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Archives: December 2011

Walter Sabo Reportedly Out at as Merlin Media COO

With the clock about to strike midnight on 2011, it also appears to have struck midnight for Walter Sabo as Merlin Media chief operating officer.

Sabo, on his personal LinkedIn page, lists Merlin Media as his employer from May 2011 to December 2011 (8 months). Although, officially he joined the start-up company on June 27.

Merlin Media owns three radio stations, including FM News WEMP 101.9.

Adding further speculation that Sabo’s tenure may have ended with Merlin, the veteran radio programmer places his Merlin position is in the “past” category on LinkedIn.

On LinkedIn, he posts self-created businesses  Sabo Media and Hitviews as current jobs.

FishbowlNY attempted to reach Sabo and a spokesman for Merlin Media to confirm.

Merlin Media launched one of New York City’s first FM all-news stations in August,  a one-part cutting-edge, one-part experimental station.  

WEMP failed to gain ground in the overall December Arbitron ratings with a .6.  

Randy Michaels acquired WEMP and two other stations from Emmis in June.

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X Factor Finale Tops Weekly Ratings

Simon Cowell’s X Factor made its U.S. debut in September  While the ratings have been good in New York, they haven’t come close to American Idol. That is, until the finale.

The two-night finale, culminating with Melanie Amaro being crowned winner, took the top spot on WNYW/Channel 5. Nielsen says the two-hour broadcast pulled in an estimated 1 million viewers with a 5.2 rating.

The December 21 penultimate performance tied for number one.

Fox 5 News at Ten also reaped the rewards of X Factor, landing at number 16 (482,000/2.5) for the December 22 newscast.

The Christmas night version of NBC’s Sunday Night Football (Bears/Packers) scored a number three (977,000/5.0). The final half-hour of pre-game show Football Night in America tied for 10th (541,000/2.8).

ESPN’s Monday Night Football had the Steelers against the Niners. It finished fourth (779,000/4.0).

The NBA finally made its 2011-12 debut on Christmas Day, and fans showed how much they missed the game. ABC had a fifth-place (723,000/3.7) showing for the marquee matchup between the Bulls and Lakers.

More from the Top 10 after the jump.

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Watch This | Questions | Apple of Our Eye

  • SocialTimes: Chances are if you’re sharing videos online, you’re doing it on Facebook. There’s also a strong possibility that everyone you know has ignored your videos, but hey, you do you.
  • AgencySpy: Have you seen this “racy” billboard in Times Square? If you have, we have two questions for you. 1) What did you think of it? 2) Why the hell were you in Times Square?
  • GalleyCat: ”Steve Jobs” was Amazon’s number one selling book this year. Somewhere, Bill Gates is rolling his eyes and muttering, “Whatever,” under his breath.

Have a happy New Year’s Eve everyone, and once again, thanks for reading. We’ll be back on Tuesday. From now until tomorrow night make as many terrible “see you next year” jokes as you can, and play this during your NYE party. You’ll be happy you did.

Art Student Still Crying Foul Over Tournament of Roses Logo

Could a 1977 homework assignment at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design ultimately be responsible for the current Tournament of Roses logo? Former student Dave Bartholomew definitely thinks so.

His legal battle with the tournament and parade organizers, which began in 2007, is  extensively detailed by LA Times reporter Mike Boehm. The logo, in use since the late 1980s, helps non-profit event organizers earn more than $1 million a year in licensing fees. Per Boehm’s piece:

Bartholomew contended that Susan Karasic, the officially acknowledged designer credited with having created the logo at the same school in 1981, must have taken it from drawings that he and a now-dead professor turned over to tournament officials during the spring of his senior year.

Read more

Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for The Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. Longtime Liberal Talker Lynn Samuels Found Dead
  2. Sam Sifton Lists the Top 10 New Restaurants of 2011
  3. George Vecsey to Aspiring Sports Journalists: Do Something Else
  4. In 2011 Mila Kunis Moved Magazines, Justin Bieber Did Not
  5. The New York Times’ Year in New York Pictures

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Award-Winning LA Times Photographer Art Rogers Dies at 93

Missed this one from earlier in the week, as the obit ran on Christmas. But Art Rogers, a native Angeleno who worked for more than 40 years as a photographer for the LA Times, died earlier this month at the age of 93. Rogers was part of the LA Times team that won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the Watts riots in 1965. According to the Times obit, he once had the distinction of having 22 of his photos run in the same Sunday paper.

The Times a put together a nice slideshow of some of Rogers’ best shots in honor of his passing. Definitely worth a visit.

San Diego Union-Tribune Staffers Get New Year’s Bonus: Longer Hours

San Diego Union-Tribune staffers will be ringing in the New Year with longer hours with no additional pay. The new workday is 8:30 to 5:30–up 30 minutes per day from under the previous ownership. You eat lunch on your own time under Douglas Manchester‘s watch.

The new hours were just one in a series of largely cosmetic but annoying changes announced today by new U-T CEO John Lynch in a memo to staff. U-T employees will also be required to start dressing in “sharp business attire.” Just because it’s warm and sunny all the time in San Diego doesn’t mean employees should dress like it. “Casual Friday” will remain intact. But, according to Lynch, it “should be only slightly less business oriented than Monday through Thursday.”

So… not really casual at then…

San Diego CityBeat has the memo in full.

The New York Times’ ‘Nocturnalist’ Column Ends

The New York Times’Nocturnalist” is over. Today Sarah Maslin Nir, wrote the final piece for the feature, which chronicled the city’s streets after dark.

“From meeting queens, we head to Queens, where our next assignment as a beat reporter takes ‘the woman now formerly known as Nocturnalist,’ and where we doubt we’ll have much use for those five gowns,” wrote Maslin Nir.

She later tweeted that she was moving on to become a reporter at the Times’ Metro Section.

Jim Newton Tweeting Away

Another old-schooler bites the dust. LA Times columnist Jim Newton has officially joined the ranks of Twitter. Looks like he’s got the hang of it. He’s already giving Susan Orlean shout outs.

Reality Weekly Sets Bar Low

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new low in the magazine industry. Reality Weekly, a magazine dedicated to reality TV and its “stars,” launched Wednesday. WWD reports that the magazine is $1.79 an issue and features the queen of reality TV, Kim Kardashian, on the debut cover.

What’s inside? A weekly column from Victoria Gotti, contributions from Simon Cowell and “exclusives” from West Coast Editor Omarosa. There’s also sections titled “Fights of The Week” and “Hottest Shots.” But that’s not all! There will surely be more crap.

We all have American Media Inc. to thank for blessing us with this new publication. However, if it does well, maybe we should all thank/blame ourselves.