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Mona Zhang

Mona is the editor of SocialTimes and social media coordinator at Mediabistro. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and East Asian Studies. Before moving to NYC, she lived in Beijing, London, Madrid and Chicago.

Time Inc.’s New Chief Content Officer on Native Advertising and TMZ

NPearlstineAt the Media Minds breakfast discussion this morning, new Time Inc. chief content officer Norman Pearlstine had some interesting things to say about media ethics in conversation with Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard. Jones, who pressed Pearlstine on the issues of native advertising, wondered how the exec would approach these issues at his new gig.

“[Native advertising] varies from brand to brand,” said Pearlstine. “It’s not to suggest that some magazines have a higher or lower standard, but that they’re different. If you think about the customer needs of some of our lifestyle magazines, they’re quite different from the customer needs from Time or Fortune.”

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Norman Pearlstine on Why Editors Should Report to the Business Side

MediaMindsMedia pros gathered this morning at the Bryant Park Grill for a Media Minds discussion with Norman Pearlstine, newly installed chief content officer of Time Inc., and Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard. All were glad for Cathy Gay‘s return after an unfortunate fall left the producer and founder of the series unable to attend the previous one.

It goes without saying that much of the discussion revolved around the Time Inc. spin-off and Pearlstine’s new role as chief content officer, a move that has garnered much discussion about the elimination of church and state at the publisher. He previously served as editor-in-chief of Time Inc. from 1995 to 2005, a position that has now been eliminated. “The idea of having editors report to business leaders is not all that different from what happened in 1997, when I stopped reporting to the board of Time Warner,” said Pearlstine, who then started to report to former Time Inc. CEO Don Logan.

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Clyde Phillips to Aspiring Writers: ‘Read Everything You Can’

MediabistroTV recently talked to Clyde Phillips, bestselling crime novelist and current showrunner for Nurse Jackie. He shares some advice for aspiring writers, and tells why novel writing is not that different from TV writing:

Scott Moore on How His Career Led Him to Deepak and Oprah

ScottMoore

Scott E. Moore has quite the resume: He’s an accomplished musician with five solo albums under his belt and has worked for big networks like MTV/VH1, TNT and Turner Movie Classics as a director and producer. For the past five years, Moore has been the creative director of a site that provides visual medical information.

He just completed his latest project — creating two hours of original music for Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey‘s 21- Day Meditation Challenge. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Moore explains how he came to be a part of the project:

So how did you go from creating videos for TheVisualMD to working on Deepak and Oprah’s Meditation Challenge?
Deepak was one of our colleagues on a project on the physiological science of emotional bonding between mother and infant. An old colleague who was working with Deepak on this meditation challenge told me they wanted to raise it up a couple of notches. Even though a lot of people participated, the product wasn’t at the quality level they felt it should be… So the person who handles the Chopra Center Digital Properties was in a crisis. And I just so happened to have just started my agency, and this project would be right up my alley. Ironically, I had started playing atmospheric, soul music live in a yoga studio, which would sell out every month. I played Deepak some of that music, and that’s when it all kind of came full circle and I got the opportunity to do this project.

To hear more about Moore’s eclectic career, read: Hey, How’d You “Score” That Job With Deepak and Oprah, Filmmaker Scott E. Moore?

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Soledad O’Brien on Diversity in the Media: ‘It’s not that hard’

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(from L to R) Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media and Keith Lorizio, VP of U.S. sales and marketing at Microsoft

Media types gathered last night at the 40/40 club in New York to kick off MSN’s partnership with Interactive One. The event was part of an ongoing trend necessity for media companies to focus on diversity, and Microsoft is looking to do just that not only with Interactive One, but also through partnerships with Lisnr and the Marcus Graham Project.

Interactive One’s chief content officer Smokey Fontaine spoke to the crowd about how the company evolved over the years to keep in line with America’s changing demographics. “We changed our focus from being solely African American to… all of the folks who demographically and psychographically are part of the multicultural landscape.”

Why? “Companies have no choice but to serve multicultural. If you want to stay relevant, you have no choice but to serve that market. But you do have a choice whether you’ll serve that market really well.”

Census data shows that minorities will be the majority in the near future, and Pew continues to document how little change there is in terms of minorities in the newsroom. “I’ve been having the same conversation about diversity for 26 years, since I started in TV news,” Soledad O’Brien told FishbowlNY. “Sometimes, that’s really disheartening.”

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How to Monetize Your Blog

Everyone has a blog nowadays, but not everyone manages to make money from it. If you’ve managed to strike upon a large readership for your blog, thanks to breaking news or a great idea, your road to monetizing is far from over. Just because the masses come to you for info or entertainment does not mean advertisers will do the same, or that a book deal is in the bag. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Blair Koenig shares her experience from building a successful blog STFU, Parents, which gets 1.5 to 2 million page views a month:

When you’re building your own personal blog, it’s up to you to figure out how to make money — whether it’s from ad networks, independent advertisers, book deals, stores or through other media outlets. Koenig jokes, “I know there’s a lot out there that makes it sound like if you’re a popular blogger someone’s going to just ring your doorbell and be like, ‘Hey, I want to make a movie [based on your blog]!’ But it’s really, really hard and usually a lot of that stuff is created from the blogger [rather] than the other way around.”

Koenig uses three different ad networks and a couple of independent advertisers to earn money on her blog. She landed a book deal after completing the grueling process of writing a 60-page book proposal. She has plans to build a store within her website featuring STFU, Parents-themed merchandise as well. But money doesn’t suddenly start flowing in when your blog becomes popular, according to Koenig. She’s appeared on Good Morning America and various news outlets to talk about her blog, and although these appearances spike traffic to her site, she’s not getting paid outright for any publicity.

For more tips and advice on blogging, read What You Need to Know About Writing for Blogs.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Land a Byline in the Fourth Most Circulated Magazine

For almost a century, Better Homes and Gardens has been offering actionable advice on everything from decorating and gardening to personal and family well-being. No sections are off-limits to freelancers in the book, and landing a byline means your work is sent to its 7.6 million-plus subscribers. Not only is it a chance to get many eyeballs for your writing – the pub also pays its freelancers up to $2 a word.

While editors at the mag regularly come up with ideas in house and assign them to writers who they regularly work with, “I really am always hungry for story pitches,” said senior deputy home editor Kelly Kegans. “The better pitches that we end up running with, by and large, come from outside.” All sections of the book are open to freelance pitches, and unlike many other mags, editors don’t discourage newbies from pitching the feature well. “It just depends on the strength of their story idea, more than anything,” she said.

For editors contact info and more, read How To Pitch: Better Homes and Gardens.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Michael Musto: ‘I knew I was on the chopping block’ at Village Voice

While news of Village Voice vet Michael Musto getting the axe was a shock to many, the man himself knew there was trouble ahead. When EIC Will Bourne and deputy editor Jessica Lustig were on their way out the door, one of them told Musto that he needed to worry. “I knew I was on the chopping block,” he told Mediabistro for its latest So What Do You Do? interview.

Yet, while “La Dolce Musto” may have ended, the show goes on with “Musto! The Musical!” and other fantastic things:

When it got onto Gawker.com that I was going to be laid off and the word was out, I didn’t have to pitch myself. People started coming to me. So, by the end of the week, I had lined up all this stuff. It was only on contingency, because I thought the Voice might keep me on in some capacity — the rumor was that I was going to be a Web-only [columnist] — and I was prepared to work that out with them. But it turned out to be a complete layoff, so I was able to take these other opportunities.

For more, read So What Do You Do, Michael Musto, Entertainment and Gossip Columnist?

Morning Media Newsfeed: Michael Hastings Dies | Holley Out at Lucky | NYT Blogs Shuttering


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Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone Contributor, Dead at 33
(Rolling Stone)
Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone has learned. He was 33. Hastings’ unvarnished 2010 profile of McChrystal in the pages of Rolling Stone, “The Runaway General,” captured the then-supreme commander of the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan openly mocking his civilian commanders in the White House. The maelstrom sparked by its publication concluded with President Obama recalling McChrystal to Washington and the general resigning his post. BuzzFeed We are shocked and devastated by the news that Hastings is gone. He was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians. BuzzFeed / Ben Smith Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects; occasionally his editor. While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave. And he was warm and honest in a way that left him many unlikely friends among people you’d expect to hate him. Slate / Weigel As one of the journalists who was lucky to know him, first admiring his work as a reader, then thinking “Oh thank God” whenever we reconnected on the 2012 campaign trail, I’m having trouble working through the pathetic injustice of this situation. GalleyCat Hastings was the author of The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan and I Lost My Love in Baghdad. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer “A lot of people in the news business want to seem unafraid,” Rachel Maddow said on her show. “Hastings was actually unafraid. To the point where he radiated a sort of energy that made you realize he was unafraid, and it made you treat him differently than other people in the business.” Read more

AOL CEO: At Least People Know The Name of Our Company

What do you think of when you hear the name “AOL”? Dialup? Your parents’ email? Alas, this is AOL’s brand problem. But don’t worry! At least people have heard of it!

That was AOL CEO Tim Armstrong‘s message at today’s Media Minds breakfast, where he said, “It’s incredibly expensive to implant a chip in someone’s head so they know what the name of your company is.” He shared that, up until 2006, AOL had spent $22 billion on marketing. As a result, “almost every country I go to in the world, people know AOL,” said Armstrong.

“We’re going to invest in things from a brand standpoint that human beings love. AOL is already planted in your head and [we'll] back fill it with awesome things — you’re going to love AOL again.”

Readers: Could you love AOL again? Did you ever love AOL?

Our sister site 10,000 Words has more on the event.

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