FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes


Life (And Journalism) Imitates Wikipedia Again

WikipediaOnline encyclopedia Wikipedia is known for the occasional typo and factual error.

So it was pretty appropriate than when the New York Times wrote about Wikipedia, they’d make an error of their own.

Today’s NYT contains this correction:

An article on March 17 about internal disagreements and accusations of favoritism at Wikipedia misstated the name of the Canadian network that once employed Sue Gardner, executive director at the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the various Wikipedia projects. It is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, not the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

Read the original here.

Kathie Lee Gifford Joins The Today Show

Kathie Lee GiffordKathie Lee Gifford is returning to morning television. Starting next Monday, she will co-anchor the fourth hour of the Today show with Hoda Kotb.

Any commentary we could add would be superfluous. Instead, here are the words of Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post. De Moraes has captured the general mood pretty well, in our opinion:

Kathie Lee Gifford, America’s most meaninglessly controversial figure, will make her triumphant television comeback Monday on NBC News’s “Today” show. [...] The announcement of her return, eight years after taking a powder from Disney’s popular syndicated daytime talker “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee,” was made by Matt Lauer. “How many people are simply known by one name, first name: Elvis, Cher, Madonna? You can add one more to that list, someone who is no stranger to the morning grind — Kathie Lee,” Lauer said as he revved up the announcement. “Isn’t that two names?” asked “Today” weatherman Al Roker, a stickler for details.

PS: Roker’s right.

Newsweek Buyouts/Job Cuts Intro

NewsweekDoes it say anything when, more than 24 hours after news of Newsweek‘s massive employee buyouts leaked out (note: this links to our coverage from Monday), the Post has covered the story but the Times still has not?

Probably. But in any case, here’s what we took home from Keith Kelly and the Post‘s examination of the buyout:

1. Employees jumped at the opportunity to leave Newsweek: “Newsweek executives originally were hoping that 85 staffers would accept the packages, but apparently after offers went out to 145 eligible people, 111 accepted the packages as of Friday’s deadline. The buyout offers include two years of paid salary.”

2. There’s always spin: “Confronting the challenges in today’s media climate, we recently offered a voluntary retirement program to some of our employees,” said Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham, who confirmed that fewer than half of the buyouts came from the editorial side.

“We were fortunate to be able to provide generous packages for eligible staffers who wanted to move on, while also saving on some of our existing expenses,” he said.”

3. These are ad-poor times for Newsweek: “In the first quarter of 2008, Newsweek saw its ad pages tumble 19.3 percent to 318.3, said to Media Industry Newsletter.”

Memopad Distilled: Entertainment Weekly Edition


  • The Met just hosted a panel discussion about fashion blogs. GUests included NYT fashion critic Cathy Horyn, Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist and Diane Pernet of Zoo magazine.

  • Keith Olbermann‘s latest crusade: Going after Wal-Mart after the chain made a former employee pay nearly $500k in medical expenses back to the company after becoming brain damaged in an accident.

  • Entertainment Weekly is considering multiple proposals for a redesign.

  • Gawker Says Goodbye To Their Offices

    And plays some Green Day…

    We mentioned last week that Gawker Media was moving to a new office. So cheers to the intrepid reader who just sent us this YouTube photomontage of scenes from the old Gawker office set to Green Day.

    Now back to our usual programming.

    Massive Job Cuts At Newsweek

    NewsweekIs Time Inc. next?

    Shortly after 1pm yesterday, word leaked out of a massive exodus at Newsweek. In short: More than 100 staffers accepted a buyout from Newsweek. The departing names include David Gates, David Ansen,Cathleen McGuigan and all of the magazine’s chief researchers. Over at Radar, Charles Kaiser writes:

    146 staffers were offered the chance to leave the magazine, with as much as two years of their current salary as a departing bonus, depending on their age and length of service. The package also includes pension sweetners and the chance to continue health insurance coverage until the age of 65. More staffers than expected accepted the offer, so at least some their jobs are likely to be filled by new hires. But dozens of positions will be eliminated permanently.

    The news isn’t so great at Time Inc. either. Nat Ives reported in Ad Age that the company’s quarterly management meeting left many with the impression that massive job cuts are coming up in the near future.

    Starz Unveils New Logo, Ad Campaign

    0331starz.jpgRight now, Barry Diller is celebrating the Friday court ruling that gave him the ability to breakup internet giant IAC over John Malone‘s objections.

    But there’s some good news for Malone. One of his properties, cable network Starz Entertainment, is embarking on a $25 million rebranding project.

    The cable network just unveiled a new logo (shown above) and they are also launching a new ad campaign entitled “Are You Ready?”

    According to SVP marketing Nancy McGee:

    “The new brand campaign is the culmination of an evolving process for Starz [...] Clearly we are not the company we were 18 months ago. We’ve invested in new and exciting ways to entertain and engage our audiences,from the production of our new original series to first-run theatrical movies from Overture Films. We are the ultimate source for a commercial-free premium movie experience. This long-term brand investment was a natural next step and signifies our strong commitment to deliver the best entertainment experiences for our customers.”

    The “not the company we were 18 months ago” crack, however, surprised FishbowlNY. Did the cable network really want to kick off their new marketing initative with a press quote that alluded to the company’s public image as an, err, underdog?

    Starz’s new logo was designed by Darwin in partnership with Design & Image Communications.

    Mommy, What’s A Hipster Magazine?

    0331hipster.jpgThe New York Post‘s weekly magazine summary just gave pride of place to mags for “hopeless hipsters.”

    Who qualifies as a hipster magazine in the New York Post‘s book?

  • Paper: “The magazine boasts some of the best production values of the hip set.”

  • BlackBook: “The photos of [Janet] Jackson trussed up in latex and headgear are supposed to be provocative, but the S&M spread comes across as silly playacting, and the interview with the pop star falls flat.”

  • Interview: “With the departure of longtime editor Ingrid Sischy, we have to wonder whether Interview is due for a makeover. The magazine — created by Andy Warhol in 1969 — seems stuck in another era.”

  • Zink: “There’s no nice way to say this: Zink has embarrassingly bad design and poor production values. [...] A quick read tells us that a bunch of first-time freelancers are working for peanuts.”

  • Brandon Holley, Yahoo! Launch Women’s Web Portal


    After Jane folded, FishbowlNY reported that ex-EIC Brandon Holley had inked a deal with Yahoo! to run division Yahoo! Lifestyles and, err, “oversee forthcoming launches in other content areas.” That’s how MediaWeek put it, anyhow.

    Holley developed a major project launch for Yahoo! that just launched today. The web portal, Yahoo! Shine, is branded as a “smart, dynamic place for women to gather, get info and to connect with each other and the world around them.”

    According to Holley:

    We women are experiencing something very cool happening in our culture today and Shine plans to be right in the middle of it. We’ve got a woman campaigning for the top job in the country, female bloggers now outnumber men, and we’ve got Tina Fey writing a hit network show, for goodness sakes. We no longer need to stand by passively as the media portrays us as fashion-obsessed diet victims. With the Internet as our megaphone, we can now portray ourselves as funny, opinionated women who are in charge of our incomes, careers, families, and happiness.

    And isn’t that all we’ve ever wanted?

    Other employees include publisher Amy Iorio, former head of the Microsoft Developer Network, Annette Cardwell, Jessica Ashley (Sassafrass), Charlene Prince Birkeland (Babble, San Francisco Chronicle), Erin Flaherty (another Jane refugee) and Valerie Rains (Blueprint, Real Simple).

    Yahoo!’s official press release can be found here.

    Kelefa Sanneh’s First New Yorker Article

    Kelefa Sanneh

    Our man Kelefa Sanneh, New York Times pop music critic turned intrepid New Yorker reporter, just unveiled his first article for the magazine.

    In a word, it’s awesome. Sanneh just delivered a piece on Barack Obama‘s controversial Trinity United Church of Christ. Here’s a sampling:

    “I have never seen so many white people here in my life!” It was Good Friday on the South Side of Chicago, at Trinity United Church of Christ, which has been Senator Barack Obama’s church for about twenty years and the most notorious congregation in America for about three and a half weeks. The preacher was in the pulpit, recalling a scene outside the church earlier in the week. He gestured at the reporters who had come to take notes. “I hope you’re tithing,” he said.

    We’re glad to see Sanneh’s found a home at the New Yorker. The fella’s a killer reporter.