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Archives: August 2007

Happy Birthday, William Shawn


William Shawn, who edited The New Yorker from 1952 until 1987, would have been one hundred years old today. According to Lawrence Weschler, the agoraphobic University of Michigan dropout and legendary editor was the most curious man in the world. Weschler also notes that Shawn worried about the effect of television on The New Yorker audience and whether or not the then new medium might destroy people’s attention span. From January Magazine:

”There is no question that the nostalgia surrounding Shawn’s tenure has taken on a fair amount of selective memory. There were, during his days, some pretty boring issues. There’s also no question that the high points were more elevated when ‘Mr. Shawn’ (as he was known) was in charge.

”A notoriously shy man, William Shawn would probably disapprove of any fuss made of his birthday, including this posting. I willingly risk his disapproval by highlighting him here today.”


(image via vedmehta)

TV Show Accurately Fictionalizes UES Private Schools

gossipgirls083107.jpgAh, to be young again. Today’s NY Sun runs an article about the new show Gossip Girls, a fictitious depiction of life at an all-girls private high school on the Upper East Side. Created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the masterminds behind The O.C., it’s loosely based on the books of the same name.

The pilot episode depicts girls in short skirts, drinking at bars and doping in Central Park — typical high school stuff. It’s drawn the ire of parents and administrators (kids from some UES schools were reportedly banned from speaking with Schwartz and Savage), but students think the portrayal rings true. According to The Sun, “‘There are parallels,’” a 2007 graduate of the Spence School, Mina Beveney, said after watching the pilot.”

We’re not surprised. It’s only a matter of time before the kids are playing beer pong with the I-banking set at Brother Jimmy’s, assuming, of course, they weren’t already.

LAT In 90 Seconds

32203030.jpgNext Time You Overspend at Costco: Just remember: it could be worse.

19939321.jpgSpeaking of over-spending: Apple will announce a souped-up iPod and a deal to let iPhone users buy ring tones through the iTunes store at an event next week.

32222094.jpgNo Good Television: The anti-TMZ TV?

Russia’s WaPo Ad Supplement: Oopsie


Jack Shafer, man, we love you. We’ve always regarded those foreign investment advertising supplements that show up in the NY Times and Washington Posts as quirky little curiosities: Learn about the hidden tourist hotspots of Qatar! Discover Uzbekistan for your company – our authoritarianism means you save money!

But Shafer, you actually went to the trouble of reading Russia’s ad supplement in the Washington Post.

Highlights after the jump.

Read more

Bauer Raising Prices

0831intouch.jpgBauer’s ditching their business plan of selling mags cheaply at newsstands /supermarkets / convenience stores / etc. Yes, the days of $1.99 issues of In Touch are over. Here are the specifics, courtesy of Mediaweek:

In Touch and Life & Style weeklies, which sell more than 2 million copies on the newsstand at a price of $1.99, will go up to $2.99. On the women’s service front, First for Women will go to $2.49 from $1.99; and Woman’s World to $1.79 from $1.49. Teen titles J-14 and M will go to $3.99 from $2.99. Soaps in Depth will go to $3.99 from $3.50. The increases will take effect at the end of October and early November.

The move follows pressure from Bauer’s wholesalers, who lose money on mags that cost less than $1.99 apiece. Besides the price hike, Bauer is also trying to curry goodwill with wholesalers by offering them greater mag discounts. Boring news, but it will have ramifications once their next circ figures come out. We’ll be watching.

Dow Jones’ New Online Venture

Hey, it looks like Rupert Murdoch isn’t the only corporate titan Dow Jones is in bed with. DJ is teaming up with Barry Diller‘s IAC to create a personal finance site for twentysomethings. Helmed by former Wall Street Journal columnist Ron Lieber, the site is called “FiLife” and is skedded for a December launch. A blog written by the site’s staff is currently up, and it’s distinctly underwhelming. As for the name FiLife:

Lieber writes that the name of the site is indeed FiLife, which is pronounced FIGH-life. “It’s a semi-mashup of Financial Life and High Life,” he said.

Other staff members include Sam Grobart, Tara Siegel Bernard, Irina Aleksander and Mary Pilon.

Burning Man’s Burning Man Spills


ValleyWag has an exclusive interview with the Burning Man early bird arsonist but no one seems very interested. Paul Addis, the terror of tent town, turns a nice phrase:

Burning Man had degenerated into a postindustrial disco.

Wired also has an “exclusive” Q & A,which is pretty much the same stuff.

Scott Beale has all the background, in case you’re thinking of pitching a feature about this.

(photo from Laughing Squid)

A to Z of Animation: Image Movers Digital


Via Hank Grebe, news from the world of animation:

The Zemeckis Studio, aka ImageMoversDigital, is setting up shop in San Rafael. There’s a blog, where artists post their variations on a theme. The image above is from the Hot Rod series.

There’s a little chit-chat about Sony closing the LA studio, but that’s crazy talk. Right?

Farm Subsidies for City Folk: Spread that Manure Around


Amy Alkon and her readers discover that farm subsidies aren’t just for hayseeds who live in Buttsects, Ohio.

Green acres is the place for me.

Farm livin’ is the life for me.

Land spreadin’ out so far and wide

Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside

Actually, Green Acres is where ever you want it to be. And rest assured, no matter where you live, po’ folks are far, far away.

Morning Call Time: 08.31.07

In today’s Morning Call Time, Rob Zombie takes on Halloween’s Michael Myers, Stuart Beattie hooks up with GI Joe and Snake Eyes, and Jeffrey Nordling helps Jack Bauer move to Washington for another crazy day of 24.