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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).

Swoon Reads Releases Fan-Voted Young Adult Title

ALittleSomethingDifferentCoverThanks to a healthy amount of advance online sampling and a community rating of five hearts, A Little Something Different is out today as the first title for Macmillan Publishing’s new Young Adult imprint Swoon Reads. A first run of 100,000 copies of the book has been ordered for the U.S ., alongside simultaneous releases in the UK and Australia.

The novel was written by 33-year-old Morristown, New Jersey librarian Sandy Hall. From a recent New York Times write-up:

By bringing a reality-television-style talent competition to its digital slush pile, the publisher is hoping to find potential best sellers that reflect not editors’ tastes but the collective wisdom and whims of the crowd.

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Freelance Journalist Confesses Their Native Advertising Sins

ShutterstockWastepaperMoneyBasketThe latest installment of Digiday’s “Confessions” series could not be timelier. It features a veteran freelance feature writer who has had to cross over to the sponsored-content side to earn a decent living.

On the plus side, the unidentified individual says they’re making $500 a day and, as a result, are chipping away at some accumulated debt. On the down side, the client stories being passed on are consistently “lowest common denominator.”

From the Q&A with Lucia Moses:

You don’t want your real name used on the native ad pieces. Is that [lowest common denominator aspect] why?

Because it’s not work I’m proud of. It’s not anything remotely interesting. But I was at [a major news organization] and didn’t put my name on many stories. If I were writing stories for dumb women’s magazines, I wouldn’t want my name on many stories, either.

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Donald Trump to Seth Meyers: You Should Never Have Been Hired

Apparently, The Donald still has not forgiven Seth Meyers for one of the all-time great set pieces [Trump material begins at 12:00 video mark] delivered by a White House Correspondents Association dinner host. Ahead of today’s big Primetime Emmys broadcast, Trump tweeted the following:

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FishbowlNY hopes that host Meyers will find a way to slip a reference about this tweet into the show. It’s not so much opening monologue material; but later on, as the broadcast inevitably drags a bit, it could stand as huuuuge goose-the-audience ammo. As in, “Maybe that Donald Trump tweet today was right…” Or, “That one was for you, Mr. Trump.”

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Superman Comic Sells for $3.2 Million

As with most eBay auctions, it came down to the final day.

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On Sunday, bidding for a pristine copy of Action Comics #1, the publication that introduced the Man of Steel, increased by a full million dollars. In the end, one bidder edged out another by just $100. Final purchase price: $3,207,852.00

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Twitter Rages Against New York Times Michael Brown Characterization

Some have chosen to react to the New York Times description of Michael Brown as “no angel” with sarcastic tweets about their youthful misdemeanors. Others are full of rage:

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Many of those expressing anger and outrage have likely not read the full article, and therefore perhaps do not realize that “no angel” in the fifth paragraph is a callback to reporter John Eligon‘s lede:

FERGUSON, Mo. — It was 1 a.m. and Michael Brown Jr. called his father, his voice trembling. He had seen something overpowering. In the thick gray clouds that lingered from a passing storm this past June, he made out an angel. And he saw Satan chasing the angel and the angel running into the face of God.

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Chloe Sevigny Exits Greenwich Village

ShutterstockChloeSevignyA couple of fun media strands to note in Marlow Stern‘s solid Daily Beast Q&A with actress Chloe Sevigny, whose Amazon series The Cosmopolitans debuts August 28.

Shortly after departing SoHo restaurant Balthazar, where she had sat down last week for lunch with the reporter, Sevigny was snapped and her outfit turned into a Daily Mail summer item. Meanwhile, the woman whose personal New York scene was once celebrated in the pages of The New Yorker by Jay McInerney has made a decision on that front; one that some other media coverage didn’t quite prepare her for:

“[I moved to Brooklyn] two weeks ago. I just sold my apartment a year ago. After ten years of living in the East Village, I was on 10th St. between 2nd and 3rd, I was like, “Get me the fuck out of here.”

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Harris Celebrates Successful Launch of Naturally, Danny Seo

A press release today from Harris Publications insists there is such a thing as “sustainable print.”

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The tricks, according to the New York-based special interests publisher, include starting small (350,000 first-issue circulation), charging a premium newsstand price ($9.95) and connecting the publication to a recognizable brand name in the field being covered:

“We are thrilled with the early performance of Naturally, Danny Seo,” says Ben Harris, president of Harris Publications. “In what is generally thought of as a difficult time for print, it’s reassuring to see we developed a product that connects with readers.”

Naturally, Danny Seo is exploring expansion opportunities including international licensing with foreign publishers, a companion television show of the same name hosted by Danny and unique corporate co-marketing relationships with some of the most prominent national brands.

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A Ripp-Roaring Time Inc. Yarn

There are more than a half-dozen standout quotes in the dog-days-of-print examination by Gabriel Sherman in this week’s New York magazine. Two of the zingers belong to Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp and, in both cases, connect the company’s august history with the disruptive challenges currently being sorted through.

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“If you have a church and nobody shows up, it doesn’t work so well,” Ripp tells Sherman at one point, referring to the appointment of Norm Pearlstine as chief content officer and a new reporting structure that has removed the wall between church (editorial) and state (advertising). Later on, when the specter of company co-founder Henry Luce is brought up, Ripp has this to say:

“You know the great thing about Henry Luce? He didn’t have to worry about what Henry Luce would have done. He wasn’t held to his past.”

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Spin Media Improvises a New CEO

SpinMediaOfficesThis ranks as one of the more unusual rises to the CEO chair at an Internet content company. Not to mention speediest.

Per Peter Sterne‘s Capital New York report, Stephen Blackwell started roaming the halls of Spin Media Group last month after Spin acquired the website he founded, deathandtaxes.com. Blackwell enthusiastically articulated his vision for the newly stabilized operation and, well, now he’s running the place:

“When I first got to Spin, and I started talking to everybody about, we’ve got an incredible brand here and a lot of opportunity for growth, I saw nothing but upside,” Blackwell said in a telephone interview with Capital. “I started expressing my vision on how we could help the brand grow, and that’s kind of when the conversation started about, well how does the CEO position look to you?”

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Hollywood Trade #IceBucketChallenge Devolves Into Twitter War

LAObserved got the ball rolling with some media coverage of TheWrap’s August 18 #icebucketchallenge and the admittedly funny visual of site founder Sharon Waxman seeming not to get wet while underlings to her left and right did.

However, as Waxman subsequently tweeted – and LAObserved’s Kevin Roderick updated – she did in fact sustain collateral ice-cube damage. The lack of an SW torrent was the result of TheWrap’s decision to opt, in drought-stricken SoCal, for the most optimally water-supply-friendly route.

But it is on Twitter where the real cold water was poured on TheWrap. After TheWrap senior film reporter Jeff Sneider did not take kindly to the LAObserved coverage, he got into it with David Poland (Movie City News) and Kristopher Tapley (HitFix/In Contention), both of whom with Poland harshly criticizing the above video. [Editor's Note: Tapley has taken exception with my characterization; please see comments, below.] Also chiming in more neutrally: Sneider’s former colleague Josh Dickey, now with Mashable, and Wall Street Journal film reporter Joe Flint.

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