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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).

The Evolution of Publishers Clearing House

PublishersClearingHouseLogoFrom its 1953 inception and entry into the giveaway business seven years later, Publishers Clearing House has since come a long way.

Per an interview by VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi with PCH CEO Andy Goldberg, the company currently has 550 employees, mostly in New York, and is hoping that newly hired digital GM Mark Cullinane can successfully lead the outfit into bold, new realms:

Goldberg said that it is “very possible” that the company will acquire game development studios. It has acquired three companies in the past, including game developer Fun Tank.

“We want to create deeper and more engaging games than what we have,” Goldberg said.

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USA Today Highlights a Kinder, Gentler Chick-fil-A

ChickfilaLogoFantastic lede and equally fantastic rest-of-story from USA Today marketing reporter Bruce Horovitz. His feature article begins as follows:

ATLANTA — Chick-fil-A is finally crossing the road.

As the company prepares to expand to New York, Chicago and beyond, Horovitz got an exclusive look in Atlanta at the company’s new test kitchen and chatted with CEO Dan Cathy, whose controversial 2012 comments about gay marriage sparked nationwide protests.

Can a company admit its mistake(s), change with the times and be forgiven? We think so. “All of us become more wise as time goes by,” Cathy told the reporter. “We sincerely care about all people.”

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Jeremy Kaplan Lands Dream Job at Digital Trends

JeremyKaplanPicAnybody who kicks off their job announcement with a Scorsese reference is just fine by FishbowlNY. You typin’ to Mb (Mediabistro)… You, typin’, to Mb?

From Jeremy Kaplan‘s Editor’s Note:

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”

That’s how Goodfellas begins. But me? Ever since way back when, I always wanted to be involved in technology.

March 31 was the first day of my dream job as editor-in-chief of Digital Trends – and that’s no April Fools’ joke. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do: I get to work with some of the leading experts in the technology world to talk about and pour over the newest gadgets. It’s ideal for someone like me, who can’t remember the name of someone I just met, and can’t forget the name of the processor in the Mac clone I bought in 1996. (It was a top of-the-line system from Power Computing, and it had a blistering 210-MHz 604e chip. The guy I met was named Dave, I think. Or was it Dan? Duncan?)

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NYPD-FDNY Charity Brawl a Big Black Eye for New York

NYPDChetDogfanThe reason(s) for this hockey brawl must be especially embarrassing. Because per Time, neither the NYPD nor the FDNY cared to comment after their annual Nassau Coliseum charity match devolved into a Slap Shot-style free-for-all and 25-minute game delay.

However, judging by the YouTube recorded crowd chant “PD Sucks!”, the Finest ranks may well have been responsible for starting the fracas with their Bravest opponents. Either way, Daily News article commenters are rightly disgusted:

Sport-IQ Lives: Have you ever seen a fight at a “charity game”??? Me either… It’s not the same, they aren’t hockey players and could’ve kept their cool, to be positive role models… If anything, I’m looking at this saying “This was a charity game… What would a cop do to a regular Joe during a stop????”

Tommy Capone: Unreal at a charity event, every single one of them should be terminated as of today. Just disgusting how FD and PD behaved.

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Bleacher Report Co-Founder Readying New Verticals

Speak of the devil. On Friday, we highlighted a fantastic Bleacher Report long read by author and journalist Jeff Pearlman. Today, the co-founder of that site, David Nemetz, has briefly outlined his plans for several forthcoming “deep-think” content portals.

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From a report by journalism.co.uk’s Alistair Reid, who is attending this week’s WAN-IFRA Digital Media Europe conference in London:

Nemetz told delegates he was looking to follow the success of Bleacher Report by launching titles on science, history, nature, travel and other topics that readers find inspirational… “It’s going to be very mobile-centric and highly visual,” Nemetz told kournalism.co.uk, stressing that the project is still in its early stages.

“We have the benefit of seeing where things are going to – build our product to be mobile-first from the ground up – and not start on desktop and convert it to mobile,” he said.

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David Letterman: Late Night’s Version of a Super-Charged Volvo Station Wagon

DavidLettermanComediansinCarsIf you never saw the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode featuring David Letterman, now is the time to cue it up. There will be many tributes, even more articles and a few showcase interviews before Dave finally hangs it up in 2015. But for our money, all of these artifacts will have a hard time matching the entertainment value of the Crackle series.

Part of the reason the Letterman episode is so memorable is that host Jerry Seinfeld, for one of the very few series times, drives not one of his own car-collection vehicles but rather two sets of wheels belonging to the guest. And what a car the marquee vehicle is – a Volvo 960 station wagon, stealth-souped with a race car engine for Dave by late, great pal Paul Newman.

The other principal reason this Coffee klatch is worth watching now is that it is a career retrospective, but without any of the forthcoming pomp and circumstance that will no doubt drive Letterman crazy. During the conversation with Jerry, Dave slips in a sly little Jay Leno dig (“Get a little something for yourself…”), breaks down one of his all-time great ad lib moments (“Have you ever had the hump of a camel?…”) and remembers the challenges of opening in Denver for Leslie Uggams.

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Faced with Unthinkable Tragedy, Entertainment Journalist Creates ‘Stolen Moment’ Campaign

SavannahFundly_04_07Larry Carroll, who as a west coast MTV.com journalist buttressed the earliest days of the Twilight franchise with #TwilightTuesdays, shared on Friday via Facebook some absolutely devastating personal news: the sudden death of his two-year-old daughter. And yet, somehow, some way, Carroll quickly erected that same day a powerful and astonishing tribute to her spunky life spirit.

Carroll, who has also covered Hollywood for E! Online, MSN and Xbox, set up a Fundly campaign in his daughter’s honor. The “Stolen Moment” call for donations quickly exceeded its target goal through the support of journalist colleagues, friends, neighbors and strangers. From Carroll’s campaign introduction:

I’m feeling very powerless right now… The only way I can handle this powerlessness, I figure, is with the power to give someone else joy.

So, here’s my idea: If you’d like to make a donation in Savannah’s name – any size – please do it here. And my dream is to take every penny of those donations, locate a special little girl somewhere in the world – and give her and her family the “Stolen Moment” that we’ll never be able to make with our baby Savannah.

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Mandarin $28,000 Suite Has Art Curated by Whitewall Magazine

WhitewallMagazineLogoForbes contributor Ann Abel writes that it took extra effort to get a peek. But today, she has the scoop on one of New York’s most prized new temporary abodes – Suite 5000 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The rarefied space, opened last fall, occupies 3,300 square feet on the 50th floor:

The suite represents a Who’s Who of New York’s creative energy. Most prominent is the art collection on the walls, curated by Whitewall magazine. It’s already changed since the suite debuted in November and several guests have purchased artworks; right now it features an eye-catching Kenny Scharf Cosmic Donut, as well as work by Shelter Serra, the Campana brothers and Forrest Myers. (An in-room iPad allows guests to learn more about the pieces and artists.)

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Slate Editor: Please God, Let James Franco Just Be a Creep

As we head into the weekend on the wings of James Franco‘s Live with Kelly and Michael Mea Culpa, FishbowlNY wanted to highlight a favorite bit of media reaction to all this. In case you missed.

Picking up on the suggestion by colleagues that the actor’s Instagram contretemps has some very convenient resonance with Franco’s upcoming theatrical release Palo Alto, Slate assistant editor Katy Waldman posits the equivalent of Dear God… no:

If Franco’s Instagram flirtation is performance, it is deeply, deeply tired. Can celebrities ever really achieve authenticity? Is all the world a stage? What is the value/cost of testing the edges of romantic convention, in a knowing way, for art? What is art? Who am I? God, JF, you were so much more tolerable as the poufy-lipped nothingvillain in Spider-Man.

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CBS Puts the Skids on Times Square Weedmaps.com Ad

Southern California start-up Weedmaps is gunning for the New York market. Although marijuana is not yet legalized in The Empire State, company founder Justin Hartfield explains to Fox Business Web reporter Gabrielle Karol that he is aiming to establish his brand locally now, so as to most effectively reap the dividends later.

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But this Weedmaps preemptive campaign has not come without bumps. From the Fox Business piece:

Hartfield says earlier this week, CBS “pulled for review” a Weedmaps commercial scheduled to run on the network’s 520-square-foot Super Screen in Times Square. The eight-second ad, previously scheduled to run from April 1 to July 1, came with a price tag of $50,000.

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