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Richard Horgan

[Email contact: rhorgan@gmail.com; personal Twitter account: @hollywoodspin] I have worked as a journalist and editor for several decades, beginning in Canada at age 17 with a full-time job at the Ottawa bureau of Associated Press Canada (Canadian Press).

Wenner Media CRO Bolts to Apple University

DavidKangLinkedInLast month, the New York Times offered a rare peek inside Apple’s internal employee training program. Reporter Brian X. Chen didn’t exactly get a mountain of details from the three staffers he spoke to, on the QT. Rather, just some program tidbits and a reminder of Apple U’s cloak:

It is highly secretive and rarely written about, referred to briefly in the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Apple employees are discouraged from talking about the company in general, and the classes are no exception. No pictures of the classrooms have surfaced publicly. And a spokeswoman for Apple declined to make instructors available for interviews for this article.

Not so top secret, according to intrepid New York Post media reporter Keith J. Kelly, is the identity of Apple University’s newest teacher. Joining the program at the end of the month will be David Kang, recently promoted at Wenner Media to the position of chief revenue officer. From Kelly’s report:

On the Wenner front, the move suggests that Jann Wenner’s succession plan may have hit a speed bump.

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New Jersey University Hosts Springsteen Symposium

shutterstockBruceSpringsteenToronto2012Bruce Springsteen was born to turn 65 on September 23, 2014. Ahead of the big day, New Jersey’s Monmouth University is hosting an all-day celebration and examination of the singer-songwriter’s catalog and influence.

The Saturday 9:30 a.m.-3:3:0 p.m. event is titled “Fifty Years of ‘Makin’ This Guitar Talk” and is being put on with help from The Friends of The Bruce Springsteen Special Collection. The impressive line-up of panelists includes:

- Jim Beviglia, author of Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs;
- Jonathan D. Cohen, managing editor of the University of Virginia’s BOSS: The Bi-Annual Online Journal of Springsteen Studies
;
- Stan Goldstein, co-author of Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore and blogger at NJ.com;
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Retired Manhattan Lawyer Gets His Jaguar Back

The media is having a lot of fun with this story and who can blame them? It’s not every week that a car stolen when a gallon of gas cost a quarter is returned to its rightful owner.

Per an item by Los Angeles AP writer Justin Pritchard, Miami Beach retiree Ivan Schneider thought at first that he was being pranked when west coast law enforcement officials contacted him to say they’d tracked down his beloved 1967 XK-E white convertible Jaguar, stolen from the Upper East Side in the spring of 1968:

“After we convinced him, he was excited,” said California Highway Patrol investigator Michael Maleta.

After all, Schneider told The Associated Press, he would think of the 1967 car every time he bought a new one. And, he said, he is a car guy who has owned quite a few exotics.

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A Condé Nast Widget Funded by Mark Cuban

From a New York media perspective, one of the most salient portions of Indianapolis Star business reporter Jeff Swiatek‘s excellent chronicle of the rise of 2011 startup ZergNet reads as follows:

Condé Nast began using ZergNet about a year ago and credits it for increasing monthly traffic on its websites by the hundreds of thousands of new visitors, said Peter Cheng, director of business development and innovation.

Cheng said ZergNet offers publishers “traditional traffic-trading made easy… Plus the content recommendation algorithm of an OutBrain, and the human curation and headline writing of a BuzzFeed. Their secret sauce is combining all of the above into one.”

ZergNetPromo

How did content curator ZergNet makes its way from humble beginnings to a Quantcast #48 ranking among U.S. websites and hundreds of top-flight media clients? It’s a rich, long story that principally involves Mark Cuban, a fellow alum of Indiana University. Cuban provided $30,000 in seed funding to founder Reggie Renner in 2012 and has since ponied up much more.

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Joan Hamburg Returns to New York Radio Airwaves

Fans of Joan Hamburg were very unhappy with WOR 710 AM when the station unceremoniously dumped her earlier this year, without the chance to do a farewell show. But after a summer recharging, the veteran radio personality has returned.

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Starting this Saturday at 1 p.m., the 79-year-old “First Lady of New York Radio” will host a two-hour weekly show on WABC 770 AM. From this week’s glorious announcement:

Hamburg will continue discussing the most important social, economic and political issues that impact listeners’ lives each week. Hamburg will also interview major celebrities and powerful political figures on the program.

Hamburg will also produce weekly features and exclusive programs available in digital formats. In addition, The Joan Hamburg Show programs pre-empted by sports play-by-play will be presented on the 77 WABC stream and within other 77 WABC digital products.

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NYT Readers React to Adrian Peterson Op-Ed

MED_DebatingRaceCoverIn short order, Georgetown University sociology professor and esteemed author Michael Eric Dyson‘s New York Times op-ed “Punishment or Child Abuse?” started appearing in the paper’s “Most Viewed” and “Most Emailed” lists. Helped in that regard by ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd, who urged his listeners this morning to take the time to read the piece.

Another sign of just how provocatively Dyson has cut into the raging debate about the scandal surrounding Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is the churning quantity of reader comments. At press time, feedback had zoomed past the 600-mark to remind once more that real-time reaction is so much more compelling than the snail-mailed Letters-to-the-Editor of yore.

Here’s one of the scholarly points made by Dyson, who says he vividly remembers being violently punished by his father as a teenager:

Like many biblical literalists, lots of black believers are fond of quoting Scriptures to justify corporal punishment, particularly the verse in Proverbs 13:24 that says, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” But in Hebrew, the word translated as “rod” is the same word used in Psalms 23:4, “thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” The shepherd’s rod was used to guide the sheep, not to beat them.

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Clay Aiken Works the New York Room

ClayAikenCampaignLogoAmerican Idol alum Clay Aiken is currently trailing North Carolina 2nd District Congressional opponent Renee Ellmers in an area that matters most: money available to burn.

Per Vocativ’s Mike Spies, a campaign fundraiser was held Monday at the Manhattan home of banker Donald Dye. The best part of Spies’ write-up are the various strands of seen-and-heard:

The guests are uniformly attractive and svelte, almost a parody of chic. I step out onto a porch and encounter Guto Bittencourt, a young Brazilian opera singer wearing thick-framed glasses, a skinny tie and a gray blazer. He’s talking to a blond woman who looks like Ivanka Trump.

“We were at this castle last week,” Bittencourt says. “It was amazing.”

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Lorne Michaels Engineers Another Inspired Succession

ShutterstockDarrellHammondHarlem2012The choice of Jimmy Fallon to take over for Jay Leno will rank as one of the best decisions comedy impresario Lorne Michaels has ever made. As if that weren’t enough for the current calendar year, there is now news of an equally inspired move in the SNL announcer department.

Taking over in this 40th season of SNL for the late Don Pardo will be Darrell Hammond. From Andrea Romano‘s Mashable item:

Hammond, who was a cast member from 1995 to 2009, also occasionally sat in for Pardo when he was sick.

“I sat in for Don when he had laryngitis several times over the years,” Hammond told USA Today. “When he passed, they wanted me; it felt right for me to be the one to replace him.”

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Outed by TMZ, New York Doctor Scrubs Her Facebook Page

Facebook is where TMZ grabbed a pair of large photos to run with its Wednesday exclusive identifying a New York ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist as the doctor allegedly responsible for initiating an unauthorized biopsy procedure on Joan Rivers at Yorkville Endoscopy. Today, that same Facebook page is blank.

TMZJoanRiversENTHeadline

The 24/7 drumbeat of online gossip sites and social media has pushed us into a new phase of American jurisprudence – “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” Even though there is still much to be determined and confirmed by investigators, half the world is calling for this individual’s head. People can still comment to the blanked-out Facebook page and one California doctor is espousing the minority view:

Michio Abe: I’m here for you Dr. Gwen Korovin. I’m simply here to stand beside you because there is zero evidence that you did anything to cause Joan Rivers’ death but yet your FB page has been so full of hatred towards doctors in general. We, doctors, do not deserve that kind of treatment. No, not at all.

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Dan Aykroyd on the City That Never Blinks

GhostbustersStillIf Dan Aykroyd had partied the night before his British GQ interview with a vodka brand other than the one he is responsible for, his answers would likely have been groggier. But as he explains to Aice Howarth, there’s no hangover from Crystal Head because he’s cut out the glyceride.

The actor also had a great answer when asked for some of his fondest memories from the Ghostbusters shoot:

“I always remember walking down Madison Avenue in the full Ghostbusters costumes and stealing shots with the crowds, in other words not filing a permit to shoot in New York but just going in and getting the shots but people’s reactions were so funny.”

“First they looked at us, you know, with the packs and everything, and were like “what?” and then there was this kind of acceptance “oh, that must be some new kind of exterminator or sanitation guy or something” [laughs], in the way that New Yorkers sort of accept everything and move on. It was really, really funny to see their reactions. I’ll never forget that.”

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