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ABC’s Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt injured in Iraqi attack

ABC World News Tonight anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt are both in serious condition after they were injured by a bomb in Taji, Iraq, earlier today.

Woodruff and Vogt, a veteran war cameraman, were traveling in a convoy when their vehicle was hit by a large improvised explosive device, followed by gunfire. Woodruff and Vogt were in the lead vehicle of that convoy, apparently standing to film a report. Both men were wearing body armor and ballistic glasses. They were flown to Balad for treatment. Woodruff is currently in surgery at a military hospital. Both suffered head injuries.

More at TVNewser. Thoughts and prayers with Woodruff and Vogt today, and with Jill Carroll, and with all of our other colleagues reporting from Iraq.

UPDATE: Both Woodruff and Vogt are out of surgery and stable. ABC: “We take this as good news, but the next few days will be critical.”

ABC News’ Bob Woodruff and Cameraman Injured in Iraq [ABC]
Ongoing coverage of Bob Woodruff & Doug Vogt [TVNewser]
The World Newser: Woodruff’s Videoblogs from Iraq [World Newser]

Why Golf.com was a good investment for Time Inc.

golf is purty.jpgEarlier this week it was reported with little fanfare that Time Inc. had purchased the URL “Golf.com” for an undisclosed sum. No biggie, right? Except when you consider (a) how popular golf publications are and (b) what other companies have golf magazines.

Over at Big & Sharp (where Kyle du Ford is quickly making himself indispensible), he lists circulation numbers for various magazines.* There are three golf-related magazines in the top ten sports mags, like so:

2. Golf Digest (1,564,885)
3. Golf Magazine (1,425,980)
9. Golf For Women (491,001)

Golf Digest is a Cond&#233 Nast magazine; Golf Magazine is from Time Inc. Pretty reasonable to assume that it will pay off to lure readers via Golf.com.

For a bit of perspective, consider these other circulation numbers:

Men’s Health (1,773,612)
GQ (824,334)
Esquire (712,503)
Details (407,168)

Interesting that Golf For Women kicks the butt of Details (of course, it barely glances in the women’s mag category; women’s mags are publishing behemoths).

NB: Time Inc. also runs GolfOnline, Sports Illustrated’s Golf Plus, and the no doubt soon-to-be-synergistic SI.com. Pretty good investment, it looks like.

Time Buys Golf.com [MediaPost]
Circulation Numbers [Big & Sharp]

*Based on ABC’s circulation averages for the six months ending June 30, 2005. Source: accessabc.com and pilfered from Big & Sharp.

Attention, Sam Tanenhaus

Oh, what hath Oprah wrought: The Brooklyn Public Library has changed its classification for James Frey‘s A Million Little Pieces from non-fiction to fiction.

Brooklyn Librarians: Frey’s a Fiction Writer [GC]

Related:
The Times is always the last to know* [FBNY]

*Yes, I know that the bestseller stats are compiled two weeks before publication. I understand that actual newspaper pages are laid out somewhat sooner than that.

Arianna/Russert throwdown suddenly ramps up as NBC gets in the ring

arianna huffington.jpgRussert ariannna.jpgArianna Huffington has been on the Russert takedown beat for months and months, taking her beef with the “Meet The Press” host to her blog every week as she criticizes him for his treatment of his PlameGate role, Katrina coverage, and general Republi-pandering. Her reviews have become a Sunday/Monday constant, and in nine months, they haven’t really provoked any response.

Until now.

Huffington’s latest column on “Meet The Press” lambasted Russert for hosting James Carville to promote, inter alia, his new XM radio show that he co-hosts with – wait for it – Russert’s son, Luke. Aside from a few in-references, that relationship was not disclosed. Arianna also pooh-poohed Russert’s qualifications to speak on ethics.

For some reason, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and NBC got in on the action. According to Lloyd Grove, NBC responded by attacking Huffington’s credibility, dredging up rumors of Huffington hiring a private investigator to spy on Russert’s wife Maureen Orth in response to a hit piece she wrote on Huffington for Vanity Fair in 1994. Huffington has denied the charge.

A few things: this is weird for a few reasons. Why now? And why take the character assassination route with an unproven, untimely charge? It would seem that the best defense would beto attack the allegations Huffington levies, rather than imply that she is motivated by a decade-old grudge (since that piece she’s gone from a Republican to a Democrat. You don’t think she’s let a grudge or two go?). It’s a strange tactic on the part of NBC, and calls attention to something that might otherwise have stayed under the mainstream radar.

NBC News PR Department Gets Down and Dirty [HuffPo]
Big fuss over claims about Little Russ [NYDN]

Disclaimer: We have never met Tim Russert, but we have met Arianna Huffington and been welcomed into her lovely home. Feel free to take the above with a grain of salt accordingly, but in fairness that’s more disclaimer than Russert or Carville gave on “Meet The Press” on Sunday.

More Minoosh, Just Because Edition

colbert eyebrow.jpg

  • Stephen Colbert: Would you like a glass of Truthiness with your meal, sir? Wicked scoop from FishbowlDC: Stephen Colbert will headline the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this April, no doubt bringing his Canada-love and AP-hate to the podium. P.S. Fishbowl was first to note the AP omission. Can we come to the dinner? [FBDC]

  • For the love of God, put this man on Jeopardy! Frequent-flyer/MB contributor Greg Lindsay writes 4,431 words about know-it-alls Ken Jennings (Jeopardy) and Kevin Olmstead (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?), doesn’t even mention Peter Rubin and A.J. Jacobs. A travesty! [BlackTable]
  • Hell hath no fury like an Oprah scorned: Salon‘s Hillary Frey is no relation to James, who was the target of a very public flogging, flaying, and flagellating. Upshot: Herm&#232s had it easy. [Salon]
  • Can it be that it was all so simple then, or has time rewritten every line? If the Black Table had the chance to do it all again, would they? Could they? Judging from the farewell timeline on the BlackTable today, its last day live, I think they would. Personally, I’d like to see them do the MnookinRock and a Hard Place” again, it’s pretty damn classic. Drinks on the “submit” table: nice touch. [BT]
  • Unintentional blog synchronicity: Today’s Media Minutiae posts have each featured a travesty. Which is worse, the non-Nick Burns shaving story or the non-Rubin/Jacobs know-it-all story? Fishbowl cares about your opinion (especially yours, nice Anonymous Tipster!).
  • Bode Who? Magazines leurve the Olympic bad-boy

    Bodelicious, indeed.jpgNewsweek. Time. Outside. Rolling Stone. If Bode Miller isn’t actually on the cover, he’s a coverline (and he’s about to get more play in Play, the upcoming NYT sports mag). Folio‘s Dylan Stableford and Bill Mickey jump on the trend by jumping on the trend, examining Newsweek‘s exclusivity claims (in Mark Whitaker‘s editor’s letterthe same week that Time had a Miller cover story) and tallying up the various Olympic-related non-ad product placements in Outside (63 in total). They note that Miller sponsor Nike is readily apparent in the Time spread (which Time managing editor has no problem with); obviously that deal was mentioned in both the Time and Newsweek articles, which each checked with Nike to see if they minded their mouthy client (answer: no, of course not – “Bode Miller” is being spelling right, and often).

    Meanwhile, NYT spokesperson Diane McNulty promises that the Play article, by writer Mark Levine, “will be different than what you’ve read about Bode Miller over the past past six weeks.” We shall see about that next weekend, I suppose. In the meantime, Fishbowl just hopes there will be pictures; Bode Miller is easy on the eyes.

    Magazines’ Handling of Bode Miller: A Case Study in Athlete Product Placement, Exclusivity [Folio]
    Bode Miller is man enough for Newsweek AND Time [FBNY]
    Bodelicious [Bodelicious.Net]

    Mini-Minutiae

    • Hot Child in the City: The new NYT Metro editor is Joe Sexton. Congratulations, Joe! [NYT]

    • The gift that keeps on giving! (Well, 52 times):The Week magazine sold 100,000 gift subscriptions in 2005, which represents approximately a quarter of its paid circulation. Not bad. [Folio]
    • With reporting from I.M. Stubbly: The NYT runs an article on razors, totally horning in on Nick Burns‘ beat. A travesty! [NYT]
    • First-ever gay urban lifestyle magazine…to put the words “ballroom” and “rockstar” in the same sentence: A new national gay men’s lifestyle magazine announces that it will be “the first-ever gay urban lifestyle magazine,” and two things are funny about that: one, there are already plenty (Out, The Advocate, HX, Metro, Details, Cargo, Men’s Health); and two, it’s called Ballroom Rockstar. Let that sink in. Although I’m kind of hooked already. [Folio]
    • Oprah, Oprah, Oprah! Was the entire world watching Oprah yesterday? If you didn’t, see her retraction here, watch clips here, read Slate on the culture of apology here, and get the full story here –> [GC]
    • Black & Buckley: A night to celebrate two giants. [AdAge]

    Fishbowl Exclusive: Steve Martin’s heavy fansite hand

    An investigative report by Fishtern Jamie Frevele:

    steve martin and anne stringfield.jpgHave you ever wondered if celebrities such as, let’s say, Steve Martin, knew what was going on at their official fan web sites? Now that you have wondered, wonder further: Have celebrities ever actually taken issue with the extent of their fans’ interest? FisbowlNY can indeed confirm that Mr. Steve Martin has done just that, calling for the ban of one poster on SteveMartin.com. After last week’s story in US Weekly (which was covered by FishbowlNY last week) revealed record-holding SNL host Martin with the New Yorker‘s Anne Stringfield in St. Bart’s, one poster going by the name “Gourmet Poker Club” was apparently banned from posting at the site after making speculative remarks about the unconfirmed romance, including a possible marriage upon the end of the trip. Other posters, including the webmistress (“Semidivine”), deemed some comments (including one about Ms. Stringfield getting a “Brazilian”) to be “over the line” and one wanted the poster in question to be “killed off.” (Webspeak for “banned,” for those of you who aren’t nerds.) Some posters did come to the newly minted exile’s defense, and several posts on the message board are now claiming censorship (fore example, here and here).

    So, is “waxing poetic” about Mr. Martin’s beach romp the issue here? Maybe not. The comments may have reached beyond aesthetic activities and into the realm of privacy invasion. As a public figure, Steve Martin is bound to be photographed and has certainly acquired a loyal legion of fans who enjoy him. In turn, they want to know more about him and the people with whom he associates. In this case, the target was Ms. Stringfield. On the part of “Gourmet Poker Club,” there was a great deal of internet research conducted on Stringfield’s personal background — looking up (and calling) a phone number found in the phone book and tracking down people who appeared to be Stringfield’s parents. While all of this information may be available to the public, “Gourmet Poker Club” clearly went a bit too far out of the comfort zone of those running Steve Martin’s site — and Steve Martin himself.

    According to Semidivine, the poster was “writing about extremely delicate and invasive things” that went beyond the casual, appreciative tone of the site, and that “it was Mr. Martin who wanted her privileges taken away.” She added that despite the claims of censorship, the ban was “a unique situation” that had generated specific concern. “Mr. Martin loves reading all the posts on the board…but we don’t hurt him or those he cares about, and that’s final.”

    –Jamie Frevele

    Three’s a crowd, especially inside your head

    threescompany.jpgBefore Deadspin, Will Leitch wrote a long-running series of essays called “Life As A Loser” that chronicled his journey from a broken engagement through moving to New York and figuring out who the hell he was. Though the column ended almost two years ago (with a book, natch), Leitch hasn’t stopped examining his experiences in print (and thinking outside the boxs scores). In this month’s issue of Men’s Health, he has an essay on dealing with his girlfriend’s long-ago threesome that is touching, funny and no doubt instructive for anyone who ever wished they could rewrite their sexual history, or their partner’s sexual history, or considered writing about either for a magazine with a circulation of 1.7 million.

    Readers seeking salacious details can look here, but they’ll find most of them existing only in Leitch’s head as he wrings his hands mentally about meeting the other participants (at their wedding, for extra comic relief. Sounds like a Ben Stiller vehicle to me!). One semi-salacious detail is Leitch’s quaint, semi-Canadian euphemism for the Act of Love (aka “baiser“) — he calls it “logrolling.” Bear with me, this will have increased significance in a moment.

    For your intrepid blogger, the trail led from the magazine to Leitch’s current book, “Catch“: I noticed that the once-lascivious bride and groom were named “Tim” and “Helena” — the same names of the “Catch” protagonists.

    I’m a journalist, dammit, so I wanted to be sure. I grabbed my copy, and a press release fell out. Here’s where life is funny. I picked it up, and happened to see this:

    Will Leitch’s first novel is a coming-of-age story that will resonate for young people and adults alike. His main character’s move from an unexamined existence to one in which he is fully engaged in the joy, insecurity, the pain, and the challenge of life rings with authenticity and sincerity. (emphasis added)

    James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard

    Logrolling in our time, indeed.

    And so, dear reader, the upshot? No matter what the topic, a James Frey punchline is never far behind.

    My Girlfriend’s Threesome [Men's Health]

    (NB This threesome is completed here, by the way.) Also, as mentioned before, Leitch is a friend of mine; but either way, this post is not meant to imply that his book is not “authentic and sincere” just that James Frey might not be the guy to opine on that, turns out.

    BusinessWeek: More blogs, less ads

    Bizweek Bloggery.JPGTwo pieces of interesting, semi-complementary news from BusinessWeek: blogs are up, and ad pages are down. First, blogs: they’ve launched another one to their already impressive roster — the “Working Parents” blog, which add to existing blogs like Auto Beat, Blogspotting, and Fine on Media for a total of twelve. Yes. Twelve.

    In print, however, they’ve posted an 18.8% decline in ad pages for the fourth quarter and a 12.8% decline for the year. (Former BW staffer Gary Weiss posted same to his blog, bemoaning the not-unrelated decline in investigative reporting; in a meta-move, BW’s “Blogspotting” blog picked it up).

    BW is not alone in this trend, obviously, but it’s interesting to see them embrace a new medium and really push their online voice; according to BW Online spokesperson Craig Sender, the blog network has helped push BusinessWeek Online to 35.7 million page views in December alone, according to Nielsen – a record. And its online progress has been noted; BW Online was named a finalist in the blog category for the MIN “Best of the Web” awards, along with Slate, WaPo, and Newsweek. To paraphrase Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, when the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window (or, in BusinessWeek’s case, twelve windows).

    (Peruse the finalists here; nice work on the multiple noms Slate and Newsweek, and congrats to Giant on the redesign nod.)

    BusinessWeek’s got a brand-new blog (to match its bloggoriffic cover story) [FBNY]
    Blogs Will Change Your Business [BusinessWeek]

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