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RIP: Don Pardo

For the New York Times obituary of Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo, who passed away Monday at age 96, Neil Genzlinger and Bill Carter do a good job of sourcing key portions of a 2006 interview Pardo recorded for the Archive of American Television. Here for example, via that conversation, is how Pardo says he came up with his slowed down and heavily enunciated signature announcing style:

Mr. Pardo said the way The Price is Right was shot led him to develop his peculiar elongated delivery. “The cameras are moving so slowly, and that’s the way I had to describe it: slowly,” he said of the merchandise on the show, which he would describe before contestants tried to guess its price. “Those cameras were large then. You want to make sure you describe what the camera is on.”

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Gloria, Emilio Estefan Cast Wide Net for Broadway Musical

Gloria and Emilio Estefan generated some fun recent headlines on the west coast with a charity dinner and performance at the Hollywood Bowl:

When her husband and producer, Emilio Estefan, appeared onstage after the singer mentioned that he’d inspired her recent recording of “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face,” she told the audience proudly that they’d been married for 36 years. “That’s 150 years in Hollywood,” she added.

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This morning, they’re making NYC news with their unusual open call. From the website for forthcoming Broadway musical On Your Feet!:

Gloria and Emilio Estefan are looking for talented hopefuls for the new musical based on their lives to debut on Broadway in 2015. Show us your talent, show us your passion, and show us your rhythm!

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A Robin Williams Selfie Minted at SNL

A year and a half before that great Norm Maccdonald-Robin Williams backstage encounter at Late Night with David Letterman, there was another similar crossing-of-the-paths at Saturday Night Live. Documented by a wonderful selfie that has been shared anew this week to celebrate the warm-hearted spirit of the late Williams.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Jason Silverstein caught up with the young man on the left, Jim Muraco, to get the background on this marvelous shot:

Muraco, 44, stumbled upon Williams backstage at Saturday Night Live in 1988. Back then, Muraco was an 18-year-old film buff who recently had moved to New York City and was eager to meet some of his idols.

Muraco said that he tried to sneak backstage at SNL one night in October to meet Tom Hanks. (It didn’t happen.) When he showed up again the next week, a security guard recognized him and invited him backstage.

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BuzzFeed Attempts to Explain Why 4,000 Posts Were Deleted

BuzzFeedLogoJonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s CEO, has a non-explanation explanation for why his site secretly deleted more than 4,000 posts. In an interview with Slate, Peretti admitted that “We probably could have communicated better, or handled it better,” but the reason they didn’t is because BuzzFeed used to be a tech company, and now it’s a media company.

Peretti said that BuzzFeed became a media company when it hired Ben Smith, and that the posts were deleted because they were “technically broken, not sourced to our current standards, not worth improving or saving because the content isn’t very good.”

Another way of saying this is “We deleted the posts once we realized someone would notice the rampant plagiarism that we used to become a popular site.” If you’re a media company, you don’t just get to delete articles whenever you want.

Why did it take until 2014 to get rid of these “broken” articles, when Smith was hired in 2011? Also, BuzzFeed just got $50 million from an investor who said “We think of BuzzFeed as more of a technology company.” Peretti might want to inform them that they’re a media company now. Or is his description of BuzzFeed dependent on who’s asking?

Roy Greenslade’s Take on the Daily Mail

Nina Jones, London correspondent for Women’s Wear Daily, has shared a thought-provoking Q&A with Roy Greenslade, media critic for both The Guardian and Evening-Standard. FishbowlNY was especially taken with the journalist’s thoughts on the success of Mail Online, the world’s most read daily newspaper website.

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Greenslade frames the gargantuan success of Mail Online as a rebirth of tabloid journalism. He goes on to suggest that those toiling in the operation’s titillation-trenches view their positions very much as a mixed blessing:

“I know many of the young people who work on Mail Online, and the truth is they can’t get any other jobs. They hate doing it, they hate rewriting everyone and scouring the magazines and writing silly captions about scantily clad celebrities, but the decline of the number of journalism jobs means that they are virtually forced to sell their souls to go and do that.”

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The Jennie Garth Pitch

JennieGarthProjectAt FishbowlNY, we glance at heaps of PR copy. And for the semi-slow week of August 11-15, the following strand is going to be hard to beat. At least from a media-blog male editor’s point of view:

To save money, Jennie will get down and dirty refinishing the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and will crank up a chainsaw…

There’s also info in the release about Garth’s contractor Scott and the HGTV program’s back-to-back season debut Tuesday September 16. But really, it all pales once the eyes reach a tease that is one part West Beverly Hills High and two parts iconic rural Texas.

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A Scene Featuring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and the New York Times

On the website for NYC gay bar Julius’, the Village institution’s historic connection to the fight for gay rights is rightly celebrated.

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From the bar’s About section:

On April 26, 1966, four homophile activists staged a “sip in” at Julius’ to challenge the NYS Liquor Authority’s regulation that prohibited bars and restaurants from serving homosexuals. Accompanied by five reporters, the group visited a number of bars until they were denied service at Julius’, a longtime Greenwich Village gay bar. The incident drew a denial from the SLA chairman that his agency told bars not to serve homosexuals and precipitated an investigation by the chairman of the city’s Human Right’s Commission. (From: Becoming Visible, Penguin Studios 1998)

In the August 22 drama Love is Strange, starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, there is a great scene – shot at Julius’-  that references this historic chapter. At one point, the bartender serving Lithgow and Molina’s characters mentions there is a framed clipping of the New York Times‘ 1966 coverage, “somewhere.”

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Lauren Bacall, by Way of the BBC

LaurenBacallDIDIn the spring of 1979, BBC Radio 4 gifted listeners with Lauren Bacall‘s Desert Island Discs. Along with some wonderful journalist memories of the late actress, this one gets FishbowlNY’s vote.

Let’s start with then-host Roy Plomley‘s voice. Although this program was recorded 35 years ago, it sounds like it could just as well have been bottled during the heyday of Bacall’s cinematic career. (Strangely enough, DID was launched in 1942, just two years ahead of Bacall’s breakout first film To Have and Have Not.)

The sing-song of Mr. Plomley and Ms. Bacall is mesmerizing, interrupted eight times by some glorious and often classical music. And oh, the memories.

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Deadline Gets a Makeover

In announcing Deadline’s first-ever website revamp, TV editor Nellie Andreeva says the move was largely motivated by the now-familiar refrain of a cresting base of mobile-device users.

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So naturally, the early reader comments we paid the most attention to involve those on-the-go movers and shakers:

Jay: Looks good on Mac, but awful to navigate on cell phone.

Burkiss: The site is horrible on my phone. I can’t tell what is a feature and what is recent news. Just awful.

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Yahoo Names EICs for Health and DIY Sites

Yahoo logo GYahoo has hired Michele Promaulayko and Katie Brown as editors of Yahoo Health and Yahoo DIY, respectively.

Promaulayko comes to Yahoo from Women’s Health, where she served as editor-in-chief for the past five years. Prior to that, she served as executive editor of Cosmo for nearly a decade. Promaulayko begins August 25.

Brown is the host of the Katie Brown Workshop on public television. She has more than 15 years of experience in “decorating, home renovations, and entertaining,” according to Yahoo. Brown starts August 18.

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