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Archives: July 2012

José Canseco’s New Gig: Vice Magazine Columnist

The former MLB star’s first column for the publication is a macho diatribe about gun control (spoiler alert: he’s against it).

While snarky hipster rag Vice may seem a strange home for the steroid-abusing jock, the fact is both share a robust interest in illicit drug use and a willingness to discuss the, well, vice. Canseco’s 2005 book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big blew the lid off the abuse of performance enhancing drugs in baseball, and even now he may not be off the sauce. Canseco was suspended by the Mexican Baseball League back in March after refusing to take a doping test and admitting to using testosterone, which may or may not have been medically necessary.

Either way, dude has some stories to tell. We’re hoping Vice editors are pushing for future Canseco rants to include some druggie details.

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The Daily Drops a Third of Its Staff [Update]

The bad news for The Daily continues. According to All Things D, the digital newspaper is cutting 50 of its 170 employees, nearly a third of its staff. Apparently the hardest hit will be the the editorial and sports pages, which will still carry on after the lay offs, but with minimal content.

The cutbacks come on the heels of News Corp. announcing that it was putting The Daily on probation, so this probably isn’t a good sign for its future.

As for Jesse Angelo‘s comments that anyone saying The Daily is doomed is a “hater?” Well, we can only imagine what he’s going to say now.

UPDATE:
Check after the jump for a release about the cuts from The Daily.

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Media General Cuts 75

Media General, the company that sold 63 papers to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in May, is dropping 75 staffers.

According to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, the cuts were coming from “corporate staff departments and in the digital media section of the Growth and Performance group.”

“Affected employees are being notified effective today; however, certain positions will have a deferred termination date between now and the end of the year for various business reasons,” wrote Media General’s CEO, Marshall Morton, in the memo.

For more, head over to Romensko’s site.

Reinstated on Twitter, Guy Adams Gets Tripped Up by CNN

The Independent’s Guy Adams is busy making the media rounds today in the wake of all that NBC Sports, Twitter and suspension business.

Let’s hope the chyron for his subsequent interviews is more accurate than a graphic used during his first such appearance on CNN:

After a second display of the above incorrect labeling, CNN fixed it on the fly and finally had Adams with the right outlet. Watch the full video here.

Major Layoffs at The Daily

Is 18 months of ambitious deficit financing enough to determine it is no longer worth pursuing a particular online news gathering path? Some would say yes, and today, that is exactly what News Corp. has decided.

Peter Kafka of All Things Digital was first with the news. His report was soon followed by a message from editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo and a public press release:

- A total of 50 full-time employees, 29 percent of the full-time staff, will be released.

- The Sports and Opinion sections, which saw the lightest traffic, are being reorganized. Sports reporting will now be provided by content partners, like Fox Sports, while existing features like photo galleries and the ability to track favorite teams via a customizable sports page will remain. The Daily will no longer have a standalone Opinion section. Opinion pieces and editorials will appear in the news pages, clearly marked, from time to time as appropriate.

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Tom Leykis’ Latest Online Gambit: 50,000 Songs in a Row

On Monday at noon PT, Tom Leykis kicked off his latest Internet experiment: the all-music stream Pure Pop Hits. Aimed squarely at the 12-to-24 demo, it features a DJ-less run of songs from the past three years and is set to play 50,000 of them… in a row.

“We are fully licensed with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and Sound Exchange as a webcaster,” Leykis tells FishbowlLA. “The total cost of operating Pure Pop Hits is a fraction of the cost of the KIIS-FM receptionist… if they still have one… About $7,000.”

To put that crazy 50K number in proper perspective, it means there will zero commercial interruptions in 2012. Featured artists include Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Usher and Pitbull. Pure Pop Hits also promises to never censor any song lyrics.

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Pete Thamel Leaves New York Times for Sports Illustrated

Pete Thamel is leaving The New York Times for Sports Illustrated. Thamel has been with the Times for nine years covering national college football and basketball. He was also nominated for a Pulitzer by the Times in 2006.

The Big Lead reports that Thamel will cover college basketball and football for SI as well.

Report: Ron Burkle Set to Acquire Variety

As has been previously noted, there is only one bidder for Variety who has the capacity to write a check without picking up the phone. Thus, Ron Burkle was always seen as a leading contender to acquire the trade publication if he so chose. Apparently, he has.

According to an LA Times report by Ben Fritz, Burkle is now the leading contender to acquire the trade:

Burkle’s Yucaipa Co. has been the most aggressive bidder and is most likely to emerge victorious from a sales process currently underway, according to two people close to the sale but not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Much like the notion of Eli Broad purchasing the paper Fritz writes for, if it does transpire this way, it really could not have turned out any better for Variety. Burkle has deep pockets, tons of business acumen and, most likely, a solid big-picture plan that could spell trouble for the trade’s direct competitors. The purchase price would allegedly be close to what has previously been reported: $40 million.

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Yahoo News Postulates a Villaraigosa 2016 Presidential Run

Yahoo News writer David Chalian must not live in Los Angeles. Because if he did, the thought of a 2016 Villraigosa presidential run would seem comically far-fetched. But that doesn’t stop Chalian from penning at least a thousand words on the prospect.

It’s easy to dismiss Villaraigosa’s likelihood of capturing the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, much less the presidency, due to his rocky (and public) personal life, lack of a developed national fundraising base, and occasional conflicts with portions of his political base.

But recall that Bill Clinton made it to the Oval Office with the personal baggage of infidelity and Barack Obama became the first non-white candidate to achieve the highest office in the land–you can begin to see how Villaraigosa’s interest in a 2016 run may yet still develop.

We personally don’t see it developing. But who knows? Maybe the Mayor can turn his 30/10 initiative to build a subway to the sea in 10 years, instead of 30, into a 30/2 initiative. That would be something to hang his hat on for a primary battle.

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