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Amanda Ernst

Observer Hires New Digital Managing Editor

tylert.jpgThe New York Observer debuted a revamped Web site today, so it’s fitting that the paper also announced the appointment of a new editor to oversee its online content.

Tyler Thoreson, the former executive editor of Condé Nast‘s, has been named managing editor of Observer digital, where he will oversee and the Observer Media’s Group’s online venture VSL. It looks like new editor Kyle Pope, a former Condé Nast-er himself, has wasted no time installing a new staff at the top of the Observer‘s masthead, after appointing his former Portfolio colleague Christopher Stewart deputy editor in December.

Thoreson, who is starting at the Observer on February 15, first worked for the paper back in 1996 as a fact checker, the paper said today.

Read more: Observer Hires New Managing Editor for the WebThe Observer

Previously: Newsday, Observer Name New Editors

Social Media Week Panel Delves Into The Role Of Social Media Editors

SocialMediaWeekLogo.jpgSince it’s Social Media Week here in New York, we thought we would take a minute to highlight an interesting panel from yesterday afternoon.

Sister blog WebNewser was on the scene at the Time & Life building to hear former Fishbowler and current Mediaite editor Rachel Sklar, New York Times social media editor Jennifer Preston, and managing editor Cyndi Stivers talk about the role of social media editors in newsgathering organizations, on a panel moderated by Time Inc. director of community strategy for lifestyle digital Melissa Parrish.

Some choice insights from the panel included learning what your audience wants to read on your Twitter stream. Said Sklar:

“For Mediaite, it was different because we were a scrappy little start-up financed by Dan Abrams and whoever his private investors are, with a very small team — four of us. As soon as we launched, I became the unofficial PR Newsfeed of Mediaite.

I don’t have much of a filter in terms of the stuff I post.

I was responding to every single negative comment on my personal Twitter, and I started getting emails from people saying, ‘Whoa, you’ve got to back off a little bit.’”

Stivers agreed that news judgment is sometimes necessary:

“I think a lot of times people do forget about the user experience or think about it as an afterthought: Would I be annoyed if I had to click to another page and it was only three lines? Would I feel duped? Would I feel misrepresented?”

And Preston’s insight into how social media is used at the Times was very revealing:

“As journalists for The New York Times, trust is key. You have to make sure you’re providing as much real-time information as you can, but you have to verify it.

You do not join the Cindy McCain or Michelle Obama fan club on Facebook.

We’re not allowed to say “tweet” yet at The New York Times, but you can post to Twitter through TimesPeople.”

Read more: Social Media Editors On The Role Of Social Media Editors –WebNewser

First On FBNY: Parade Editor Janice Kaplan Out

Screen shot 2010-02-03 at 11.23.12 AM.pngFishbowlNY has learned that Parade‘s editor-in-chief, Janice Kaplan has left the magazine.

Although a good-bye memo to staff seemed to suggest that Kaplan is leaving the weekly magazine on good terms, we have heard that she was asked to leave. The change at the top of the masthead comes after Parade‘s owner Condé Nast appointed a new CEO, Jack Haire, back in April. Since then, the magazine has lost its president, Randy Siegel, who left to run local digital strategy for parent company Advance Publications last month and got a new publisher, Brett Wilson this fall.

Kaplan, an author and former deputy editor at TV Guide magazine, joined Parade four years ago as executive editor and took over the role of editor-in-chief two years ago.

In her letter to her staff, Kaplan praised Parade‘s growth in the years since she’s been in charge, highlighting its celebrity coverage, increase medical coverage, and high profile guest writers. She also talked about the magazine’s expansion into other platforms, including TV and the Web. “Leaving now, I extend my warm thanks to everyone who contributed to our many triumphs,” she said, adding: “I’m disappointed not to have the opportunity to continue this great run. But I wish all of you — and Parade — continued success.”

Read all of Kaplan’s note, after the jump

We have reached out to Parade for comment but have not yet heard back. We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.

Previously: Parade Names New Publisher

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Condé Nast Creates Fraud Hotline

4 times square.jpgThings seem to be looking up for Condé Nast in the New Year, and Si Newhouse wants to keep it that way.

In order to avoid an embarrassing computer hacking like the one that hit GQ and other titles last year, or some similar fraud, the magazine publisher has set up a 24-hour fraud tip hotline, Keith Kelly reports today.

In a memo sent to staff yesterday, CFO John Bellando explained that the hotline was intended to allow employees to report instances of any “release of proprietary information, accounting/audit irregularities, falsification of company records, theft of goods/services/cash,” and even “unauthorized discounts/payoffs.”

From the outside, it would seem like this sort of thing is rampant at Condé. If that’s the case, will this move help stem the tide? We’re also wondering if releasing Bellando’s memo to Kelly would be cause to call the hotline. In any case, don’t stop sending those tips our way!

Read more: Fraud crackdown shocks Condé NastiesNew York Post

Previously: Conde Nast Promotes Execs, Awards Top Publishers

The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

News Corp. Earnings|Hybrid Companies Of The Future|Inc. Goes Virtual|Julia Allison|Conan O’Brien|David Brown Dies|Oprah

<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'Moment of Zen – Roger Ailes Defends Fox News
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

paidContent: News Corp. reported its second quarter earnings this afternoon, reporting a profit for the quarter and increases in most of its divisions, including — amazingly — the newspaper business, which saw a 29.5 percent gain.

Nieman Lab: According to this survey, hybrid media companies are the wave of the future.

MediaJobsDaily A new way for media companies to save money: ditch the office. Inc. magazine is trying a virtual office experiment this month.

MainStreet: Julia Allison says she’s a journalist, compares herself to Bob Woodward.

TMZ: Conan O’Brien plans to pay severance for some of his axed employees out of his own pocket.

Los Angeles Times: David Brown, former journalist, producer and husband of Cosmo editrix Helen Gurley-Brown, has died.

New York Times: Oprah Winfrey will star in a reality show about the end of her talk show once her cable net, OWN, debuts.

More Details On Journalism Online’s Pay Wall Plans

For months, we’ve been hearing more and more about Journalism Online — a new company launched by Steven Brill and L. Gordon Crovitz in the hopes of offering a standard pay wall plan for a variety of different news outlets.

Today, The New York Times has even more info, including the names of some pubs that are hoping to launch Journalism Online’s system in the next few months.

Some of the outlets that are soon unveiling Journalism Online’s software, which they’re calling Press+, include The Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era in Lancaster, Penn., The Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina and online news outlet Global Post. Each pub is taking Press+, adapting it to its own needs, and integrating it into its Web site, paying Journalism Online 20 percent of their pay wall earnings in the process.

For the Lancaster paper, adapting Press+ means only charging those outside of its local area for access to certain content, like obituaries. But Global Post’s use of the software may be more far reaching; the Web site is planning to make paying for content optional, but hopes to have “tens of thousands of paying readers by year’s end,” after a debut next month.

The upside for using Journalism Online’s pay wall product is that these publications don’t have to put the time and effort into developing their own system. If it doesn’t work, no harm, no foul. And if it pays off, a couple of a reporters get their salaries paid for by their readers. And if it all works out, that’s even better news for Brill and Crovitz, who will undoubtedly attract more business as their product’s visability goes up and its success becomes measurable. But the ultimate question on everyone’s mind — from Newsday to The New York Times — is now: will readers pay?

Read more: Some News Outlets Ready to Try Charging Online ReadersNew York Times

Previously: Journalism Online Offers Alternative To Pay Wall

First On FBNY: Food Network Magazine Debuts New Ad Opportunity, Wins Six-Issue Commitment From Unilever

foodnetmag.jpgAs it heads towards its second year of publication, Food Network Magazine is seeking ever more new and exciting advertising opportunities for its clients.

The latest ad venture is a four-page spread that lives underneath the magazine’s unique recipe index at the front of the book. The index, which lists every recipe in each issue with a photo accompaniment, now opens up to reveal a spread that can be uniquely tailored to each brand’s needs with the right mix of advertorial and brand pages. The concept has garnered a six-issue commitment from Unilever, which plans to highlight at least six different brands over the course of the partnership, including Ragu, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Hellmann’s.

“It’s a very simple, smart, tailored, individualized idea,” Food Network Magazine vice president and publisher Vicki Wellington told FishbowlNY. “It’s the opportunity for us to create something that will be appropriate for each of the brands that we have brought on board. And it’s under the one spread that everyone talks about as soon as they open the issue. Some people have already seen it, and it’s already the envy of the community.”

Check out the index spread, after the jump

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Newspapers Draw One-Third Of Web Users In Q4

papers3.jpgAccording to data released today by the Newspaper Association of America, newspapers’ Web sites drew more than one-third all Internet users during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Thanks to custom stats generated for the NAA by Nielsen Online, the industry association learned that newspaper Web sites drew 72 million visitors during the quarter, or 37 percent of total Internet users. Newspaper Web site users also “generated more than 3.2 billion page views during the quarter, spending more than 2.4 billion minutes browsing the sites,” the NAA revealed today.

Said NAA president John F. Sturm:

“These strong and consistent audience figures come as newspaper publishers continue to transition their companies into multiplatform content providers to meet the needs of today’s audience. As the economy begins to stabilize, newspaper companies are in position to leverage their trusted brands to reach a highly engaged audience and deliver maximum value to advertisers.”

Read more: Press release with chart

Previously: Study: Newspapers Are Retaining Readers Despite Price Increases

New York Post Reporter Hits Cover With Undercover Male Prostitute Story

post gigolo.jpgThere is one thing that we can always count on it New York: if there is a juicy story to be had, The New York Post will cover it, at length. And usually take it just a little bit too far.

Case in point: today’s cover story featuring reporter Mandy Stadtmiller‘s undercover report from under the covers of the country’s first male prostitute, “Markus” at the Shady Lady Ranch in Nevada. Even Stadtmiller admits it was just too easy for the Post:

“This month, as Nevada anointed the country’s first-ever legal male prostitute — in the form of ‘Markus,’ a 25-year-old beefy ex-Marine — it became incredibly clear that one thing had to happen immediately.

The Post had to have a go at this gigolo.”

Although Stadtmiller insists she didn’t have sex with Markus, she did get naked and let him inspect her — paying $500 for the privilege. Throughout her two-hour session, she learns some facts about the prostitute, but it’s by no means ground-breaking journalism. In fact, Stadtmiller seems more intent on making fun of Markus’ mispronunciations than actually getting to the bottom of his reasons for selling his body, which is exactly what we expect from a piece like in this the Post. It’s funny, light and all around ridiculous.

The piece is not so much about Markus and his new job, or the social implications of a legal male prostitute, but how far Stadtmiller was willing to go to get the scoop. But in the end, it seems like she may have learned something:

“Markus has taught me so much. About what a gigolo should never, ever, ever do. ‘Women don’t want sex so much as companionship,’ he concludes. ‘Women can be a prostitute. But not men.’

Sure, Markus.

Whatever gets you through the night.”

Or not.

Read more: My night with a prosti-dudeNew York Post

Related: Eater Founder, Vanity Fair Blogger Make Post‘s Eligible Bachelor List