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Archives: April 2009

Twittering The Ellies

It’s what we’ve been jawing about all week: The National Magazine Awards, or ‘Ellies,’ (or awards show where we don’t get the fondue fountain this year) are tonight, and we’ll be all aTwitter. Follow along here for the fun stuff (namely, the parts where those partaking of the still-hopefully-flowing Champagne tell us what they really think of their editors/writers/President/Web users).

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Tina Brown: “Ben Franklin Would Have Been a Passionate Blogger”

“Maybe the newspaper will live and maybe it won’t, but the question is where is the journalism going to go?”

That was one of the questions raised by founder Tina Brown today during the IFC Media Project panel at the Paley Center of Media. Also featured, Peggy Noonan, who appreciates the new media landscape. “There is a broad wasteland of banality out there, but there is more variety than there was when I was a kid and I love it,” she said.

And bridging new and old school, Brown thinks “Ben Franklin would have been a passionate blogger.”

Below, Noonan describes why reporting for “” may not get desired results, and after the jump, former Bush administration press secretary Ari Fleischer on why the Web is beginning to compete with the “front page”:

Click continued to see Fleischer’s “front page” vs. Web theory (and the rest of the panel’s response)…

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ASME Is In No Mood To Party|Time Warner Wants To Ditch AOL|MSLO Takes A Hit|A Bad Day At The NAA|The Boston Globe Talks Are Looking Good

WWD: Since the magazine industry is screwed, the American Society of Magazine Editors is scaling back the party for tonight’s National Magazine Awards

New York Times: Time Warner is nearing a decision to spin off America Online

Reuters: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reports a $16.8 million first quarter loss because of a bad deal with KMart and falling magazine revenues

FishbowlLA: The Newspaper Association of America is laying off half of their staff and folding Presstime magazine

Editor & Publisher: Boston Globe publisher P. Steven Ainsley seems optimistic about the negotiations to keep the paper alive

Layoffs Leading to Digital Future For Baltimore Sun


This week the Baltimore Sun laid off 61 newsroom staffers. The cuts represent nearly a third of the paper’s newsroom, which previously had 205 employees. Staff were notified of the layoffs Wednesday and, in some cases, on Tuesday evening. Three reporters and a photographer got the news that they were losing their jobs by phone in the press box during last night’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels. In the past few weeks, the Baltimore Sun Media Group has also made cuts at its Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland.

The Sun is owned by Tribune Co., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December. Last year, revenues and circulation were both down at the paper.

Since 2006, Ted Venetoulis, a local Baltimore businessman who owns a chain of community newspapers, has led a group of other area investors who have been seeking to buy the Sun from Tribune. Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute, who spoke with Venetoulis yesterday, said Venetoulis thinks the cuts indicate that Tribune’s desire to “continue running the operation itself rather than selling it.” Venetoulis also told Edmonds that his group was close to reaching a deal to buy the Sun from Tribune just a few weeks ago, but that negotiations were postponed due to the bankruptcy proceedings.

If Tribune does decide to hold on to the paper, there are many signs that they’re considering making it a Web-only news operation. In an article about the layoffs, Baltimore Sun Media Group spokeswoman Renee Mutchnick told Sun reporter Lorraine Mirabella that the cuts were part of a restructuring plan for the newsroom aimed at turning the paper into “a 24-hour, local news-gathering media company so we can more effectively gather content and distribute it among our different platforms: print, online and mobile.” Two weeks ago, in a seminar at Johns Hopkins University, Sun editor Monty Cook told the audience: “We have to stop being a newspaper company. Right now. We are a digital media company.” FishbowlNY reached out to Mutchnick and Cook to ask about their plans for the Sun, but as of this writing, they have not responded to our request for comment on this story.

Masters of Design to Converge in Tribeca

tricinema430.jpg Craving something creative as this year’s Tribeca Film Festival wraps? Stick around downtown, where some of the best design minds will gather Tuesday night to talk about what’s new in online design and what that means for the media industry.

Five cutting edge designers will share their secrets about creating compelling campaigns and connecting clients to customers through innovative advertising, branding, and interactive design. And they’re doing it in this harsh economic climate.

UnBeige has the details — and a sweet discount.

Miss California Organization Bought Miss USA Contestant Big Fake Boobs

In an interview with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, Shanna Moakler, the co-executive director of the Miss California Organization, confirmed that the group paid for Miss California Carrie Prejean‘s breast implants. Prejean sparked a media frenzy when she spoke out against gay marriage during the Miss USA competition a couple weeks ago. While she’s gone on to make several media appearances discussing her stance on same-sex marriage, according to Moakler, Prejean won’t even return calls to her bosses at the Miss California organization.

In her defense, she’s been busy. Prejean has formed a partnership with the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage. Today they released the following advert:

The Daily Beast Signs Up Google Vet as VP of Biz Dev

tdb04.30.09.pngTina Brown‘s The Daily Beast is getting serious about building revenue. The Internet start-up hired Brian Dick as its vice president of business development. Previously, he worked at Google and as director of business development at Lime Wire LLC.

The Beast, which didn’t want advertising at first, has recently begun developing ad deals. Dick’s hire would seem to signify that the site will ramp up its attempts to raise revenue. We wish him the best of luck.

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Mediabistro Blog-Family Roundup


  • “Lie to Me” tops Obama news conference- TVNewser

  • The Daily Beast hires Google vet as VP of business development- FishbowlNY
  • Everything you wanted to know about Wolverine but were afraid to ask- GalleyCat
  • Baltimore Sun lays off 1/3 of newsroom- MediaJobsDaily
  • YouTube partners with Webby Awards- WebNewser
  • ASME CEO Sid Holt Talks Tonight’s Ellie Awards on the Menu

    mmm_2-3.gifToday on the Morning Media Menu we’re joined by Sid Holt, CEO of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME).

    Holt’s ASME is the group behind tonight’s Ellies Awards. We talk about some of the themes of tonight’s show and nominees, the mood in this tough economic time and more. “It’s a celebration of what makes magazines unique and powerful,” said Holt of tonight’s event.

    Also discussed: declining profits at two of the big magazine publishers, embracing the news crawl during ad breaks and, of course, Portfolio folding. “The numbers are terrible,” says Holt, while looking at the Time Inc. and Meredith Corp. first quarter numbers. But: “Would you rather be running Time Inc., or would you rather be running Citibank?”

    You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321. One note: we’re live all this week an hour later than usual, at 10amET.

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