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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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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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LPGA Stars Score Paulina Gretzky Golf Digest Cover as a Bogey

The folks at Golf Digest insist that putting a celebrity like Paulina Gretzky on the cover is nothing new. In fact, just a few months ago, Kate Upton was fronting the December 2013 issue alongside Arnold Palmer.

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But via New York Times sportswriter Karen Crouse, several LPGA stars have expressed their disappointment with this latest example of media-business-as-usual:

“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” said two-time Major winner Stacy Lewis. “It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been. We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines. But at the same time you’d like to see a little respect for the women’s game…”

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Former Billboard Editorial Director Points to Egregious Example of ‘Echo Chamber Reporting’

LadyGagaARTPOPOn Monday, BuzzFeed’s Myles Tanzer introduced a whole new audience to Angela Cheng, a pseudonymous music blogger who recently shifted her very questionable act from examiner.com to the URL popmusicgadfly.com.

Entangled in this trail is former Billboard editorial director Bill Werde and industry superstar Lady Gaga. The publication of the BuzzFeed story led Werde to reluctantly chime in via Tumblr and sparked a follow-up post from Cheng on April 1. We’re going to focus on Werde’s post, since it addresses the “Culpability of the Media” and what appears to be some very lazy reporting:

On November 17, 2013, “Sabrina O’Connor” [another mysterious examiner.com blogger byline] posted a story on Examiner.com that claimed Lady Gaga’s Interscope label had spent $25 million to promote her album ARTPOP, which had been released 11 days earlier.

Within days that number had been repeated in seemingly any outlet that could credibly cover such a matter: Business Week; New York magazine; Business Insider. A couple of weeks later, the New York Post published a razor-sharp hatchet job on Gaga, once again, floating the $25 million figure.

(Credit where it’s due: the only outlet I could find that called bullshit, and did it the very next day, was Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411.)

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A Surprise Marlon Brando Birthday Gift

LIFELogoTomorrow would have been Marlon Brando‘s 90th birthday. To mark the occasion, Time has raided the Life magazine vaults to showcase 15 bonus photos of the actor.

The photos are from a 1949 Life shoot done in Los Angeles by Ed Clark, during the making of The Men. The best shots are the ones of Brando in Eagle Rock, in and around the bungalow owned by his aunt Betty Lindemeyer. In some of the photos, Brando is joined by his maternal grandmother and her pooch. From the text by life.com editor Ben Cosgrove:

“She [his grandmother] was quite abashed because Clark took pictures of Marlon in a bathrobe, which happens to be hers,” reported a production assistant in notes found in Life’s archives. Grandma Myers was also apologetic about the barbaric way her gandson ate: “Bud doesn’t bring the food to his face,” she told Life, using Brando’s nickname. “He brings his face to the food.”

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Entertainment Weekly Makes Changes [Updated]

Matt Bean, the relatively new editor-in-chief of Entertainment Weekly, has been busy dealing with staffing changes. According to the New York Post, Jeff Giles, deputy editor of EW and a seven-year veteran of the title, has departed to work on a book. EW’s executive editor Jason Adams, who had been with the magazine for 11 years, is also out.

Additions to EW include Neil Janowitz and Chris Rackliffe. Janowitz, formerly a web editor at SI.com, is now EW.com’s assistant managing editor.

Rackliffe, most recently with digital publisher Federated Media, has been named EW’s senior social media editor.

Update (3/3 8:45 am):
THR is reporting that EW also cut veteran music critic Nick Catucci and staff writer Annie Barrett.

Yahoo to Shutter Women’s Site Shine

Shine, the women-centric site from Yahoo, is on its last legs. According to Recode, the site is about to be shut down. Jennifer Romolini, editor of Yahoo Lifestyles — which included Shine — has already moved on.

Apparently Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has never been a fan of Shine. “She thought Shine was not attractive and she aspires to create an online version of Vogue,” a “person close to the situation,” told Recode. “But Shine is a mass-market content site, more like USA Today.”

In Shine’s place, Mayer plans to launch several “digital magazines,” each with their own focus; like fashion, beauty and interior design. Before we go any further, a word about digital magazines: They are websites. You’re not fooling anyone by calling them “digital magazines.” WE KNOW THEY’RE JUST WEBSITES. It doesn’t make the sites any fancier; it only makes you sound like a pretentious idiot. Thank you.

Shine is expected to be closed by the second quarter.

John Wayne Biography Gets Seal of Approval from Peter Bogdanovich

JohnWayneBioTopping the bestseller lists is nice; racking up hardcover sales in today’s digital age is always good. But chances are little will give author Scott Eyman more satisfaction than the following passage from Peter Bogdanovich‘s weekend review in the New York Times of April 1 release John Wayne: The Life and Legend:

The portrait Eyman paints very much resembles the Wayne I knew for nearly 15 years: extremely likable, guileless, exuberant, even strangely innocent.

Because ultimately, that’s all a writer is aiming for with a biography. To accurately and effortlessly capture the true nature of their subject.

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Johnny Depp Graces Cover of Interview

Johnny Depp is Interview’s latest cover star. It’s a nice get for Keith Pollock, the magazine’s relatively new editor-in-chief.

Inside the issue, Iggy Pop poses questions to the 50-year-old actor and we discover that both men enjoyed drinking Boone’s Farm back in the day. Somehow that makes us respect them a bit more.

Interview used Bruce Weber to shoot the cover, which features Depp holding a teddy bear. What are the odds the stuffed animal is Depp’s? We say fairly high.

Josh Wolk Departs Vulture for Yahoo

Yahoo logo GJosh Wolk is leaving New York’s Vulture for Yahoo. According to The Wrap, Wolk has been named executive editor of Yahoo Entertainment, a new role at the company. Wolk had been Vultute’s editorial director since 2010.

“I was considering signing off with a list of my favorite posts by all the Vulture writers, but it would be impossible to know where to stop,” wrote Wolk, in a post titled “Farewell from a Vulture.” “So just keep reading Vulture — I sure will — because every day that list of favorites gets longer.”

Wolk begins at Yahoo on April 7.

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