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Archives: January 2007

Blvd. of Broken Dreams Not Mean Enough for NYT; Too Mean For Niki Taylor

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Virginia Heffernan of the NY Times reviews E!’s new spin-off from True Hollywood Story, Blvd. of Broken Dreams and compares it unfavorably to VH1′s Behind the Music. The show’s just not mean enough. However, Niki Taylor has slapped the network with a federal slander suit, alleging emotional distress. The suit, which also includes fraud, breach of contract and invasion of privacy, said that

E! falsely claimed that the show would focus on Taylor’s current life and professional endeavors, including her signature fragrance, clothing line, upcoming cosmetics line and charitable foundation

Instead (surprise, surprise) the network and its producer focused on Taylor’s past hardships and characterized her as a celebrity

who risked everything … and lost.

Nothing like a lawsuit to get an producer noticed. THS is basically cancelled, and EP Suzanne Ross needs to develop something, anything to either solidify her position on the quicksands of E!’s executive offices or have an original series on her resume when she leaves. Any show at E! has to do three things: make use of the existing footage, come in under budget, and not piss off anyone off. To quote Meatloaf:

Two out of three ain’t bad.

iVillage To Move To Jersey?

From an inside source:

There will be a 4:15pm annoucement today to the iVillage staff that the office is moving to Englewood Cliffs, NJ by the end of 2007 — affecting 200+ employees, most of whom are going to be none-too-happy. Coincidentally, most of the top brass at iVillage lives in New Jersey.

Developing …

Editor Tom Foster Resigns from Men’s Journal

tfosterparadise.jpgTrouble in “paradise”?

Tom Foster, editor-in-chief, Men’s Journal, Monday:

“The conventional wisdom in the magazine world is that you have to job-hop to get ahead — that’s not necessarily true. I got the job because I had been there and knew the magazine through its various forms.”

Today:

Tom Foster, editor of Men’s Journal, has resigned, citing irreconcilable differences with Jann Wenner. He’ll be out of the office by 1 p.m. today.

Wenner Media’s full release:

Read more

Blog Beats the Big Boys

lakerspic.jpgIf there is a pecking order to the sending of press releases, then some of L.A.’s blogs are beating the big boys. Six days before CBS announced the breaking news that KCAL-9 would be broadcasting all Lakers games (not just the big ones) in HD, LAist had the story.

Strange that a blog would beat a network, especially as CBS shares the same corporate parent as Time Warner Cable, which made the announcement.

(For further illumination of the hierarchy, the announcement landed in our in-box eleven minutes after CBS’s announcement went up. But that’s probably because they knew sports talk makes our eyes glaze over).

Radar 3.0: ‘It Would Be More Economical To Hire Pajama-Clad Post-Collegiates To Snarkily Blog On Content Produced By Others’

radar_colin_farrell.jpgSpeak of the devil. Maer Roshan answers the proverbial question:

“Who needs another magazine?”

It’s a question I’m often asked by cynical media reporters (and occasionally by my mother). I started Radar four years ago because I believed there was a place in the world for a smart, subversive title that didn’t pull its punches. After five issues and a few bumps and scrapes, I still do. Whatever they’re saying this week about the demise of print, I think great magazines of the kind Radar aspires to be are essential as ever.

Certainly it would be more economical to hire pajama-clad post-collegiates to snarkily blog on content produced by others. But if your mission is to break new ground, dispatching actual reporters and photographers to cover actual stories still has an essential power.

Not to disparage the Internet: Our new site, radaronline.com, which launched last September, now draws more than a million visitors a month and breaks news every day. But while there’s something undeniably thrilling about responding to news as it happens, there’s also much to be said for taking your time. With magazines you don’t get second chances (not usually, anyway), which compels a more thoughtful and nuanced approach.

O.K., fair enough, we’ll take a careful and nuanced approach here. We’ll wait until we see the results of Maer’s careful and nuanced approach before we snarkily blog on its content.

EARLIER:

  • Radar Gets D-Nasty For First Re-Relaunch Issue
  • Saget’s Farce of the Penguins Party: Full House

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    Bob Saget was graced by the presence of those adorable all-growed up moppets, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson at the release party for his DVD spoof, Farce of the Penguins. The parody follows two penguins hot for hook ups as they trudge through frozen waste. The disc also features a twisted making-of featurette. Saget told reporters

    I talk about all the things we did to the penguins to make them work better. It’s really wrong.

    FBLA wonders if he tried same those techniques on the twins, back in the day.

    LA Feminist Create A make/shift Magazine, Tell FBLA All About It

    AllEdsPhotocrop.jpgMake/shift a magazine “representing contemporary feminist culture and action around the world,” is launching here in LA. It’ll include fiction, interviews with activists, photo essays an analysis. And, did we mention it’s launching here?

    Jessica Hoffmann, one of make/shift’s three editor/publishers (along with Stephanie Abraham and Daria Yudacufski)tells FBLA, “While we aim to represent a variety of feminisms (plural), we do see ourselves as specifically representing feminist work that is consciously antiracist, informed by queer theory and its challenge to binary gender norms, and rooted in an intersectional analysis that sees the connections between feminism and, say, environmental justice, economic justice, imperialism, and more.”

    Hoffman, clearly, is smarter than us. So we asked her to dumb it down — way down. Down to the East Coast-West Coast culture war. With magazine editors as smart as her, why doesn’t LA have a better rep in the literary world?

    “There’s an exceptional group of LA-based contributors: Erin Aubry Kaplan, who is also a columnist at the LA Times, is doing a regular column for make/shift called ‘Centrally Located.’ Staff writer Irina Contreras is a brilliant local activist/artist/writer who has contributed a photo essay and interviews of hotel workers near LAX for Issue 1. Local writer/performance artist Raquel Gutierrez (who performs with Butchlalis de Panochtitlan) wrote a smart, funny piece about children of immigrants’ love for Ugly Betty. There are so many smart and talented writers in LA; it’s really a silly myth that they’re not here,” Hoffmann said. “And when we’re talking feminist writers and artists, there’s a thriving community — several of them, really, that overlap and do different things. You should see the list of events planned to happen in this city around the huge feminist art retrospective that will open at MOCA in March (WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution) — wonderfully exciting work is being done here by very talented feminist artists, writers, and thinkers.”

    Who knew?

    Graydon Carter’s Bush Bashing Has Yet To ‘Run Its Course’

    Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is still political.

    The Columbia Journalism Review reviews Carter’s 2004 pledge to mediabistro.com that his involvement in bashing the Bush administration in the form of a monthly editor’s letter had “probably run its course”:

    David Hirschman‘s question for a 2004 Media Bistro article was the same one reporters had been asking Graydon Carter for more than a year: “Do you plan to keep Vanity Fair more political?” Hirschman was referring to the magazine generally and to Carter’s ferocious editor’s letters in particular, which, since 2003, had become an outlet for his disgust with the Bush administration. Carter’s reply was defensive. “Vanity Fair’s always covered politics quite heavily,” he said. “I think that my own participation has probably run its course. I’ve said everything I want to say.”

    He had not, however. Two and half years have passed and Carter shows no sign of quieting his political voice.

    We could’ve told you that last fall.

  • Vanity Fire [CJR]

    EARLIER:

  • Spy Puck Party: ‘Freeze-Dried’ Version Of Yore
  • Q&A: Graydon Carter
  • Radar Gets D-Nasty For First Re-Relaunch Issue

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    As we eagerly await the re-relaunch of Radar magazine like everyone else, GalleyCat says that the magazine has picked up the first serial rights to blogger, banker and Times Style writer Dana Vachon‘s debut, Mergers & Acquisitions, “a thinly-disguised novel about hijinks in the investment banking world” — beating out New York and the New Yorker for the excerpt.

    Meanwhile, Radar is apparently looking for an intern.

    The street date for the magazine’s latest print issue is a tantalizing two weeks away.

    EARLIER:

  • Radar Continues Hiring Push
  • LAT in 90 Seconds

    baroncohen.jpgRock The (Academy) Vote: We knew low turnout among youth was a problem, but we had no idea young people’s apathy toward lame award shows with predictable winners was something in need of fixing. And we really couldn’t have predicted, as Scott Collins does, that somehow Sacha Baron Cohen is the man to draw the kinds of tattooed and pierced crowds that not even Jon Stewart or Chris Rock could summon.

    justin.jpgIs Justin Gay? Maybe. But it doesn’t matter. Right?

    jackcarl.jpgIn D Net: Apparently the LAT’s new commitment to latimes.com involves dumping 37 uninteresting photos of celebrities at sporting events into a Web-only photo gallery. Yawn.

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