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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.

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.

Get Your Kid Stories Published in Parents

The tagline of “Healthy kids, happy families” encompasses both Parents‘ content and attitude. The magazine is primarily a service magazine, and editors deliver what readers initially come to the magazine for: information about children’s health, safety, nutrition, discipline and development. However, editors also want to help readers enjoy family life (not escape it), delivering positive stories about keeping a marriage happy and celebrating the holidays.

Parents has “a nice balance between the content related to children and content related to being a parent,” said deputy editor Diane DebrovnerAnd, lucky for writers, almost every section of this service pub is open to freelance pitches, and there are numerous ways for newbies to break into the book. 

Get all the details in How To Pitch: Parents.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe 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.

Get Your Kid Stories Published in Parents

The tagline of “Healthy kids, happy families” encompasses both Parents‘ content and attitude. The magazine is primarily a service magazine, and editors deliver what readers initially come to the magazine for: information about children’s health, safety, nutrition, discipline and development. However, editors also want to help readers enjoy family life (not escape it), delivering positive stories about keeping a marriage happy and celebrating the holidays.

Parents has “a nice balance between the content related to children and content related to being a parent,” said deputy editor Diane DebrovnerAnd, lucky for writers, almost every section of this service pub is open to freelance pitches, and there are numerous ways for newbies to break into the book. 

Get all the details in How To Pitch: Parents.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe 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.

Write for Working Mother, Land $1 Per Word (and Up!)

Unlike most parenting magazines, Working Mother focuses on moms instead of kids. The service mag aims to help moms throughout a busy work day, and there are plenty of opportunities for freelancers to break in. The feature well is especially friendly, and a well tailored pitch could land your byline in one of the columns, too.

“Our readers are striving to find work-life satisfaction. They’re a driven bunch who are juggling not only work and children, but often aging parents, pets, you name it,” said editorial director Jennifer Owens. “They’re also highly social, communicating with us directly through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.”

Think you’ve got an idea that might work for their readers? Get details on who and what to pitch in How To Pitch: Working Mother.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe 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.

Write for Working Mother, Land $1 Per Word (and Up!)

Unlike most parenting magazines, Working Mother focuses on moms instead of kids. The service mag aims to help moms throughout a busy work day, and there are plenty of opportunities for freelancers to break in. The feature well is especially friendly, and a well tailored pitch could land your byline in one of the columns, too.

“Our readers are striving to find work-life satisfaction. They’re a driven bunch who are juggling not only work and children, but often aging parents, pets, you name it,” said editorial director Jennifer Owens. “They’re also highly social, communicating with us directly through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.”

Think you’ve got an idea that might work for their readers? Get details on who and what to pitch in How To Pitch: Working Mother.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe 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.

Pitch Timely New York Stories to JET

Launched back in 1951, JET has been the authority on news in the black community for decades. With a loyal readership of over 7 million, freelancers with the right pitch will get prime real estate for their bylines.

Since the pub is largely news based, editors are looking for local stories from stringers who live in different parts of the country and can report on influential, headline-making topics in their own areas. They want to hear about news-making trends, like the outbreak of bigotry among fans at high school sporting events. So if you spot a breaking topic, pitch it with a vision for what the story will look like. “I’m always on the lookout for new trends at both the regional and national level,” said editor-in-chief Mitzi Miller.

For more, read How To Pitch: JET.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe 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.

Pitch Timely L.A. Stories to JET

Launched back in 1951, JET has been the authority on news in the black community for decades. With a loyal readership of over 7 million, freelancers with the right pitch will get prime real estate for their bylines.

Since the pub is largely news based, editors are looking for local stories from stringers who live in different parts of the country and can report on influential, headline-making topics in their own areas. They want to hear about news-making trends, like the outbreak of bigotry among fans at high school sporting events. So if you spot a breaking topic, pitch it with a vision for what the story will look like. “I’m always on the lookout for new trends at both the regional and national level,” said editor-in-chief Mitzi Miller.

For more, read How To Pitch: JET.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe 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.

Jess Cagle on Changes at Time Inc. and EW

“No one here is concerned that the print magazine is going away,” said Entertainment Weekly managing editor Jess Cagle when asked about Time Inc.’s impending spin-off from its parent company. “The print magazine is still the spine of our brand.”

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Cagle also discussed what he’s doing to keep the established brand fresh (forays into TV and radio), digital vs. print and why you won’t see “sponsored” content in the mag’s pages.

“Obviously, print advertising is a challenge, but there’s not a lot of overlap between our print audience and our digital audience,” he said. “The print audience has held really steady the last few years. It’s about 1.7 million. They haven’t left for the digital space; our audience has just grown because of digital. The magazine’s audience is something like 11 million, and the overall audience is around 18 million.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Jess Cagle, Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly?

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