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Posts Tagged ‘Sidney Harman’

Howard Kurtz Pimps his New Workplace

Howard Kurtz, Washington Bureau Chief for The Daily Beast and host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” is going on two consecutive weeks showcasing his new bosses on the CNN program he hosts. While that no doubt makes for a delightful workplace for him, viewers are getting a raw deal.

He rips competitor HuffPost for a questionable story on MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough teaming up with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a presidential run in 2012 (a story a variety of publications including FishbowlDC wrote days earlier after Scarborough declared the story not even “super secretly” true). In the next breath, Kurtz defends and highlights Newsweek Editor Tina Brown of the newly merged Newsweek-Daily Beast. Last week he featured Brown and Newsweek Owner Sidney Harman and his perfectly crafted, charming sound bites. This week he again featured Brown. Yes, he discloses she is his boss as he defends his new workplace against the heavy critique of Real Estate mogul and Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell. Zell remarks that Newsweek isn’t exactly “major media” and says he’s not really familiar with The Daily Beast. He deserves a skeptic’s eye — under his leadership, the Tribune company filed for bankruptcy in 2008.  But here’s the downfall about interviewing a boss, Howie — Brown is your boss and no one should ever believe you’re unbiased about her unless you criticize her as you do the others.

How long viewers will be subjected to this pimping is anyone’s guess. Will there be a Newsweek-Daily Beast segment on Kurtz’s program each week? If so, may we suggest this waist-length fur so we can distinguish that segment from the rest.

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Forbes Blasts Slate Critique of Harman Newsweek Purchase

Two bisons on their way to locking horns.

Here’s the thing about online journalism. When you rip someone apart, the person can easily strike back, with more rancor, more nastiness. It’s ‘What Comes Around Goes Around,’ but a more vicious version.

Forbes’s Jay Whitehead says Slate‘s media writer Jack Shafer is “a hypocrite of the highest journalistic water and knows virtually nothing about the mind of a media entrepreneur.” This is in response to Shafer’s giving new Newsweek owner Sidney Harman unsolicited advice, namely that he’s a “restless fat cat” who has no business purchasing Newsweek.

Whitehead doesn’t bother to link to Shafer’s piece – he could do him that favor while shredding him. We will here.

An excerpt

Come on journalists-especially you Jack Shafer. Is the journalism profession only about dancing on graves? If it is, then your only choice would be to write your own obituary now and end it all. It may be true, but it’s not news, that everyone dies and all things eventually come to an end. Why you want Sidney Harman to fail is bitterness at the fact that your business cannot support what you fantasize about doing-spending eight years unaccountably working on a Moby Dick-length piece predicting the demise of everything, at a seaside villa with pool waitresses and an open bar.

Read the full Forbes piece here.

Meacham Out, Harman In


Politico‘s Mike Allen is reporting that Jon Meacham, Editor of Newsweek, is on his way out. In the meantime, the magazine is reportedly being sold to 91-year-old Sidney Harman, husband to Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.).

An excerpt:
The sale is a painful concession for Donald E. Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co., who personally chose the buyer from among several well-heeled bidders. He had stuck with the magazine, part of his company since 1961, through years of heavy losses.