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Archives: May 2012

Charlie Rose, Star Jones, Joe Kernan and Jack Welch Hold Court

1003_mockup.gifI could just tell the power lunch crowd was (mostly) all business today. The noise level was considerably lower than in past weeks — who needs your neighbor to learn about your next big move before it hits “Page Six”? — and the table hopping was kept to a minimum. It was a tasty mix of moguls (Tom Freston), talking heads (Joe Kernan, Star Jones) and EICs (Amy Astley, Jay Fielden) who kept things interesting.

Speaking of magazines on the move (onward and upward in this case), I was joined today by formidable foodies at the helm of Food Network Magazine, a joint venture of Hearst Magazines and Food Network. Editor Maile Carpenter and publisher/chief revenue officer Vicki Wellington have happened on a recipe for success: Give Food Network fans what they love in print form and — viola! — you’ve got a hit on your hands. Both women were part of the magazine’s launch in 2009 and have seen it rack up a string of accolades, including being named to Adweek’s ‘Hot List’  and Advertising Age’s ‘A List’ last year. “A lot of people told us we were crazy to launch a magazine when we did,” Vicki says of the 2008 prototype, but the numbers silenced the naysayers. The rate base rose from 400,000, to 600,00, to 900,000 in no time and hit 1 million in just four months. The magazine’s ad pages are up 14 percent year to date, and the July-August issue is their biggest ever, with 129 ad pages.

Vicki Wellington, Diane Clehane and Maile Carpenter
Vicki Wellington, Diane Clehane and Maile Carpenter

What’s the secret ingredient? “People watch Food Network 24/7,” Maile told me. “We found that we didn’t have to choose between being accessible and aspirational. The people who love the television shows told us, ‘Be everything!’ and we have. Every month, we have an incredible pool of talent to pull from, and we try to mix it up and give readers a lot of variety.”

Here’s an interesting tidbit lest you think all the pub has to do is call the network’s powers that be to access its squadron of stars: The talent “is not contractually obligated” to appear in the magazine, says Maile. But since its heavy hitters like Guy Fieri (the first Food Network A-lister to see the prototype), Sandra Lee and Alton Brown all love the book, there’s never any shortage of stars to grace its pages. It’s no surprise that recipes (all concocted in the network’s Manhattan kitchens) are a reader favorite. Because there’s such a hunger for them (sorry, that’s my last food pun!), the pub has a new book out, 1000 Easy Recipes: Super Fun Food for Every Day that’s sure to satisfy the busy cook. (There’s 44 different pancake recipes and 100 salads!)

The magazine also gives fans another way to connect with their favorite TV destination with its popular Food Network Lounges where readers meet on-air personalities and sample their cool concoctions in a chic setting. The line was out the door at the last event in Chicago where Anne Burrell met the masses at Jose Garces‘ restaurant. Another Lounge is planned for October in New York to kick off the Food & Wine Festival. And, since food is such a family affair these days, Maile and Vicki have cooked up (okay, last one) a special insert for the September issue, Food Network Kids, as a third cover to be filled with family-friendly recipes and activities for budding foodies to try with mom and dad. Get those cupcake pans ready now!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

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Face-Eating Video | Award Winner | CNN Sinks

  • TVSpy: It’s not everyday that a man devours another person’s face. It’s equally rare to find the cannibal attack pop up on the local news. But that’s what happened in Miami, as new video has surfaced of the ugly incident.
  • FishbowlLA: Trailblazing journalist, Hank Planteone of the first openly gay TV reporters in the nation is being recognized for his outstanding career.
  • TVNewser: CNN is stinging after a poor May ratings. It was so bad, the cable news network plummeted to a 20-year low in prime time.
  • Battling Finales: American Idol Powers Past Dancing With The Stars in Ratings

    It’s on to the summer. But not before American Idol and Dancing With The Stars completed their season last week.

    In the latest prime time New York ratings, Idol was king of the week with its star-studded, grand finale Wednesday night. The Fox competition, which crowned Phillip Phillips the winner, scored with an estimated 1.8 million WNYW/Channel 5 viewers and a 9.1 rating.

    Not only did Phillips win the night, the Fox 5 News at 10 used that lead-in to its advantage. The Ernie Anastos-Dari Alexander newscast was sixth with 865,000 viewers and a 4.4 rating.

    The previous night’s Idol settled for fourth with 1.1 million fans and a 6.0 rating.

    As for Dancing, it ended the season with a number-two performance for the Monday episode (1.4 million/7.3). The ABC celebrity talent showcase also found a home in third place for the results (1.3 million/6.6).

    Game 6 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals on NBC Sports Network landed in eighth place, as the Rangers were elimated by the Devils (806,000/4.1). Game 5 also cracked the Top 10 at number 9 (722,000/3.7).

    More from the Top 10 after the jump

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    Why Richard Lawson Left Gawker For Atlantic Wire

    It’s been almost eight months since entertainment writer and TV recapper extraordinaire Richard Lawson jumped into The Atlantic Wire. After racking up 2.4 million monthly views as Gawker’s most popular writer, you’d think Lawson would want to stay put.

    But in Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do? interview, the scribe said he left Nick Denton‘s empire simply because it was time to “grow up.”

    “After a while, the Gawker snark — for lack of a less heavy word — can get a bit tiring. I think it’s great and I think it has its place, but I felt like I wanted to be a little more mature, I guess,” he said. ”I love all of the writing at Gawker still, but just for myself, I’m getting a chance to do more serious movie reviews and stuff I think wouldn’t have necessarily played out well on Gawker.”

    Advance Publications Names Mergers & Acquisitions Head

    Muriel Malka has been named the new head of mergers and acquisitions at Advance Publications. Malka comes to Advance from NBCUniversal, where she worked as senior vice president of corporate strategy and development for the past 12 years.

    Prior to her time at NBCUniversal, Malka worked with Merrill Lynch on international mergers.

    Per a press release, at Advance Malka “will focus on identifying and executing transactions that will accelerate expansion into fast-growing sectors or sustain the growth of existing businesses.”

    Shoshana Berger Opens Up About Wired

    Shoshana Berger was the founding editor of ReadyMade, but last year she decided to move to Wired, where she now works as director of editorial development. She recently spoke with Adweek about her time at Wired and what plans she has for the magazine. Below are some highlights from the interview.

    On launching ReadyMade:

    Starting a magazine is like trying to nail a jellyfish to the wall; it’s virtually impossible.

    On what she has in store for Wired:

    I’m launching a new business channel that’s going to be much more robust. I’m particularly excited about Wired getting more active in the e-book space — we produced an e-book after the death of Steve Jobs, and it was a really elegantly done, beautiful elegy. It’s a natural domain for us.

    On how she’s working to change the male dominated Wired:

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    Fans Clamor for Non-Existent ‘Censorship Towel’

    Creativity for creativity’s sake. That’s the motto of the Carmichael Collective, a recreational outlet for the good folks at Minneapolis branding firm Carmichael Lynch.

    Recently, the Collective hit media paydirt with its clever concept of a “Censorship Towel.” Male and female shots jokingly put forth the idea of a bath towel patterned after the trademark blur-pattern used by media outlets to obscure naughty body parts.

    California media coverage of the faux item included posts on laughingsquid.com and icanhascheezburger.com. Nationally, msnbc.com picked up on it. Which got FishbowlLA to wondering – what kind of feedback has Carmichael been separately receiving from the showering masses?

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    98.7FM to Drop Commercials for LA Kings Simulcast

    In a unique move, KYSR (98.7FM) will drop their commercials during all Stanley Cup Final games and instead switch over to the Los Angeles Kings simulcast for live play-by-play on sister station KTLK AM 1150.

    “Our listeners are so excited about the LA Kings’ success so far, and we are in the business of giving our listeners what they want,” Julie Pilat, 98.7 FM program director said in a statement. “They want to hear their favorite Alternative music, and stay close to what’s happening in the Stanley Cup Final. They can do both now with 98-7fm.”

    The Stanley Cup Final gets underway Wednesday at 5 p.m.

    New AP Stylebook is Here to Annoy You

    The new Associated Press Stylebook is upon us. As indicated in an AP press release, the 2012 version promises to clear up any confusion Brian Setzer Orchestra fans have about using “zoot suit” in a sentence, features an expand section on social media and contains a new portion dedicated to broadcast terms.

    If you’re interested in talking about the style changes with AP editors, they’re conducting a Twitter chat today at 2:30 and a Goggle Hangout tomorrow at 2 p.m.

    For those of you who enjoy reading about/getting unnecessarily frustrated by grammar, the 2012 AP Stylebook can be ordered online here.

    Entertainment Journalist Ray Richmond Jumps Into the Fortune Cookie Business

    When former THR reporter and current Deadline.com contributor Ray Richmond hands out boxes of his Super Accurate Fortune Cookies at a reunion of Los Angeles Daily News staffers in Calabasas on June 9, the inscription on the box will feature a comical reference to the newspaper’s veteran staff writer Rick Orlov. ‘In the end, all that will be left standing are the insects and Orlov,’ the message warns.

    The upcoming event will mark the unofficial debut of Richmond’s most unusual new sideline. He’s still applying finishing touches to the website such as credit card ordering, with full product launch set for July.

    “I looked at my bank account and I said, ‘Well, it’s not going to get any fatter on this current path of mine,” Richmond tells FishbowlLA via telephone. Along with several stints at the Daily News, Richmond was for years an integral part of The Hollywood Reporter.

    “I had been actively thriving as a freelancer since the late ’90s, but because of the disintegration of print, a lot of the work dried up, and I was left having to re-invent myself,” he explains. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to be back in print, I’m going to have to create my own printed words, and that’s where fortune cookies came in.”

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