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Archives: February 2011

Chronicle Reporter Apologizes to Readers for Saturday Snow Job

San Francisco Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub has posted a tongue-in-cheek apology for the part he played in helping feed local hysteria over the possibility of a weekend Bay Area snowstorm that failed to materialize.

Hartlaub points to his February 17th and February 23rd historical photo galleries shared on the site as culprits #1 and #2, and his Twitter feed as culprit #3. Admirably, he says thought it would be easy to do so, he is not interested in shirking responsibility:

It’s easy to pretend like the snow hype never happened with things like Charlie Sheen‘s meltdown and the James Franco‘s Academy Awards hosting disaster (my theory: instead of being too stoned, his poor performance was a product of not being stoned enough) causing new distractions. But I know sins of overhype were committed in the past two weeks, and this time I’m not going to let it pass.

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Tina Brown Lures Andrew Sullivan to NewsBeast

Andrew Sullivan is leaving The Atlantic and bringing his wildly popular blog The Daily Dish to Tina Brown‘s Newsweek/Daily Beast love child. Sullivan broke the news late last night.

The chance to be part of a whole new experiment in online and print journalism, in the Daily Beast and Newsweek adventure, is just too fascinating and exciting a challenge to pass up. And to work with media legends, Barry Diller and Tina Brown, and with the extraordinary businessmen Sidney Harman and Stephen Colvin, is the opportunity of a lifetime. Barry was the person who first introduced me to the Internet in the early 1990s, and we have remained friends ever since. Tina Brown needs no introduction, but to see her in action as we have discussed this new adventure over the past few weeks has been quite a revelation. The Daily Beast, in a mere two years, has made its mark on the web, with 6 million unique visitors last month, and an eight-fold jump in ad revenue over the last year. It will give the Dish a whole new audience and potential for growth and innovation. I’ll also be contributing columns and essays to Newsweek.

This is a huge get for Brown but it’s a tidal wave of a catastrophe for The Atlantic. The magazine posted its first profit in a decade last year, thanks largely to online revenue. It has until April, when Sullivan starts at NewsBeast, to figure out how compensate for the loss of Sullivan’s web traffic.

Charlie Sheen Deigns to Get Back to Work, But Only for a 50 Percent Raise

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Charlie Sheen made a magnanimous appearance on the Today Show this morning. And by magnanimous we mean he was delusional and somewhat vampiric-looking. Perhaps he’s angling for a role in the next Twilight movie. Anyway, Sheen had his own mini-Wisconsin moment, agreeing to return to work on Two and a Half Men, provided he’s given 50% raise. Now that’s some collective bargaining.

Previously on Fishbowl LA: Charlie Sheen Commits Career Suicide

New York Times Boosts Web Team

The New York Times is getting set to put up that infamous paywall, so what better way to prepare than hiring one of the best web design minds in the city? Zeke Turner is reporting that Ian Adelman, the wiz from New York magazine’s web brands, is joining the NYTimes.com team as Digital Design Director at the end of the month.

In an internal memo at New York, Adelman said that the move was exciting because he’s a believer in the Times:

Just as New York was a place that attracted me because it was a fantastic product that I was drawn to and read cover to cover, The New York Times is my source of news. It’s always fantastic to contribute something that you feel part of or some attachment to.

This is obviously a good move for the Times. It’s not hard to see how far Adelman took New York magazine’s online presence since he joined the company in 2006, so getting him to oversee nytimes.com during a period of great transition is very smart.

Of course Adelman will eventually have to deal with all his friends asking how to bypass the paywall, but that’s probably a good problem to have.

Yahoo! Media Manager Battles British Airways Bedbugs

Will airlines never learn? Unhappy with the response she got from British Airways after complaining about bedbug bites suffered during flights from Los Angeles to London and Bangalore to London, 28-year-old LA based Yahoo! product manager Zane Selkirk launched a website about her ordeal.

The URL pun says it all – BA-bites.com. And when you are a senior manager at a leading media company, posting accounts of flight #1 (January 28th) and flight #2 (February 5th) along with incriminating photos is no trouble at all. Writes Selkirk:

BA “Customer Service” refused to acknowledge absolutely anything about my situation, nor protect future customers from a second possible infestation. I was told by the Customer Service desk that they do not have the authority to help customers with any complaints. (Literally.)

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Former Assistant Secretary Under Reagan Says CIA Will Take Out Assange


Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for President Reagan and co-founder of the famed Reaganomics, Paul Craig Roberts talks with RT’s Kristine Frazao about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

“If this [legal remedy] fails, he’ll simply be assassinated by a CIA assassinate team,” says Roberts.

Professional tattletales should feel a chill right about now.

Hat tip Reddit

Andrew Sullivan Leaves The Atlantic for The Daily Beast/Newsweek

Andrew Sullivan is leaving his post – or actually just moving it – from The Atlantic to The Daily Beast and Newsweek. He posted on The Daily Dish last night that the column will be moving in April to The Daily Beast, and that he’d be contributing columns for Newsweek as well. Sullivan says in his post that he’s going to dearly miss The Atlantic, but the allure of The Daily Beast and Newsweek was just too strong:

The chance to be part of a whole new experiment in online and print journalism, in the Daily Beast and Newsweek adventure, is just too fascinating and exciting a challenge to pass up. And to work with media legends, Barry Diller and Tina Brown, and with the extraordinary businessmen Sidney Harman and Stephen Colvin, is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Brown recently implemented some cosmetic changes with Newsweek, and the talent she continues to add is impressive. FishbowlNY is excited about the direction she’s taking the venture, because the more time goes by, the more it’s looking to be the right path.

FishbowNY Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance

King’s Speech Funder Threatened to Be Axed By Government

The Brits had a big night at the Academy Awards. A movie about their king speaking won Best Picture. And that honor could be the push to help save the UK Film Council that’s been threatened with elimination due to budget cuts. Why? Because the council partly funded the King’s Speech.

SavetheUKFilmCouncil.org:

Since its creation, the UK Film Council has been the cornerstone of the British film industry and the funder of countless cultural film initiatives. They have backed more than 900 films, shorts and features, entertained more than 200 million people and helped to generate approximately £700 million at the box-office worldwide. Now that’s worth saving!

Indeed. Sign the petition here. Although, you should probably be royal subject. Don’t ask us if Canadians count.

Live from the Oscars Press Room…

Thanks to this year’s nifty Oscars.com “All Access” app (pictured), it was possible to watch winners visit the backstage press room without actually having to be in the press room, suited up in journalist formal wear. So bravo to the Academy for giving FishbowlLA the ability – from the comfort of home – to track the various reporter tactics attempted deep in the bowels of the Kodak Theater.

NPR’s Amy Walters tried to get Best Adapted Screenplay winner Aaron Sorkin to bite on a Mark Zuckerberg tease, wondering how the writer felt about his subject now. But Sorkin expertly dodged the Q-trap, commending Zuckerberg for his Saturday Night Live appearance and suggesting that no one would want to have a film made about their behavior at age 19.

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