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NY Times Has 1,700 Obituaries for ‘Pre-Dead’

NYtimes buildingAnyone interested in morbid news will appreciate The New York Times pulling back the curtain on its obituaries desk.

According to Margalit Fox, the Times currently has about 1,700 obits for “pre-dead” people on file, ranging from a few hundred words (if you were boring) to more than 10 thousand (if you were rich).

Unsurprisingly, Fox writes that one of the most uncomfortable aspects of preparing obits is interviewing people who the Times deems close to death:

One of the most stressful aspects of reporting an advance entails, when feasible, telephoning its pre-dead subject for an interview. This is one of the stranger social predicaments in human experience and, trust me, there is nothing in Emily Post to cover it. The midcentury Timesman Alden Whitman, an obituary writer famous for sitting down with his subjects in advance, favored tender circumlocutions on the order of, “We’re updating your biographical file” and “This is for possible future use.” I have used both with a fair margin of success.

Another approach we’d suggest: “Hi, this is Margalit Fox with the New York Times. You’re probably about to croak. Any comment?”

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FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance

Morning Media Newsfeed: Vice Sells Stake to A&E | Chelsea Clinton Leaves NBC News

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Vice Media Stakes Future on A&E Networks Deal (NYT)
After spending the summer flirting with various suitors, Vice Media said on Friday that it was close to choosing a partner: A&E Networks. TVNewser The investment was announced after Time Warner ended its negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which had been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO. WSJ A&E Networks is nearing an agreement to buy 10 percent of Vice Media for $250 million, in a deal that would value the youth-focused online media company at $2.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Financial Times Last year, Vice sold a 5 percent stake to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $70 million, which then valued it at $1.4 billion. THR Vice CEO Shane Smith, who co-founded the company 20 years ago, has long wanted to expand into traditional TV. A&E, led by Nancy Dubuc, is a co-venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney/ABC Television Group.

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New Yorker Illustrator Tips His Cap to Derek Jeter

In 2001, illustrator Mark Ulriksen told the San Francisco Chronicle that growing up, all he wanted to be was a center fielder for the San Francisco Giants. But over the years, his allegiances have gravitated to another MLB team, creating an ongoing professional conflict that he has talked about before.

NewYorkerDerekJeterCover

This time around for The New Yorker, Ulriksen has illustrated Roger Angell‘s story ”S’Long Jeet” with a striking cover illustration of Derek Jeter. The September 8 issue cover, the San Francisco-based artists insists, put him once again at odds:

“Derek Jeter presents a conundrum for a Red Sox fan like me,” Ulriksen says about the cover. “I loathe the Yankees, but I appreciate and respect Jeter. No baseball fan can ever forget ‘the flip’ against the Oakland A’s in the playoffs. He’s a classic—humble, consistently spectacular, both at bat and in the field.”

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NY Jobs: Time Out America, Greenlight Energy, Haymarket Media

This week, Time Out America is hiring an SEO and analytics associate, while Greenlight Energy needs a head of marketing. Haymarket Media is seeking a digital content editor, and High 5 Games is on the hunt for a digital media buyer/planner. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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Find more great DC jobs on the Mediabistro job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented media pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Football Man | Winning Words | Press Play

AgencySpy: Johnny Sports Man in a Snickers ad! Johnny Sports Man in a Snickers ad!

GalleyCat: The Pen Center has announced its annual literary award winners. Congrats to all.

AllTwitter: Here’s a graphic on how to make videos on social networks benefit your brand. Step one is don’t be annoying.

Ben Kingsley Expands Upon His Mother’s Profound Disapproval

ShutterstockBenKingsley2010In the spring of 2010, UK journalist Cole Moreton shared a rather startling interview with Sir Ben Kingsley. The actor, speaking in the pages of the Daily Mail not long after the death that year of his mother Anna Lyna Mary (nee Goodman) at age 96, candidly revealed her pathological inability to show affection for her children and give them any approval.

He pantomimed her dismissal of his British knighthood after it was awarded at Buckingham Palace in 2002. And this week, Kingsley went a little further, filling in the blanks of this unbelievable, ultimate slap. From the actor’s interview with Hollywood-based Filipino journalist Ruben Nepales:

Ben revealed a side story about becoming a knight. “Then [after the ceremony], my mother refused to acknowledge my knighthood, which I found bitterly hurtful. Life is all about balance, isn’t it? That wonderful woman (Queen Elizabeth II) had said, we accept you and love what you do, but my mother refused to acknowledge that it had taken place. She was embarrassed, bitter and jealous. That’s the whole story. I have never told it before.”

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Stony Brook Prof Stresses Value of Old-School Journalism

JonFriedmanStonyBrookPicJon Friedman‘s latest Marketwatch column is a good one. In framing what he thinks it still takes to be a good journalist, he laments the fact that many of his Stony Brook journalism students are fixated on the glittery sheen of the boob tube:

When I asked my students last semester what they hoped to do in their careers, the majority said they wanted to be on television. (The most honest of them declared they wanted to be TV stars, not so much for the big bucks but since it just seemed so darned cool to be on TV!) None of them said he or she hoped to be a link in the chain to the late, great Edward R. Murrow. (Who?)

It’s not my students’ fault that TV news today has taken on the mentality of the fabulous 1976 film Network (a movie most of them had never heard of, much less seen). It’s all about flash and pizzazz. News and entertainment are so blurred that it’s hard to tell them apart.

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The Most Popular FishbowlNY Posts for The Week

Here’s a look at the FishbowlNY posts that made the most buzz this week.

1) Hollywood Trade #IceBucketChallenge Devolves Into Twitter War

2) Tony Soprano Lives! [Updated]

3) ESPN Regrets Being Complete Garbage

4) Hunter Lewis Named Editor of Cooking Light

5) Anonymous Website Group Claims to Have Outed Nikki Finke

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Wondering About That Spike Jonze-Jonah Hill Collaboration

It’s that time of year when a lucky group of film journalists including the LA TimesRebecca Keegan jet off to Telluride, Colorado and Toronto, Canada to be wined, dined and awards-season appetized.

OpeningCeremonyNYStoreHere in NYC, in the shadow of TIFF, there will be an event of a different nature but one that involves a couple of very familiar festival marquee names. As first reported by WWD‘s Jessica Iredale, Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill have teamed to produce and write a one-act play for the fall New York Fashion Week presentation of Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2015 line:

Jonze, who has done fashion capsules with Opening Ceremony for his films Where The Wild Things Are and Her, will direct a cast of actors and models in his first project since winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Her earlier this year. The storyline is still being finalized, according to OC co-founder Humberto Leon, who noted the play was Jonze’s idea, as was bringing on Hill, who is known primarily for acting though his writing credits include 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street.

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