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Novelist Recounts Her Ascension to Darren Star-dom

ShutterstockDarrenStarIt started in earnest last August. As author Pamela Redmond Satran delightfully recalls in an Indiewire guest post, that’s when she was bulletin-ed into a fever pitch of professional excitement:

Google Alerts informed me that TV Land was “fast-tracking” the series Younger by Darren Star, based on the book by Pamela Redmond Satran. I was floored, because not only was the show moving forward, but they actually mentioned me and my book!

My LA agent Dana Spector had just gotten married, my NY agent was on vacation, so all my initial news came from Page Six. The fall brought more news: Sutton Foster was set to star, an inspired choice for a role that demands freshness, combined with soul and serious acting chops. Then the adorable Hilary Duff was tapped for the role of the younger colleague, giving the show big-time Hollywood cred, with Debi Mazar as the main character’s best friend – perfect, as I’d always thought of Debi as my secret best friend.

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Freelancing 101 Online Boot Camp

Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

People Celebrates ‘Most Beautiful’ Issue with Creepy Photos

People’s “World’s Most Beautiful” issue hits newsstands April 25, and to celebrate, the magazine photoshopped celebrities hanging out with their younger selves. Go ahead and click through. If you like disturbing pictures, that is.

The editor who thought of this idea should probably take a week off and think things over. Just get away from it all, you know? Head to Key West or somewhere tropical, enjoy the sun and a Mai Tai or 10, and just contemplate life.

Because once the editor comes back, he or she cannot do the photoshop thing again. It’s creepy and weird.

Especially Jennifer Lopez’s pictures, because she apparently has not aged since 1990. We’d suggest staying away from her. Something is not right with that woman.

[Image: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com]

Unlike Many Music Journalists, NPR’s Ann Powers Does Her Homework

AnnPowersNPRPicFive years ago, NPR music critic Ann Powers relocated from Los Angeles to, of all places, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The trigger for the move was her husband Eric Weisbard‘s acceptance of a teaching position in the American studies department at the University of Alabama.

Powers tells student newspaper The Crimson White that she did not expect her move to correspond with a musical-artists renaissance in the U.S. south. She also reveals to Francie Johnson that laziness in the music journalism business remains pervasive:

To prepare for her interviews, Powers listens to the artists’ catalogs and spends time researching online and in music archives. “You’d be shocked to know how many times I’ve talked to artists, and they’ve said journalists will come in completely unprepared,” Powers said. “That just seems ridiculous to me. You wouldn’t talk to the president without knowing the issues. Why do you think it’s okay to talk to an artist without knowing their work?”

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Guardian Dudette Salutes Bill & Ted’s Excellent Anniversary

ShutterstockKeanuReevesSpiritAwards2014We love this kind of essay.

Guardian writer Hadley Freeman was a tweenager when Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure forever in 1989 altered the course of time-travel-movies history. Twenty-five years later, in a newspaper telescoped forward by its own paradigm-challenging male duo (Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden), she recalls how she was smitten from the start:

I first came across the movie in 1990, when my mother rented it for me after I announced to her that I was deeply in love with Keanu Reeves and so would probably marry him (it was the early 90s, when it was the law for every heterosexual female under 35 to be in love with Reeves.)

My mother was extremely supportive of my new relationship (my father, on the other hand, never quite mastered the pronunciation of my fiance’s first name), so when I informed her that a mere rental was an insufficient token of my new relationship, she bought the video for me for the commitment-sealing sum of £9.99. My little sister and I duly watched that tape to ribbons.

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15,000-Word, Seven-Part Las Vegas Sun Series Wins Dart Award

The Las Vegas Sun is in very good company. The newspaper, as part of Columbia University’s latest Dart Awards, which recognize exemplary reporting on the effects of violence, crime, disaster and other traumatic events, is one of two 2014 winners, alongside Ira GlassThis American Life. The awards will be presented May 8.

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The editorial series that won the Sun its prize is heartbreaking. Titled “Grace Through Grief,” it details the aftermath of a home invasion suffered by the Martinez family, during which mom and daughter were killed, and dad was gravely injured:

Judges called “Grace Through Grief” a “deeply reported and inspiring portrayal of a family in the aftermath of horror.” They called Jackie Valley’s prose “exceptional” and Leila Navidi’s photographs “powerful” and “intimate without being disruptive.” They praised the series’ “creative subversiveness,” going far beyond conventional crime reporting in “bringing the reader on a journey of faith, fatherhood, recovery and resilience.” Judges also recognized the “careful restraint” used in bringing forward the perspectives of Arturo Martinez’s young sons.

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On His 67th Birthday, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Starts New Gig: Los Angeles Register Columnist

This is exactly the kind of creative thinking that is required to connect with today’s busy and much better-served-than-before savvy media consumers. As part of the official launch today on the west coast of daily newspaper the Los Angeles Register, columnist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar highlights his favorite LA-themed movies.

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The opening paragraph quote from Charles Baudelaire also reminds us how even more cerebral things might have been if coach Phil Jackson had guided the Showtime era Lakers. One of the most intriguing categories in Jabbar’s three-by-three list is TOP THREE FILMS ABOUT THE HOOD. This portion of the article includes:

American Me: Directed by and starring Edward James Olmos, American Me spans thirty years (from the 1950s to the 1980s) of gang life in the Latino community. The gangster life, and its influence on the community, has never been portrayed with so much dark conviction.

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Hollywood Reporter Lists 35 ‘Most Powerful People in New York Media’

It’s list time! The Hollywood Reporter’s annual “most powerful people in New York media” list is out, and it features some staples (Roger Ailes) and some newcomers (Nick Denton). The list, now in its fourth year, honors “The men and women who shape the media message and interpret the sweep of the culture,” according to THR.

People love lists like this. It doesn’t really mean anything, yet everyone will be sure to humblebrag about being included. Media people love patting themselves on the back, and THR is giving them an open invitation to do so.

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The Young Turks Score $4 Million in Equity Funding

TYTCEnkuygurHeadshotThe most intriguing aspect of today’s TYT Network news is the background of the person at the head of equity fund Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co.

Buddy Roemer is a former Louisiana Governor and, as such, has delivered to the former Current TV and current Internet gang the group’s first non-crowd-funded cash. From today’s announcement:

“RRM has been looking for two years to find the best platform in New Media in which to invest,” said Roemer. “We believe TYT will be one of the critical players moving forward in a new media world – edgy, unfiltered news commentary at its best. They are a lot like me, sometimes wrong but never in doubt.”

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Lake Bell AND Tom Hardy Go Topless for Esquire

It’s not quite on the level of Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs (a 1973 battle-of-the-sexes milestone that is about to get the Hollywood treatment). However, the May cover of Esquire does offer a fun he-shed, she-shed echo of our weekly Cover Battle.

In one cheeky corner, we have Lake Bell… And in the other, dual-cover cheeky corner, there is Tom Hardy:

EsquireMay2014Cover

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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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