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Archives: November 2009

Tiger Woods Scandal Captivates The Media, And The Menu, Too

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The Tiger Woods car crash and scandal was the biggest news on today’s mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast. Hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven were shocked by the amount of coverage the event has received since the weekend, noting that CNN quoted The National Enquirer about the story, a nod to the shift of the national conversation on the subject.

“There’s a certain glee that the media has when someone who is big and perfect like Tiger Woods falls,” Jason said. “They pounce ten times harder than they would if say, Britney Spears would have had the same thing happen to her over the weekend.”

“If you’re an important or famous person today, you just can’t have an affair,” Matt said. “It just can’t happen. You’re going to get busted…Shame on Tiger, who seems like a smart guy.”

Also discussed: Jim Lehrer‘s plans to leave PBS‘s “NewsHour” and Barnes & Nobles’ Nook e-readers selling for high prices on eBay.

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

Exec Wants To Save Maxim, But Will His Plan Work?

maxim cover.jpgPage Six reports today that Andrew Fox, whose company Track Entertainment operates nightlife directory Clubplanet.com, is predicting the death lad mag Maxim, unless its publishers go quietly.

According to the gossip column, Fox has contacted Maxim‘s majority stake holder, private equity fund Cerberus, and laid out a five-point plan to save the title and is offering $40 million for the brand. “Either you sell it to me, or by March it will be gone,” Fox threatened.

If Fox is to be believed, Cerberus has shown interest in his offer but kept him at arm’s length. But will his plan actually keep Maxim alive?

Read more

AOL Creates Content, Jobs, But At What Cost?

urlesque.jpgWhile some people might still equate AOL with that ridiculously antiquated CD-Rom that came in the mail, hideous dial-up noises and the phrase “You’ve Got Mail!” from their childhood, the media company has been working to reinvent itself in the last several years as a major producer of Web content. You may not even know it, but some of your favorite Web sites are AOL-owned, such as Urlesque, Stylelist and, yes, even TMZ…along with 67 other niche sites.

The company has also been hiring teams of freelancers to produce original content for its sites at a time when most media companies are cutting back, putting them in a unique position: AOL can produce original news without having to aggregate it from other sources. (However, despite its hiring blitz, AOL is still seeking to trim about a third of its staff in order to cut its budget for the new year.)

And now it’s time, says AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong, to start raking in the cash from this production after its split from Time Warner next month, through the use of an automated system that will tell editors and advertisers which content should draw the biggest audience.

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Mark Pittman, Bloomberg Reporter Who Predicted Credit Crisis, Sued Fed, Dies

pittmanmark.jpgNo one ever said reporting on the financial markets was easy, but the job doesn’t often claim lives.

So over the long holiday weekend, members of the financial press were shocked to learn that Mark Pittman, the Bloomberg News reporter who predicted the collapse of the banking system back in 2007, had died at the age of 52. Bloomberg reported his death on Saturday, revealing that Pittman suffered from “heart-related illnesses,” although his exact cause of death is still unclear.

Pittman started to write about the credit crisis in the summer of 2007, before it became a crisis. He was part of the Bloomberg team that won a prestigious Gerald Loeb Award in 2008 for the news organization’s five-part series called “Wall Street’s Faustian Bargain,” including Pittman’s story, “Suprime Securities Market Began as ‘Group of 5′ Over Chinese.” He was also part of the team honored by the New York Press Club earlier this year for a piece called “Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose”, about the Fed’s refusal to reveal who had received $2 trillion in emergency loans.

He also pushed Bloomberg to file a federal law suit against the Federal Reserve, a case that will continue on without him.

It is clear, throughout his colleague Bob Ivry‘s obit, that Pittman was a smart, hardworking journalist who touched many people’s lives and will be missed for his work, his incredible insight into the U.S. financial system and his spirit.

Read more:

Mark Pittman, Reporter Who Foresaw Subprime Crisis, Dies At 52 –Bloomberg

Audit Interview: Mark PittmanColumbia Journalism Review

(Photo courtesy of Bloomberg News)

Everyone Still Wary Of Murdoch’s Bing Deal

bing222.jpgThe big news right before Thanksgiving turned us all into sleepy zombies was Rupert Murdoch‘s plans to take all his News Corp. and Dow Jones business off of Google’s search engines, which were stealing all his lucky charms content.

Murdoch was so angry about the inability to make money off of Google’s Web traffic in fact, that he was hitting them where it hurts: by moving over to their competitor Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing. Would any other big papers follow suit? Michael Liedtke from The Associated Press (one of the other media companies flirting with the idea of moving to Bing) says it’s unlikely: Google still provides 21 percent of traffic to news sites, with Bing providing only 2 percent.

Read more

After The Fall, The New Wave Of Media’s Future

new york.jpgIt’s a treat to return from the long holiday weekend to a stirring and heartfelt exposition of the world of media in New York today, courtesy of New York Times media columnist David Carr.

In his column today, Carr sums up the feeling among many in the media (including us) pretty succinctly:

“Pages are down, spending is down, revenues are down, and the biggest feature of this holiday season in the media kingdom has been layoffs and buyouts at Condé Nast, Time Inc., The Associated Press, and yes, The New York Times….That carnage has left behind an island of misfit toys, trains whose cabooses have square wheels and bird fish who are trying to swim in thin air. The skills that once commanded $4 for every shiny word are far less valuable at a time when the supply of both editorial and advertising content more or less doubles every year.”

But despite all this, Carr still manages to stay optimistic about the future of the industry. It’s refreshing to see a little bright spot in the midst of all the doom and gloom:

“So what do we get instead? The future, which is not a bad deal if you ignore all the collateral gore. Young men and women are still coming here to remake the world, they just won’t be stopping by the human resources department of Condé Nast to begin their ascent.”

The future of our industry, for Carr, rests on the shoulders of “bright young things” who are launching Web sites and blogs from their “tiny netbooks and iPhones.” “For them, New York is not an island sinking, but one that is rising on a fresh, ferocious wave,” Carr concludes.

Can those who have been recently laid off from old media ride the wave, too?

The Fall and Rise of MediaNew York Times

(Photo via flickr)

Wanda Sykes Takes on News


The Wanda Sykes Show’s fourth episode aired last Saturday. Above is the entire episode.

“I don’t mind getting my hands dirty reading the news. When you’re finished you should be covered in facts. Just filthy. Look I got Obama’s Afghanistan policy all over me,” says Sykes.

There is also a sketch about life after newspapers.

Make-A-Wish of Greater Los Angeles Ambassador on KTTV

FBLA is a media partner Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. We will be bringing you stories all season long about the children the organization assists.

The Make-A-Wish of Greater Los Angeles ambassador Rachael Gottes, 13 was featured on Fox 11. Beware, if you watch the video at work, you could snot yourself.

Previously on FBLA:

  • 13-Year-Old Rachael Gottes is the Make-A-Wish Ambassador This Year

  • Fox to Win November Sweeps for First Time Ever

    foxtv.jpg Due to the extended World Series, Seth MacFarlane and Glee, Fox is number one. Thanks to Jay Leno…NBC is number four.

    Reuters reports:

    Not only is the network expected to retain its lead, but Fox projects that it will close the deal by the largest November sweeps victory margin in five years.

    Fox is also up 20 percent from its November 2008 sweeps period and is the only network to post a gain. ABC is in second place with 3.1. CBS is a close third with 3.0, NBC is fourth with 2.6, and the CW has a 1.2. ABC is expected to come out on top if sports programing is excluded from the mix.

    It only took 20 years, but Fox finally did it.

    The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

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