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Archives: October 2007

Tyra Banks Seals Deal with Warners, UnDead


Tyra Banks is expanding her brand. If that doesn’t send you screaming from the room, you must be a network exec. or a zombie. (See above.)

She’s got a deal with Warners Television to develop scripted television (as ANTM isn’t written, remember?) and more reality ventures with Warner Horizon. She will also move into film, working on direct-to-DVD projects for Warner Premiere including adaptations of the Clique series of teen novels which will be produced with Alloy Entertainment.

Just to make sure that she won’t die penniless, Tyra also has a series development pact with The CW, which is half-owned by Warner Bros. which includes both scripted and non-scripted projects. Laura Armstrong is joining Bankable as VP/Development and Production and Bradford Sisk moves up to to VP/Production.

FBLA wants to like Tyra, but face it, she’s in need of a good long rest. Her treatment of Ebony on ANTM was dreadful.

Regina Schrambling’s Lukewarm Mess: Food Blogging Made Boring

Regina Schrambling, the LA Times Food section’s favorite freelancer, turns in another not-about-LA piece. Today’s treat is how to be a food blogger, with no coding or cooking experience required. You don’t need a sense of humor or story, either, judging by the results.

Schrambling’s own blog can be furious and funny, but the SoCal suburbanites must not deserve her real writing. Maybe her LAT editors have never read any of her other work, and this is her best stuff.

While her story isn’t as trite as it might be, it’s pointless–she learns how to download photos, sort of.

The Food section used to be one of the gems of the paper, and editor Leslie Brenner seems determined to erase all memories of past glories–maybe she’s figuring if she can’t duplicate the successes of former editors, at least she can put her own stamp on on the flabby, nearly lifeless form.

And we’re not alone in our dismay at Schrambling–The Knife agrees.

LAT In 90 Seconds

Want Fries With Your Funny? Reporter Robert Welkos surfs YouTube and finds this gem — laugh while you still can.

33561147.jpgRobert Goulet died: From the obit: “The strikingly handsome singer with the rich baritone who soared to stardom on the Broadway stage in 1960 playing Lancelot in the original production of the hit musical Camelot, died Tuesday morning. He was 73.”

33562528.jpgAll Together Now: This weird little page packages together a bunch of loosely related Halloween stories. We could see how this would work for, say, fire coverage. But Halloween? Nice trick, but it’s no treat.

AMC 2007: ‘Don’t Put Content on Lockdown’ Google Exec Urges Mag Eds

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Even the most highly branded magazines, like Forbes and TV Guide see their online traffic dwarfed by that of “media interlopers” like Yahoo! and MySpace, Eileen Naughton, Google’s director of media platforms, said today at AMC.

“Search is a proxy for a brand’s vitality,” Google media platforms director Eileen Naughton asserted to a roomful of magazine executives at AMC today in Boca Raton. “Search is a core consumer behavior that defines our times; it’s an activity at the essence of what it is to be human,” she said in her keynote talk entitled “Insights From Google,” urging the content providers in the room to make their material as accessible as possible to users so magazines might benefit from the kind of online popularity driving tens of thousands of users to younger brands such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo!. “Newer entrants to the media landscape are quite disruptive to the media status quo,” Naughton said. But why?

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Guardian America Inks Deal With

Following on the heels of the New York Times signing a content-sharing agreement with, Bob Rosencrans and company are on a roll.

Their newest content partner? The Guardian and Guardian America.

AMC 2007: ‘Privacy is an Old Man’s Concern’ LinkedIn Prez Says

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From left: Josh Quittner, Fortune‘s EIC, and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman talk social networking.

“What does a social network have to do with a magazine?” If this morning’s AMC conversation between Fortune executive editor Josh Quittner and Reid Hoffman, chairman and president, products, LinkedIn, could be boiled down into one question on the minds of the hundreds of magazine executives in attendance, that’d be it. In response to this and other questions from Quittner aimed at getting Hoffman to break down what Quittner deemed “the hottest new thing around.” But magazines need to look beyond their own capabilities and brands to draw some of that heat, Hoffman suggested. “People tend to juxtapose user-generated content against editorial content,” he said, an approach that is “partially mistaken.”

“The natural inclination for people who are producing content is [to say] ‘I should have my own social network. That doesn’t actually work,” Hoffman said, urging the magazine industry to look to established social networking players like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to form relationships that would help magazines take advantage of social networking more speedily — as Quittner suggested, “finding the social network that exists out there where you think your [magazine's] readers might be.” In referencing those and other hot online startups, Hoffman disclosed his investor status for some, prompting Quittner to joke, “You’re an investor in everything.” “Everything good,” Hoffman shot back tartly. He also pointed out why age means everything, when it comes to users in fear of who’s got access to their information.

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Tom Ford Opening Las Vegas Store


Everyone’s favorite fashion designer/occasional Vanity Fair presence, Tom Ford, is opening a boutique in Las Vegas. The designer has already had a New York store for several months and other locations are planned for London, Milan, Tokyo and Los Angeles. Tom Ford LV will be located in the massive new CityCenter complex; no opening date has been announced as of yet.

Meckler: Now Who’s Going to Beat Murdoch?

Alan Meckler — whose Jupiter Media merged with Mediabistro, the parent company of this blog — gives his thoughts on That Folk Hero of silicon Valley. From our colleague Chris Ariens of TVNewser, who is presently liveblogging at The Future of Business Media Conference:

”Alan Meckler … said the Dow Jones deal could have been done a year ago. Last year, on his blog, Meckler wrote that Yahoo! should have taken the leap and made an offer for Dow Jones. ‘Now,’ Meckler says ‘who’s going to beat Rupert Murdoch with his assets: print, online, TV.”

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WSJ Publisher: MarketWatch Has Taught Dow Jones A Lot About Multimedia


Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz was at ther Future of Business Media Conference this afternoon. He spoke briefly about MarketWatch, which was acquired by Dow Jones in 2004 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary. From Paidcontent:

”’It’s hard to imagine what the information world was like in 1997, when MarketWatch was started.’ ‘Ten years later, the information that’s available at Markewatch, the tools available at MarketWatch, are superior to what professionals had 10 years ago.’ The site has taught a lot to the rest of Dow Jones about multimedia.”

For more Future of Business Media coverage, see TVNewser

(image via clipart)

Dan Rather Mentors Students, Flies Coach


Dan Rather‘s current gig at HDNet must not be paying that well. A student journalist at the University of Texas sat next to Rather on an early morning flight on discount airline JetBlue from Austin to New York. Of course, the student, Caroline Page, wrote about it:

It was 6:45 a.m. and I was boarding the early morning Jet Blue flight from Austin to New York City. My blurry and emotionally drained state had obviously fogged my perception because when I said “excuse me” to the gentleman sitting in the aisle seat of my row and scooted past him, I did not recognize he was Dan Rather. After I gathered my bearings and settled into my window seat, I realized out of the corner of my eye that Dan Rather, remarkably one of the most visible and well-known journalists of the 20th century, was sitting directly next to me reading The New York Times.

Regardless of the fact that it seems like Rather’s preferred mode of transportation these days is to fly coach on low-fare airlines, it’s a real charmer of a college newspaper piece. He even made her a journalism reading list. Awwww.