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Media Companies

Chris Hughes Clarifies New Republic New York Plans

NewRepublic100YrsLogoThere’s damage control. And then there’s supreme damage control.

In the wake of all that New Republic business, owner Chris Hughes has been talking to “remaining staffers,” NPR’s David Folkenflik and Fusion’s Felix Salmon. Here’s what the media exec now being compared to The Newsroom‘s B.J. Novak character told Salmon about reports of TNR relocating to NYC:

Hughes rejects the idea that he’s moving the magazine to New York: The New Republic is still going to have politics at its core, he says, and as such the DC bureau isn’t going anywhere. But the fact remains that the owner, the CEO and the editor are all going to be based in New York — and anybody who’s ever worked at a publication with New York and DC offices knows what that means. There will be tensions and turf wars, the New Yorkers will win those battles and the DC crew will grow ever-larger chips on their shoulders.

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Scarlett Johansson, Action Bronson Share Vice Stage

Scarlett Johansson and Vice have come a long way since 1994. The actress kicked off her on-screen acting career that year with a small role in the Rob Reiner disaster North, while in the eastern half of The Great White North, Shane Smith and co. launched a modest free punk magazine.

Johansson was a surprise musical guest Friday at Vice’s 20th anniversary bash at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. While THR-Billboard freelancer Ted Simmons reports that she had the crowd abuzz, EW’s Eric Brown suggests it was more along the lines of ah-what?:

When Johansson took the stage to sing New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle,” audience members mostly just wondered if it was actually her.

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Counting the Vice Digs

vice130Maybe it’s just us. But in addition to a late parenthentical swipe at Vice Media, today’s Nick Denton memo announcing plans to quickly add an executive editor and group managing editor to Gawker Media seems to contain several other, more subtle, digs.

In the memo’s opening paragraph, Denton sets things up with some gentle omission, praising a couple of chaps at BuzzFeed and Vox as the fearsome “pros” he and his new charges will have to most worry about in 2015. In the third paragraph, it’s more of an open-handed slap [bolding is ours]:

We have one great asset that no money can buy: an independent spirit and willingness to defy conventional wisdom.

We get it. There are no plans at Gawker Media to do a dance with Rupert Murdoch and sell a subsequent stake to A&E Networks.

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Playboy Enterprises CEO Dissects Past, Present, Future

PlayboyCoverAbout the only thing Playboy Enterprises Inc. CEO Scott Flanders did not divulge to senior writer Kim Lachance Shandrow is the company’s current earnings. Otherwise, the 58-year-old exec was notably candid and specific about where the company has come from under his watch, where it now stands and how it might evolve.

One of the first things Flanders did after arriving in 2009 was slash company staff. Of the 535 non-Playboy mansion staffers on the payroll when he came in, only 11 remain. The CEO also bought back from Manwin the rights to, which he had previously sold:

Last spring, Playboy recaptured full control of “at significant expense” and relaunched it in August.

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Vox Media Valued at $380 Million

voxmedialogoVox Media — publisher of Eater, Vox, The Verge, SBNation and more — is doing quite well. According to The New York Times, the company is now valued at $380 million, after closing a $46.5 million round of financing from investment firm General Atlantic.

Vox Media’s CEO Jim Bankoff was obviously pleased. “The GA investment is an important milestone,” he wrote, in a memo on LinkedIn. “We should all take pride in knowing how far we’ve come and have confidence in our ability to go so much farther. The investment doesn’t change anything. It’s about accelerating our momentum.”

In related news, Vox announced that it has hired Lindsay Nelson to lead Vox Creative. Nelson comes to the company from Slate, where she served as VP of integrated programs and founder of SlateCustom, the site’s in-house creative agency. Nelson had been with Slate since 2012.

News Corp Invests in Another Real Estate Business

newscorp-1News Corp is really liking the real estate business lately. According to the AP, News Corp has invested in Elara Technologies, a Singapore-based company that operates, an Indian real estate site. The deal was $30 million for a 25 percent stake.

As part of the purchase, a News Corp exec will join Elara Technologies’ board.

This is the second real estate company News Corp has moved in on (sorry about the pun) in just over two months. In September, News Corp announced that it had purchased Move Inc., which operates

Hipsters Annoyed by Vice

VICE_Logo1Vice — the media organization for hipsters, rich kids who dress like they’re poor, terrible artists and other annoying people — is preparing to move to its new headquarters in Williamsburg. As Ad Age reports, the building used to house music venues Glasslands and Death By Audio. Both are now closing, and that has angered the locals:

During one of Death by Audio’s final shows on Tuesday, Tim Harrington of the band Les Savy Fav took the stage with ‘Suck It Vice’ written across his body

Last week, during a do-it-yourself art show at Death By Audio, someone painted ‘Fuck You Shane’ on a wall, presumably a reference to Shane Smith, Vice‘s co-founder and CEO

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Turner to Remove TNT, TBS from Dish Lineup

Turner broadcasting GThere is nothing quite as fun as when a cable conglomerate and a satellite provider fight over pricing. This is because both end up blaming the other side, and hilariously plead with customers to help them win the battle.

Such is the case with Turner Broadcasting and Dish Network. Their argument continues to escalate, as Turner is now threatening to remove TNT and TBS from Dish if a new deal isn’t reached by December 5.

In a statement, Turner — of course — said this is all Dish’s fault.

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The Onion Might be For Sale

The Onion logo GThe Onion might be up for sale. Or, in Onion language, Media Company Hopes Someone Buys Sinking Ship. According to The Chicago Tribune, Onion Inc., publisher of The Onion, AV Club and Clickhole, have hired the investment bank GCA Savvian to explore a possible sale.

The Onion has been making changes for the past few years. In 2012, it moved all editorial operations out of New York and consolidated them in its Chicago headquarters. Then just last year, The Onion ceased all print editions and went digital only. “It’s sad to see a print edition no longer exist, but it’s important to see the Onion succeed,” Mike McAvoy, president of Onion Inc., said at the time.

Here’s hoping that if The Onion is sold, it keeps its spirit intact.

Dow Jones Ends Sunday Journal and Wall Street Journal Radio

dow_jones_logo_detailDow Jones is looking to cut costs, which means say goodbye to Sunday Journal and the Wall Street Journal Radio Network. In a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, Dow Jones CEO William Lewis explained that while some businesses have succeeded, “it will come as no surprise that in order to do even more, we must do fewer things that are not core to our business so that we can move faster in pursuit of our goals.”

Here are Lewis’ notes on Sunday Journal and the Wall Street Journal Radio Network:

In the U.S., Sunday Journal from The Wall Street Journal, which provides content to partner newspapers each weekend, will come to a close over the coming months. We have an extremely strong offering in the very successful WSJ Weekend and will continue to work to grow that audience.

The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, which includes MarketWatch Radio and provides content to affiliate stations in the U.S, will cease operations at the end of the calendar year. As we move away from the terrestrial radio business, we will continue to build out our digital audio capabilities and offerings.