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Archives: April 2007

Will Leitch Doesn’t Live In His Parents’ Basement, Doesn’t Own Pajamas

sportspanel4.jpgWill Leitch, the brains behind the Gawker Media blog Deadspin, is not your typical live-at-home, stay-in-your-pjs blogger, as the audience at’s “Get In The Game: Breaking into Sports Journalism” panel, learned. He also doesn’t consider himself a “sports journalist,” but “people insist on calling me one,” he said.

The panel, which, in addition to Leitch, featured ESPN The Magazine‘s Allison Overholt, Robbyn Footlick, and Seth Wickersham, the WSJ‘s Sam Walker, and freelance writer Steve Friedman, concluded that today’s sports journalists miss topics that interest true fans. “The most emailed list is the greatest invention in the history of newspapers,” Walker said, because it allows him to see which stories resonated with his audience.

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VV Snags Newsday‘s ‘Award-Winning’ Reporter

The Voice scored a coup by poaching investigative reporter Graham Rayman from Newsday. He’ll start at 36 Cooper Square on May 14.

From: Ortega, Tony
To: Editorial
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 11:42 AM
Subject: Announcement from TonyO


I am extremely pleased to announce that award-winning investigative reporter Graham Rayman will join the Voice as a staff writer on May 14.

For the last eleven years, Graham has been a reporter and editor at Newsday covering New York City’s courts, politicians, crimes, and disasters. A talented and respected city reporter, Graham also has foreign chops, reporting from Iraq as Newsday’s war correspondent there.

The winner of three New York State Asssociated Press Awards for his 2004 work on the Staten Island Ferry crash and the Republican Convention, Graham has also won awards from the New York Press Club, ASNE, and the New York Newspaper Association for, among others, his coverage of JFK Jr.’s plane crash and a series on the human trafficking industry.

Graham was a member of Newsday’s 1997 and 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist teams for coverage of Flight 800 and the New York blackout. He was born in Ankara, Turkey and has lived in Nigeria, Honduras and England.

Needless to say, Graham will be a tremendous asset to the Voice’s long-standing investigative news tradition. Many of you already know Graham or his work; please join me in welcoming him in person on May 14.


Tony O.

Woodruff To Cuba | Imus’ Producer Defends Himself | Bye Bye Socialite Rank | Gawker Media Avoids Lawsuit


  • Wounded ABC Anchor: Headed to Cuba for reporting assignment. [USA Today]

  • Bernard McGuirk Tells: Hannity and Colmes his side of the Imus story. [Jossip]
  • Tinsley Mortimer’s Fave Site: Closing shop. [NYP]
  • Judge Throws Out Suit: Against Kotaku. [ETP]

Security Breach

womansleuth.jpgThe lead to this story about Mike Penner/Christine Daniels in the LAT today says less about a woman in transition than it does about how to sneak into the LAT:

The security guard in the lobby of the Los Angeles Times couldn’t help but ask the question. When he looked at the computer in front of him earlier this week, he saw the picture of a strapping blond man. The screen identified the employee: “Michael Penner, Editorial.”

But the person flashing the ID was a tall woman, with long, strawberry blond hair. “Ma’am, whose card are you using?” the guard asked. The subject moved closer to answer quietly: “I’m Mike Penner and I’m a transitioning transsexual.”

With that, security waved Penner into the newspaper where he has worked for 23 years, one of many hurdles the veteran sportswriter will be crossing in the coming weeks as he transforms into Christine Daniels.

Keep that line in your back pocket if you ever need to break in anywhere.

Earlier: Christine Daniels Gives Interview/Was Mike Penner

Little Merman Thomas J. Kelly–Can He Help Rosie?


Thomas J. Kelly, the warm-up comic for The View has a new site. At Little Merman, he’s the first male mermaid at the Weeki Wachee Springs underwater mermaid show.

Maybe he can get Rosie a gig there, too.

Video: Sassy Book Party @ Lolita

Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer, authors of the Sassy magazine love letter, How Sassy Changed My Life, hosted a book party at Nolita’s unassuming Lolita bar Wednesday. We dispatched videographer/producer Kelly Loudenberg to shoot it. Watch as Gawker’s Emily Gould compares Sassy to Spy using the “old white men” metaphor, Atoosa Rubenstein tries to scare up an “Alpha Kitty” and a literary scout recalls Sassy‘s thorough masturbation coverage. Enjoy!

Christine Daniels Gives Interview /Was Mike Penner


Pre-op transsexual Mike Penner’s column in the LA Times got some 500,000 hits and over a thousand comments. James Rainey follows up with an interview–the first for Christine Daniels.

The LAT also plans to give Daniels space to write about her transformation under the tentative heading Woman in Progress. Every other woman on the staff just felt her heart sink.

(Does Daniels inherit Penner’s seniority, or is she a new hire? Just asking.)

Christina Kahrl, at Baseball Prospectus, writes about her own transition.

OutSports writes about Penner’s journey.

Gawker posits that Joel Stein is next, but that’s just silly. Al Martinez is next.


Mike Penner Writes About Upcoming Sex Change Operation

LAT in 90 Seconds

irebald.jpgThoughtless Little Pig: Why is this still a story?

bulletinebrd.jpgThe Medium Is The Message (Board): We don’t like newspaper message boards. But for a story as deeply personal – and potentially explosive as the sex-change operation of an LAT sports writer, it seems especially gratitious to open an online “community conversation.”

sandrastalker.jpgSandra Bullock’s Stalker Held: First Alec, then this. Damn it was a slow news day.

Game Over: Larry Shapiro Leaves CAA, Ken Kutaragi Leaves Sony


Among the shape-shifters leaving CAA is Larry Shapiro, as reported by Nikki Finke.

Shapiro was the head of the video game unit. Seamus Blackley is still there, along with Ophir Lupu. The team brought Doom to the multiplex, but the Halo movie stalled.

Back in the day, actors actually thought they would have some influence on characters and plotlines. SAG couldn’t even get them residuals, much less script approval.

Far bigger news in the game world is the retirement of Sony CEO current director, chairman, CEO, and “father of the PlayStation” Ken Kutaragi.

Primedia’s Price Tag: $1 Billion?

truckin_primedia_0407.jpgPrimedia, the once-powerful niche magazine publisher on Fifth Avenue, may still command a hefty price tag for its enthusiast unit‘s 70-plus magazines — with names like Hot Rod Bike-Works, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords and Practical Horseman — but Folio: reports the bidders, reportedly including Bono‘s Elevation Partners, are beginning to drop below the magical billion-dollar mark:

A source with knowledge of the process said that while the requirement for getting into the second round was a bid of over a billion dollars, prospective offers are now dropping below that mark as bidders review the specifics of the business.

The sale may not garner as much industry ink as Time Inc.’s shedding of 18 titles, but it could quietly become the year’s biggest media sell-off this side of Winter Park, Florida.