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Archives: June 2010

Of Apples And Trees | Hulu? You Do? | Awk & Apt

godidontcareaboutcelebparents_6.30.10.jpgFishbowlLA: Kathie Griffin and her mom are getting drunk and saying “gay” and “vagina” a lot in front of a crowd in Los Angeles.

MobileContentToday: Here’s a demo of how Hulu Plus works on the iPad and iPhone. What a fun way to watch obscure Lifetime made-for-TV movies.

Twitter: I have yet to read a Tweet that seemed as uncomfortably relatable. I tip my French bulldog’s tiny hat to you, Dana Vachon.

Design Blahg: To this list of must-have accessories for annoying subway riders, I would add “evidently massive testicles that prevent gentlemen from sitting with their legs together so that some smallish young lady could perhaps sit without being squished against the wall.”

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Peggy Siegal, Pamela Fiori & the Winner of Lunch with Laurel

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— DIANE CLEHANE

While the regulars in the dining room at Michael’s chatted about their plans for the upcoming holiday weekend, it seemed only fitting that my lunch today was with Laurie Haspel Aronson, president of Haspel, the quintessential American company responsible for the creation of the classic seersucker suit. Laurie tells me it was the brainchild of her great grandfather, Joseph Haspel, who wanted to turn the fabric once favored by laborers for its cool comfort into a natty summertime staple of bankers and businessman everywhere.

Haspel, which was founded back in 1909, has dressed some pretty iconic fellows including Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Jimmy Smits, who wore Haspel during his stint on The West Wing, will be sporting seersucker this weekend when he hosts PBS’ July 4th special and on his upcoming series Outlaw that premieres this fall.

Laurie explains how the venerable label remains a current fashion favorite (Russell Brand is a fan) but hasn’t alienated its old school clientele this way: “The great thing about it is it can be worn by everyone and looks good on everybody. It takes on the personality of the wearer.” Indeed.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Former Chanel president Arie Kopelman and his wife Coco with Pamela Fiori (in Chanel) and a distinguished looking gent we didn’t recognize.

2. A very blonde Peggy Siegal and a handsome young fellow.

3. Scribe Phoebe Eaton, looking very glam

4. Abernathy & MacGregor’s Jim Abernathy

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The New York Times Shutters The Local: New Jersey

Despite the Garden State’s meteoric rise in pop culture currency, The New York Times has folded its hyperlocal New Jersey site. Like the paper’s locally-focused project in Brooklyn, the site was called “The Local.”

After running for a little over a year, The Local published the following:

More than a year and a half ago The New York Times set out on an experiment in hyperlocal and collaborative journalism. We devoted two full-time reporters to the effort, as well as an editor and a number of support and advisory staff journalists. And we picked two fascinating and vibrant communities to launch our little enterprise.

From the beginning, we described this as a pilot, a test, an experiment, because we knew that our path in community journalism couldn’t be paved with sites staffed by full-time New York Times journalists. Nevertheless we were committed to pursuing the journalistic lessons to be found in web-based community coverage, and made this an editorial priority.

The site will be taken over by another New Jersey-based site, Baristanet. And they could not be more pleased:

We’re thrilled that the Times has passed their hyperlocal baton to us and we will run with it. First and foremost, we are your local homegrown online community. And to that end, we are bringing these new towns into an expanded “Baristaville” by staying local. Journalist and Maplewood resident Jolie Solomon joins the Baristanet team along with community contributors from Maplewood, South Orange and Millburn.

Whatever. I blame Snookie.

Playboy Sues Drake

drake_6.30.10.jpgThere is much strange possibly-a-musician versus magazine drama idly circling the crusty pop culture drain today. Earlier, it was Wavves gently propositioning the New York Observer, and now it’s what’s left of Playboy magazine suing Drake.

Playboy Enterprises has filed a suit against Drake (n&eacute Aubrey Graham), Cash Money Records and Universal Music Group for copyright infringement, claiming Drake illegally sampled the 1975 panty-dropper “Fallin’ in Love” — to which Playboy owns the rights — in his single “Best I Ever Had.”

We hope Drake’s song rings true after all this is over, in any case.

Seventeen.com Gets A Little More Sociable

17_homepage_6.30.10.jpgSeventeen.com has revamped its website in order to, as editor in chief Ann Shoket explained to us earlier this afternoon, better reflect a “new evolution of social.”

It’s not that the site has implemented social networking capabilities where none existed before — allowing for the easy sharing of content has always been a major goal at Seventeen.com because, as Shoket points out, the generation currently visiting the site has never not known a world where the internet played a huge focus. They expect to be able to keep in touch not only with one another, but also with magazine and website editors. For these girls, a back-and-forth relationship with the media they consume is nothing new.

With that in mind, Seventeen.com made sure that the content on their site was easily integrated with Facebook, via Facebook Open Graph, and Twitter, so that visitors could continue to share content with one another. To take that level of instant communication to the next level, however, Seventeen.com has also collaborated with Meebo. Meebo gives readers the option of sharing content by dragging and dropping information into a Meebo Bar that follows readers across the site. Meebo is platform agnostic, and thus allows users to connect with their friends across various social media networks and with site editors through instant messaging.

Other changes to the site include expanded video content on every page, a quiz tool that integrates content across Hearst Magazines Digital Media Teen Network and allows users to share results across social media networks, and a celebrity news and gossip hub that lets visitors easily navigate and find constantly updated information, gossip, pictures and more about their favorite celebrities, both mainstream and up-and-coming.

And that’s not to say that the print edition of the title has been forgotten — Seventeen.com, in fact, helps drive print subscriptions, with other half a million or so having been sold through the website.

The changes, says Shoket, mirror Seventeen‘s commitment to be “Seventeen Everywhere.” That is, to reach readers wherever they may be, be it at their laptops or perusing a newsstand.

‘SB Nation’ Launches Regional LA Sports Site

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Perhaps spurred on by ESPN’s recent entry into the world of regional online sports content, the popular sports blog SB Nation has launched a regional LA site, SB nation Los Angeles, covering sports news in and around the Southland.

Here’s what editor Eric Stephen had to say about the new site:

We have assembled quite a staff of writers, all of whom you may have read on various SB Nation blogs. Our great Los Angeles blogs True Blue LA, Halos Heaven, Silver Screen and Roll, Clips Nation, Anaheim Calling, Jewels From The Crown, Conquest Chronicles, and Bruins Nation will continue to provide high quality, in depth coverage of L.A. sports, including many of the same writers you will see here. Be sure to find out more information on our staff on the bottom left corner of the page.

The Red Carpet is the blog portion of the site, where we will provide short commentary, links, stories, and videos compiled by the SB Nation Los Angeles staff.

We will have a weekly Top Five, where we explore and rank various things related to Los Angeles sports. Our first foray is a look at the top five most popular athletes in Los Angeles sports.

Yeah, about that last part — at first glance this Fishie sees an awful lot of lists about “best” this and “top” that on the site. Makes us a little nervous, but we’re total dude when it comes to sports, so we’re willing to give it a shot.

AP Names Steven Gutkin As Its New Oil Spill Editor

The Associated Press has named Steven Gutkin as their official oil spill editor. He will be succeeded as Jerusalem chief in Israel by Dan Perry, who is currently the AP’s London-based Europe editor.

Senior managing editors John Daniszewski and Mike Oreskes‘s memo to staff about the changes appears after the jump.

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Adrian Grenier: Twitter is the New Publicist

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Entourage’s Adrian Grenier doesn’t have a publicist, nor, apparently, does he think needs one thanks to Twitter. “I’m no stranger to self promotion,” Grenier told the Wall Street Journal. “I find it first of all more authentic when you put a bit of your creative touch to what you’re trying to share. I think [Twitter has] brought the creativity back to promotion.”

Guess so. But if that’s true, Grenier better starting tweeting up a shitstorm about his show Entourage — because this season’s debut only drew 2.4 million viewers, down 25% from last year.

New York Times, CNBC, Vanity Fair Each Take Home Two Loeb Biz-Journalism Awards

Last night, the UCLA Anderson School of Management announced the winners of the Gerald Loeb Awards, which recognize outstanding reporting on business. Cable-news channel CNBC, newspaper/website The New York Times and culture magazine Vanity Fair each took home two Loeb awards. The Times actually won a few more if you count one for M&A reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin‘s book Too Big to Fail and a lifetime achievement award for the paper’s assistant investigative editor Walt Bogdanich.

A more complete list of winners is available here.

KNBC Traffic Reporter Paul Johnson Dead at 75

141paulnbc.jpgPaul Johnson, morning traffic reporter for NBC4′s ‘Today in L.A.’, passed away Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer. From the station’s website:

The well-known and well-liked baritone-voiced Paul underwent brain surgery in January and remained off air while recovering.

Earlier this year, viewers flooded NBCLA with e-mails, phone calls and bags of letters asking where and why Johnson was off the air. Today in L.A. reported Johnson had a brain tumor. Once it was made public that Johnson was ill, the outpouring of support was truly amazing.

Johnson joined NBC4′s on-air team in 1988. Prior to that he worked as a reporter and announcer for a number of Los Angeles radio stations, including KXEZ, KSRF, KZLA and KIIS-FM.

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