Archives: March 2009
In another sea change involving New York television, (this one causing a pretty big wave) WNBC sportscaster Len Berman is leaving the station after 24 years.
No mention was made during or after his 6pm sportscast but the NYDaily News’ Richard Huff reports Berman sent a note to staff earlier today: “I’ve had a great run here at WNBC and will miss the talented people I’ve worked with over the years both on and off the air. I’m looking forward to the various media projects I’ll be involved with.”
Huff reports news director Vickie Burns sent an email to staff saying Berman had an “interest in pursuing different opportunities within the local sports arena. To that end, we have mutually agreed that the time is right for Len to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Berman joined WNBC in 1985.
Yesterday, Gawker reported on a “pervasive rumor” that the two main anchors at NBC’s two largest stations, WNBC and KNBC-Los Angeles, may be the next to depart.
Speaking of The New York Times, which is pretty much all we’ve been doing these past few days, have you read Mark Bowden‘s piece in the upcoming Vanity Fair on Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.? It’s a good long one — despite the fact Sulzberger refused to talk to Cuban, and refused to allow his employees to do so either — and worth the read, particularly since troubles at the Times appear to be reaching a nadir these days. Here’s a taste:
The bad news just keeps coming out the New York Times building. Following yesterday’s report that the City Section may be folded, and last week’s salary rollbacks and layoffs, comes word that the Magazine is also set to suffer some cuts. Per the New York Observer:
The New York Times Magazine is also expected to organize budget cuts, though the paper’s top editors are still in the earliest stages of figuring out how. One senior newsroom staffer said that the Magazine will likely have to cut its page count and adjust its freelance budgets in the near future. Two sources said any changes to the Magazine would not affect its publishing frequency.
Once again, how many more cuts do you think it will take before paid content at the Times becomes a reality?
We’ve gathered some of the online mumblings from former employees of the now-defunct paper. On his blog LA Photo, photojournalist Ted Soqui posted some of the lovely covers he’d done over the years, and wrote:
Worked with several amazing editors, writers, and designers there, and made some life long friends. LA City Beat will not fade in my memory.
Although I had problems with the way the place was run in the last year, it’s disappointing to see that L.A. can’t support two weekly newspapers. More than anything, the paper’s demise is a product of the soft economy and an advertising and media world that’s migrating online.
Was it the economy, or was it the incredibly stupid move by management to fire Steve Appleford as editor/head/writer/photographer? (Firing a guy who does almost everything, and replacing him with, for example, someone who had never been an editor before…surely not the best business plan). After Steve left, the paper never recovered. An expensive “relaunch” gave the paper cosmetic changes that were all reversed a few months later, and Rebecca Schoenkopf, whose strength as a writer is first-person pieces, became editor and wrote a cover story that was just a bullet-point piece of bits of advice her mom gave her. I grant you, I would rather read that than the OC Weekly’s umpteenth report on the Capistrano School District, but it’s still not cover-story material.
Donnell Alexander noted the demise of CityBeat on his website, and posted a story he was assigned to write for a future issue of the paper. It’s a piece for which he’s yet to be paid. His closing words:
I’ll miss CityBeat even though Southland Publishing – for whom I worked as New Angeles EIC, too – is the cheapest fucking publisher ever to employ this nigga. Runaway titlist. No company has come close.
The fact that the 10pm replay is more competitive now is obviously great news, but if a terrific opportunity for a new show presents itself tomorrow, management will move on it,” predicts Olbermann.
How does the host of the Young Turks, Cenk Uygur feel about this? You maybe wondering, what does it feel like being kicked out of line because the ride is closed down until further notice? (No we’re not talking about City Beat again.)
Uygur tells FBLA, “We’re just getting started. You can’t stop us, the best you can do is hope to contain us. So, Round Two of the MSNBC campaign is going to start soon. When the 10PM time slot does become available, it will be ours. We now take the role of heir apparent — the crown price of 10PM on MSNBC.
“The only thing that can prevent this is if we get an offer from another station in the meanwhile. CNN, Headline News, Comedy Central and HBO are obvious possibilities, but there are many others as well. Our audience is excited to bring this to the next level. So, this is not the end, it is the beginning. Ready or not, here we come!”
Irvine-based Entrepreneur Magazine and the Entrepreneur.com website have seen their editorial staff decimated this week. We hear from former employees that the layoffs include the executive editor, the managing editor, the online editor, an associate editor, the special projects editor, a staff writer and 2 editorial assistants. Who’s left?
The company had already suffered a number of layoffs last August, which an Entrepreneur press release described as a “reorganization of its editorial department as part of its strategy to combine the company’s print and online content development teams.” Sounds like more work, less money to us.
Walt Disney Co. and Google completed a deal yesterday that will see short-form content from ESPN and ABC distributed on YouTube. They mean it when they say short-form. We won’t be seeing full-length episodes, at least not yet. But if Google has it’s way, we will be seeing more ads. From the LAT article:
The agreement would extend the Internet reach for ESPN’s sports highlights and ABC News updates and provide another outlet for video snippets taken from the ABC broadcast network and ABC Family cable channel shows. Disney hopes the arrangement will bring its advertisers to YouTube, a site that has 100 million monthly visitors but has had difficulty making money off “user-generated content.” Disney would keep the majority of the proceeds, YouTube said.
Crain’s currently has a piece up about The Daily Beast‘s advertising plan, or apparent lack thereof. The article reports that Tina Brown and company have yet to seriously pursue any ad deals — the site has been primarily ad free since it launched — and instead appear to be counting on the deep pockets of Beast backer Barry Diller.
At a panel in January Beast general manager Caroline Marks touched on the topic saying the site was “in a stage of evolving ad and sponsorship, and that “The Beast isn’t an open ended thing — there is a realistic time frame…Barry [Diller] runs businesses we are expected to run ourselves as a business.”
During a talk in February, Brown herself addressed the matter saying the Beast wanted to “create interesting looking advertising models, and places to do it on our site, and we want it to be as strongly and stylishly designed as the rest of it.”
So where do things stand at the moment?
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