Archives: March 2007
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Parties, panels and other notable media gatherings
WHAT: George Saunders and Jonathan Lethem at Housing Works
WHO: Saunders, Lethem and the Housing Works staff
WHERE: Housing Works
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: The last time we went to a reading at Housing Works, we spotted Johnny Knoxville and Spike Jonze discussing making Jackass 2. Plus, they probably have really good chai.
Let’s see: How a presidential candidate theoretically might handle his cabinet meetings if he’s elected 20 months from now, or a pre-Easter faux-controversy over a chocolate-ized Jesus by an inconsequential artist so contrived you could set your Swatch to it.
We hear NBC Universal’s iVillage.com will shutter its print magazines including — focus on your breathing — Lamaze Pregancy, Lamaze Parents, Lamaze Para Padres and BabySteps. The magazines, published twice annually, had been distributed free at childbirth education classes through — keep breathing, honey — Lamaze International.
Calls to NBCU/iVillage have yet to be returned.
Vanity Fair Predicts Wall Street Crashes | Shoket: ‘Tremendous Responsibility’ To Tribe | Defending Katie | Bono Knighted | Fuller Sacrifices Car
- Trump: Continues to set “shameless self-promotion bar” lower than general public thought humanly possible. [WWE]
- Seventeen: “Fun hyper great energy.” [ETP]
- Vanity Fair Ad Pages: Determine stock market crash. [Brandweek]
- Couric: Getting slammed over Edwards interview. [National Journal]
- U2 Rocker: Still not “Sir.” [BBC]
- Bonnie Fuller: Forgos ride to save staffer. [NYP]
Following a Forbes piece in which a Bear Stearns stock analyst makes a case for Time Warner selling off its publishing business and getting the requisite denials, Folio: asks its own stable of experts, including friend of FishbowlNY, Reed Phillips:
“I don’t think it’s preposterous to think that they would consider a sale … It would be very much coveted by buyers. If you look at the top 10 magazine brands, they probably have five of them. It’s just a powerhouse of brands and properties. And it’s something that could never be replicated. You have to acquire Time Inc. to get it.”
Phillips also makes the case that the recent sale of the Time4 and parenting groups actually increased the company’s street value.
It appears sex columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel has landed on her heels after being sacked by the Village Voice. The occasional mediabistro.com contributor is celebrating the release of a pair of gender-specific kinky erotica anthologies — She’s On Top and He’s On Top — with a 30-day “blog tour” beginning April 1 at Viviane’s Sex Carnival and includes — our favorite — Washingtonienne Jessica Cutler.
The full-on tour:
The East Coast regional texting championship — yes, unfortunately, that — is coming to New York next month. The thumb-warrior showdown is slated for April 21 at the Roseland Ballroom.
The contest, sponsored by LG, begins at 2:00PM. The prize: $25,000.
To register, text “imaloser” to anyone who will care.
This morning at breakfast at the ultra-swank W Hotel in Midtown (blaring “salsatronica” at in the lobby at 8:00AM = unnecessary), Dean Baquet looked an awful lot like the next executive editor of the New York Times. As he sat alongside Gary Pruitt, president and CEO of the McClatchy Co. of newspapers, the Washington bureau chief of the Times and L.A. Times ex-editor/folk-hero fielded questions from the New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta on yet another panel about the future of newspapers, Baquet looked ever-the-general, politely slamming his former employers at the Tribune Company. “There was a lack of rational thought about the future,” Baquet said. “Panic had set in. It’s impossible to lead an organization when that happens.”
While Baquet admitted that some pressure from Wall Street on newspapers to reach the youth market — what he called the “Britney Spears pressure” — is healthy, he’s “not convinced young people won’t read the newspaper as they get older.” Baquet said some of the downward spiralling state of newspapers was “self-inflicted” — pointing to the slashing of sections, like book reviews, turning readers off.
Baquet, though, had optimism for his former company’s future: “If I were a multibillionaire, I’d [buy] the Tribune Co. right now.”
Pruitt, whose McClatchy Co.’s stock is down some 30 percent this year, conceded that the timing of the company’s purchase of Knight Ridder was “awful,” but that the newspaper business is “not for the faint of heart.”
Baquet also addressed the current scandal at the L.A. Times involving the resignation of the paper’s op-editor and the killing of a section that was to be edited by film producer Brian Grazer, saying he would not have approved the guest editor because “it invites conflict.”
Baquet said the morale the L.A. Times was “in the tank”: “They’re sitting there waiting for a sale, [waiting for] some cuts rolling down the hill — throw in the angst of the newsroom in general … it’s a tumultuous time.”
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