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Archives: May 2009

‘True’ Confession: We Talk to Ad Sales All The Time

a1a11111111.jpgWe really don’t do this often — oh, screw it: I’m not even using that blog convention of the royal ‘we’ for this one. It’s me, managing editor Rebecca Fox, speaking on behalf of my mediabistro.com editorial colleagues in a rare fit of first-person. I’m here to tell you something I hope, for the sake of the larger media world, will stop sounding shocking someday soon…

We here in mb editorial talk to our advertising team All.The.Time. We trust them, we rely upon them, we like them. Do they dictate what we do and don’t cover? No way. Do we stay abreast of what they’re working on, as it pertains to the content we work so hard to produce, day in and day out? Abso-freakin’-lutely. And that relationship makes what each of our teams is trying to accomplish run better.

They tell us about novel campaigns and initiatives they’re working on, we apprise them of new and interesting things we’re doing, and in doing so, we roundly reject the notion of ‘never the twain shall meet’ that we’re seeing so much of this week, courtesy of the still-sputtering controversy over Gawker Media’s partnership with HBO that begat ‘BloodCopy,’ the recent Gawker blog acquisition that wasn’t. Best of all, mb salespeople come to us of their own accord to ensure nothing they’re planning or have executed, sponsorship- or sales-wise, scans as even remotely questionable or corrosive to the journalistic credibility that is central to what we do.

We believe that being in constant communication with those charged with selling our content makes our business better. Not just from a sales standpoint, but more importantly: it shores up the integrity we know we can continue to proudly associate with our content. Simply put: We know they’re not messing with what we do in a way that makes us feel icky. Furthermore, we think edit folk who say they don’t interact with their sales teams are either full of it, or not doing the smartest thing with their business in this new (as in ‘novel,’ not necessarily ‘online’ — though the two obviously converge) media world in which we all now reside.

Old-line church-and-state boundaries between advertising and editorial are undergoing a transformation. Here’s why that’s not such a bad thing what’s best for the media business…

Read more

OC Reporter Lowers the Bar for Journos Far and Wide

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We just can’t stop cringing. Yeesh.

Christina Hoag at NBCLA writes:

A reporter for a small newspaper was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One shortly before President Barack Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to depart California early Thursday.

Secret Service personnel remove Brenda Lee from near Air Force One after Lee attempted to give President Obama a letter, Thursday May 28, 2009, at LAX.

Airport security officers carried the woman away by the feet and arms as she protested her removal.

She later identified herself as Brenda Lee, a writer for the Georgia Informer in Macon and said she has White House press credentials. The newspaper’s Web site says it is a monthly publication, and a Brenda Lee column is posted on it.

Lee identified herself as Roman Catholic priestess living in Anaheim.

It takes real talent to make Jeff Gannon look professional.

Previously on FBLA: Jeff Gannon Thinks Scott McClellan Has No Credibility

Mediabistro Blog-Family Roundup

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  • Huffington Post internship goes for $13,000- MediaJobsDaily

  • Pulitzers celebrate journalism in an uncertain world- FishbowlNY
  • Patti Blagojevich is a celebrity, get her on MSNBC- TVNewser
  • Daniel Pink to keynote ‘Dwell on Design’ in Los Angeles- UnBeige
  • Hulu launches app that makes computer viewing more like TV- WebNewser
  • The Trial Of Jesse James Hollywood

    Natasha Vargas-Cooper is following the murder trial of Jesse James Hollywood, whose alleged murder of San Fernando teen Nick Markowitz nine years ago was the basis for Nick Cassavetes‘ film “Alpha Dog.” Vargas-Cooper is covering the proceedings with a unique perspective:

    I grew up with Nick Markowitz. We had a three-day hand-holding affair the summer of 7th grade. He was a part of my tight circle of goofy theater kid friends who were transformed into a traumatized fraternity after his murder.

    In the summer of 2000, Nick’s older brother Ben owed a $1,200 drug debt to Hollywood. Ben and Jesse- who had played in Little League together- were now feuding.

    In a haphazard plan to exact revenge and ransom, Hollywood and his friends kidnapped Nick, who was 15. The boys took Nick to Santa Barbara, where they partied, hung out with girls. Hollywood consulted a retired attorney about the circumstances. Instead of possibly facing a life-sentence for aggravated kidnapping, it was decided that they would kill Nick and make it look as though he disappeared. Ryan Hoyt, also in debt to Hollywood, and now on death row, volunteered to fire the gun.

    This is the first article in a short series Vargas-Cooper is writing for The Awl, with the next installment coming in about 10 days time.

    Vote for WebNewser’s Steve Krakauer

    SteveinLA22.jpgOur colleague Steve Krakauer over at WebNewser and TVNewser is in the running for “I’m a Blogger… Get Me Out of Here!”

    From their site:

    I’m a Blogger… Get Me Out of Here! is a competition based on NBC and Granada USA’s “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here”. We pit bloggers against each other in a contest to see who can survive to the final round, and win a trip to live blog behind the scenes at the I’m a Celebrity set in Costa Rica!

    The sadist in us really wants to see New Jersey native, Krakauer in a Central American jungle. So vote him up here. Good times.

    Previously on FBLA: TVNewser Comes to LA

    Jill Sobule Serenades ‘Her Man’ Rupert Murdoch

    Jill Sobule sings,”You said you got a secret plan, you hired Glenn Beck and ruin the Republicans.”

    We like Sobule. She volunteers at Write Girl, which makes her totally awesome.

    Via Sobule’s Huffpo blog

    Previously on FBLA: Merry Christmas From the Family

    Dogs Make For Great Listeners

    While so called “friends” head for the hills when we whip out our screenplay, our dog patiently sits through every impromptu reading. And our pooch is not the only good listener of the canine persuasion. Neon Tommy has an adorable report on educational program Beach Animals Reading with Kids, or B.A.R.K.

    USA TODAY Cuts Ad Staff

    usatoday.pngYesterday, our colleagues at MediaJobsDaily reported exclusively that three ad sales reps in USA TODAY‘s New York office and one in Chicago lost their jobs on May 13, which a spokesperson from the newspaper confirmed.

    The layoffs come as a surprise since USA TODAY‘s parent company Gannett required staff to take furloughs during the first quarter with more on the horizon for some employees in the second quarter — along with possible salary cuts and freezes on wages and salaries.

    Hopefully, those measures will prevent future layoffs at USA TODAY, but we’ll be keeping tabs on them.

    If you have any other info, please send us an email, leave a comment or drop an anonymous tip in the box on the left.

    Awful Library Books

    Awful Library Books is a marvelous little blog by a couple of frustrated librarians. The blog features books currently on the shelves of libraries that “are so old, obsolete, awful or just plain stupid that we are horrified that people might be actually checking these items out and depending on the information.”

    A particularly inspiring find: Careers in a Library, published in 1978.

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    “Reactionary Business Guy” Gary Vaynerchuk Talks Web Promotions and More on the Menu

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    On today’s Morning Media Menu podcast, Wine Guy Gary Vaynerchuk talks about changing the world’s attitude toward wine, using new media in the pre-Twitter age.

    “I think we’re living through a shocking change in our society,” Vaynerchuck said. “The Internet as we know it is 14 years old and everyone is acting like we’re in the heydey or the golden era. This stuff has not started. We’re in a 40-inning, extra inning game and we haven’t even put our clothes on to drive to the stadium…There’s enormous opportunity.”

    Vaynerchuk, who hosts Wine Library TV and is releasing his first book “Crush It!” in October, also discussed the paid editorial content controversy stemming from the weekend’s news that Gawker was set to purchase fake vampire blog Bloodcopy.

    He’ll also be speaking at Mediabistro Circus next week.

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

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