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Alexander C. Kaufman

Madeleine Brand ‘Presses Play’ on New Noon Show on KCRW

Promo_madeleineprimaryMadeleine Brand launched her new KCRW show “Press Play” on Monday after spending over a year off public radio airwaves.

Long a rush-hour fixture in Los Angeles, she quit her top-rated morning news show on KPCC in September 2012 after the Southern California Public Radio station forced her to take A. Martinez, a former sports commentator, as a co-host. KPCC, a rival NPR-affiliate to KRCW, was required to hire a Latino co-host to receive the full payment of a $1.8 million grant from the Corporate for Public Broadcasting.

Brand resurfaced a month later on public television, contributing to KCET’s “SoCal Connected.” The next month, she was already reportedly in talks with KCRW.

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If Vox Media is the Next Condé Nast, Will Ezra Klein Build its New Yorker?

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Jim Bankoff sounded brazen in December 2012 discussing his plan for his little digital publisher Vox Media to someday rival the magazine titan housing The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired and Vogue.

“We look at what Condé Nast did in magazine publishing, and we can do that in digital publishing, meaning scale and quality and value,” the 44-year-old CEO told Forbes, which scoffed at him to “put down that glass.” The network of three sites, the largest of which was sports-focused SB Nation, had only earned an estimated $25 million in revenues.

Less than a year later, SB Nation is busy competing with Grantland, Deadspin, Bleacher Report and ESPN — for which Condé has no equivalent. The Verge is poaching editors from Wired and expanding its editorial mandate far beyond gadget reviews. And Vox’s newly-acquired Curbed network — with its food (Eater), real estate/architecture (Curbed) and fashion (Racked) brands blossoming across North America’s major cities — nips the ankles of numerous glossy magazines that have failed to transition meaningfully to the Web.

But, aside from The Verge’s limited embrace of non-tech news, could Vox add something a little more general interest, like The New Yorker, to its stable?

Enter: Ezra Klein.

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Matt Yglesias Named Executive Editor of Ezra Klein’s New Vox Media Venture

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Matt Yglesias will serve as executive editor of the new Vox Media venture founded by Ezra Klein, FishbowlNY has learned.

“That is my title,” Yglesias confirmed to FishbowlNY in an email Monday morning. “Now obviously the website itself needs a name and I suppose titles could change too as we build out the team, but ‘executive editor’ is the title Ezra and Melissa and I have had down on paper for me for months.”

Klein will be editor-in-chief.

Slate’s prolific economics blogger announced last week that he would join Klein, The Washington Post who recently quit to start his own publication with staff from his popular policy site, Wonkblog.

“There’s not much to say at this point,” Yglesias told The New York Times last Thursday, declining to provide details of his new position, “other than that I’m very excited to be part of this team and we’re hoping to announce some more stuff in the near future.”

But when Klein announced in a post on The Verge on Sunday that he would launch his new site with Vox, he and Yglesias chimed into the comments below. And, thanks to Vox’s comment system, which verifies official authors with a checkmark and job title, Yglesias revealed his role as executive editor.

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Does WSJ Have a Problem Disclosing Conflicts of Interest?

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A letter published by The Wall Street Journal on Saturday drew criticism from Jewish groups and readers for comparing recent protests targeting San Francisco’s wealthiest residents to a series of 1938 riots, instigated by German Nazis, that left dozens dead and kicked off the Holocaust.

And as some began to question why the business paper of record give a platform to such a far-fetched analogy — in a letter that also unexpectedly glorifies serial novelist Danielle Steel as the city’s No. 1 celebrity — even if the writer was a legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

In an italicized tagline beneath the letter, WSJ introduced the author, Thomas Perkins, as founder of the VC firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers — which, despite bearing his name, distanced itself on Saturday from the “partner emeritus” profiled on its website.

A quick Google search reveals more relevant biographical details.

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WSJ Allows Former News Corp. Exec to Compare ‘War’ on Rich to Nazi Anti-Semitism

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Nearly eight decades ago, Germans, enraged by Nazi Party propaganda, burned and destroyed Jewish shops and synagogues, killed 91 Jews and arrested 30,000 more, deporting them to concentration camps. To Thomas Perkins, a billionaire Silicon Valley investor, that sounds just like recent protests targeting San Francisco’s monied tech workers.

In a letter published by The Wall Street Journal on Saturday — provocatively headlined “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” – Perkins, a former News Corporation board member, wrote:

Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?

Todd Gutnick, a spokesman for the Anti Defamation League, demanded an apology from Perkins, and called the comparison “outrageous” and “deeply offensive.”

In an email to FishbowlNY, he said:

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Why Rupert Murdoch Bought Out YES Network Two Years Early

256px-YankeesWhen Rupert Murdoch bought 49 percent of the Yankees- and Brooklyn Nets-focused YES Network over a year ago, he pledged to take a majority stake after three years.

On Friday, 21st Century Fox announced a deal to raise its ownership of the Yankees Sports and Entertainment Network to 80 percent from 49 percent, roughly two years ahead of schedule.

“Our investment in the YES Network underscores our commitment to growing our global sports portfolio with offerings that are exceptional and unique,” James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer/boss’s son at 21st Century Fox, said in a statement.

The deal, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of the first calendar quarter. Yankee Global Enterprises will hold on to the remaining 20 percent stake.

So, why did this deal come early?

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No, Slate Hasn’t Hired Jeb Lund [Updated]

JebLund11Nearly a year ago, Gawker writer Jeb Lund outed his real identity, having long blogged under the nom-de-plume Mobutu Sese Seko, the infamous Congolese dictator. Another revelation: He was leaving Gawker.

On Thursday afternoon, the Florida-based writer tweeted that Slate had chosen him “to field a general blogger role.” Mediabistro — which owns FishbowlNY — linked to his tweet in Friday night’s Revolving Door newsletter, which announces new hires and departures in the journalism industry.

Slate, reportedly to the surprise of some editors, had just lost economics columnist Matt Yglesias to Ezra Klein‘s as-yet unnamed venture. Could Lund — whose virtual identity screams of the pre-Facebook Internet randomness and pseudonymity — be the new marquee name at the venerable online magazine?

Not to spoil Lund’s fun — he had some people, including this apparently gullible writer, fooled — but here’s what Slate said when asked if the blogger was joining the site:

“Not true,” Alissa Neil, Slate’s spokeswoman, told FishbowlNY in an email Friday evening.

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5 Ways Journalists Are Starting to Jam with Biz Stone’s Jelly

A week ago, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone launched his new venture, a crowdsourced question-and-answer service called Jelly.

And some social media editors are already getting a taste for it.

The app, which allows you to snap a photo of something and gather responses from others, drew more than 100,000 questions in its first week, according to RJMetrics, which analyzes startups’ traffic numbers and engagement data. About a quarter of them were answered.

RJMetrics CEO Robert J. Moore crunched some data he gathered using his own Jelly account, and found that over half of the questions asked in the first week contained the words “who,” “what,” “why,” “where,” “when,” or “how.”

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How an LA Times Reporter Learned to Face Death to Understand Life

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In the 2010 HBO documentary about his life, Dr. Jack Kevorkian espoused what he had learned after years of helping disease-addled patients end their own lives: Once you accept death as part of life, you will no longer fear it. Forget the rituals, the Christian ideas of afterlife. Death was the final chapter. The chemical reactions that kept your heart beating all this time ceased. In place of your consciousness, sweet, serene nothingness. Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote often about his atheism and humanism, praised his rationale — the Cat’s Cradle author even wrote a radio play entitled, ironically, “God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian.” He shared Kevorkian’s view that understanding and accepting death could help you forge a more moral life.

In her debut book The Death Class: A Story About Life, journalist Erika Hayasaki seems to present this theory through a case study.

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Former NY Times Mobile Editor Heads to Meetup

Top editors just can’t resist shiny new job titles in the Silicon startup scene lately.

Nearly a week ago, The Wire editor Gabriel Snyder announced his jump from the Atlantic Media site to Inside.com, a mobile news venture.

And on Monday, Fiona Spruill, the former mobile and Web editor at The New York Times, revealed her new gig as head of global growth at Meetup.com, a site for organizing in-real-life gatherings.

 

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