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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).

Automotive Journalist Still Loves His Mazda Miata

Rumor has it that the details of Mazda’s next-generation Miata will be officially confirmed at the forthcoming New York International Auto Show. And that’s just fine with Tom Voelk.

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Back in 1990, the future automotive journalist bought one out of the gate, based on a cover endorsement from Car & Driver magazine. A decade later, when the Seattle-based Voelk needed a second car that could better accommodate full family needs, it sparked a sideline career:

The Ford Focus was bought from an auto writer who prophetically stated “you could easily do car reviews for the TV station you work for.” This was a revelation. My useless command of car knowledge could actually be applied to something. Two weeks later I shot my first review. My automotive writing career had begun.

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Sherry-Netherland Gives Mural Artist Joseph Aruta His Due

There’s a whole new reason to drop by the lobby of the Sherry-Netherland at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. After decades of painted-over ignominy, a spectacular ceiling mural created by artist Joseph Aruta for the hotel’s opening in 1927 has been fully restored.

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From a report in the Daily News by Beth Stebner:

Bill Mensching, the director of EverGreene Architectural Arts’ Mural Studio and project manager of the monumental task, says it’s a mystery when or why the artwork – featuring the seven Liberal Arts muses and modeled after a mural at the Vatican – was plastered over in the first place.

“No one remembered it was there,” he said, until board members of the 59th St. hotspot saw old black-and-white photos of the artwork.

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ESPN Analyst Details How He Was Racially Profiled… in His Own Driveway

DougGlanvillePicPowerful stuff today, via The Atlantic, from former MLB player and current ESPN baseball analyst Doug Glanville. The athlete-turned-author-turned-broadcaster details a very unpleasant recent encounter with a wayward patrol cop, who assumed the black man shoveling snow in front of a certain West Hartford residence must be hustling for bucks.

From Glanville’s piece:

After getting legal advice from my neighbor and my wife, I ruled out any immediate action. In fact, I was hesitant to impulsively share my story with anyone I knew, let alone my media friends at ESPN or the New York Times. I hoped to have a meaningful, productive conversation with West Hartford leaders – something that might be hard to achieve if my story turned into a high-profile controversy. Instead, I asked my neighbor to help me arrange a meeting with the West Hartford officials. I arrived at Town Hall, I was flanked by my neighbor and my wife. They came as supporters, but it helped that they were also attorneys…

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Newspaper Man Extraordinaire Pete Hamill Curses Out Hospital Stay

GeorgePolkAwardsOn Friday, Long Island University handed out its 2013 George Polk Awards. However, due to a recovery from a recent illness, latest career achievement recipient and local newspaper legend Pete Hamill was unable to attend.

From the 17th floor of an east side Manhattan hospital, here’s what the Daily News columnist and paper’s former EIC had to say about that:

George Polk was a great reporter who was murdered while covering the Greek Civil War in 1948. He had more personal courage than any of the guys who start the wars that reporters risk their lives to cover. But he died trying to bring the world the story.”

“To be given a lifetime achievement award named for a great reporter who gave his life to this noble craft is humbling. It’s why I will cherish it. It’s why I’m so p—– off to be in this goddamned hospital instead of at the award ceremony.”

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Literary Agent: Celebrity Book Ghostwriting No Longer a ‘Dirty’ Occupation

When it comes to the crowded and increasingly lucrative field of celebrity book ghostwriting, few have a better handle on things than Madeleine Morel. The British-born Morel moved to New York City in 1977 where, five years later, she founded 2M Communications, a literary agency that today specializes in ghostwriting. As Morel’s bio reminds, she is “actively looking for new clients in order to maintain her Prada habit!”

Ha ha. Morel provided NPR’s Weekend Edition with some equally colorful quotes about the biz, including this one highlighting how ghostwriting is no longer something her clients, and others, are embarrassed to be associated with:

“Say ten years ago, ghostwriting definitely had a sort of dirty name, the same way as online dating had a dirty name. So if you were a ghostwriter you’d maybe tell your best friend on pain of death never to tell anyone else ’cause there was a slightly ignominious feature to it.”

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Radio Reporter Recalls the Time Kurt Vonnegut Proposed to His Wife

DavidBrancaccioPicThe keynote speaker at this year’s “Night of Vonnegut” fundraiser celebration in Indianapolis will be Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio (pictured). Ahead of the April 19 event at the Vonnegut Library, the APM (American Public Media) radio vet explained to Nuvo managing editor Ed Wenck that he hooked up with the library during a previous visit to Indianapolis and is very proud of his encounter with the late author on behalf of one-time PBS newsmagazine NOW.

Brancaccio started out as a co-host on that program with Bill Moyers before eventually taking over as the sole host. It was during that latter stage that he conducted what would turn out to be Vonnegut’s final long-form TV interview:

“He sat down with me for hours. We put about an hour of it on the air. It was a great honor. The interview wasn’t right at the end of his life — I think he was with us for another year and a half after that…”

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Reporter Talks to Pulitzer Prize Winner from BuzzFeed’s ‘NoNoNoNo Cat Room’

Few media organizations get as jubilantly jiggy with the juxtaposition as BuzzFeed. And so, we applaud The Independent media editor Ian Burrell for mining that duality throughout his weekend piece on the Jonah Peretti juggernaut.

BuzzFeedNoNoCatIt’s not news that BuzzFeed’s Fifth Avenue headquarters have meeting rooms named after various page-view-tastic felines. What is news however is how jarring a backdrop this nomenclature can be when a visiting journalist dials up a certain company staffer:

There is the “Winston Bananas Room,” dedicated to a moggy with an extraordinary down-turned mouth, and I am sitting in a space dedicated to the “NoNoNoNo Cat” that I later observe on a YouTube clip that has had more than 10 million views. It was an experience I doubt I will ever forget. Look it up

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OnEarth Magazine is Going All-Digital

From a perch on West 20th Street and the principles of an editorial mandate independent of 501(c)3 publishing parent the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), OnEarth magazine has been since 1979 at the forefront of environmental journalism. Per a note to readers from EIC Douglas S. Barach and online editor Scott Dodd, there is about to be a big change.

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In lieu of a quarterly hard-copy magazine, starting this fall – after the mailing of the Summer Issue – OnEarth will switch to a monthly digital magazine and daily Web coverage. From the reader’s note:

We remain committed to publishing powerful, engaging stories in bold new ways that we believe can reach more readers than ever. And we think the most effective way to do that is through innovative digital formats that don’t require spending a huge chunk of our budget on paper, postage and printing — a change that seems only appropriate for a publication dedicated to preserving earth’s resources…

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Danny Seo Magazine Contract Stipulates: He Will Not Be on the Cover

DannySeoPicGreen movement champion (a.k.a. “environmental lifestyle expert”) Danny Seo is our new, newsstand hero.

Per a report by Keith J. Kelly, Seo has a new magazine in the works, with the initial issue set for July. But unlike the Martha Stewart‘s and Oprah Winfrey‘s of this niche world, his monthly publication comes with a newsstand-environment-friendly caveat:

“I contractually said I will not be on the cover,” Seo told Media Ink. Seo expects to do split covers on the first issue. One will likely feature a still-life shot of a dairy-free “vegan ice cream,” the other will likely feature actress Ali Larter, the former Heroes star who is cast in a new TNT drama, Legends.

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Suey Park Vows to Continue Fighting the Colbert Fight

As news broke yesterday of Stephen Colbert‘s ascension to the David Letterman throne, there was another wave of mockery directed on Twitter at Suey Park, the Asian woman who spearheaded #CancelColbert.

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Nevertheless, per a Thursday Time op-ed co-authored by Park with partner-in-media-representation-protest Eunsong Kim, the pair state that this is just the beginning, not the end:

The main thing we’ve learned from #CancelColbert, and the outcome we now see as Colbert is elevated once again, is that the belittling the voices, activism and writing of women of color is a profitable venture.

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