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Twitter’s Down: Denial Of Service Attack Strikes Again

failwhale.jpgEarlier this week, a deadly distributed denial of service attack crippled Gawker Media. Today, we’re devastated because Twitter is down, due to a similar attack. We managed to get out one Tweet, and have been seeing intermittent updates from other users, but they are few and far betweeen.

We’ve also heard that Facebook is experiencing problems, too. Has an influx of Twitter users jammed Facebook, or are they facing an attack, too?

Without Twitter and Facebook, how are you finding out what friends are thinking today?

False Media Rumor Rocks Twitter


Twitter was ablaze Friday evening, thanks to TheMediaisDying, the ten-week-old Twitter account that posts news of media closures and layoffs and is obsessively followed by many media watchers. It published an item Friday evening saying the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was “officially closing.” However, the bad news turned out not to be true for the time being, and was the unfortunate result of a bad tip that spread rapidly across the microblogging platform even as its veracity was being publicly questioned.

Back on January 9, Hearst Corp. announced it was putting the Post-Intelligencer on the block and would shut the paper down if a buyer wasn’t found within 60 days. Friday’s initial TheMediaIsDying post about the P-I, however, indicated the paper was closing ahead of schedule. FishbowlNY spoke with Post-Intelligencer managing editor David McCumber shortly after the message first appeared on Twitter, and he told us TheMediaIsDying’s original report about his paper was false “as so many rumors are on Twitter.” So, we pieced together how the inaccurate story made its way on to myriad media watchers’ screens.

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Page Six Magazine EIC Only Staffer To Remain As Weekly Goes Quarterly

p6091508.jpg The entire staff of Page Six Magazine will be packing up their desks on the heels of today’s announcement that the weekly New York Post insert would move to a quarterly publication schedule. A former staffer tells FishbowlNY that the only full-time employee left standing will be editor-in-chief Margi Conklin, who will put out the magazine with a team of freelancers after the final weekly edition gets tucked into the Post on Sunday, February 15, 2009.

However, it’s not all heartbreak once the mag moves to its quarterly schedule just after Valentine’s Day…

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Confirmed: Reader’s Digest Association to Cut 8 Percent of Workforce

rdrsdgstcoverlyffs09.jpg As FishbowlNY reported Wednesday afternoon, Reader’s Digest Association said late the same night that it will eliminate 8 percent of its global workforce in what it has dubbed its “Recession Plan,” according to a company release.

In addition to staff reductions, other initiatives RDA will be implementing as part of the plan to cut cost and stave off further layoffs include the suspension of 401K matching and the introduction of unpaid time off in fiscal ’09 and ’10. “We hope and expect that most of these moves will be temporary,” RDA CEO and president Mary Berner said in the statement.

According to a company spokesperson, no magazine closings are being announced as part of this plan. Whether they’re on the way as part of some other plan remains to be seen.

Full release after the jump.

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We Hear: Reader’s Digest To Lay Off 300

As part of a previously announced plan to reduce headcount, we hear Reader’s Digest Association will announce cuts of up to 300 employees at a series of internal meetings within the next week, according to a source inside the company. A 300-person layoff would represent approximately 8 percent of RDA’s total workforce.

A majority of the cuts will likely affect several of RDA’s foreign publications, “but I think there will definitely be some cuts” at RDA’s Pleasantville, NY headquarters, the source says. A corporate communications representative at Reader’s Digest Association was unavailable for official comment today, but we’ll update you with additional information as it comes in.

In a November 2008 report on the company’s operating performance, Reader’s Digest described the first quarter of its 2009 fiscal year as “challenging for the company.” Recent news hasn’t been all bad, however, and new products aren’t on hold, even with layoffs on the way:

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Consumer Reports In Talks To Buy Consumerist Blog Amid More Gawker Media Cuts

FishbowlNY has heard multiple reports from inside Gawker Media that Consumer Reports is in talks to purchase GM’s Consumerist blog. A meeting was held yesterday between visiting executives and top Gawker management — including Consumerist editor Ben Popken — while Ken Weine, a spokesman for Consumer Reports‘ parent company Consumer Union, told FishbowlNY this afternoon that “we’ve had discussions about Consumerist and that’s all I can say at this time.” Gawker publisher Nick Denton put Consumerist up for sale last month.

The consumer watchdog blog would be a natural acquisition for Consumer Reports. Two weeks ago, Popken told PC World he was in “preliminary negotiations, but things look good” regarding a purchase, adding that “the prospect is a good name everyone will be happy with.”

So, which three Gawker Media employees learned last night that they’d been let go?

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Which Jezebels Went Part-Time; Denton on Gawker Cuts


(L-R: Megan Carpentier, Tracie Egan, and Sadie Stein)

In the wake of Gawker Media’s latest layoffs, we’re hearing more about what went down at the blog network. Sources with inside knowledge of today’s cuts report that editors Megan Carpentier, Tracie Egan, and associate editor Sadie Stein are the Jezebel staffers who’ve been made part-time employees. Jezebel managing editor Anna Holmes would only tell FishbowlNY that three editors had their hours cut, declining to confirm their names. Holmes said there “shouldn’t be much less” content on the blog following the staff cuts and status changes. Carpentier posted to Twitter at approximately 11 p.m. Monday night, seemingly in reference to her modified employment status:

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Another One Bites The Dust: Harvard Mag 02138 ‘Suspends Publication’

02138gg.jpgTwo-year-old “Harvard lifestyle” magazine 02138 has ceased publication. It’s the second media casualty of the day. Manhattan Media, the local newspaper publisher that acquired 02138 back in May, issued a statement saying that “the current economic environment has made it too difficult to proceed at this time.”

Just three months ago, Manhattan Media launched a high-profile effort to redesign the magazine. What went wrong?

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‘Major’ Layoffs at Time Inc.’s Southern Progress Magazines

southernlivingII.jpgFishbowlNY has confirmation that layoffs one tipster calls “major” have hit Southern Progress Corporation, the Time Inc. subsidiary that publishes Southern Living, Cooking Light, Health, Southern Accents, Cottage Living, and Coastal Living, among others. As Southern Progress spokeswoman Laura Hardin told FishbowlNY today, “Of course we’re sad to be losing good people. It was an unfortunate but necessary decision based on challenging economic conditions in our industry.”

Hardin declined to specify how many employees have been affected or which titles lost staff, saying only that “several business and edit positions were affected.” Birmingham Weekly, which shares a hometown with Southern Progress’ Alabama headquarters, reported yesterday that the Time Inc. division “laid off as many as 30 employees.”

Though they corroborate what media reporter Keith Kelly‘s been hearing about a “new round of layoffs” for Time Inc., cuts at Southern Progress might seem to be at odds with the “top structural initiatives” recently outlined by Time Warner CEO and president Jeff Bewkes in his most recent financial results report when he said the company would be “increasingly focus[ing] on our goal to create and manage high-quality branded content, across multiple platforms around the world, at the highest returns possible for our stockholders.” At the same time, signs were there…

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First on Tomorrow Is the New York Sun‘s Last Day

nysun09.30.08.jpgWe’ve been hearing rumors for weeks — going back and forth all day — but we’ve just got the official word from Michael Moi, director of communications at the New York Sun: Tomorrow’s paper will be its last.

Details as they come.