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Archives: July 2010

Soccer? That’s How That Dude Got Arrested Last Season | Snookin’ For Trouble

MobileContentToday: Because heaven forbid you should actually have to physically play the game of soccer.

TMZ: Snooki, of Jersey Shore fame, has been arrested for disorderly conduct in Seaside Heights, NJ. Apparently she was a little short with police.

Twitter:But not before she tried to turn the White House orange.

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Weekly Media Stocks Roundup: Flat Despite a Whole Mess of Earnings

wall_street_cover03262010.jpgWhat a high-energy week! … Or was it? Serious earnings action governed the media sphere, but the flood of quarterly reports registered as largely so-so for investors. The broader market likewise stayed flat; over the past five days, the S&P 500 dropped less than 1% to 1101.

There was more than just earnings news to digest. Drama continued to swirl over The Washington Post Co. (WPO)’s ongoing efforts to sell its troubled magazine Newsweek. Reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times indicated that Post Co. was feeling skittish about offloading Newsweek to prospective buyer Avenue Capital because of the hedge fund’s proposal to partner with National Enquirer publisher American Media for back-end operations. Billionaire electronics tycoon Sidney Harman emerged as the favorite to eventually buy Newsweek.

In other Post Co. news, the company’s online subsidiary The Slate Group shuttered its Big Money finance website, saying the property’s business prospects had failed to improve as fast as necessary. Post Co. shares added 1.2% to $420.49.

Tensions appeared to rise between Time Inc. and Apple as the iPad maker stymied Time Inc.’s efforts to sell tablet subscriptions in the iTunes store. The company did put business periodical Fortune on the iPad this week, though, so there’s that, at least. Time Inc. parent Time Warner also this week announced a quarterly common-stock dividend of 21.25 cents a share, payable in cash on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record on August 31. Shares ended the week up less than 1% at $31.46.

News Corp. (NWS) shares slipped 1.5% as analysts at Credit Suisse lowered earnings estimates for Rupert Murdoch’s media giant, predicting that the company’s attempts to buy British cable operator BSkyB would reduce the chances of share buybacks going forward. The company also looked into developing a business unit that would create content specifically for tablets.

And now, the earnings! Weekly stock results for Meredith Corp., Thomson Reuters and more after the jump.

Read more

Elle Has a Tumblr Now, Too!

elle07302010.pngOh would you look at that. Hachette Filipacchi Media’s Elle has started a Tumblr!

Although an increasing number of news publications have waddled their way onto the social media – microblogging platform, Elle is one of the first consumer-directed magazines to join the world of likes and reblogs.

Posts on the Elle Tumblr date back to April but only really started arriving on a daily basis in June and July. Content for now draws primarily from the magazine’s website.

Slate Puts The Big Money Out to Pasture

thebigmoney07302010.pngSlate has ceased publication of its The Big Money business and economic news site, according to a memo published by Romenesko.

Slate editor in chief Jacob Weisberg and general manager John Alderman write:

The problem, in a nutshell, is that the site is not pointed toward profitability on a fast enough timetable. We’ve struggled to grow the site’s traffic to carry enough ad inventory to run a profitable business. There are some specific reasons for this slow growth which relate primarily to the category rather than to the quality of the magazine. Our timing also could have been better. TBM launched the week of the Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008, and its existence has coincided with a deep trough in advertising market for business-oriented publications.

Weisberg and Alderman said that they expect Slate to enhance its own business coverage, and The Big Money’s URL will redirect to Slate’s business page. The Big Money editor Jim Ledbetter and publisher Brendan Monaghan will remain with The Slate Group.

Michael Hastings Defends His McChrystal Reporting

Hastings_M_D.jpgMichael Hastings, author of “The Runaway General,” the Rolling Stone story that cost now-retired General Stanley McChrystal his job leading the Afghan war effort, says his detractors are full of beans.

“There is absolutely no gray area here,” he told the Observer. “How it works is the reporter goes and hangs out with a subject and writes down what the subject says and does.”

Following publication of “The Runaway General,” unnamed sources told The Washington Post that Hastings had violated agreements with his subjects in his reporting:

A member of McChrystal’s team who was present for a celebration of McChrystal’s 33rd wedding anniversary at a Paris bar said it was “clearly off the record.” Aides “made it very clear to Michael: ‘This is private time. These are guys who don’t get to see their wives a lot. This is us together. If you stay, you have to understand this is off the record,’” according to this source. In the story, the team members are portrayed as drinking heavily.

In case there was any doubt, now we know: Hastings disagrees with that assessment.

Amy Andrieux Leaves The Source

the-source_7.30.jpgAmy Andrieux has announced her departure from The Source magazine, where she’d worked as general manager and executive editor.

Andrieux had previously worked at MTV, before leaving the network a few years ago for the hip-hop magazine.

In an email to friends and colleagues, Andrieux hints at a new venture, writing that she has “some things cooking in the kitchen” which she’ll announce in the coming weeks.

Moody’s Upgrades USA Today Publisher’s Liquidity Rating

Ratings agency Moody’s has bumped up its speculative-grade liquidity credit rating for USA Today publisher Gannett, but the company’s overall rating remains in the speculative, or “junk” range.

Moody’s lifted its rating on Gannett to SGL-2 (“good”) from SGL-3 (“adequate”). Editor & Publisher reports:

Moody’s Senior Credit Officer John Puchalla said the upgrade reflects Gannett’s “meaningfully improved current and projected headroom within the financial maintenance covenants in its credit facilities driven by debt reduction from free cash flow, significant cost reductions, and greater revenue stability.”

Moody’s maintains a Ba1 rating on the overall company, the highest rating a company garner while remaining in a junk-level classification.

The Moody’s Gannett upgrade follows a Standard & Poor’s upgrade of The New York Times Co. to B+ from B. Both Gannett and Times Co.’s overall credit ratings remain in the “junk” range. Gannett on July 16 reported a year-over-year increase in second-quarter profit on a slight downtick in operating revenue.

Starting in September, Country Living Will Be Bigger and More Expensive

countryliving07302010.jpgHearst‘s Country Living today announced that its September issue will mark the debut of a beefed-up trim size (that’s jargon for how big the pages are) and a new logo. The issue, fittingly called “the Makeover issue,” also marks a new price point for the magazine; Country Living will now retail for $4.50, up from $3.99. The magazine said it made the decision after testing the new size and price in certain U.S. markets.

“The larger format makes the experience of reading the magazine so much richer. It’s amazing how much better the photography looks now. As for the logo, it feels fresher, friendlier and more contemporary,” said editor in chief Sarah Gray Miller in a statement.

Village Voice Memo To Freelancers: Don’t Bust Our Balls

Since we at mediabistro are in the business of helping writers, particularly freelancers, gain an edge in the industry, we thought this would be a good cautionary tale for those of you pitching stories to publications.

Village Voice editor Tony Ortega published an open memo today to any freelance writers potentially interested in pitching to his paper. His message is crystal clear: don’t #$%& it up for yourselves, yo. (Roughly paraphrased.)

Ortega points to one freelancer in particular as an example of what not to do when pitching a story idea to an editor. First, Ortega explains that he has, as most publications do, a tight budget when it comes to paying freelancers for their work, so only the best stories usually past muster. He then tells the tale of one freelancer — let’s call him “Buster” — who pitched a postmortem on Air America, without having spoken to any any former Air America hosts or producers. It was a gamble and likely not a story that would gather a healthy amount of interest in the first place, so Ortega passed.

And, then, he received this, from Buster:

Not trying to be a punk
Just don’t get it

My pitch has built in buzz. Not saying it’s the be all end all, but
it’d be a “fun” postmortem, with ample dirt and ballbusting

Versus a Tilda Swinton cover


Oof. Not exactly the sort of gracious, mature reply that helps a writer get a foot in the door rather than in his mouth. Freelancers: a polite “thanks for your time / reponse” will suffice.

On the plus side, at least Buster can say he’s been published on the Village Voice‘s website after all.

Runner’s World Names John Atwood Deputy Editor

runnersworld07302010.pngRunner’s World, the magazine about running, today announced that it has chosen former Rodale Books executive editor John Atwood for the newly created position of deputy editor. He starts immediately.

Atwood will write and assign stories, and top-edit most features. He will also be hatching book ideas.

“John’s experience working on Runner’s World and Bicycling titles in the Books group, his three decades of experience as an editor at several publications, and his abundant talents and leadership abilities will be extremely beneficial to Runner’s World as we move forward into a more multi-platform publishing model,” said Runner’s World editor in chief David Willey in a statement.

Atwood has also worked at American Express Publishing as a vice president/editor in chief and was editor in chief of Travel & Leisure Golf for nine years. He’s also done stints at Sports Afield and Men’s Journal.

Runner’s World has also promoted Charlie Butler to the executive editor spot from his previous role as a features editor.