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Archives: May 2009

Tribune Papers’ D.C. Bureaus Shack Up|Planting Flowers Where The News Used To Be|Al Roker’s Jury Duty Twitter Faux Pas|NYT Works To Pioneer New Digital Ads|American-Statesman Loses Buyer

FishbowlDC: The LA Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun (Tribune’s Washington Bureau) might all be moving to the Scripps bureau office.

FishbowlLA: A good use for all of those empty newspaper boxes: planters for pretty flowers.

WebNewser: Al Roker Tweeted himself into a corner when he posted pictures from his trip to jury duty on his Twitter feed yesterday.

Forbes: New York Times “is leading a charge among big newspapers and magazines to create gripping digital ads that interweave marketing images with editorial content and respected journalism brands,” like those annoying ads that take over the whole homepage.

Reuters: Private equity firm ZelnickMedia Corp. is reportedly no longer interested buying Austin newspaper the American-Statesman. But current owner Cox Enterprises said it had found a buyer for two other Texas papers, The Lufkin Daily News and The Daily Sentinel in Nacogdoches.

Mediabistro Course

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Harlequin Celebrates 60 Years Of Provocative Cover Art

harlequin.jpgRomance publisher Harlequin is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an exhibition of book covers over the years, and we couldn’t help but want to celebrate with them.

Today, we stopped by the opening of “Heart of a Woman: Harlequin Cover Art 1949-2009″ at Openhouse Gallery on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, a stunning display of hundreds of classic Harlequin cover art over the years, complete with little history lessons about the art and artists and an interactive wall that puts your face on the cover.

(Fun fact learned from the exhibit: “The trend toward featuring photographs of scantily clad, contemporary men rather than painted images of historic heros suggested that women had grown increasingly interested in the objectified male body.”)

On hand to toast Harlequin’s diamond anniversary today were New York Times best selling authors Gena Showalter and Debbie Macomber, as well as Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes.

Hayes told FishbowlNY that the point of the exhibit was “to represent through our covers how women’s lives have changes since our company has been in business.”

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“Air America Is Turning Into A Multimedia Co.”: CEO

airamerica.pngAir America Media announced this week that it is launching its own in-house network sales division, which will represent all of the company’s shows and products — including radio, video and online content — directly to media agencies and buyers.

The new business structure means Air America is taking over work once done by Westwood One radio network to create direct relationships with advertising agencies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Air America Media CEO Bennett Zier told FishbowlNY. Previously, Air America dealt with some advertisers directly but let Westwood One handle relationships with agencies.

“Agencies are sophisticated in their planning and their creative approach in making strategies for their clients, which will hopefully become our clients,” Zier said. “Because Air America is a particular type of company, and a left of center company, there are certain companies that want to advertise with us, and we want to be able to facilitate that and work with them more directly.”

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Turning Empty News Boxes Into Flower Beds

A street artist named Posterchild has recently taken to turning unused newspaper boxes in Toronto into planters for flowers. He’s planted five guerrilla gardens so far, which he chronicles on his blog Blade Diary. Maybe we could start something similar in Los Angeles. We’ve certainly got the real estate.


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Author Keith Ferrazzi Talks Networking On The Menu

mmm_2-3.gifToday on the Morning Media Menu podcast Keith Ferrazzi, author of “Who’s Got Your Back,” talks networking with Steve Krakauer and Rebecca Fox.

Ferrazzi is the author of “Never Eat Alone” and his latest book, “Who’s Got Your Back” hit number one on last night. He compared networking to organizations that encourage support from those in similar situations, like Weight Watchers and Alcoholic Anonymous. “In the olden days…there were certain support structures that were built around you in your life,” he said. “The problem is that, particularly in this very displaced, very virtualized world, you don’t got any of that any more…You have to recreate the safety net and the support structure…you need to create this for yourself.”

His book talks about ways to build honest, candid relationships with a few people who can support you and hold you accountable. Ferrazzi will also be speaking about relationship building on Wednesday, June 3 at the Mediabistro Circus.

Also discussed: Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper plan, romance novels performing well and what position Ferrazzi is currently looking to hire someone for.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.

Mediabistro Blog-Family Roundup


  • “Jon & Kate + 8″ scandal helps bring life back to dying media- FishbowlNY

  • Was Mancow’s waterboarding staged?- TVNewser
  • James Patterson sets world record- GalleyCat
  • Jilted journos turn flack- MediaJobsDaily
  • Al Roker Gets Himself in Hot Twatter- WebNewser
  • The Future According To Microsoft

    The good people of Sarcastic Gamer have “improved” a Microsoft commercial. Thanks, guys.

    “Jon & Kate + 8″ Scandal Helps Bring Life Back To Dying Media

    jon & kate.png Confession: We were one of the 9.8 million viewers who tuned in to watch the season premiere of “Jon & Kate + 8″ on TLC Monday night. Although we have long found control freak Kate Gosselin and henpecked husband Jon a bit difficult to watch, the train wreck of a big family reality show has nevertheless kept us riveted for four seasons.

    This week’s viewership was up 4.4 million from last season’s finale earlier this year. The jump is undoubtedly linked to the Jon and Kate scandal that has been splashed across tabloid magazines, television shows and Web sites for the past few weeks.

    Not surprisingly, this scandal has meant big bucks for a tabloid media industry that has been searching for a golden goose since Angelina gave birth to her twins. Today, the New York Post‘s Keith Kelly jumped on the bandwagon by reporting that putting Jon and Kate on the cover of Us Weekly for the past six issues has helped the celebrity tabloid bump up newsstands sales dramatically.

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    FBLA Exclusive: Dr. Stephen Kent on Wikipedia Banning Scientologist Editors


    Dr. Stephen Kent out of the University of Alberta is the world expert on Scientology:

    He has published research on Scientology, the Children of God/The Family, fundamentalist Mormon polygamy, and other new and alternative religions operating in Canada, the United States, and around the world.

    FBLA: What are your thoughts on the news that Wikipedia has banned Scientologists from editing their page on its site?

    SK: My understanding is that the ban is not a blanket prohibition against all Scientologists, but instead bans edits coming from one IP address that goes to a particular Scientology building. People wanting to edit articles must register, which allows the Wiki editors to monitor their submissions and potentially ban them if their comments consistently prove to be disruptive.
    Scientology must continue to remove critical material about it from the Internet, so this issue will continue.

    FBLA: Why do they need to remove all critical material?

    SK: Scientologists consider critical material about the organization to be what they call ‘entheta,’ and the organization’s policy is to remove entheta from the environment. The issue for Scientologists is not accuracy but rather negativity, and the group works tirelessly on its public relations presentation. The organization has fought a losing battle to keep ‘entheta’ off of the Internet. Undoubtedly that material kills interest on the part of many who otherwise might have explored the beliefs and practices. It also has helped some members read critical information and defect.

    Interesting stuff. Who thinks Dr. Kent should dress up as Craig Newmark for Halloween?

    Grim Revenue Numbers For Papers As Publishers Meet Secretly

    newspapers.pngHot on the heels of news that newspaper executives from across the country met secretly in Chicago yesterday, the Newspaper Association of America released troubling revenue numbers for the first quarter of 2009.

    According to the NAA, total revenues for papers in the U.S. dropped 28.3 percent during the first quarter of the year, down to $6.6 billion from $9.2 billion during the same period last year. (For reference, first quarter revenue hovered in the $11 to $10 billion range for the five years prior to 2008.)

    This precipitous drop is due to a 29.7 percent decline in print ad revenues (down to $5.9 billion from $8.4 billion in Q1 of 2008) and a 13.4 percent decrease is online advertising revenue (down to $696 million from $804 million last year).

    Reportedly, executives at yesterday’s meeting discussed ways to monetize online content, but they have be careful in describing what the confab was about in order to avoid antitrust scrutiny. NAA president John F. Sturm told Nieman Journalism Lab that antitrust counsel was present at the meeting and noted that “the group discussed business topics such as protection of intellectual property rights and approaches to the Congress and Administration to address these and other issues.”

    If the revenue numbers from the first quarter of 2009 are any indication, something needs to be done to ensure that newspapers will be around in the future — and fast. Otherwise, we’ll be seeing more papers go the way of the Rocky Mountain News in the near future.

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