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David Ritz Has Five Books Out This Year

Mere mortals are happy with one biography or ghostwriting effort making it on to Amazon in a given year. But David Ritz long ago ceased being merely mortal.

In 2014, Ritz is responsible as a ghostwriter for the autobiographies of Rick James (July 8), Aerosmith’s Joe Perry (October 7) and Andrew Dice Clay (November 11). Today, he’s also got a biography of Aretha Franklin out, which follows his 1999 collaborative effort with the singer on her autobiography.

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NY Times Goes Big with Video Player

The New York Times is going big with the video player that is incorporated into homepage. The player now takes up almost the entire page — the Times has quadrupled its size — making it impossible to miss.

Visitors can can access additional videos using a left and right navigation tab. The Times’ full video offerings are available via a click on “explore all videos” or going directly to

The Times is clearly trying to get people to focus on its video offerings. This is certainly one way to do it.

FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance

Morning Media Newsfeed: ISIS Releases New Cantlie Video | Condé Nast Reshuffles Digital

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New ISIS Video Shows Hostage John Cantlie Allegedly Reporting From Kobani (Vice News)
In a new video published Monday, British photojournalist John Cantlie, who is now being held hostage by the Islamic State after being kidnapped in Syria in 2012, appears to be reporting from the city of Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border, which has been the stage to an ongoing battle between the militants and Kurdish forces. HuffPost The five-minute video, which is titled “Inside Ayn al-Islam,” shows Cantlie walking in front of destroyed buildings in what appears to be Kobani. After mentioning international reports of Islamic State losses in the battle for the town, Cantlie says Kobani is about to fall completely into the militants’ hands. NBC News But U.S. counterterrorism officials said that while the undated video apparently was shot in Kobani, Cantlie’s assertion that ISIS controls large swathes of the city is false. “We don’t know when this was recorded,” said one official, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity. “But to suggest that the ISIL (another acronym for ISIS) is in control of the city now is not accurate.” Mashable It’s widely assumed that Cantlie, who’s appeared in at least five propaganda videos since he disappeared, is reading from remarks that were prepared by his captors. Having rid the region of all independent journalists, it appears the group is now attempting to broadcast its own twisted form of journalism. The Guardian The video comes two days after the release of another video, in which Cantlie said that captives have been waterboarded for trying to escape.

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Bad and Good | Strong Words | Not Moved

Barack Obama GTVNewser: President Obama reads a lot of print news outlets, but doesn’t watch cable news. Democrats comment “Of course.” Republicans comment “Of course!”

GalleyCat: For all the Reading Rainbow fans out there, here’s LeVar Burton swearing a lot.

Lost Remote: Shockingly enough, everyone already hates Lifetime’s Aaliyah movie.

Listeners Pick Radio Station’s New Voice

Good idea? Bad idea? Regardless of which side of the argument you choose, there’s no doubt this is a sign of the Internet, American Idol and crowd-funding times.


The new promo-voice of Toronto radio station 88.1 FM (a.k.a. Indie88) is Jennifer Mercer. She was announced on-air this morning after the station narrowed down submissions to five finalists and then asked the listening public to vote:

Jen is a Torontonian who has held a variety of part-time jobs, including being a Katy Perry impersonator – a job she said she is anxious to put behind her now that she’s won. She’s also a copywriter, graphic design professor, voiceover artist and plays in a band.

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Southern Living Adds Two

Southern Living has added two to its team. Details are below.

  • Grant Dudley has been named digital managing editor. Dudley was most recently managing editor of and editor-in-chief of Design Happens.
  • Erin Merhar is joining as director of food styling. She was formerly chef and owner Mintfare LLC since 2010. Prior to that, she was a freelance food stylist for magazines, books, websites, and TV.

A Very Cute Taylor Swift Typo

Sometimes, a headline mistake isn’t simply a headline mistake. It’s also cause for lexicon celebration.


Few people have more riding on their perceived cuteness than current pop sensation Taylor Swift. It’s at the very heart of her appeal.

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Hearst Magazines International Makes Three Appointments

image004Not to be outdone by Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines International (HMI) has made appointments to its digital leadership team as well. Details are below.

  • Emily Jipson has joined HMI as vice president of product. She most recently served as head of global product management at Yahoo! Finance. Prior to that she was VP of product management at and emerging media at Dow Jones.
  • Melinda Lee has been named VP of content and audience development. Lee previously served as general manager of Getty Images’ music division.
  • Bernardo Chévez is vice president of technology. He most recently served as director of engineering at Condé Nast.

Gipson, Lee and Chévez will report to Gary Ellis, HMI’s chief digital officer.

The Unpublished Memoir of Simon & Schuster’s Co-Founder

simon schusterThe price tag, $5,000, is steep. But given the author and subject matter – “An unpublished look at American publishing history and practice” – someone is bound (pun intended) to snap up the manuscript.

Written in the late 1950s, Fools Give You Reasons is an 84-page marked-up professional memoir from Simon & Schuster co-founder Richard Simon. As Rebecca Rego Barry, who once worked at Simon & Schuster, blogs:

Several of Simon’s contemporaries published memoirs of their lives in books, e.g. The Memoirs of a Publisher by F.N. Doubleday (1972), At Random by Bennett Cerf (1977) and at S&S, Turning the Pages by editor Peter Schwed (1984). Alas, Simon’s manuscript went unpublished, and had been kept in the family until now.

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