, Michelle Malkin, and many more after attempting to stop all Internet redistribution of the recent Democratic presidential debate.”
Micro Persuasion reports, “ABCNews.com is marking its tenth anniversary with a bold new redesign that features increased use of video. Beyond the new skin there’s not a lot that’s new with one key exception — ABC is opening up to contributions from citizen journalists.”
The AP reports, “Newspaper editors Joann Byrd and Mike Pride have been appointed co-chairs of the Pulitzer Prize Board.”
DCRTV reports, “wtntam570.com officially lists Dennis Miller in the 3 PM to 6 PM slot on the Clear Channel talker. His late morning show will be tape-delayed for the afternoon drive slot.”
The Boston Globe caught up Chris Wallace last week, “to talk about his father, his career, and the future of the news business.”
On Sunday, Fox News Sunday kicked off a new series “Choosing the President.” Sen. John McCain appeared in an exclusive Chris Wallace. During the interview, McCain defended his conservative credentials: “And the fact is — and I’m pleased with the support that I have, all over the country, from rank-and-file Republicans who are supporting me, who believe in me, who believe the security of this nation is one of our highest priorities and think I’m best equipped to handle it. And I’m proud of that.”
Peter Lauriareports, “As if the pending merger between satellite radio operators Sirius and XM didn’t face enough hurdles, news of Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin’s $31 million pay package has provided even more ammunition for the combination’s critics.”
E&P reports, “The Audit Bureau of Circulations released the spring numbers” yesterday, “revealing more plunges in daily and Sunday circulation.”
Bloomberg reports, “Google has passed Microsoft and Yahoo to become the owner of the world’s most-visited group of Web sites for the first time, according to ComScore.”
Also from Bloomberg, “Comcast is posting an 80% jump in first-quarter profit as demand surged for packages of television, telephone and Internet services.”
Reuters reports, “The argument that a law banning some broadcast commercials before an election violates U.S. free-speech rights is winning over some backing from conservatives on the Supreme Court while liberals say it limits the influence of money in politics. A decision is expected by the end of June.”
From a reader: “I don’t like The Note’s new site on ABC — they have been slipping lately in not being scrutinizing enough on ‘must-reads’ and now there is too much going on with the site. One of the reasons I like Hotline better is that its design is so simple.”
After a Hooters experience went very awry, Mike Grass got an apology from an ex-Hooters Girl apologized in the comments.
Reporters Without Borders will auction off 15 official gift bags
from the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony on eBay. According to the release, the bags were donated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and have a retail value of $599 each. The auction will begin on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, and last a week.
Amy Doolittle has left the Politico and is now covering Congress for the Federal Times.
The Extremeness points out that Dana Perino does know the name of the Daily Show host, but Don Stewart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s spokesman, is also funny.