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Archives: February 2011

Finked | Brand New | Teacher’s Pet

  • FishbowlLA: Nikki Finke got her hands on the script for the upcoming Oscars, and shocker, she says it’s going to be boring. What would we do without that kind of insight?
  • TVNewser: Kathleen Parker is out at Parker Spitzer, and the show itself is getting completely remade.
  • UnBeige: A young fox was found living on top of what will soon be Europe’s tallest building. A baby fox is called a kit. There, now you’ve learned something new.

Tom Hanks Provides Oscar Acceptance Speech Tips

There is, arguably, no bigger media message that emanates from Los Angeles than a successful major category Oscar acceptance speech. While the great majority of these are boring disappointments that quickly dissipate from the public consciousness, when an A-list podium moment clicks, it can forever brand the speech giver.

This year, potential winners were provided with some counseling from a most qualified source. Per Rebecca Keegan‘s LA Times article:

To underscore the need for brevity, the Academy gave nominees a practice DVD with a 45-second countdown timer and a video tutorial by two-time winner and Jedi master of the acceptance speech, Tom Hanks. Hanks recommends winners choose in advance who will accept for a group, and never take out a piece of paper to read from. “Reading a long list of names only shows us your bald spot,” he said in the video.

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New York Times On Wayne Barrett: ‘Gathering information trumps all else.’

The New York Times takes a hard look at Wayne Barrett, and the result is mostly what you’d expect: Barrett is a fantastic investigative reporter, but also a grumpy old man.

In the piece, the pleasingly gruff Barrett offers up some gems. He notes that he never got an explanation for being forced out at The Village Voice, says he’s never had much use for editors, and on that subject, says, “Tony Ortega is the hardest working editor and the most skillful editor of copy that I’ve ever had. But I’ve never liked him very much.”

Barrett also shows some sympathy to the mayors of the city’s past – who were often skewered in his columns – by telling the Times that his biggest regret is not writing more about the positive things Ed Koch did.

But before you think he’s mellowed out, there’s this:

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Sony Hypes Unidentified Film Object

Ahead of the March 11th theatrical release of Battle: Los Angeles, Sony Pictures this week cranked out a highly unusual press release to mark the anniversary of the February 25th, 1942 incident that is at the heart of the movie.

The mysterious events began around 2 a.m., involved as many as 25 UFOs, and led the military to fire repeated rounds as the sighted objects cruised from Santa Monica to Long Beach. For the press release, Sony trotted out not star Aaron Eckhart or director Jonathan Liebesman, but rather Bill Birnes (pictured), publisher of Lambertville, NJ based UFO Magazine:

“The obvious thought was that these were Japanese bombers come to attack the United States,” says Birnes. “But it wasn’t. They were flying too high. And the astounding thing was, not one artillery shell could hit the craft – out of all the hundreds of shells that were fired.”

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Even More Changes for New York Times Magazine

Look, we have to be honest: we tried and tried to come up with a way to work a line from Tupac’s “Changes” into this post about more shifting at the New York Times Magazine, but we just couldn’t figure one out.

So instead, we’ll just tell you that Ben Zimmer announced the On Language column is disappearing, and Edith Zimmerman, editor behind The Hairpin, is being added as a columnist.

Zimmerman’s first column will appear in the March 6th issue. We’re hoping the first line is something like, “I see no changes, all I see is racist faces, misplaced hate makes disgrace to races.”

People Passes One Million Fans on Facebook

People magazine and Facebook are apparently a match made in heaven, because the title just became the first celebrity centric magazine to top one million fans on the social networking site.

According to People, it now boasts one of the biggest Facebook presences in the magazine category, thanks to contests such as allowing people to pick the “Sexiest Man Alive” on the site.

People isn’t making money off of Facebook, but all that brand awareness has to be a good thing. And if the magazine ever wants to hold a “Sexiest Bloggers on Blogs That Have ‘Fish’ in the Title,” we hope to get considered.

Coastal Living Adds New Editor-in-Chief

Coastal Living has added Antonia van der Meer as its new Editor-in-Chief, effective March 7th. Van der Meer will report directly to Martha Nelson, Editorial Director at Time Inc.

Van der Meer is a vetaren in the business, previously having worked at Conde Nast titles Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, and Your Prom.

Nelson had this to say about the addition of van der Meer:

Antonia is the perfect choice to lead the editorial side of Coastal Living. She has a clear vision for the brand, a history of editorial excellence, and a keen sense of style, which is so integral to the magazine.  Bill Shapiro, Coastal Living’s Editorial Adviser, and I are looking forward to working collaboratively with her to continue to make Coastal Living the authority on all things coastal.

Nikki Finke Leaks Oscar Script

Yes, blogger Greg Mitchell has already dubbed it Nikkileaks.

Nikki Finke has got her hands on the play by play of the Academy Awards this Sunday. She writes:

I’ve obtained the annotated schedule for Sunday night’s 83rd Academy Awards show and what’s confirmed at this point looks to be yet another snorefest from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences airing on ABC and in 200 countries around the globe. Here will be the highlights or lowlights depending on your point of view when it comes to the overly long and usually boring Oscars telecast

Read the entire scoop here.

Update – 02/26/11: As a result of Finke’s actions, the Academy has revoked the Oscar show press credentials of the site’s New York based reporter Michael Fleming.

South Park Terrorist Zachary Chesser Sentenced to 25 Years in Jail

Zachary Chesser, the man who told South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker they would “wind up like Theo Van Gogh,” the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by radical Islamists, was just sentenced to 25 years in Federal prison yesterday. Chesser’s sentence includes time for attempting to join Al-Queda, as well as his threats against Parker and Stone.

“Zachary Chesser will spend 25 years in prison for advocating the murder of U.S. citizens for engaging in free speech about his religion,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said yesterday. “His actions caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out–even in jest–to avoid being labeled as enemies who deserved to be killed.”

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Meet Megan Kent, 11-Year-Old Oscar SWAG Designer

In the cutthroat world of fashion, an up-and-coming designer needs every possible edge. For 11-year-old Vero Beach, FL resident Megan Kent (pictured), the advantage comes in the form of mom Tricia, owner of boutique publicity firm Public Relations Diva.

Ahead of their weekend visit to Los Angeles, where the tandem has traveled to showcase Megan’s Love Gone line of T-shirts at one of the many Oscar weekend SWAG suites, Tricia was kind enough to contact FishbowlLA. Mom also separately engineered a nice bit of local media coverage.

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