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Archives: June 2010

A Love Ballad: Wavves Would Like To Make Raucous Love To The NY Observer

wavves_6.30.jpgWavves (described by the New York Observer as a “pop punk stoner band”) dedicated a special song to the Observer at last night’s Fader magazine party. Cute!

Although we’re not familiar with the work of Wavves — helmed by Nathan Williams — Williams did refer to the song as “Fuck the New York Observer,” so we’ll infer that it’s a sexy tune about making love.

The dedication was most likely in response to a recent article the Observer ran which painted Williams in a less-than-flattering blacklight:

Whether the anti-intellectual rhetoric that Wavves employed onstage on Thursday was an affectation calculated to project an image of recession-era no-collar punk rock is unclear. In interviews Mr. Williams does come off as an accredited slacker who, until musical success earned him his own apartment in Los Angeles, spent his days at his parent’s house playing video games and smoking a ton of pot. So it’s absolutely possible Mr. Williams really is or was that kind of loser. Plenty of people are.

In a write-up on last night’s show and the heartfelt ode to the Observer, contributor Leon Neyfakh returns the love with a quip about The-Dream — the act Wavves opened for, as well as their Fader cover mate:

Mr. Williams indicated that he did not want to be interviewed by the Observer, which is too bad because it would have been rad to find out whether he got to hang out with The-Dream at all.

Ouch. To quote another bastion of musical genius: Love hurts!

Photo via Buddyhead

Mediabistro Blog-Family Roundup

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  • California Arts Council Launches Celebrity-Endorsed License Plate Campaign to Raise $40 Million – UnBeige

  • AP Names Steven Gutkin As Its New Oil Spill Editor – FishbowlNY
  • Libraries Expand eBook Offerings In Organized Effort – GalleyCat
  • Foursquare raises $20M – WebNewser
  • Larry King Free to Work For Other Nets When he Leaves Nightly Show – TVNewser
  • Is the NYS Labor Department’s OJT Program SMART Enough to Find Applicants for Businesses?

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    Yesterday’s post gave an overview of the New York State Department of Labor’s On-the-Job-Training program. In brief, the OJT program offers businesses up to $50,000 in grants to offset the cost of training new employees for newly created positions, with a maximum of $5,000 per trainee. A request for information from the department revealed some interesting details.

    To participate in the program, employers submit a description of the job they are looking to fill. The Labor Department then uses that description to suggest candidates from their talent pool, which is compiled on their database of unemployed workers called Skills Matching And Referral Technology, or SMART 2010. Once the OJT participants have conducted their interviews and made their hiring selections, the Labor Department will assist them in developing a training plan and filling out all the necessary forms.

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    Launched in October 2009, SMART 2010 supposedly reads entire resumes – not just keywords – and matches workers to available jobs according to their strengths, skills and talents. Both the employer and the applicant receive e-mail updates when they’ve found a match.

    Applicants usually enter this system when they visit a One-Stop Career Center and fill out an ES-100 form. A labor department job counselor enters the data into the system on behalf of the applicant, who may also provide a separate resume for more detail.

    Whether this system could work for media industry startups remains to be seen. As with any analytical software, if the right employees want to be found, they will have to be smarter than SMART.

    Read more

    Kyle Pope Reflects on The Short Life of Conde Nast Portfolio

    Having been on both sides of the editorial process as an editor (Wall Street Journal) and a freelancer (The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times), Kyle Pope of The New York Observer has learned a few keys to being a great writer and reporter: Never take no for an answer, develop your own voice, and be nimble.

    That final lesson, of course, he experienced firsthand as deputy editor of presumably the most infamous magazine launch (and shuttering) of all time, Conde Nast Portfolio.

    Although critics blamed its demise on everything from the mag’s cover choices and operating expenses to its overall disorganization and low staff morale, Pope has a simpler explanation: “When the world changed, we didn’t adapt quickly enough.”

    Part 1: Kyle Pope on The New York Observer‘s Web Problem

    Part 2: Observer Editor Kyle Pope on His ‘Necessary Tension’ with Jared Kushner

    The New Republic Launched Four New Blogs, Upped Online Traffic And Subscriptions

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    June’s been a busy month for the folks over at The New Republic — within the past few weeks, they have launched four new blogs and has experienced much online growth. The four blogs, listed below, form just one aspect of TNR‘s ongoing online expansion:

    • Citizen Cohn: Jonathan Cohn‘s blog health care blog, domestic policy and the political process.

    • Entanglements: a foreign policy blog featuring reporting and analysis by the likes of Andrew Bacevich, David Rieff, David A. Bell, and editor Lawrence F. Kaplan.

    • The In-House Critics: Michael Kazin and Jim Manzi, critics on the Left and the Right, respectively, work to keep TNR “intellectually honest.”

    • Goal Post: a blog dedicated to smart soccer and geopolitical analysis of the World Cup

    Additionally, TNR has experienced an increase in digital advertising revenue of 125 percent in the first half of this year over the first half of 2009. It has managed to increase traffic to its site by 45 percent, and has seen a 2x increase in online subscriptions.

    Not a terribly shabby start to the summer.

    Kathy Griffin & Her Mom Tonight At The Grove

    230maggriff.jpgMaggie Griffin, mother to foul-mouthed comedian Kathy Griffin and a regular on her reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, will appear tonight at Barnes & Noble at the Grove. She’s teaming up with her daughter for a signing of their respective memoirs.

    Mom’s new book “Tip It!: The World According to Maggie” hit the shelves yesterday, and Kathy’s “Official Book Club Selection” was released last year, and quickly became a New York Times bestseller.

    The ladies’ appearance begins at 7:30. More info here.

    Playboy Begins Downsizing in Effort to Lower Costs

    playboy-logo06302010.gifAs part of its ongoing endeavor to make itself over as a brand-management company, Playboy Enterprises has announced that it will be downsizing its operations. The purveyor of nude pictorals and the occasional probing celebrity interview is shedding an undisclosed number of staffers in an effort to achieve $3 million in annual cost savings.

    In an announcement, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders said, “Our goal is to transition Playboy to a brand management company. … The downsizing announced today is not a reflection of our employees’ talents and work ethic, but rather due to the overall change in the company’s strategic direction.”

    Flanders’ statement echoes a directional change hinted at in the company’s first-quarter earnings statement. At that time, Flanders indicated Playboy would be outsourcing operations and observed that the company’s licensing division was among its most profitable businesses.

    (h/t minOnline)

    ProPublica Revamps Its Site, Teaches You How To Pronounce “ProPublica”

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    ProPublica has unveiled a redesign of its website, complete with easy-to-navigate context for their ongoing investigative reports, improved search capabilities, and a new FAQ section which includes a helpful guide to pronouncing ProPublica. (Turns out: “Dimple.”)

    The site, the result of much greasy elbowage on the part of ProPublica’s editor of news application Scott Klein and the ProPublic web team, also comes with a new tag for the ProPublica blog: “Muck It.”

    In the words of ProPublica’s director of communications, Mike Webb: “Seriously, it’s better.”

    Adds Klein:

    With this redesign, we’ve tried to take everything we’ve learned, and everything we’ve added, and put it together into one nice, clean site. Our hope is that the level of design sophistication now matches the sophistication of our reporting.

    New Wired iPad App Costs a Dollar Less

    wired-logo06302010.gifWired, whose initial foray into the iPad space met with about the most success of any magazine out there, is preparing to sell its next tablet edition for $3.99. That’s a full dollar — or for the mathematically inclined, 20% — off the inaugural iPad issue’s price of $4.99 (which is how much it costs on the newsstand).

    But why bring down the price on a product that sells mightily already? Says Wired editor Chris Anderson to Peter Kafka at AllThingsDigital:

    “I would say that right now, all of us have opinions about the perfect price,” he says. “My feeling, my own personal instinct, is that digital should be at slight discount to print.”

    Anderson repeatedly told Kafka that he doesn’t set the price for Wired, but also said he would prefer that the iPad version reach a “freemium” price point — part of the content would be free, and the rest would cost extra.

    Andrew Breitbart Will Pay $100,000 For JournoList’s Archives

    Andrew Breitbart published a screed on Big Journalism asking for anyone who has access to the JournoList listserv archives to come forth and, as it were, prosper.

    Here’s his perfectly decent proposal: Breitbart, itching madly to part with $100,000 that’s been “burning” in his pocket for the past three months, will award said amount to whomever is able and willing to provide him with the full JournoList archive. He vows to keep the seller’s identity completely secret.

    JournoList, you’ll recall, is the listserv founded by Ezra Klein through which former Washington Post contributor Dave Weigel suggested the world is a better place with a flaming Matt Drudge.

    Breitbart’s reasons? He hopes that airing out the gossip and grievances of the listserv’s 400 former users will act “in the interests of journalistic transparency, and to offer the American public a unique insight in the workings of the Democrat-Media Complex.” Breitbart’s take on the Weigel debacle is that other JournoList members, when they were not busy consuming the flesh of unborn children, deemed him “not liberal enough” for, at times, siding with conservatives on certain issues.

    Further explanation of Breitbart’s proposal, via Breitbart.tv, after the jump.

    Read more

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