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Archives: June 2008

LAT In 90 Seconds

40497430.jpgW. The Movie: As local screenwriter Chris Farnsworth says of the upcoming Oliver Stone film about George W. Bush, “I can’t imagine going to see a movie about that guy after living through the last 8 years. Although, covered with dirt and beat up … I can get behind that.”

37644350-08192548.jpgNinth Box-Office Hit for Pixar: With Wall-E’s whopping success – $62.5 million opening, thank you very much – we have to wonder: What would Disney do without Pixar? By the way, anyone else think the film is basically Idocracy with a better ending?

40559766-30105719.jpgLindsay Lohan Might Have an Illegitimate Half-Sister: And we’re sure Michael Lohan‘s supposed illicit love child will be just as classy as the rest of his offspring.

Jann Wenner and Conde Nast: The Titles May Change But the Song Remains the Same

Gus030507covfs1.jpgLast week there was a lot of buzz about whether Jann Wenner was considering selling Rolling Stone to Conde Nast. And while there’s been no confirmation on this either for or against Keith Kelly is reporting that Wenner may in fact be looking to sell celeb mag US Weekly to the Nasties.

Of course, no one will confirm or deny this either, though one “inside source” tells Kelly that “perfect sense for Conde Nast to buy US Weekly given it’s women, it’s celebrities and Us Weekly is respectable now.” Because clearly “respectable” is what the struggling magazine industry is gunning for these days. Anyway, the rumored price tag is $750 million. Stay tuned.

The Barack Effect: Obama Continues to Inspire Extreme Media Devotion

obamagcovers.jpgFinally a magazine shuffle that has nothing to do with drops in ad revenue. WWD is reporting that after attending a Barack Obama fund-raiser hosted by Calvin Klein, Anna Wintour, Shelby Bryan and Andre Leon Talley, Elle associate publisher Samantha Fennell has decided to jump ship and join the campaign: “I’ve been raising money for magazines for 15 years, so I figure I can do this.” Fennell is not the first media type to take their love of Obama to its extreme conclusion. Back in May former ABC News correspondent and contributing editor at the National Journal Linda Douglass also crossed the line.

As a result of Fennel’s departure Elle will move Daniel Ragone, vice president and publisher Elle Decor, to vice president/managing director at Elle and Barbara Friedmann, vice president/group marketing director for Elle and Elle Decor, will step in as vice president/acting publisher of Elle Decor. So basically the way things are going maybe all Sam Zell needs to do is throw a Obama fund-raiser in the hopes of pawning off all his excess reporters on the campaign.

USA Today Publisher Joins Bandwagon, Reorganizes

GNSlogin.jpgNewspaper reorganizations are all the rage these days, and Gannett Co., Inc — publisher of 85 daily newspapers, including USA Today — didn’t want to be left out. The company, based in McLean, Virginia, announced on Friday that its turning its five regional groups into four: East, South, Interstate and West.

Current East head Curtis Riddle, also publisher of Wilmington, Delaware’s The News Journal, will continue in his role. Carol O. Hudler, president and publisher of Fort Myers’ The News-Press, will head up the South group, while Barbara A. Henry takes control of Interstate until her retirement on August 1. Finally, Laura L. Hollingsworth, president and publisher of The Des Moines Register, becomes group president of West.

Otis Chandler Marries Dud and Solves Mystery

29khuri-190.jpgWe’ve been curious how the lukewarm LAT Magazine writer Elizabeth Khuri has kept her job through all the lay-offs.

Now we know. Khuri was dating and is now married (as of Saturday) to Otis Chandler.

From the NY Times:

The bridegroom is a grandson of the late Otis Chandler, who was the fourth generation of the Chandler family to be publisher of The Los Angeles Times; he held the position from 1960 to 1980. The bridegroom’s great-grandfather, Norman Chandler, was publisher from 1945 to 1960. The bridegroom is also a great-grandson of the late Dorothy Buffum Chandler, who helped raise money to build the Los Angeles Music Center.

Phew – that won’t keep us up at night anymore.

Bonnie Fuller: Jumping Off the End of Her Runway

full-span.jpgFinally an answer to the question we’ve been asking for weeks now: What will Bonnie Fuller do next? Well, according to the Times the woman responsible for introducing “a lot of Angelina and a ton of Paris, and…far too much of Britney” to just about every corner of our lives (for reasons we’re unclear on the Times makes this sound like a admirable thing) is currently launching her own start-up called Bonnie Fuller Media. The company will reportedly be “heavily digital and offer a variety of femme-friendly products that will include, but not be limited to, gossip, fashion and romance,” making us wonder if maybe we need to update our definition of “femme-friendly” products.

For her part Fuller says she’s ready to “plunge in to the unknown” though it’s also unclear how “gossip, fashion and romance” qualify as un-chartered waters to the former editor of Us Weekly and Star magazine. Perhaps she’s actually referring to the fact she now takes the subway, or answers her own email (at least according to Portfolio).

FBLA EXCLUSIVE: Sara Mattison is Very Attractive…to Operator Error

Saramattison.jpgWhat does the 2003 small engine plane crashing into a Fairfax area apartment and last week’s drunk driver plowing into the Improv Olympic West have in common? Writer and comedian Sara Mattison.

Mattison’s apartment was ground zero – incinerated in 2003 by a plane crashing into it. Later it was confirmed that the pilot had cocaine in his system. Mattison, a long time performer at IO West, original cast member of the hysterical Big News Show, got on with her life, only to have a drunk driver last week drive into (appropriately) the front bar of, what you could safely call her ‘second home’.

FBLA caught up with Mattison for a little sit down:

FBLA: What’s up with high people running into places you frequent?

SM: I guess I’m where the party’s at.

FBLA: Uhm, is this all the evidence you need to believe you’re cursed?

SM: That and Beth Lapides confirming it during an Uncab comedy workshop this past winter. I took it to work out (or at least ignite) some new ideas for material and by week four of revealing personally tragic stories- what I find funny- she stated with all seriousness that maybe I had a “curse” and needed to go get it removed. I decided it was probably best to remove myself from that workshop instead. The only curse I had was dropping $300 on the workshop to hear that. We all strive to be original with our material so if having a curse is my thing, then dammit I’m keeping it! I like to think it makes my material steal-proof. I mean what comedian wants to steal another comedian’s curse?

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Tales of the Tribune Co.: Gremillion Steps In

26- Chicago Tribune- Gem Idea article.jpgIn a move that came sooner than expected Bob Gremillion, a longtime Tribune Co. executive, has been named interim publisher of the Chicago Tribune effective Monday. This comes in the wake of Scott Smith announcing earlier this month that he was stepping down after thirty years at the paper, though at the time he signaled that he would stay on until a replacement could be found.

Gremillion, who says he no intention of staying in the position permanently, currently oversees “six smaller dailies,” which are apparently “intended to be the laboratories for radical journalistic and operational change at the debt-ridden company.” Radical change being the dose of “reality” currently being inflicted by Sam Zell on Tribune companies in the form of reduced employees and pages.

Vivi Zigler Promoted to President of NBC Universal Digital Entertainment

5649.gifVivi Zigler, the woman who brought you (the marketing for) Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Celebrity Poker, has been promoted yet again within NBC Universal, where she has worked for more than 10 years.

Congratulations, Vivi!

Press release:

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LAT to ‘Sick Out’ on July 9th?

InkStainedRetch at TellZell thinks a protest is a good idea.

“It’s clear that Sam Zell wants a world without journalists. So, for a day, let’s give him his wish. On July 9, I encourage all Tribune employees to call in sick to protest his destruction of our newspapers. If any reporter, photographer or other journalist cannot do that, then use the July 10 edition for a byline, cutline or masthead strike.

I refuse to let serious journalism die without a fight.”

tellzellstrike.jpg
We don’t want to hear the LAT death rattle. We’ll take the war cries over that.

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