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Archives: September 2009

Gay Talese: There’s No Link Between Alcohol And Creativity But Journos Sure Used To Drink A Lot

We could listen to Gay Talese talk all day about the boozy good old days at The New York Times, when tobacco smoke clouded the City Room and drunk reporters passed out on their typewriters before they could meet their deadlines.

In the clip above, Talese is asked whether there is a connection between alcohol and creativity. No, he says, before going on to compare his former work environment to the 1960′s advertising world of AMC‘s “Mad Men,” which regularly depicts ad professionals swilling whiskey in their offices until they pee their pants or run over feet with lawnmowers.

“The drinking that went on in journalism went way beyond that,” Talese said. “It’s a wonder the paper could even get out. There were enough sober people at least for every issue to get a paper out, but another half of the staff was out of it.”

After the jump, a longer interview with Talese featured on

Read more

Speedy Publishing On The Menu


Today’s media- Morning Media Menu podcast focused on the biggest news in publishing today: Sarah Palin‘s upcoming memoir and Tina Brown‘s new book imprint.

Hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven discussed former Vice Presidential candidate Palin’s upcoming book Going Rouge, whose publication date was just moved up to November.

They also talked about Brown’s announcement about her joint venture with Perseus Books, Beast Books, which will give writers for her online publication The Daily Beast one to three months to churn out books that will first be put into an e-book format and then published in hard copy. What will this fast turn around mean for the publishing industry? Jason admitted that sometimes the industry’s vast infrastructure can quickly turn around books in the face of an important news event, like Michael Jackson‘s death, but Brown’s format is bound to cause a dust up among traditional publishing companies.

Also discussed: New “Saturday Night Live” actress Jenny Slate‘s f-bomb screw up.

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

Star-Ledger Editor Set To Retire

star-ledger logo.jpgIt’s been a challenging year The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest circulation daily paper.

One year ago, the paper, owned by the Newhouse family’s Advance Publications, shed more than 200 staffers through buyouts in order to keep the publication afloat. Yesterday, Jim Willse, the editor who has led the Star-Ledger for the last 15 years, announced he will retire next month. Managing Editor Kevin Whitmer will be succeeding him, Willse said.

In addition the buyouts last year, the Star-Ledger also implemented pay cuts and decreased payments for health care benefits just a few months ago.

While the paper has been dealing with these set backs, its former employees have been cooking up some competition for the Star-Ledger. In April, a group of employees who had taken buyouts last year launched a local news Web site,

Star-Ledger Editor Jim Willse announces retirement, names successorThe Star-Ledger

Mediabistro Cocktail Party in LA This Thursday

mixeddrinks.jpg Mark your calenders!

What: Drinks and conversation

Who: Media professionals

Why: To bring about greater community among media professionals, and because it’s fun!

When: Thursday, October 1, 7:00 – 9:00pm

The Crocker Club
453 South Spring Street
between 4 and 5 Streets
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Food/Drink: Cash bar

Hosted by: freelance writer Beth Howard, freelance writer Debra Eckerling (Write On! Online) and CBS Interactive editor Michelle Thatcher, featuring special guest author Stefanie Flaxman

RSVP here.

FBLA’s Top 5 Stories Yesterday

AP Stylebook App for iPhone


From their release:

The Associated Press announced that a 2009 AP Stylebook app is now available on the App Store. The app lets writers and editors easily take the Stylebook with them on their iPhone or iPod touch wherever they go.

“AP Stylebook fans have been asking for a mobile application so they can have style guidance wherever they go,” said Colleen Newvine, who manages the AP Stylebook product group. “Journalists never know when they will need to run out the door to chase a story, so as long as they have an iPhone in their pockets when they go, the Stylebook can go with them.”

Okay, that is totally awesome. Now if you have a job where they would pay for it – even better.

Via Romenesko

Previously on FBLA:

  • AP Stylebook on Twitter?!

  • Craigslist: ‘Reporter’ Needed for Star Trek Game Show

    Nine hours? Fifty-five dollars cash? Reporter? Star Trek?! Huh?

    From the always wishful Craiglist:

    Reporter needed on Set Tomorrow! (Glendale)

    Date: 2009-09-28, 10:54AM PDT

    Reply to:

    Entertainment website needs a reporter to cover a story tomorrow on the set of a game show.

    If you are a fan of “Star Trek”, you’ll love this one!

    Please submit your availablity (sic) and contact info. You are allowed up to 3 guests who
    will also receive cash payment.

    This job requires you to be on-set from 12noon- 9pm

    Pays $55 cash, plus $5 per blog post.

    * Location: Glendale
    * it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
    * Compensation: $60

    If anyone took this gig – please email us!

    The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

    WaPo‘s Social Media Rules Confuse Facebook Friends With Real Friends|The AP App|Condé Cuts Are Unlike Other Cuts|Anonymous Sources

    Watch CBS News Videos Online

    BayNewser: The Washington Post‘s new social media guidelines: Facebook friends and Twitter followers are seen as real friendships, and possible threats to impartiality.

    WebNewser: The Associated Press has introduced an iPhone app for its 2009 AP Stylebook.

    New York Times: Cost-cutting is different at Condé Nast than at other media companies. Though publishers and editors at the company have been asked to trim their titles’ budgets by about 25 percent, the company is still allowing certain GQ staffers to expense up to $1000 for a trip from New York to Washington for a party next month.

    Washington Post: Howard Kurtz examines the use of unnamed sources in three recent stories and the possible repercussions that could result from relying too heavily on them.

    Video: Katie Couric talks to Barry Diller about paid content.

    Time Warner May Sell Off Magazines Eventually, Or Not

    time warner logo.jpg Time Warner is completing its spin-off of AOL later this year, a deal that has led many to speculate that the media company might jettison its Time Inc. magazine division, from which its prestigious media name is derived.

    Adding to the speculation, last week Gordon Crawford, the managing director of Time Warner’s largest shareholder, The Capital Group, stated that plan as fact during a discussion at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication.

    “Time Warner just spun off their cable division, they are going to sell their print division, they are going to spin off AOL and they’re just going to be Warner Brothers, HBO and the Turner Networks,” Crawford said, according to a Reuters report.

    But media columnist Peter Kafka over at All Things Digital says the scenario described by Crawford is far from a done deal:

    “The body language from Time Warner executives in recent months makes me think they intend to keep at least part of their magazine business in the family. More than body language, actually: ‘Time Warner without People? I can’t imagine it,’ one well-placed Time Warner official told me recently.”

    Yes, Time Inc. has faced tough times in the past year — even laying off 600 employees last year. But all magazines have experienced the same challenges. Although it’s possible that Time Inc. is looking to dump some of its 23 titles, the company most likely wants to hold on to its flagship magazines, Kafka asserted. Time Warner might also look to dump its IPC Media unit, based in the U.K. “But I’d be surprised if he got rid of Time Inc. and its iconic brands altogether,” Kafka concluded.

    And don’t forget: Time Inc. showed its commitment to its brands by recently investing in a bureau in Detroit to closely monitor the city for the next year.

    Time Warner Dumping Its Magazines? Not So Fast. –All Things Digital

    Earlier: Time Warner, MSLO Release Earnings Numbers