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Archives: February 2007

BREAKING: McCain Tells Letterman He’s Running

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Senator John McCain will announce his presidental campaign in April according to ABCNews.com. While taping the Late Show on CBS, McCain told David Letterman that he’ll give a formal speech to that effect in early April.

Tune in tonight.

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Lunch at Michael’s: Is Dave Zinczenko Ready For Prime Time?

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Magazine moguls kept things interesting today at 55th and Fifth. Without the usual intriguing mix of celebrities (who were, undoubtedly still recovering from Oscar overload) to observe, we spent the afternoon wondering what the editors and behind-the-scenes execs were plotting over their cobb salads. Our good friend, Men’s Health honcho Dave Zinczenko, told lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane that he’s “close” to inking a television deal with Al Roker‘s production company. The program would be a showcase for the burgeoning Men’s Health brand and might even feature the always camera-ready Dave who has been refining his telegenic talents on Today‘s couch for some time now.

Here’s the rundown on the rest of the crowd who dined & dished:

1. Nightline’s Cynthia McFadden, Ruth Friendly and an unidentified gentleman. We caught Cynthia’s broadcast the other night where she reported on the on-going Anna Nicole Smith saga. Kudos for striking just the right tone of dispassionate distaste while filling us in (we want to, but we can’t look away) on the latest details of this train wreck that won’t go away.

2. Michael Lewittes and an unidentified blonde gal.

3. Wayne Tabach.

4. Today’s Al Roker and Jim Bell.

5. Gerry Byrne and guest.

6. Liz Finkel, with we hear, her fiancé. Congrats!

Read more

Meta Intel: New York Blog Rips Gawker On Lack Of Disclosure, Fails To Note Own

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Following a pair of Gawker posts — on the Observer‘s redesign and the undulating Frank Bruni imbroglio — today’s Daily Intel points out Gawker’s failure to disclose that managing editor Choire Sicha worked for the Observer and once dated Frank Bruni.

Daily Intel itself, though, fails to point out that its editor, Jesse Oxfeld, was Gawker’s longtime co-editor.

We’ll disclose that Oxfeld was once mediabistro.com’s editor.

We’ll also disclose that we asked Oxfeld to Lunch at Michael’s recently, but he was too “slammed.”

  • Today in Seemingly Required But Apparently Not Gawker Disclosures [Daily Intel]
  • Breaking: Jim O’Shea Responds to the Frontline Piece

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    This memo was sent by LAT editor, Jim O’Shea, to his newsroom kinfolk in response to last night’s damning Frontline piece about the future of newspapers:

    Colleagues,

    Unfortuately I am not in the newsroom today. I am in New York for the L.A. Times Book Prizes. I did want to address the Frontline piece involving The Los Angeles Times, though.

    I found it to be simplistic and excessively negative about the future of the newspaper industry and the L.A. Times. The piece lacked balance and sophistication and relied on stereotypes.

    I know there was also concern about quotes from Charles Bobrinskoy at Ariel Capital. Mr. Bobrinskoy knows as much about newspapers and the needs and news appetites of the readers of The Los Angeles Times as I know about astrophysics. Everyone should keep in mind that “analysts” of the stock market are the same ones who advised people to buy stocks such as Enron. I could fill the Grand Canyon with the misinformation that people such as Bobrinskoy have spread. So I think everyone should look at his comments in that context.

    I have never heard anyone at Tribune Company advocate that The Los Angeles Times should become a paper without foreign or national bureaus. I doubt he represents anyone’s views but his own. I certainly don’t think he is right and I would never have agreed to be your editor if such a preposterous proposal were part of any deal.

    The Los Angeles Times is a great newspaper with a great staff. We face challenges, and they won’t be easy to overcome. But we will do it. We will figure out solutions to these problems and lead the industry to a bright and better future. Thanks so much for all of your hard work.

    Jim.

    SI‘s Hepatitis Swimsuit Party | Academy Pulls YouTube Clips | Gore Power | Mickey Book | Jesus Discovery Controversy | ‘Why I Hate Blacks’ Column Regretted

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    • Inconvenient Power: Gore home using too much electricity? [AP]

    • Academy: Threatens YouTube over Oscar clips. [Variety]
    • James Cameron: Finds Jesus, controversy for Discovery Channel. [E!]
    • Stars, Models: Exposed to hepatitis at Sports Illustrated party. [Reuters via Yahoo]
    • AsianWeek Editor: Regrets “Why I Hate Blacks” column. [SFChron]
    • AP: Goes cold turkey on Paris Hilton — for one week. [NYO]
    • Judith Regan’s Killed Mickey Mantle Book: Finds publisher. [NYT]

    News War: The LA Times vs. Tribune and Readers Lose

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    KCET broadcast Frontline’s series News War last night, as counter programming for American Idol, never guessing that someone could actually want to watch both. This episode, What’s Happening to the News, which examimes the struggles of the LA Times, will repeat this Friday and the website has the whole series.

    The producers interviewed all the right people for the series, and all but five of them are men.

    In this episode, Amanda Congdon is presented twice–once in her Rocketboom days, and now as the fresh new face on ABC.com. She even gets an extended section on the website–the only woman with such a segment. (Maybe she’s supposed to help David Westin get a reasonable return.) Other than a woman in the LAT’s Baghdad bureau (in a burkha!) and Lauren Rich Fine from Merrill Lynch, women aren’t talking about the news business. And judging by the credits, women aren’t working in it either, at least not on this episode. (The first two episodes were written, produced, and directed by Raney Aronson-Rath.)

    Read more

    Susan Lyne’s Internet Experiment

    Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO and president Susan Lyne told the crowd at the MPA Digital conference that people are now letting their magazine “brands” live online, when they were once wary of associating their crown jewels with a new and “raw” technology. “We’re doing our first totally blended experiment” with new mag Blueprint, she said.

    “The model of launching new magazines is broken,” she continued, with very costly bulk mailings that get maybe three percent of recipients responding. By contrast, two-thirds of people who’ve signed up for Blueprint — a bimonthly that’s been published twice so far with what we’re told is a higher ad rate than flagship Martha Stewart Living — have come in through its Web site.

    Lyne, on a panel with Dennis Publishing CEO Stephen Colvin and moderated by Larry Kramer, said the digital staff at MSO has grown from 25 to some 70 people since the start of the year, and Internet is a “big investment” that, like any of their investments, has to pay off relatively quickly.

    Media Events: 02.28.07

    media_events_logo_sm.jpgWEDNESDAY 02.28.07

    WHAT: The Entertainment Beat: Keeping It Real
    WHO: Chris Bonanos (New York), David Cote (Time Out New York), Dade Hayes (Daily Variety), Owen Gleiberman (Entertainment Weekly) and John Donohue (New Yorker)
    WHEN: 6:30PM
    WHERE: Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College, 69th Street at Lexington
    WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Find out how these guys survive the Anna-Bald Britney vortex.

    WHAT: “Gingrich vs. Cuomo in Elevated Discourse”
    WHO: Newt Gingrich, Mario Cuomo, Tim Russert
    WHEN: 6:30PM
    WHERE: Cooper Union Great Hall, 7 E 7th St
    WHY YOU SHOULD GO: It’s like your own live Meet The Press, circa 1998. Plus, it’s free.

  • Events Listings [mediabistro.com]
  • Post Your Own Event
  • LAT To Give Three Columnists the Axe

    erinaubrykaplan.jpgErin Aubry Kaplan has been dumped by the LAT and says two more Op-Ed writers will follow — though she doesn’t know which ones.

    The writer, who started in 2005, tells LA Observed:

    “I have 4 more columns to go and that’s it. Rather sudden. I’m disappointed but not very surprised, given the state of the Trib. They said they were cutting 2 others, but not sure who.”

    NBC and Posh: Summer Reality Series Makes Dream Come True

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    NBC will present Victoria Beckham in a summer 6-part reality series, produced by Simon Fuller. The series will, in the words of the release:

    give viewers an exclusive inside look at Beckham’s glamorous life as she makes the move across the pond from London to Los Angeles.

    We’re going to watch her move? Unpack boxes? Whee.

    Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment, somehow managed to say without laughing:

    The series will give viewers a glimpse into what makes Victoria so popular and admired as one of the most glamorous women in the world. She makes news wherever she goes and our audience can now become insiders in this fascinating personal view of what being Posh truly represents.

    FBLA thinks we know what Posh truly represents.
    Fuller told a British paper that the series will humanize her, if that’s at all possible.

    Beckham said:

    This show is really something different, it’s pushing the boundaries and I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people.

    We’re surprised already. Ray Richmond, on the other hand, is thrilled to tiny bits. So is TV Junkie. Kidding.

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