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Ronan Farrow Joins MSNBC, Will Host Weekday Show (TVNewser)
Ronan Farrow is joining MSNBC where he will host a new Monday-Friday program for the network. Farrow is a writer and lawyer, and son of actress/humanitarian Mia Farrow and, most likely, film director/actor Woody Allen. “Ronan has established himself as a provocative, independent journalist capable of challenging people’s assumptions and empowering audiences,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in his announcement. THR / The Live Feed Farrow’s television experience — and his familiarity to MSNBC viewers — is limited. And Griffin said that he’ll appear across MSNBC’s programs in the interim to build Farrow’s profile. Certainly the MSNBC chief has shown a willingness to groom talent that may lack TV skills. NYT Griffin said Farrow’s youth should be a plus in reaching out to viewers of his generation (few of whom regularly watch cable news), but he said the main rationale for the hire was “his personality — we look at personality and the ability to communicate.” FishbowlDC “This is a new generation of news show for a new, more engaged generation of viewers. It’s a show about why the news matters to you — and what you can do to be a part of the story,” said Farrow in a release.
New York Magazine Considers Going Biweekly (NY Post)
New York magazine, launched as a weekly 45 years ago by Clay Felker, is mulling a move to a biweekly as rumors swirl that it will post a 2013 loss of several million dollars. Anup Bagaria, CEO of parent New York Media, confirmed that cutting the frequency of the magazine in 2014 is being considered at the highest level. “There is nothing definitive yet,” he said. The company is in the midst of its budget planning for next year in an increasingly tough environment for print. FishbowlNY New York has been a weekly publication since it debuted 45 years ago. If it cut back to a biweekly, it would be a sad moment for not only the New York media scene, but for any fan of magazines. It would also be unsurprising.
LA Times Sued by Former Sports Writer T.J. Simers (LA Times / Company Town)
Former Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers has sued the paper, parent company Tribune Co. and the paper’s top two editors, alleging that he was discriminated against because of his age and a disability. Simers’ lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, also named former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, saying he disrupted Simers’ contract with the Times by putting pressure on the news organization to stop “negative press” from being written about him. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Times said the company would not give a comment on pending litigation, but Nancy Sullivan, vice president of communications for the Times told the paper “the claims in his lawsuit are without merit.” NBC Sports / HardballTalk Craig Calcaterra: The accusation seems pretty hollow. I followed coverage of McCourt closer than anyone outside of L.A. and there were multiple writers at the Times who were absolutely brutal in covering him.
Why Pierre Omidyar Decided to Join Forces With Glenn Greenwald for A New Venture in News (PressThink / Jay Rosen)
On Wednesday, word leaked out that Glenn Greenwald would be leaving The Guardian to help create some new thing backed by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. I just got off the phone with Omidyar. So I can report more details about what the new thing is and how it came to be. HuffPost Journalists Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras will be working with Greenwald on the venture founder by Omidyar, according to sources familiar with the matter. Scahill, a dogged investigative journalist who focuses on national security, and Poitras, a filmmaker who has extensively covered surveillance issues, had already been in discussions with Greenwald about starting a venture together when Omidyar approached with a similar vision for a new media outlet, sources said. Forbes / Mixed Media While the Greenwald/Omidyar venture will clearly be a mission-driven organization, like ProPublica, it won’t be a nonprofit. Omidyar is funding it directly, not through his philanthropic Omidyar Network. On a smaller scale, he’s already the primary backer of another for-profit news startup, Honolulu Civil Beat. FishbowlNY The to-be-named Greenwald venture, which formally came together earlier this month, joins Jeff Bezos‘ Washington Post, Robert Allbritton‘s Capital New York and Aaron Kushner‘s Orange County Register as a 21st century media concern to most definitely watch.
Times Reporter Plans to Take Fight to The Supreme Court (NYT / Public Editor’s Journal)
For James Risen, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, the bad news just keeps on coming. When I wrote about him in late July, a federal appeals panel had just ruled against him in a case related to a leak investigation. Now, the full Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has decided — with a discouraging 13-to-1 vote on Tuesday — not to reconsider that opinion.
Refinery29 Ditches Commerce, Raising $20 Million to Double Down on Content (PandoDaily)
Fashion site Refinery is doubling down on what’s working and moving away from what’s not. The commerce element will no longer be a focus. “It took us a couple of years to come to the conclusion that we could provide a better resource to users by focusing on discovery… versus getting caught up in the native transaction,” co-CEO Philippe von Borries says.
News Corp’s ‘Problem Child’ Is Actually Performing Just Fine (Quartz)
It’s now more than three months since Rupert Murdoch divided his media empire in two — separating the print media businesses on which his fortune was founded from his booming entertainment assets. And it hasn’t played out as many expected. Since the split took effect on July 1, shares in the new News Corp (which houses The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and the New York Post, among other titles) have underperformed Fox Group (which owns the Fox broadcasting stations and film studios) — but not by much.
Twitter’s Direct Messages, A Vehicle for Spam, No Longer Accept Links (ReadWrite)
Twitter users are reporting you can no longer include links in direct messages to other users. Direct messages are the only private means of communication on the otherwise public messaging network. This could be a result of Twitter’s move to broaden the range of accounts that can send each other direct messages.
Patch Will Staff Outlets in Top-Performing Areas Only, Memo Says (Poynter / MediaWire)
Patch will fully staff outlets in 14 designated market areas “with the highest traffic and revenue” only, a note Wednesday morning from new CEO Bud Rosenthal tells employees. Those DMAs include Hartford, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Detroit, Rosenthal writes.
SCOTUS Could Change How You Watch TV (CJR / Cloud Control)
There’s nothing like Twitter to remind a reporter that, in the age of BuzzFeed, an exclusive does not necessarily command the attention it once did. Last week, Variety’s Ted Johnson was the first to report that broadcasting giants like Comcast and Fox were about to try to take their fight with the startup Aereo — which, for a fee, will stream network TV to a customer’s computer — to the Supreme Court. The story was picked up by The Wall Street Journal, and, after the petition was filed, by publications as varied as Reuters, Quartz, and the New York Post. But on Twitter, the day the news broke, the story hit with a thud — two retweets, one favorite.
Houston Chronicle Expresses Reservations Over Cruz Endorsement (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The Houston Chronicle editorial board is expressing reservations over its decision to endorse Sen. Ted Cruz in last year’s Senate race. “We’re not sure how much difference one person could make in the toxic, chaotic, hyperpartisan atmosphere in Washington, but if we could choose just one it would be Hutchison, whose years of service in the Senate were marked by two things sorely lacking in her successor, Ted Cruz,” the board wrote on Wednesday.
GQ Editor Mark Lotto Leaves for Medium (Capital New York)
Mark Lotto has left GQ, where he’s been a senior editor for the past two-and-a-half years, and started work Wednesday at the online publishing platform Medium. It’s a big move for Lotto, a print veteran who also has worked as an op-ed page staff editor at The New York Times before joining GQ in 2011. Now he will be working alongside new media mainstays like Twitter co-founder and Medium founder Evan Williams, and director of content Kate Lee. FishbowlNY We’re not sure how many GQ pieces Lotto has banked, but the last to publish while he was still packing up there looks to be recipe item “The Great Franco-Italian Pasta Experiment.” Meanwhile, among the top-read articles last month at the free-form, collaborative place Lotto has joined was “Dear Guy Who Just Made My Burrito.” A little further down the Top 100 for September is “Why I Don’t Write for Medium.” Go figure.
Paul Caine Sounds Off on Radio’s Next Act (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
It was wall-to-wall mavens and moguls at Michael’s Wednesday with EICs of those swanky design books (Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and Veranda) holding court in one corner of the dining room (I guess living well really is the best revenge), while the usual bold-faced names and social swans exchanged air kisses in the other. I was joined by Paul Caine, CEO of audio content syndicator Westwood One, one of the nicest and most successful guys in the media biz (and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you just how rare a description that is around here).
Hackers Hit PR Newswire, Data Shows Up Alongside Recently Stolen Adobe Code (ArsTechnica)
Wednesday, Krebs on Security reported that publicity service PR Newswire was hacked in March 2013. But more interestingly, this hijacked data has surfaced on the same Internet servers where stolen Adobe Systems source code and customer data was recently found. The location of this lifted PR Newswire data suggests that the same black hats may be behind both hacks.
Romans Upped to CNN Chief Business Correspondent (TVNewser)
CNN’s Christine Romans has been promoted to chief business correspondent while continuing to host Your Money. In a note to staff obtained by TVNewser, CNN’s director of business news Caleb Silver writes, “Christine has made a terrific career out of demystifying complicated economic issues like the ones we face today, and explaining why they matter to everyone.”
What would your six-word memoir be?
jencraneNYC I should’ve planned better. Next time.
katylucey She sure did like to talk.
Les Hostetler Did not make things any worse
Ron Frankl I came, I ate, I left.
Angela T. Gregory They said I couldn’t. I did!
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