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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). I also blog about independent film.

Taking Another Look at That Bernard Weinraub Farewell Column

ShutterstockAmyPascal2013When Bernard Weinraub exited the New York Times in 2005, he of course composed a farewell column. That article contains what now seem like a number of very prophetic statements, given the criminal intrusion and Tinseltown reactions threatening his wife’s tenure as Sony Pictures co-chairman. Starting with this Weinraub observation about his 14 years covering Hollywood:

My marriage, and some of the events that tumbled out of it, taught me something about the ferocity of a culture in which the players can be best friends one day and savage you the next.

Maybe it was 24 hours then. But thanks to the solidified culture of texting, email and social media, it’s now nanoseconds. As some of Pascal’s emails have shown (and the press has failed to properly contextualize), one of the main jobs of a studio chief is to tell each fragile ego what they want and need to hear. Regardless of that studio chief’s personal, true beliefs.

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Journo Profiles and Admires Norman Pearlstine

NormPearlstineTimeIncPicOn Twitter, Washington Post reporter Thomas Heath explains that he writes ‘about how people build businesses.’ In the case of the journalist’s latest feature interview, the more apt verb might be ‘renovate.’

Heath recently sat down with Time Inc. chief content officer Norman Pearlstine (pictured) at Time magazine’s Washington D.C. offices. He follows a wink-wink quote from his interview subject with an intriguing and, given Pearlstine’s age, very accurate observation:

“I’ve been in the business a long time and seen the changes,” says Pearlstine. “I can probably take a little longer view than other people do who are worrying about how many [unique visitors] they had last month or how many page views or something.”

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Nick Denton Values Gawker Media at Around $200 Million

GawkerMediaStatsOur favorite passage from Lloyd Grove‘s Daily Beast interview with Nick Denton is the following:

Personally and through a family trust, Denton says he owns 68 percent of his privately-held, Cayman Islands-registered company that press reports have valued in the neighborhood of $300 million, though Denton says, “On the open market, if it were for sale—which it isn’t — it’s more like $200 million.”

At this point in his life, Denton has enough filthy lucre in his bank account to affect a certain lack of interest in the stuff. “This is not a ‘money-making venture,’” he insists. “For me, I just like the activity, and the activity just happens to make money.”

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Dave Itzkoff Moderates, Christoph Waltz Modulates

ChristophWaltz92ndYOn Twitter, Dave Itzkoff described his Friday night Q&A at the 92nd Street Y with Tim Burton, Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz as “loopy.” As opposed to “awkward,” the term used by Ashley Lee, an editor with Mediabistro sister publication THR.

The beauty of this particular situation is that the entire live-stream is archived. So, when you have the extra hour, you can watch and decide for yourself, unfiltered, what adjective best fits the interaction between the New York Times culture writer and the two-time Oscar winner.

Waltz had to wait quite some time before the conversation reached his far-left chair perch, for which Itzkoff graciously apologized. But after a long day of promoting duties, Waltz seemed to be rubbed the wrong way by a question that referenced his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the idea that he might lie awake at night waiting for phone calls. In short order, Waltz steered this Y event to ”Why…?”

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A Howler of a New York Times Correction

ShutterstockdoghowlBow Wow Ow!

In what stands, at this late calendar-year stage, as an instant frontrunner for New York Times Correction of the Year, the following note has been added to Rick Gladstone‘s December 12 piece suggesting that Pope Francis hinted well-behaved dogs were perhaps bounding past the Pearly Gates:

Correction: December 12, 2014

An earlier version of this article misstated the circumstances of Pope Francis’ remarks. He made them in a general audience at the Vatican, not in consoling a distraught boy whose dog had died. The article also misstated what Francis is known to have said. According to Vatican Radio, Francis said: “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us,” which was interpreted to mean he believes animals go to heaven. Francis is not known to have said: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” (Those remarks were once made by Pope Paul VI to a distraught child, and were cited in a Corriere della Sera article that concluded Francis believes animals go to heaven.) An earlier version also referred incompletely to the largest animal protection group in the United States. It is the Humane Society of the United States, not just the Humane Society.

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David Denby Fades to New Yorker Black [Corrected]

David Denby‘s first article for The New Yorker, published in 1993, was titled “Does Homer Have Legs?” It was all about the journalist returning to his Alma Mater Columbia University for a pair of literature courses. Denby would go on to fashion a book out of those experiences.

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Andrew Beaujon Closes Down the Poynter Home Office

AndrewBeaujonPoynterToday was the media critic’s final day of remote service for Florida-based Poynter. On Monday, he starts at Washingtonian magazine as senior editor.

The move was announced several weeks ago. However, since the release went out right before Thanksgiving break, many never saw. When Beaujon tweeted out “Goodbye, Poynter…” this afternoon, it set off an immediate flurry of reaction and tweeted congratulations. From the original November 21 announcement:

At Washingtonian, he’ll work on the magazine’s digital strategy, he said, and still write about the media.

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Athlon Slashes Parade Magazine Rate Base, Ad Costs

It’s always fascinating to be afforded a precise look at the ad rates charged by major monthly and weekly print magazines.

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Case in point - Parade. Outgoing NYT advertising columnist Stuart Elliott got the advance tip about a series of new measures announced today by Athlon Media Group. These changes include the following adjustments:

Reducing the rate base — the circulation of Parade guaranteed to advertisers — to 22 million from 32 million through measures like concentrating distribution in larger, urban markets. Ad rates for Parade, costly for print media, are also being reduced; for instance, a common type of ad known as a one-time, four-color page will fall to $667,165 from $924,209.

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Maureen Dowd Dismisses BuzzFeed Insinuation

AmyPascalThumbOur first reaction last night to Matthew Zeitlin‘s BuzzFeed item about some more of those Sony hack emails, in this case a brief March 2014 correspondence between studio co-chairman Amy Pascal (pictured) and her husband, former New York Times reporter Bernard Weinraub, was two-fold.

One, we quickly ascertained that there was no email in the shared string from Maureen Dowd; second, after reading, we surmised that if anyone had overstepped some bounds here – privately and carelessly – it was Pascal’s husband Weinraub. Today, in a statement provided to FishbowlNY and other outlets, Dowd has responded:

“I never showed Bernie the column in advance or promised to show it. Bernie is an old friend and the Times’ former Hollywood reporter, and he sometimes gives me ideas for entertainment columns.”

“In January, he suggested a column, inspired by a study cited in the LA Times, about the state of women in Hollywood. Amy is a friend and I reassured her before our interview that it wasn’t an antagonistic piece. She wasn’t the focus of the story, nor was Sony.”

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Vocativ Pays a Visit to Eric Garner’s Gravesite

ShutterstockGarnerProtesterMike Spies came over to Vocativ from the editorial board of The New Yorker. Today, he shares a rich and powerful point of view on Eric Garner by way of a visit to the victim’s gravesite at Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan.

Spies was there Thursday:

A kind woman with a tattoo on her chest directed me to an area of the cemetery behind a large mausoleum called Elmlawn. Garner’s plot was labeled 8B-1.

I walked to Elmlawn but couldn’t find the plot. The ground was soggy from several days of rain and snow. A small man in a maintenance cart pulled up beside me and asked if I needed help. I said I was looking for 8B-1.

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