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Archives: June 2014

Smile for the Network | More Money | Consistent Presence

facebookAllFacebook: Facebook says “Stop being so emotional” to users who unknowingly participated in an experiment that toyed with their emotions.

GalleyCat: Last year, the nation’s book publishing industry generated $27 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, authors were paid with snack size Snickers and piles of dust.

TVNewser: Another day, another odd decision by CNN.

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Village Voice Contract Negotiations Down to the Wire

It started with a June 13 fundraiser, and continued today with a lunchtime staged walkout by employees in front of The Village Voice headquarters. In between, there was a Strike Bulletin featuring a Beyonce GIF (“I Can’t With These Basic Bitches”).

VillageVoiceFundraiser

It’s all part of some effective in-their-face media outreach by the Village Voice employees union. The group’s three-year contract expires tomorrow, July 1, and at press time, negotiations with management had resumed.

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Fortune Makes Editorial Changes

XtTZlC8VFortune has named Clifton Leaf its new deputy managing editor and Brian O’Keefe its new international editor.

Leaf returned to Fortune late last year as assistant managing editor. He had previously served as guest editor for The New York Times op-ed page and Sunday Review section. O’Keefe, a 14-year veteran of Fortune, most recently served as its assistant managing editor.

The changes were designed to help Fortune cope with the departure of Stephanie Mehta, who resigned from the magazine in order to take some time off. “Stephanie had many responsibilities at Fortune, so many in fact I think it’s best no single person take on all of her work,” wrote Fortune’s managing editor, Andy Serwer, in a memo.

You can read Serwer’s full note below.

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Hyperlocal Network HamletHub Adds Another

In the shadow of the rise and fall of Patch, another hyperlocal network has been doing it in a manner that the AOL venture likely wishes – in retrospect – that it had too. Namely, growing via baby steps rather than busting out quickly across the country to satisfy a parent-company spreadsheet.

HamletHubsMap

HamletHub, launched in 2010, is now approaching two dozen sites. The latest, serving Croton-on-Hudson in New York, looks great and counts as its editor longtime resident Ken Sargeant:

Ken has lived in Croton with his family since 1991. He has played an active role in local environmental and cultural organizations throughout that time. A visual arts professional with a background in commercial photography, as well as documentary film, Ken is the proprietor of RiverLiver Productions, and co-Founder of the Harlem Cultural Archives, a New York State chartered historical society.

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Time Inc. Senior Digital VP: ‘We are Not a Magazine Company’

M. Scott Havens, who recently joined Time Inc. as its new senior VP of digital, has big plans for the company. In an interview with The Guardian, Havens made it clear that in order for the company to flourish, it was going to have to think outside the box. Way outside.

“We are not a magazine company,” he explained. “We are a media company with a portfolio.” Time Inc. staffers, please note this change when talking to relatives about your career.

Havens had a good reason for tossing aside the “magazine” label. He wants Time Inc. employees to think in terms of innovation, and — despite how much we love magazines — the word just doesn’t inspire.

“We want to build the next LinkedIn, the next Gilt, the next Facebook,” Havens added. “We have got really smart people and we need to let them use their brains.”

Newspaper Editor Bows to Canine Author’s Page Views

The bylined author of this particular item for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon certainly has a unique POV.

StatesmanJournalLogo

Here’s her lede:

Hi friends, Gwen here. As many of you know, I am an old dog and as such, I have years of wisdom to share. In dog years, let’s see, Cesar Milan says I would be 65, WebMD says I’m 74 and one dog-food company says I am 80!

Gwen’s itemization of “Five Common Mistakes Made by Dog Owners” (Example: 2. Assuming your dog behaves badly by choice) struck a chord with the newspaper’s readers. The June 20 article remained the most viewed article on the paper’s website for days, prompting a respectful weekend review from executive editor Michael Davis:

As of Friday afternoon, the helpful hints for patrons of pooches had generated a total of 11,430 page views on desktop computers, and an astounding 15,580 page views on mobile devices, such as Smartphones.

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NY Times Names Cara Buckley New Carpetbagger

The New York Times has named Cara Buckley as its new Carpetbagger blogger. As the Carpetbagger, Buckley will be tasked with covering the endless Hollywood award shows. Prior to covering culture for the Times, Buckley served as a reporter for its metro desk for seven years.

“As a new addition to the department, Cara has already made many of her inimitable talents known, expertly interviewing several of this year’s nominees while doggedly covering the scuttlebutt of the 2014 race,” wrote the Times’ culture editor, Danielle Mattoon, wrote in a memo.

Buckley is succeeding Melena Ryzik, who will now focus on general news and features.

Erykah Badu & WPIX’s Mario Diaz Are BFFs

In case you missed it, singer Erykah Badu waltzed into a Friday live shot by WPIX reporter Mario Diaz, who was at the time trying to sum up the Shia LaBeouf mess. After gliding into the background, the singer moved closer and playfully planted an air-kiss on Diaz.

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AP to Use Robots to Write Business Stories

This is the beginning of the end. The robots have finally been able to break through. The Associated Press has announced that it’s going to start using “automation technology” to write many of its corporate earnings reports.

Lou Ferrara, managing editor of the AP, said the technology will allow the AP to crank out short articles much more efficiently:

We discovered that automation technology, from a company called Automated Insights, paired with data from Zacks Investment Research, would allow us to automate short stories – 150 to 300 words — about the earnings of companies in roughly the same time that it took our reporters. And instead of providing 300 stories manually, we can provide up to 4,400 automatically for companies throughout the United States each quarter.

If it seems innocuous, that’s because the machines wanted it to be this way.

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Greg Kelly is Good at Being Creepy and Gross

New York News

Greg Kelly seems like a great guy. The Good Day New York anchor has either never seen a woman wearing a bikini before, or has no idea how to not be an asshole when he does.

During Anna Gilligan’s report on a new rope swing at New Jersey’s Action Park, Kelly was as creepy and inappropriate as possible. After Gilligan finished the ride, said “Look at her, it’s like something out of a movie. Then, as Gilligan inserted her earpiece, Kelly added, “Nice bathing suit.” He then attempted to keep the segment going, despite it being over. “Hold on a second, not so fast, Anna,” said Kelly.

Rosanna Scotto, Kelly’s co-anchor, tried to stop Kelly from being disgusting, but to no avail. When the segment finally ended, Scotto asked Kelly, “What is wrong with you?” Plenty, apparently.

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