Yesterday marked the first official day of Summer 2006. We asked some of our favorite media people in New York and elsewhere to tell us what media stories they’d be following over the summer, and what their summer plans were. From Shiloh to alt. weekly death to Maer Roshan trading cards to Cabo San Lucas to Jared Paul Stern at Taco Bell, the responses were, needless to say, varied. If we didn’t get to ya this time, drop us a line. We’ll be rolling out these Endless Summer posts throughout the summer.
Today, our first round — the media media — and pay attention — some of these people are setting the media agenda, one Long Island Iced Tea at a time. Look for round two tomorrow.
columnist, New York Post “Media Ink”
summer media story: Get ready for an August surprise from Conde Nast. Remember, while we all take vacations in July and August, Conde Nast chairman S. I. Newhouse Jr. is already back from his swing through Europe. And of course, the continuing saga of the fair Bonnie Fuller and the Perils of David Pecker.
summer plans: Will be spending part of the summer in the sleepy little town of Knock-na-goshel, Ireland where one of my young sons has high hopes of carving out County Kerry’s first baseball diamond out in the bog. Is is easier to slide on peat than in the more traditional clay field of dreams? We shall find out — we’re just wondering where we will get enough baseball gloves to outfit the Knock-na-goshel Nine. Or if all the first cousins play, it will be the Knock-na-goshel 35. Then on to Ballybunion, which features, so far as we know, one of the only known life sized statues of Bill Clinton in the world — swinging a golf club, naturally.
media editor, Women’s Wear Daily
summer media story: The story of the summer is definitely contract renewals. I can think of at least three I’ll be obsessing over.
summer plans: My wife and I will be taking a mini road trip through northern California. I also plan to get my money’s worth from my city parks tennis permit.
columnist, Deadline Hollywood, LA Weekly
summer media story: It has to be whether Pirates of the Caribbean 2 turns into the box office juggernaut I’ve been predicting, plus which failing studio/network mogul first does a header off their office ledge.
summer plans: Usually I plan an exotic vacation somewhere where poolboys fan me with palm fronds, but this summer I must slave away on my column, my new blog, and a writing project that’s due by Labor Day.
summer media story: The heat having already rendered my brain a gooey, melted mess (more so than usual!), I’ll likely be focusing on the media’s lowest common denominator: reality television. The Daily News‘ Tabloid Wars will be airing, and the Rolling Stone/MTV reality show has started filming. I can’t think of two stories more appropriately trivial for summertime.
summer plans: Seeing as the Ox Pasture estate is undergoing major renovations, you’ll find me here in the city, reveling in the stink, drinking on various rooftops, and hitting the public beaches, where I’ll build castles out of sand and syringes.
summer media story: I have no idea what media story I’ll be following closely all summer, partially because I’m just back from vacation and still pretty out of it and partially because I have no foresight. I fear the answer might be the same as last summer’s: I’ll be covering — we’ll all be covering, we’ll all I always i be covering — the launch of Radar.
summer plans: I also have no idea what or where Coen’s Ox Pasture Estate is, nor what sort of renovations it is undergoing, but the good news is that the Ox Beach Estate — be which I mean my parent’s place on the Jersey Shore, is, as I understand it, in perfectly good shape, and I hope to spend a large chunk of the summer there. More likely, I’ll end up sitting in dingy Manhattan bars, enjoying the air-conditioning. One of the two, definitely.
editor, Eat The Press, Huffington Post
summer media story: The lead-up to the election, of course. How the media characterizes and reports on Bush, the Republicans, the Democrats, Hillary, Gore (who will be a factor), Obama, Plamegate, corruption scandals — and of course the war and how it is covered (and whether Howie Kurtz is still asking leading questions about whether the media is reporting enough good news from Iraq). I’ll also be following Dan Abrams and the evolution of a new and improved MSNBC — very interested to see where he takes the network.
summer plans: Get to the beach, the park, the gym, into that skirt from last summer that no longer fits (damn you, delicious San Loco tacos!) and my parents’ cottage in Muskoka up in Canada which is the greatest place on Earth; work hard on developing Eat the Press with my fabulous HuffPo brethren; make a dent in an embarrassing pile of books; go to the beer garden in Astoria at least once, even though I don’t drink beer; go waterskiing (do people go waterskiing here?); cavort in the sunshine; take photos; sit on patios; drink enough fluids; write about Jews. Your average summer plans.
editor and publisher, Jossip Initiatives
summer media story: I’ll be following the Hearst vs. Conde Nast cafeteria wars. Summer hours will make it easier for us to slip in unnoticed to see who’s salad bar boasts the crispest lettuce.
summer plans: Beach, L.A., beach, beach. And continuing to groom my uncomfortably close relationship with TiVo, which seems to know I’m always in the mood for “So You Think You Can Dance.”
media reporter, PRWeek
summer media story: Jared Paul Stern‘s comeback, as he rises from associate chalupa boy to register at Taco Bell.
summer plans: Ingratiate self with shadowy power brokers; continue correspondence school course in A/C repair for post-media career; practice jumpshot.
Jared Paul Stern
summer media story: My own, of course. We’re just getting to the good part.
summer plans: In no particular order: Work on my book; fly to L.A. to meet with a bunch of glad-handing Hollywood types; wear white flannel trousers and walk along the beach in Nova Scotia; consume vast amounts of Pimm’s and Gosling’s Black Seal; finish “A Dance to the Music of Time.”
The P.R. People
president, Four Corners Communications
summer media story: Media stories that I will be following: the crashing and burning of NYC radio (notably Jack and FreeFM), more magazine properties going on the block or closing, news coverage of the mid-term election campaigns and how ballsy reporters can be if they want to be.
summer plans: For the first time in four years, I will not be fishing in Alaska (I get a special pass to let Jewish people in that state for five days!), so I plan on being in my basement home recording studio, making all kinds of rock and roll and electronic noise to make the neighbors wonder what the hell is going on. And I will be religiously following the Mets march to the post-season, running my little Mets e-mail list, taking some extended trips to East Hampton, and taking my kids back to a San Diego Legoland/Sea World/Zoo swing.
president, Cornerstone Public Relations
summer media story: What media story will you be following closely this summer? Newspapers and magazines on the internet — and how the advertising community is adapting.
summer plans: Will be moving into my new house, which follows the birth of my son and my new gig. I’ve hit the trifecta! So, I’ll be taking a little vacation in a place called hell.
summer media story: The continuing *rapid* growth of IPTV — internet television.
summer plans: Trip to Israel.
publicist, Ken Sunshine
summer media story: The Village Voice situation and the death of alternative weeklies in the U.S.
summer plans: Keeping the bulldog from overheating.
freelancer-at-large and FishbowlNY contributor
summer media story: I’m keeping a close eye on the imminent implosion of Tribune Co., which not only has repercussions for the newspaper sector, but for long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans (is there any other kind?) everywhere. As an Illinois boy, I assumed Tribune would be with us forever, thanks to a typically Midwest — i.e. forthright, competent, and relentlessly boring — management team. But now, with the potential for meltdown growing by the day, there’s an increasing chance that the Tribune-owned Cubs will be deemed “non-core” by the feuding board of directors and sold off to the obnoxious highest bidder (I’m personally praying for Mark Cuban). Monitoring that situation will give me something to do until Derek Lee comes back.
summer plans: I’m spending this summer on Fire Island with a house full of other media folks (because I don’t see them enough already). In fact, I’m there right now.
editor-at-large, High Times; blogger, Blooming Ideas
summer media story: My top media story of the summer has to be the Mets. In a nod to their last great team — the 1986 Mets — they’re running away with the NL East division. And it’s only June! When the Mets win, the media follows. Will the Mets be this year’s White Sox? We’ve got all summer to watch and figure it out.
summer plans: I tend not to travel much during the summer. I’ll sweat it out at home in New York. I’ll probably head out to the Hamptons once or twice and make a few other visits to closer beaches. I plan to attend the Gathering of the Vibes festival in upstate New York. I’ll be glued to the tube following the Mets and may even attend a few games at Shea. And of course I’ll be freelancing.
author, Miss Media, regular contributor, Salon
summer media story: Anything involving Israel, state abortion bans, the FDA and emergency contraception, Kevin Federline.
summer plans: June: finishing up new novel (Death By Chick Lit); July: attending rodeo in Laramie, WY; August, when seven months pregnant: constructing pulley system to get me to 4th-floor walkup.
freelance travel journalist, New York Times and ABCnews.com
summer media story: Avian Flu.
summer plans: Taking my daughter to Cabo San Lucas where I honeymooned with her dad long ago.
freelance writer, editor & designer, Big & Sharp
summer media story: No “story” per se, but closely following the emerging direction of two new editors in the men’s mag world: Tom Foster at Men’s Journal (who by all counts has made the mag look better) and Chris Keyes at Outside (who, as of one issue — July — seems to be onto something, but what exactly?)
summer plans: Finishing my lad lit novel, biking the Beach Mtn Lance Armstrong climb in Boone, NC and hanging out with my gorgeous daughter and wife.
summer media story: Oh, I dunno, maybe the downfall of various charlatans; that’s always great fun.
summer plans: Scribble for pay, play rock and roll music for pay, check out chicks on the street, drink beer outside, go to the beach and swim and look at chicks.
The Deadspin Dude
summer media story: Continuing with our devotion to raising the level of discourse in the sports world, we will be trying to nail down, once and for all, which World Cup teams has the hottest fans. Iran has not made the short list of contenders.
summer plans: I am going to do everything in my power to not leaving my apartment for any reason other than a dwindling supply of chocolate milk.