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Liam Neeson Goes the Extra Mile for NYC Cobbler

ShutterstockLiamNeesonFeb2014Many topics are addressed by Liam Neeson in this wonderful newspaper interview, conducted recently in Hollywood with The Independent‘s Gill Pringle.

There’s the 62-year-old actor’s view of the likely embarrassment our Founding Fathers would feel if they could see how the Second Amendment is being touted today. His fear of heights, recently confronted on a Utah mountainside with the help of one of his two sons. And this fascinating bit of civic-duty confessing from the New York resident, whose latest movie A Walk Among the Tombstones comes out September 19:

The problem, Neeson believes, stems from a generation that prefers to replace older items rather than repair them. “They just don’t fix things any more. It gives me cause for concern.”

“Where I live in New York, any time a bar closes down, suddenly there’s a Revlon make-up shop. There must be about 15 of them along Columbus Avenue. In the middle of it all there’s a little cobbler who operates from a tiny little space and I find myself sometimes breaking shoes in order to just bring them to him; just to keep it alive.”

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Mediabistro Course

Children's Picture Book Writing

Children's Picture Book WritingStarting September 15, this part lecture, part workshop course will take you through the process of outlining, writing, editing, and submitting a children's picture book. Taught by a published children's book author, Dashka Slater will teach you how to write in pictures, hook readers and editors with your story, apply the nuts and bolts of marketing, and more. Register now! 

Radio Show Offers Forensic Analysis of Sam Kinison’s Soul

This week’s edition of The Outer Limits of Inner Truth kicks off with audio from one of comedian Sam Kinison‘s many hilarious bits. The one about the dichotomies of world hunger:

“You see a little [starving] kid out there [on TV] and you know, the film crew could give this kid a sandwich… You know there’s a director, five feet away, going, ‘Don’t feet him yet! Get that sandwich out of here!! It doesn’t work unless he looks hungry!’”

While the overall spiritual POV of this radio program is certainly not everybody’s cup of tea, it’s yet another reminder of just how far and wide the audience net has been cast thanks to the power of the Internet. Fans of the comedian will definitely want to bookmark and listen to the September 11 episode of this Star Com Radio Network offering, as it features a lengthy interview with the comedian’s brother Bill, who also co-authored the 1994 book Brother Sam. The portion of the conversation covering Sam’s interactions with Robin Williams is newly poignant. (Starts at 57:30 mark.)

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EW Editor Matt Bean Previews the ‘Fall TV Preview’ Issue

Chelsea Handler has not done many print interviews since ending her E! show. But one of them can be found in the “Streaming” section of Entertainment Weekly‘s 2014 “Fall TV Preview” double issue, on newsstands today.

Handler shares at least one scoop about her upcoming 2016 Netflix talk show as she answers “Five Questions” about her October 10 one-hour stand-up special for the website, Uganda Be Kidding Me. The “Streaming” section also highlights Jeffrey Tambor‘s Amazon show Transparent, Season Two of Amazon’s political drama Alpha House and the AOL series Making a Scene with James Franco.

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“Streaming is more important than it’s ever been,” EW editor Matt Bean tells FishbowlNY via telephone. “The quality and caliber of the programs on streaming outlets cannot be not ignored. Our readers, even more so than with TV, need a guide to that kind of content because it comes at you so quickly. And in many cases, at such a phenomenal volume.”

“I think James Franco is one of the most fascinating actors in the business right now,” he continues. “He just tries things. We’ll have to see how he does with this [AOL] project, but it’s certainly like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

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Yahoo Adds Kristen Baldwin and Kerry Diamond

Yahoo logo GYahoo has made two major hires — Kristen Baldwin and Kerry Diamond. Baldwin will serve as editor-in-chief of Yahoo TV and Diamond will serve as editor-in-chief of Yahoo Food.

Baldwin comes to Yahoo from Entertainment Weekly, where she had been since 1995. She most recently served as deputy editor. Baldwin has also made appearances on appearances on Today, The View, Entertainment Tonight and more. Baldwin starts September 29.

Diamond is the co-founder and editorial director of Cherry Bombe, a women-centric food glossy that Adweek named one of this year’s hottest magazines. She is also the co-owner of three Brooklyn restaurants: Nightingale 9, Wilma Jean, and Smith Canteen. Diamond starts September 22.

Mel Gibson Catches a Typo-Break

The actor gets no love from the X17 blog item headline, which derisively reads: “Mel Gibson Runs His Sugar Tits Through The Scanner At LAX.”

However, in the first sentence of the third paragraph – to go along with missing mention of The Expendables - an extra “E” has been accidentally added to the word “sexist:”

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Daily News Source Reaffirms Rivers Biopsy Claim

ShutterstockJoanRivers2011On Tuesday, New York Daily News TV editor Don Kaplan dropped a bombshell. According to his unnamed source, an impromptu biopsy was performed at Yorkville Endoscopy on Joan Rivers by a physician who accompanied the comedienne, and it was that procedure that sent her into cardiac arrest.

Wednesday, via Reuters and CNN, the clinic fired back, insisting that such a procedure has never been performed at the clinic. On Rivers or any other patient. However, today, Kaplan informed TV Week that his source remains adamant:

“Yes, our source is standing by the story,” said Kaplan via email, “as are others who have come forward with the same information.”

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Lena Dunham Makes Like a Statue

The headlines rolling out of the online preview of this weekend’s New York Times Magazine “Culture Issue” cover story by Meghan Daum have been pun-tastic. Perez Hilton thinks the Girls star is “Totally STONED,” while Refinery29 contributor Lauren Le Vine notes that Dunham got “Busted.”

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The New York Times has a more civilized way of describing this weekend’s cover. Most of the credit for this one belongs to the publication’s design director:

Jake Silverstein, the magazine’s editor, wanted to evoke classical art. The magazine’s design director, Gail Bichler, suggested turning Dunham into a sculpture, and Joanna Milter, deputy photo editor, had an idea for the artist to take that on: Victoria Diehl, a Spanish photographer who creates haunting hybrids of flesh and stone by melding images of human models and classical marble statues.

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SpinMedia Cuts 19, Folds Vibe

The tumultuous times at SpinMedia continue. According to Capital New York, the company has laid off 19 staffers and has decided to fold Vibe.

Stephen Blackwell, SpinMedia’s CEO, said the cuts came mostly from the company’s video, photo, and sales divisions. On Monday, the company let go of Tom Morrissy, its chief revenue officer, after only five months.

The decision to fold Vibe comes almost exactly one year after SpinMedia’s previous CEO — Steve Hansen — announced he was resurrecting the title by printing four issues per year.

Blackwell said vibe.com will continue as a digital-only publication. ”When I look at what was going on here prior to my tenure, I think that some of the resources… if we’re directing resources toward print, that intrinsically means that we’re directing resources away from digital,” he told Capital New York. “I’m here to commit to directing all of our resources toward the digital side of Vibe.”

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CBS LA’s Jackie Johnson Channels The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

In 1964, Catherine Deneuve announced herself to the film world via the French musical drama The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. This month, CBS LA meteorologist Jackie Johnson and photographer Cliff Lipson have teamed for a playful, 50th-year anniversary tribute to the movie for a feature in CBS’ Watch! magazine. Here’s an exclusive first look at one of the article’s seven photos.

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The issue and this piece (“Ain’t No Sunshine Until She’s On”) is on its way to magazine subscribers this week and will hit newsstands September 23. Johnson is a woman of many talents, often sharing via Twitter and Instagram her latest painting and artful photo efforts.

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Deathbed State of Film Criticism Plays Key Role in Endless Awards Prognostication

BanehamOscarWe joked the other day that perhaps they should just move the Oscars to the first weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival. So as to kill two North American birds with one statuette and get the whole damn awards season thing over with, at a time when pundits are shuffling the deck at a most furious Twitter pace.

But then it hit us. While film criticism as a legitimate form of journalism has been flat-lining for years, the eleven-and-a-half-month annual rigamarole through which an increasing number of film journalists calibrate the chances of this actor and that studio for a BATFA, SAG, Golden Globe and Academy Award is a phenomenon that would meet with the hearty approval of a character played by Paul Bettany, Tom Hiddleston and others. It’s survival of the aisle-seat fittest.

If you filter the enterprising work of folks like Anne Thompson, David Poland, Jeffrey Wells, Sasha Stone, Roger Friedman and Anthony Breznican through the prism of changing-with-the-film-criticism-times, awards season journalism becomes suddenly a very different animal. It’s not just an attempt to keep the ad dollars rolling in. It’s also a clever and necessary way for film journalists to keep their opinions relevant.

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