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Archives: April 2008

What Keeps William Langewiesche On The Ellie Shortlist?

lang_072407.jpgFor all you writers looking for a near surefire way to make the list of finalists for next year’s National Magazine Awards, here’s a tip: Try spelling your name, W-I-L-L-I-A-M L-A-N-G-E-W-I-E-S-C-H-E.

For the 10th straight year in a row, the former Atlantic scribe and current Vanity Fair international correspondent has been nominated for a coveted Ellie — this time in the Reporting category for his “City of Fear” piece on how a Brazilian prison gang took control of Sao Paulo. Those of you keeping score at home will know that William Langewiesche has been nominated a total of 11 times in the 18 years he’s been writing for the big boys. And unlike Susan Lucci (remember her 18 years of watching fellow Daytime Emmy acting nominees prance up to the podium?), Langewiesche has actually nabbed the prized honor — twice.

So how does he do it? We cozied up to some of our favorite magazine cognoscenti to get their take on the Langewiesche magic…

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And Another One Gone: WaPo Home Editor Takes Buyout

From the tip box: Belle Elving, home editor of the Washington Post, will take a buyout. In an email to FishbowlNY, she writes, “Nothing surprising. Just that the timing is right for me.”

Our brother blog, FishbowlDC, is straight up killing it covering the story, so head there for more details.

Ellie-Nominated Slate EIC Talks Hillary Deathwatch

hilldeath.jpgIf you’ve trundled over to Ellie-nominated Slate recently, you’ve noticed they launched a “Hillary Deathwatch” widget that lets readers watch Clinton hang on as her ship slowly sinks. Numbers track the percentage chance Slate thinks she has of snagging the nomination (12 percent at inception, up to 12.9 percent after yesterday’s Rev. Wright news). For extra fun, readers can embed the widget in their own Facebook page or blog.

“Hillary Clinton is as good as dead,” Slate announced when they kicked the thing off at the end of March. “The question now is not just “How dead is she?” but “When will she realize it?”"

We asked Slate’s Jacob Weisberg whether he should be toying with the presidential primary this way. Weisberg answered that the widget is just Slate‘s way of questioning the collective wisdom that says Hillary still has a really good chance of winning.

“This is not a point of view about who we want to win,” he said. “This is a point of view about how we analyze the horserace. Whatever authority says this campaign is still a horse race is actually wrong. So we’re trying to give a graphic dimension to that point of view.”

The widget, Weisberg said, simply uses the capabilities of the Web to “combine the serious point that we collectively think the Democratic primary is more over than people are acknowledging, with something that’s cheeky and makes a game out of it.”

— E.B. Boyd

We Dare You To Watch This Peggy Seltzer Video and Not Cringe At Least Once

Thanks to our sister blog GalleyCat for this. This is part of a promo? Maybe? It’s Peggy Seltzer/Margaret B. Jones when she was still playing ghetto.

“I could tell you stories where you would cry and it’ll stay with you forever.”

True dat!

Oprah Says James Frey Lied About What She Said After the Show To Confront Him About His Lying

oprah300.jpgOur thanks to Huffpo for finding this.

From VF (the she they refer to is publisher Nan Talese):

She was disgusted at the spectacle Oprah was making, appalled at her manners and at what she allegedly told Frey after the show was over: “I know it was rough, but it’s just business.” Winfrey denies ever making such a comment. “Once again, the truth is not being served here,” she says in a statement to Vanity Fair. “In 22 years of doing this show, I have never said to anyone, ‘I know it was rough, but it’s just business.’ This was beyond business. This was about the trust I share with the audience who faithfully supports the Book Club and buys the books I recommend; and based on that trust, I thought we were owed an explanation about the truth of this memoir.”

It’s kind of like when Jayson Blair got a book deal. Like they expected him to actually write it himself?

SAG and AFTRA Can’t Negotiate Deals With Each Other So New Contract With Studios Going Accordingly

It’s been two weeks with SAG and nothing. AFTRA is sitting down next week. But here’s the good news from the LAT:

Since negotiations began this month, the atmosphere has been cordial, in contrast to the rancorous negotiations between studios and writers.

We offer it’s because they’re acting.

Networks Finally Feeling the Pinch From the Writers’ Strike

Just kidding. It’s just their big May shindig isn’t as big this year.
The broadcast network upfronts aren’t going to be as extravagant as years past.

From Variety:

What’s more, most of the five major broadcast networks — still reeling from the loss of revenue due to the strike — are dramatically scaling back the number of L.A. staffers they plan to send to Gotham next month. Some talent agencies have also cut back their upfront contingents, telling some younger agents they’ll have to stay home this year.

“It’s going to be slim pickings this year,” one TV biz insider said. “Everything is being cut back.”

We smell reality show! It’s The Apprentice meets Survivor and it’s written without paying writers! Cough.

Morning Call Time: 04.30.08

mblogo043008.jpgitunes-logo043008.pngIn today’s Morning Call Time podcast, Luis Piedrahita takes IFC into Fermat’s Room, father and son memoirists David and Nic Sheff form their plan B, and Martin Campbell and Tom Cruise spy on Joel Surnow and Michael Loceff.

Click here to subscribe to‘s Morning Call Time… or check us out on iTunes!

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Brie O’Reilly or Anthony Ferrara.

Dow Jones Committee Condemns News Corp. Handling of Brauchli Resignation

Add another chapter (and headache for Rupert Murdoch) to the imbroglio surrounding former Wall Street Journal managing editor Marcus Brauchli‘s departure: A report published this afternoon on WSJ‘s own site — essentially pitting News Corp. against Dow Jones in a moral mano y mano —asserts that the “special committee established to oversee The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial integrity said its members should have been informed earlier that the newspaper’s managing editor, Marcus Brauchli, had been pressured to resign.” But the damning article alone wasn’t all…

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BBC America Invades iTunes

itunesbbc.jpgThis morning, three of BBC America’s most popular shows, Robin Hood, Torchwood and Little Britain, became available. It’s the first time programs from the network can be downloaded to own.

Beth Clearfield, vice president of digital media and business development, BBC Worldwide America, who said she “was excited at 6 a.m. this morning,” was kind enough to answer some questions about the initiative.

Because of Britain’s complex usership laws, “There were a lot of clearance obstacles, specifically around music,” she told us when we asked whether getting the programs to iTunes was easy. “We’ve been talking to Apple for over a year to make this happen.”

“We wanted to launch with the right mix and the right titles,” she continued. “Robin Hood season 1 was a big hit and season 2 is just starting.”

In the future, she hopes to get more titles in the mix. “Apple’s gone out of their way to help make this happen and we have the same ideas about what we’d like to see next,” she said. Stay tuned… for the release after the jump.

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