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Archives: July 2013

Temple Grad Students Feel Broadcast Journalism is ‘Safer’

Author-journalist Thom Nickels has an interesting recap on the Huffington Post of a recent event at Temple University. He was part of a panel that also included Philadelphia Daily News columnist Elmer Smith and says one of the first things he learned is that most graduate students in the audience had already bailed on print:

I was surprised to discover that the vast majority of students were broadcast journalism majors.

With the closing and bankruptcy of so many newspapers across the country, there seemed to be a consensus among the students that a career in print journalism was suspect, whereas a career in broadcast journalism – where there have been no reported of closings of television news departments – was “safer.”

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David Pecker Holds Court; David Zaslav Jumps the Shark

1003_mockup.gifIt’s been a head-spinning summer of celebrity sightings and media maven mashups at 55th and Fifth, but today at Michael’s the mogul quotient was completely off the charts. I knew it was going to be one of those days when Discovery Communications honcho David Zaslav sauntered into the dining room sporting shades and carrying a stuffed shark. Oh, hadn’t you heard? The net’s Shark Week kicks off August 4. Funny enough, David was lunching with William Morris Endeavor’s co-CEO Ari Emanuel. I’ll let you insert your own joke here.

I was sitting squarely in the center of gravity with David Pecker and David Zinczenko and the experience was akin to being a fly on the wall to the lunchtime version of ‘This is your life, David Pecker,” as friends (too many to mention), former colleagues (ditto) and well-wishers (everyone else in the room), stopped by to pay their respects and get some face time with AMI’s chairman and CEO. (“I’m definitely going to call you about that, thanks!”) It was something akin to The Godfather without the tuxes, mumbling and cannolis (David opted for the ‘Michael’s burger and ‘Zinc’ had the Korean tacos).

Zinc (in the interest of clarity, I’ll refer to David Zinczenko by the catchy moniker of his book imprint) has garnered plenty of headlines this year with his highly publicized alliance with AMI, his Random House contract and a new deal with ABC (he’s got his first segment on “20/20″ airing this Friday). David has maintained, by comparison, a somewhat low profile — except for the fact that he was a contender for the top spot at Time Inc. this spring. AMI’s affable chairman (I discovered this man knows everyone — and I mean everyone) has opted to mostly let his game-changing decision of hiring Zinc and the success at the newsstand with his myriad of titles do the talking.

David Pecker, Diane Clehane and David Zinczenko

Fresh off the quarterly AMI board meeting in Connecticut this weekend, there was plenty to dish about over lunch. As you undoubtedly know, AMI publishes, National Enquirer, Star, Globe, OK!, the newly revitalized Men’s Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Fit Pregnancy and Shape and several other titles which reach a combined audience of more than 60 million readers every month.  With the birth of the royal baby and the can’t-make-this-stuff-up New York City mayor’s race, I just had to ask David what his tabloid titles have in store. Plenty, as you might expect, but each title addresses a very different constituency. When it comes to news about the royal baby, the ubiquity of the coverage poses a challenges says David.

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Quiet Little One | Calling Them Out | Faced and Booked

AllTwitter: A Twitter troll is silenced when someone says they’re going to tell the troll’s mom about the mean tweets. Sounds about right.

TVNewser: “This chick is so batshit” is an almost accurate way to describe Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting partner. So what does that say about Weiner?

AllFacebook: More Facebook when you’re not even on Facebook will likely make you hate Facebook even more than you already do.

Chasing New Jersey Promo Spoofs SNL Opening

When the WWOR-TV Secaucus, NJ evening news program Chasing New Jersey launched July 8, replacing the station’s traditional 10 p.m. weekday newscast, the comparisons were all about TMZ. But based on a new YouTube goof posted by a show staffer, it looks like the program is hoping to be lumped with Lorne Michaels as well as Harvey Levin.

These MyFox9 news chasers obviously don’t take themselves too seriously. Still, even within that loose framework, is it really a good idea to start emulating a sketch comedy show as other parties continue to debate your platform?

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Meredith Makes Four Big Promotions

Meredith Corporation has made a few fairly big promotions today. Below are the details.

  • Christine Guilfoyle has been promoted to VP/group publisher, overseeing Allrecipes, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and EatingWell. She reports to Tom Witschi, the executive VP/president of Meredith Women’s Lifestyle Group.
  • Linda Fears has tacked VP onto her role as editor-in-chief of Family Circle. Fears has been the editor of the magazine for the past eight years. Fears will also continue as editorial director of Meredith’s Food Content Center of Excellence. Fears continues to report to Jim Carr, executive VP and President of Family Circle.
  • Cheryl Brown has been named editor-in-chief of Allrecipes magazine. Brown most recently served as editorial director of Recipe.com. Brown will report to Fears.
  • Britta Cleveland has been promoted to senior VP, research solutions. Cleveland has been with Meredith in 2004, most recently serving as VP, research solutions. She continues to report to Nancy Weber, executive VP/CMO.

Humor (and Impress) Editors at Cincinnati

Cincinnati In addition to publishing keen narratives, editors at Cincinnati have an eye for good humor as well. Although the city itself was once dubbed “Porkopolis” for its history of hog butchering, the mag tapped a freelancer to cover local officials’ attempts to stem damage caused by feral hogs terrorizing a nearby county. How horrific.

Since it was founded in the late 60s, the regional mag has proved it can play with the big boys. Feature in point: Kathy Y. Wilson‘s article on local conservative radio host Bill Cunningham earned the pub a 2007 nomination for a National Magazine Award alongside profiles from National Geographic, New York magazine, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

Now the mag is looking for fresh (skip the hog) meat from journos with an “engaging, unique voice,” executive editor Linda Vaccariello said.

For pitching etiquette and editors’ contact info, read How to Pitch: Cincinnati.

Sherry Yuan

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Vanessa Bush Named Editor of Essence

Vanessa Bush is officially taking over editor-in-chief of Essence. Bush had been acting editor since Constance C.R. White was fired in February. Prior to that, Bush served as Essence’s executive editor since 2011. She has been with the magazine since 2000.

“Vanessa’s more than 10 years of experience as an editorial leader at Essence will ensure continued success for the preeminent African-American women’s media brand,” said Martha Nelson, Time Inc.’s editor-in-chief, in a statement. “She has the full support of Time Inc. to execute on her vision to honor this loyal and cherished audience.”

Bush has her work cut out for her, as some have claimed that Essence has been suffering from an identity crisis for several years.

Daily News Corrects Report, Makes Weiner More Firm

When the New York Daily News asked Anthony Weiner if he was currently sexting anyone, his answer was so ambiguous that it caused people to roll their eyes and say something along the lines of “Here we go again.” However, since that interview was published, the paper issued a correction, claiming that Weiner’s answer was “transcribed incorrectly.”

Here’s the original exchange:

Daily News: “There’s no one you’re sexting now?”

Weiner: “You can quibble about beginnings, middles and ends but what we’re talking about is over a year ago.”

You can see why people were annoyed. The answer to this question should’ve been easy. Now check out the “clarified” version:

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Reason TV Remix Has Anthony Weiner Singing ‘Blurred Junk’

You knew it was coming. Replace Robin Thicke in the music video for “Blurred Lines” with some dancing Anthony Weiner doppelganger and you’ve got the NYC must-remix of this summer’s infectious hit.

The magazine enlisted the help of GoRemy (a.k.a. Remy Munasfi) and easily, for our money, the best line in this “Blurred Junk” version reads as follows – “Not since Chilean miners, were rescued fast; have people been so happy, seeing the top of a shaaaaaaft.” The oversized hashtag #PRICKE ain’t too shabby either.

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Paul Haggis Writes Open Letter to Leah Remini

The words of support appear in this week’s Hollywood Reporter magazine and comes via Europe, where Haggis has been working on a project for the past year and a half.

There are a number of interesting tidbits here, including a Church spokesman denying to THR that they recently registered the website domain whoisleahremini.com. Meanwhile, in his letter, Haggis states that Leah Remini was the only high-profile Church of Scientology member to remain in contact with him after he left the religion in 2009. She was also, he recalls, very friendly to him at a school function a few months after his exit.

Haggis argues that Remini deserves our full admiration for her courageous questioning of CoS higher-ups. The writer-director also shares an absolute howler of an anecdote:

When I was leaving [Scientology] and was visited by waves of angry friends and a phalange of top Scientology executives, trying to convince me to tear up my letter and resign quietly, I made a similar mistake by insisting they look into the charges of abuse detailed by the Tampa Bay Times. I was working on a film about Martin Luther King Jr. at that moment and made the polite suggestion that even great leaders like Dr. King were human and fallible.

Two of the senior church leaders leaped to their feet and shouted at me, “How dare you compare a great man like David Miscavige to Martin Luther King!” I ended the meeting at that point, thanking them for coming.

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