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Tim Armstrong: I Made an Emotional Mistake Firing That Guy (Business Insider)
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong sent out the following memo to AOL staff, which we’ve obtained from a source inside the company. The memo is in reference to Armstrong’s firing of Patch creative director Abel Lenz on an all-hands conference call last week. Armstrong writes that he’s spoken to Lenz and apologized, but it still appears that Lenz is fired. NYT Armstrong: “I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz. It was an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people’s careers and livelihoods. I am the CEO and leader of the organization, and I take that responsibility seriously.” NY Observer But although Armstrong apologized for his emotional response, Lenz is somewhat to blame, according to the CEO. “Internal meetings of a confidential nature should not be filmed or recorded so that our employees can feel free to discuss all topics openly,” Armstrong wrote. “Abel had been told previously not to record a confidential meeting, and he repeated that behavior on Friday, which drove my actions.” FishbowlNY We’re not sure why it took Armstrong two full business days to circulate an internal apology for his on-the-spot firing of Lenz while chairing the Aug. 9 company-wide conference call. NY Post Legal experts say the axed employee could have solid grounds for a suit against his former employer. “The danger of firing someone in front of all those people, he could say that the termination makes it harder for him to get a job or damages his career,” said Randi Kochman, an employment lawyer at Cole Schotz. JimRomenesko.com “Over the last five sales days, we have amassed our worst results of the year,” Patch director of U.S. sales Jim Lipuma tells his ad-sales force in a memo he put out Tuesday. “We need to come together, right now, and behave as we always have…like winners.”
I’ve Raised $6.5 Million to Build And Grow My New Company Bustle.com (PandoDaily)
During the last decade, many popular new media properties have launched, most aiming to attract men, like Politico, Bleacher Report, TechCrunch, Business Insider, Mashable, Grantland, The Verge, Break, College Humor, IGN, Thrillist and Gawker. But with few exceptions (Jezebel, Refinery29 and PopSugar come to mind), the number of high-revenue publications aimed at women is much smaller. We have an opportunity to completely transform women’s publishing, and today I’m announcing my new company — Bustle.com — which aims to do just that. Business Insider We interviewed Bryan Goldberg about Tuesday’s announcement, what Bustle is, how he raised so much money, and how he plans to “make a fortune” building a women’s brand online. FishbowlNY While there’s plenty of B/R inspired content on Bustle (“6 News Stories That (Briefly) Freaked People Out” is the most popular article right now) at least all of Bustle’s writers are paid. Forbes / J. Maureen Henderson Goldberg seems to be under the impression that he’s breaking new ground or reinventing the wheel here — and that it desperately needed to be reinvented. Never before have women had the opportunity to read about pop culture and politics in one convenient location. Watch Obama’s surveillance speech and then click over to a slideshow on the hottest nail colors for fall! TheWrap / MediaAlley The outcry was immediate and fairly vicious. Many women understandably took exception to a man stating that he knew what was best for women’s publications. But Goldberg told TheWrap that he remains undaunted. “I’m disappointed that some people are jumping to quick conclusions about Bustle, and this simply expands our list of goals,” he said.
Legendary Political Reporter Jack Germond Dies at Age 85 (USA Today)
Jack Germond, a curmudgeonly chronicler of American politics for a half-century, died early Wednesday morning at his home in West Virginia, according to his widow, Alice Germond. “I think he was a great reporter,” she wrote in an email to friends. “He had a bold journalistic ethic, and that matters. He was fortunate to spend his life working at a job he would have done for free during some halcyon times in the newspaper business.”
Blacked Out in Three Cities, CBS Still Wins Ratings Race (NYT)
The 11-day-old blackout of CBS on Time Warner Cable systems seems to be having a minimal effect on the network’s ratings. Last week, the first full week of blocked service for more than three million Time Warner customers, the network topped its competitors in total viewers and in all the ratings categories important to advertisers. PRNewser Depending on which side you’re on, either CBS can’t accept the fact that its business model is falling apart because people don’t want to pay cable companies like TWC and support the advertisers that run this machine or TWC can’t accept the fact that customers are perfectly willing to pay for exclusive content as long as they don’t have to subscribe to 2,000 other channels (hence its business model falling apart).
ABCNews.com Pushing Out Video And Social-Centric ‘Refresh’ (TVNewser)
Way back in June, we noticed that ABC News was testing out a new look for ABCNews.com. Well, now we know a whole lot more about the design “refresh,” as the network is calling it. The current ABCNews.com is a bit dated, with CNN, NBC News and CBS News all having updated their sites since the last refresh. The new design places a heavy emphasis on video content, and brings social interaction to the forefront.
What Caused NBC’s Meet The Press to Fall Behind Face The Nation And This Week? (Mediaite)
NBC’s ratings woes aren’t just limited to weekday mornings, evenings and late night. The network’s Sunday morning flagship Meet the Press — the longest-running show on network television, as its announcer reminds the audience every week — has recently fallen to a 21-year low. And as of the past few weeks, the show has come in third place on Sunday morning, trailing CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week.
How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets (New York Times Magazine)
This past January, Laura Poitras received a curious email from an anonymous stranger requesting her public encryption key. For almost two years, Poitras had been working on a documentary about surveillance, and she occasionally received queries from strangers. She replied to this one and sent her public key — allowing him or her to send an encrypted e-mail that only Poitras could open, with her private key — but she didn’t think much would come of it.
Extra, Extra! Newspaper Crisis Hits Germany (Spiegel Online)
It came to Germany almost a decade later than America, but the newspaper crisis is sweeping the country, with plummeting circulations and revenues. The German news media must reinvent itself in order to retain readers.
New York Times Weaves Custom Ads Into ‘Snow Fall’-Like ‘The Jockey’ (Ad Age / Media News)
“The Jockey,” the New York Times‘ new 10,000-word profile of horse racing legend Russell Baze, will draw comparisons to “Snow Fall” for its immersive Web design and multimedia elements. But unlike “Snow Fall,” where awkwardly inserted standard ads disrupted a lavish account of a deadly avalanche, “The Jockey” features custom ad units designed to better fit the new environment. FishbowlNY The New York Times wants you to get excited about “The Jockey,” so they’ve put together a trailer for it. The 36-second video doesn’t reveal much about the piece, other than it has something do with a — wait for it — Jockey. And maybe a horse or two. The Atlantic Wire Like “Snow Fall,” the story incorporates the act of scrolling into the multimedia content itself. “The Jockey,” however, relies a bit more on full-screen video, with fewer moving sidebars or sprawling animations visible simultaneously as the text.
San Francisco Chronicle Releases Statement Confirming That Its Content Is No Longer Behind A Paywall (San Francisco Appeal)
According to present and past San Francisco Chronicle staffers, the newspaper’s brief experiment in charging for at least part of their online content has ended only a few months after it began. However, the only official line from a spokesperson is “no comment.” The Chronicle has released a statement confirming that “all Chronicle” content will now appear, for free, on SF Gate.
Syrian Electronic Army Strikes Again, Hits SocialFlow, NY Post (Daily Beast)
It seems no one’s safe from the Syrian Electronic Army. The online activists claimed credit on Tuesday for hacking the Facebook page of the New York Post and the Twitter feeds of some of the paper’s reporters. It also hacked into the Facebook page, Twitter account and blog of SocialFlow, a social media optimization service used by scores of media outlets, including The Daily Beast, to manage their Twitter and Facebook pages.
Journalism Has Entered A Golden Age (Business Insider)
CNN host Brian Stelter was kind enough to have me on his show, Reliable Sources, over the weekend. In response to one question, I said that journalism has entered a “golden age.” Judging from the Twitter reaction, many of Brian’s viewers agreed. One viewer, however, a former print journalist, called this assertion “absurd.” It’s true that “golden age for journalism” is not usually the first thing that you hear when you go to conferences and listen to panels of middle-aged newspaper people talk about the state of the newspaper business. But I wasn’t talking about the newspaper business. I was talking about journalism.
Morning, Sunshine: Why Is Savannah Guthrie So Successful? (Elle)
The TV anchor debuted in the midst of the fiercest morning-show wars in 16 years — and came through it not just unscathed but shining bright. TVNewser Guthrie’s co-hosts Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Natalie Morales decided to highlight the feature on the Today show Tuesday morning. “I think it’s outrageous that they put Kate Upton on the cover,” Lauer quipped.
Where Boston Phoenix Journalists Landed After The Alt-Weekly Closed (JimRomenesko.com)
Former Boston Phoenix executive editor Peter Kadzis says of the gray day that the 47-year-old weekly paper closed: “At the moment — and still in retrospect — it had a dream-like quality. There was that pull between the unconscious (can this really be happening?) and the conscious (yes, it is!).
How Fox Sports 1 Could Actually Make Sports Fun Again (Forbes / Mixed Media)
When entering a market where there’s already a dominant player, creating a brand is as much about branding the incumbent as it is about establishing your own identity. As 21st Century gears up for the launch of its new national sports network this weekend, it’s been hitting one theme and hitting it hard: Fox Sports 1 is going to make sports fun.
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