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Archives: June 2008

BlackBook Names a New Publisher|The Disappearance of Violet Blue?|Geraldo: Some Things Never Change|Epstein to Jail|The Long Hot American Summer

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Wendy McCaw(ful) is the Ted Haggard of the Newspaper Biz

We all knew Ted Haggard was schtuping dudes. He spent WAY TOO much time denouncing the practice. Wendy McCaw, is saying her free speech has been interfered with. Same creepy bait and switch.

She sent this letter to fellow newspaper owners.

Re: Unions Attempting to Take Away Your First Amendment Right to Control the Content of Your Paper

Dear Mr. (Publisher)

As owner and publisher of a small town newspaper (the Santa Barbara News-Press, circulation 35,000), I wish someone had alerted me to the tactics employed by unions as they attempt to organize newsrooms.

One of the tactics employed is to promise your employees that they will enjoy some measure of controlling the content of your paper as long as they join the union. The union promises that content control is a “term and condition of employment” and, therefore, is subject to bargaining. The union never bothers to tell the unsuspecting employees that this promise is empty or that the First Amendment guarantees that the owners/publishers are solely vested with the right to control content. I’d like to share with you what happened at the Santa Barbara News-Press so you can avoid a similar situation at your newspaper.

Read more

Mourning Tim Russert: Meet the Insecure Press?

russertinsec.pngWas insecurity behind the “excessive,” emotional, days-long Tim Russert remembrances? That’s what Howard Kurtz seems to think and not just because television is full of middle-aged white men who maybe got a sudden unwelcome taste of their own mortality. Kurtz says it actually has to do with the fact that,

Russert was a popular figure in a field whose practitioners are often mocked and derided, a credible commentator in a widely distrusted profession. Journalists of all stripes wanted to be associated with him, perhaps hoping a little of the magic dust would rub off.
Not only that, it seems that even though Russert was hugely successful producers today “are terrified of boring the audience” (apparently notwithstanding fireside chats) and basically the fear is that without Russert we’re all destined to get our news off YouTube or from cable loudmouths, which if newspapers continue their current decline doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea, though as Kurtz points out “the last thing embattled journalists should do is remain mired in the past, dreaming of the glories of Russert’s heyday.”

FBLA Ticket Giveaway: Carmina Burana

Our good friends at Allied Live would like to give one lucky FBLA reader a pair of tickets to see Carmina Burana at the Hollywood Bowl on July 8th.

The Bramwell Tovey and Los Angeles Philharmonic concert will launch the annual Tuesday/Thursday Classical concerts under the stars. The program concludes with Carl Orff‘s influential and powerful Carmina Burana, music heard so often at the movies and on TV.

Not familiar with the music? You’ll realize you know it when you press “play” and hear the piece.

To win, be the first to leave a comment to this post with the words “Carmina Burana.” Is it obvious that we’re desperate for comments on this site?


sag-rally-100.jpgDeadline Hollywood Daily has the way-inside baseball scoop of what is really going down.

Rumsfeld Stalker Strikes Again

Rumsfeldduh.jpgLA humor writer/TV news person recent DC transplant, getting to be notorious for heckling former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on the street, sent us this email:

Ran into Rumsfeld again. Said, “Hey, Killer!” No response this time. He appeared to be alone, which was odd. He’s really old.

So’s his mom.

New Study Reports Older People Don’t Read Anymore

TV watchers’ average age is now 50 – the oldest ever, according to a study by Magna Global’s Steve Sternberg.


At ABC, youngest series was “Supernanny” (with a median age of 41), while oldest was “Women’s Murder Club” (57). At CBS, youngest was “How I Met Your Mother,” “Kid Nation” and the Tuesday edition of “Big Brother,” tied at 45; oldest was “60 Minutes” (60). NBC’s youngest show was “Scrubs” (34), and oldest was “Monk” (58).

At Fox, the youngest shows were “American Dad” and “Family Guy” (29), while the oldest was “Canterbury’s Law” (55). At CW, “One Tree Hill” was youngest (26), while “Life Is Wild” was oldest (45).

Among late-night gabbers, “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” is oldest, with a median age of 54, followed by “Late Show With David Letterman” at 53. Interestingly, “Nightline” — which should conceivably be older than those talkers, is younger, at 52. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” meanwhile, passed the 18-49 threshold for the first time, clocking in with a median of 50. “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” is getting closer at 46.

Honey, I wish you would turn that TV off – go outside and enjoy your mid-life crisis.

The Late Ken Reich’s Dedication


Our thanks to TellZell for this tip.

Ken Reich was fervently working on what he called “L.A. Times Roll of Honor” for those that had been laid off. Go to Take Back the Times.

Revolving Door Quickies: Travel + Leisure Taps ME from Men’s Health, NBC Promotes Digital Chief


  • Travel + Leisure tapped Men’s Health ME Mike Fazioli. Before joining David Zinczenko‘s flagship pub, Fazioli served as editorial director of World Wrestling Entertainment.

  • NBC Universal promoted Vivi Zigler to its new president of digital entertainment. She was executive vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment and New Media. “Vivi has transitioned from a largely promotional site to a significant revenue generating business in a very short time,” Marc Graboff, co-chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, said in a release.
  • Ken Reich Dies In His Sleep

    FBLA was saddened to learn (via LA Observed) about the passing of Ken Reich. We hadn’t known the former LAT reporter well, but he was definitely one of the nicer long-time staffers at the paper while we were there. And we were fans of his blog. He’ll be missed.

    More details as the come in.

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