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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Cooper’

WaPo Brass In The Dark on Bezos’ Plans

kremlinApparently, the Washington Post staff is brushing up on their Kremlinology. Not even the top editors or Katharine Weymouth herself know what Jeff Bezos has in mind for the American-icon-turned-Kaplan-subsidiary. But they have been traveling to Seattle to pay their respects to the new Czar and try to divine some of his intentions. Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt offered to resign, thinking this might please The Bezos, but was met merely with a cool, sphinx-like stare. Bezos seemed somewhat more responsive the idea of dropping the new pay-wall, reportedly raising an eyebrow and twitching his lip slightly. National Journal‘s Matthew Cooper has the story:

 

“Bezos has tread cautiously. He has only been to D.C. once since the purchase, although a second visit is planned soon. Even more intriguing, there’s no landing party of Bezos acolytes scurrying about nor is there a massive, McKinsey-style evaluation of the enterprise beyond the due diligence that Allen & Co. handled with the initial $250 million sale—one that included The Post and a handful of community newspapers. Insiders say Bezos will go through The Post carefully in something of a listening tour, beginning with the business side.

But top Washington Post management has made a pilgrimage to his home in Seattle, National Journal has learned. Earlier this fall, Editor Martin Baron, Publisher Katharine Weymouth, and the president of the company, Steve Hills, visited Bezos at the billionaire’s home on Lake Washington—a residence so big tax records show it cost $28 million a few years back. Bezos himself made pancakes for the group and brought no staff as they conducted a long session reviewing the paper’s business and editorial content.

What can be derived from these first modest steps? They add flesh to Bezos’s public statements about The Post and the 49-year-old’s style as one of the great entrepreneurs in American history. And they are emblematic of his methodical approach.”

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Twitter Leads To Love and Journalism

If you didn’t know, Twitter has changed everything.

It’s given us more insight into journalists’ and newsmakers’ personalities—the quirks, the foibles, the preternatural ability to crack wonky and bad jokes—all in under 140 characters. Even Jake Tapper can’t hide behind CNN PR (who’ve requested we contact them for “all things Jake”) when he’s on Twitter. For example, thanks to his Tweets we know he’s got a thing for puppies and at least tangentially follows Doctor Who.

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Afternoon Reading List 07.11.13.

Why MSNBC’s ratings suck — MSNBC has been the subject of news rather than just a broadcaster of it lately, due to its sharp decline in ratings in the first half of 2013. National Journal’s Matthew Cooper examines why the network has been grasping for air and ratings and why they keep slipping away. To start with, the second quarter of 2013 was full of breaking news — the Boston Marathon bombings, Cleveland kidnappings and the Oklahoma tornadoes. Known as “The Place for Politics,” MSNBC was struggling to keep up with CNN, known as the place for breaking news, and the network’s ratings dropped 10 percent.. And with Jeff Zucker at the helm, CNN looks like it will continue to draw more viewers. MSNBC’s evening line-up, according to industry insiders, has become too sophisticated for their audience, as well as completely lacking in diversity. On Fox News, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren and Bill O’Reilly are, while all conservative, very different. Some right-wingers are saying the network is falling apart or collapsing, but Cooper suggests it’s just in a vulnerable place at the moment.

Why you should read it: MSNBC’s struggles this summer have been making headlines, and Cooper offers insight into why the network’s ratings have plummeted.

Another fishy list of journalists — A year after the infamous JournoList was shut down (hello Dave Weigel and Ezzy Klein!), a new secret discussion forum made up of political journalists came into being. No, they’re not conspiring to create talking points for their political parties. In fact, they’re completely bipartisan and never discuss politics. The common thread holding them together is their undying and unquenchable love for the band Phish. As TNR’s Marc Tracy reports, the forum began two years ago by Bloomberg TV’s Jake Beckman after he noticed references to the band by political journalist Phishheads on Twitter. Called “Journophish,” its now made up of about two dozen political journalists—and only journalists, no political operators, press secretaries, etc. The group chats about upcoming shows, trades tickets and shares songs and Phish trivia. Some of the list includes National Review’s Robert Costa, Politico’s Jake Sherman (of course), CNN’s Stephanie Gallman, social media folks at MSNBC and The Daily Beast, along with a few others. In addition to his own application to be included in “Journophish” Tracy manages to slip in a “This Town” reference.

Why you should read it: Phishheads are relentless in their efforts to find other Phishheads, and this is quite an entertaining look something that some political journalists probably spend way too much time doing.

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D.C. Media Events Can be Nasty Biz

Media event planning can be a dirty business in Washington. In many instances it’s tough to tell who is playing copy cat, but some things are clear: publications are vying to host pointedly similar events and competing for guests and warm bodies to fill their audiences. Getting the events underwritten is no small task. This is also where things can turn sneaky.

We recently reported that Politico was hosting a year out election event to be held the morning of Nov. 1. They sent word via a “Save the Date” note. As it so happens, NJ is hosting a twin gathering on the very same morning. They circulated information about their election preview among D.C.’s community of sponsors and advertisers prior to Politico‘s notice back in March. But word travels fast in Washington — these are some of the same sponsors and advertisers with whom Politico also negotiates.

“Events are definitely a business,” said an industry insider who didn’t want to be quoted by name. “They provide great exposure for media organizations, and they are good opportunities for professionals in D.C. to get in-depth briefings on political and policy issues, but they are also a real contributor to most media companies’ bottom lines.”

NJ‘s election preview event is being underwritten by the National Assoc. of Homebuilders and United Technologies. Yahoo! News is a co-sponsor and the outlet’s journalists will participate in the event. Sessions have been planned. An agenda can be found online. Politico, meanwhile, hasn’t revealed their underwriters, locale or agenda — announcements are expected next week.

To be sure, special outside guests are a hot commodity for these media affairs. Initial email invites from NJ to panelists, ABC’s Amy Walter, CBS’s Bob Schieffer and NBC’s Chuck Todd,  went out the end of July. Still, Politico also secured Todd and Walter, with Todd receiving his invitation from NJ prior to Politico. With Todd and Walter being NJ alums, it’s no shock they’d want them to participate. Just like networks, the dueling event organizers can space them at different times, but the double booking has to be causing some to squirm. Politico‘s other gets: Former Bush Spokesman Ari Fleischer, former White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, CBS’s Norah O’Donnell and CNN’s Jessica Yellin amid several unknown names from the Des Moines Register, St. Pete Times and Charleston Post Courier.

NJ and Politico are utilizing many of their own reporters and editors for the events, so from a guest’s perspective it comes down to who do you want to hear more? From Politico you’ll see the usual suspects of Executive Editor Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Senior Political Reporter Jonathan Martin. From NJ there’s Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier, Ron Brownstein, Charlie Cook and Matthew Cooper.

Different faces, but the concept is the same. Does Washington really need identical events from sparring publications all on the same morning? And if this all seems more than petty, it is except for the fact that these events are vital in gaining a publication significant exposure, buzz and ultimately revenue.

A source at Politico, who spoke on condition of being nameless, argues their event will be richer in content, offering a nearly identical theme to NJ‘s event and a list of  participants: “Although the topics are similar, and we’re delighted Amy and Chuck can join us, we really feel our event is different: we have panels covering a wider range of topics with a broader group of people on stage. We have had a great response since our invitations went out at the end of September and believe our half-day event will be the place for kicking-off the countdown to November 2012.”

NJ Publicist Taylor West, counters, saying, “The National Journal events team is one of the most respected and successful in Washington because they invest the time, preparation, and thoughtfulness that it takes to put together premier events. Our 2012 Election Preview event is no exception, with a can’t-miss slate of confirmed participants, in-depth sessions on each of the critical parts of the upcoming election cycle, and more exciting guest announcements to come. For folks looking for substance and strategy – not spin – this event will deliver the goods.”

Despite the clawing and infighting involved in executing these events, insiders insist these events are key to a publication’s success or failure.

 

Roll Call Takes NJ’s Dick

In other penis-related surname news, Jason Dick is moving to Roll Call.  Most recently the editor of National Journal Daily, Dick will join the publication’s senior leadership team as House Editor.  AT NJ,  he’s being replaced by Matthew Cooper.

In a memo announcing the hire, Roll Call Editor Scott Montgomery said, “Jason is the ideal editor to guide our coverage of House leadership, working closely with Senate Editor Emily Pierce to continue to sharpen Roll Call’s report on the people, politics and pressures of Capitol Hill.”

Jason began his journalism career with National Journal’s environmental news daily back in 1998. Since then, he has held various positions in the company, including assistant managing editor of CongressDaily and managing editor of CongressDaily’s AM edition.  Jason’s first day with Roll Call is June 27.

Matt Cooper Named Editor of NJ Daily

National Journal Group announced today that Matthew Cooper has been named Editor of National Journal Daily. Cooper will oversee a “ramping up” of Daily resources. This means more reporters and editors focused on congressional coverage and a new column from congressional correspondent Major Garrett.

Newsroom shifts are likely as resources are added and reapportioned to the Daily. These would primarily involve moves and promotions within the newsroom, as well as new hires, but could ultimately lead to departures.

Cooper joined the publication in 2010 as Managing Editor of White House coverage.

Industry sources are framing what is happening at NJ a little differently. First of all, more than one source referred to it as a “shakeup” not a “ramp up.” Secondly, we hear that some NJ reporters are exploring job possibilities at other publications, but nothing out of the ordinary for the usual incestuousness amongst Washington publications. Thirdly, we hear reports that the pace of the work isn’t what management would like it to be, there are frustrations and they’ll be “putting a boot in the ass of those who are working at magazine pace.”

Publicist Taylor West said the changes were happening to keep the publication on a competitive track. She said, “It’s born from a desire to keep adding to the momentum of the relaunch and to understand that a competitive market means we always have to keep evolving and improving. We made some huge strides with the relaunch, and we learned a ton, and now we want to focus in with even more resources and an even sharper approach on the Daily specifically.”

West said she hadn’t heard any concerns about pace. But rather this is “a motivation to make sure we’re always tuned in to the needs of our subscribers and making a product that meets those in the sharpest way possible. Also, a lot of excitement to have Matt bringing some fresh eyes and a lot of experienced insight to that.”

As for NJ reporters interviewing at other publications, she remarked, “I don’t know anything about specific reporters, but there’s always some natural amount of moving around within the D.C. press corps.”

In a release, Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier of course had high praise for Cooper: “The Daily’s mission is to arm Washington leaders every day with precisely what they need to know about Congress to succeed, whenever, wherever, and however they need it. Under Matt’s leadership, we’ll be able to hone in on that mission with even more energy and precision than we ever have.”

Feud Between Politico and NJ Festers

The dog fight between Politico and NJ continues.
Matthew Cooper of NJ seemed to have written the definitive story on Sarah Palin‘s use of the term “blood libel” in defending against critics that blame her for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Some charged that she didn’t understand the history of the blood libel when she made her remarks. But Cooper had a different take: In his late Wednesday afternoon piece he said he thought “blood libel” was chosen purposely to appeal to Palin’s pro-Israel evangelical base.
Taegan Goddard at the Political Wire had first briefly raised the possibility that Palin’s statement was a “dog whistle…to speak to her religious base.” It was four sentences on Wednesday before Cooper’s piece ran. Goddard later linked to Cooper’s 13-paragraph story.
Politico, however, chose to refer to Goddard’s one sentence about “dog whistle politics” while completely ignoring NJ‘s lengthy piece. Politico also mentioned MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and Politics Daily columnist Matt Lewis, all without, hmmm, a single mention of Cooper or NJ.

Morgan Freeman in DC for “Invictus” Screening


Mediocre blackberry pic of Matthews and Freeman by yours truly.

Renowned actor Morgan Freeman graced DC last evening for a screening of “Invictus,” which hits theaters December 11th. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Matt Damon, it’s the story of South African President Nelson Mandela’s campaign to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup event in his first term.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews hosted a Q&A with Freeman at National Geographic after the screening, which received a standing ovation from a nearly full theater that included the likes of Fox News’ Chris Wallace, CNN’s David Bohrman, Kevin Madden and President Obama’s right-hand man Reggie Love.

“You can’t tell Mandela’s whole story in a movie,” Freeman said of the rugby storyline he convinced Eastwood to direct. Matthews first opened questions to South Africans in the audience– “you portray Mr. Mandela very well” and “the movie was emotional,” women at the screening said to Freeman.

The “Invictus” star admits he has yet to see the film, though he will when it premieres. “I’m terrified… I’d much rather believe you when you say it’s good,” he said.

As for who should play Obama in a movie, Freeman definitively says “Denzel,” as in actor Denzel Washington.

Also in attendance: USA Today‘s Susan Page, MSNBC’s David Shuster, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, ABC’s Rick Klein and David Chalian, WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart, CNN’s Gloria Borger, Paul Begala, Sam Feist and Peter Hamby, Politico‘s Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin, Ken Vogel and Kiki Ryan, CongressDaily‘s Erin McPike, Time‘s Jay Newton Small, Roll Call‘s Shira Toeplitz, CBS’ Laura Strickler, Matthew Cooper, Karen Finney, Lee Brenner, Mark Adelman, Mark Paustenbach, Taylor Griffin and Michael Feldman, among others.

Warner Bros. and Mandela Day hosted the screening.

Happy Birthday To…

WaPo travel reporter Nancy Trejos!

She celebrated with a cocktail birthday party recently hosted by Elham and Erik Lipton. Partiers included: Marko Cimbaljevich, Jade Nester, Lucile Maladain, Zach Goldfarb, Kendra Marr, Matthew Cooper, Jay Newton-Small, Lizzie O’Leary, Neil Irwinn, Christina Sevilla, Binya Appelbaum, Amanda Rivkin, Tim Burger and Josh Meyer.

Media Types Come Out for GQ‘s “Most Powerful” Party

They may not have made the list, but they made the guest list.

GQ editor Jim Nelson welcomed some of DC’s official “Most Powerful” and some of DC’s most powerful media types to 701 last night for good food, flowing wine and Orszag sightings.

In attendance: the White House’s Bill Burton, Jen Psaki, Ebs Burnough, CNN’s Ed Henry, Suzanne Malveaux, Edie Emery, Megan Grant, Kristi Slafka, ABC’s Emily Lenzner, Polson Kanneth, NBC’s Alicia Jennings, CBS’ Rita Braver, BJ D’Elia, Politico‘s Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin, Nia-Malika Henderson, WaPo‘s Roxanne Roberts, Washingtonian‘s Garrett Graff, Newsweek‘s Howard Fineman, Holly Bailey, Bloomberg’s Tim Burger, Margaret Carlson, the Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab, Tara Palmeri, TPM‘s Christina Bellantoni, Josh Marshall, NJ‘s Erin McPike, Urban Daddy’s Jeff Dufour, Jayne Sandman, Peter Cherukuri, Ana Marie Cox, Matthew Cooper, Kevin Madden, Bill Press, Mark Ein, Elizabeth Thorp, Kevin Chaffee, Jay Newton-Small, Jessica Gibson, Pamela Sorensen, Mark Paustenbach, Mark Leibovich, Emily Goodin, the Glover sisters- Juleanna Glover, Becca Glover and Liz Glover and team Qorvis- Kelley McCormick, Chelsea Cummings and Katie Young.

Pics to come…

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