Josh Topolsky, cofounder of The Verge and former editor of Engadget, is joining Bloomberg as editor of an upcoming series of verticals. The New York Times reports that Topolsky “will run develop and run Bloomberg’s new ventures, which will cover specific topic areas such as politics and luxury.”
On December 7, 1995, Irish playwright and poet Seamus Heaney accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature. The speech he gave that day in Sweden was later published under the title Crediting Poetry. Today, from that speech, a key passage anchors the headline and first paragraph of New York Times op-ed columnist Roger Cohen‘s piece about the current Middle East turmoil:
Paul McKenna has worn many hats during his eclectic, impressive career. He’s an international best-selling author, a hypnotist, a self-help guru and, now, a TV host.
On his new show McKenna (currently streaming on Hulu) he interviews media moguls like Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, Harvey Weinstein, Rachael Ray and Randy Jackson to find out “what makes them tick.” In our latest So What Do You Do column, McKenna gives advice to up-and-coming media pros and shares his thoughts on what makes a great interviewer:
I’m not a journalist. So I haven’t come from conventional journalistic training, which is to go for the jugular, you know, sneak one question in under another, try and get the other person [to] expose something. I’m just fascinated and curious. I think 25 years in the trenches, working with the most challenged of people you can imagine, has given me an ability to have a politely inquiring manner, I hope. I think you get more from people if they feel that they’re being genuinely listened to and understood, and that they don’t need to be on guard.
For more from McKenna, including how a chance encounter on Simon Cowell‘s boat resulted in his latest gig, read: So What Do You Do, Paul McKenna, Best-Selling Author, Hypnotist and Host of Hulu’s McKenna?
Finke’s behind-the-scenes account of what led to this week’s forced exit of Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman Jeff Blake (pictured) expertly triangulates his fate with the politics of a conglomerated studio lot, the machinations of Dan Loeb and the actions of Blake’s scrambling, fearful bosses (Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton). It’s a must-read and, best of all, is only Part One.
Finke reveals that Blake was almost scapegoat-fired last summer following a secret July 4 meeting. She notes that when it all, almost came crashing down last year, Blake, a longtime box office source, shared an unusual request:
I loathe those calls I sometimes have to make telling Hollywood bigwigs they’re in danger of getting axed. To my surprise, Blake verbally shrugged it off except to say “Water rising here”.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round features Lucky versus Wired. Lucky’s latest cover star is Solange Knowles, sister of Beyoncé and noted elevator pugilist.
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Major Executive Changes at Condé Nast (FishbowlNY)
Big changes have just hit Condé Nast. Editorial director Tom Wallace and COO and CFO John Bellando are both leaving the company, while David Geithner — a former veteran of Time Inc. — is joining as CFO. Capital New York Wallace, who had previously served as editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveler, had been editorial director since 2005, helping to craft a consistent brand across the company’s many glossies and its many special editions. WWD / Memo Pad Several other major management changes were revealed, including the expansion of responsibilities of Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., president of Condé Nast. According to a memo, Sauerberg “will assume a leading role in all revenue generation activities, including taking direct responsibility for the Condé Nast Media Group, as well as brand revenue growth.” This will expand his areas of responsibility beyond the management of digital, technology, consumer marketing, business development, corporate administration and Condé Nast Entertainment. THR Bellando joined the company’s executive ranks in 1999. Geithner had spent more than two decades at Time Inc. prior to the appointment at Condé Nast. Most recently, Geithner served as the EVP and president of Time Inc.’s Entertainment Group, and exited the company earlier this year as part of the reorganization prior to the spinoff of the publisher from Time Warner. Time Inc. chairman and CEO Joe Ripp announced Geithner’s departure in a memo on Feb. 4, singling out his contributions to People, Entertainment Weekly and InStyle. WSJ The changes come as Condé Nast, a unit of Advance Publications Inc., is pushing to capture more digital related advertising dollars. Earlier this month, Condé Nast launched a new online video hub called The Scene, intended to serve as a home for all its video channels, including original programming such as The Single Life and Strictly Ballet.
It’s been somewhat of a mixed bag at Michael’s this month with plenty of the famous faces usually spotted on Wednesdays having already hightailed it outta here for the Hamptons, Nantucket and other chichi vacation spots. Between TCA, Allen & Co.’s recent summit for movers and shakers and the seemingly daily announcements touting seismic changes in publishing, we’ve also noticed it’s been a bit quieter (in terms of bold face names, not decibel level) at 55th and Fifth in recent weeks. Still, in service to our faithful readers, we kept our weekly date to check in on those intrepid power lunchers who are still dishing despite summer’s siren call.
Today I was joined by fashion industry insider Mickey Ateyeh, fresh off her vacation in Italy, who, it must be said, knows everyone who is anyone. Mickey put together today’s lunch to introduce me to her longtime pal, PR maven Judith Agisim, who, in turn, brought along her client Bisila Bokoko. I’d seen Judith in this very room many times but never had the occasion to meet her. And, as you already know, in certain circles, all roads lead to Michael’s.
TVSpy: An Oklahoma station has apologized for almost enjoying hip-hop.
GalleyCat: For the second straight week, Sweet Addiction by J. Daniels leads the self-published Bestsellers List. See? If you’d just publish that novel yourself…
Viewers of reality TV often want to know if they’re watching actors or real people.
Recently, we got a chance to ask the people who might know, the starts of truTV’s Hardcore Pawn Les and Ashley Gold.
While Les told MediabistroTV he’s an actor inasmuch as a good salesperson needs to be an actor, the two assure us what you see on the show is real.
Part Two: Why are Pawn Shop Shows so Popular?
Part One: Five Weirdest things Pawned