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Newspaper Reporter Explains the Reasons for His Departure

KevinSabanKevin Sablan (pictured), one of the Orange County Register journalists who recently took a buyout, has blogged today about how that decision was reached. He devotes a great deal of his post to what were, for him, the better Register days:

During my first eight years at the paper, I worked on advancing our digital efforts. I started as a slightly glorified Web monkey, part of a team that got stories online and made sure the site’s many moving parts were updated throughout the day.

Freedom. It was a great time. There weren’t enough bosses to review everything that published online, and standards were still being set. I could experiment without fear of losing my job. I threw in some fancy CSS and JavaScript trickery. I did things like embed a tour of the Rose Parade (a Google Map that could be navigated with custom buttons) into an article. I made tables sortable. I never had to ask for permission…

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Derl McCrudden Promoted to Head of AP’s International Video News

APLogoThe Associated Press has promoted Derl McCrudden to head of international video news. McCrudden was previously head of video newsgathering. He has been with the AP since 2010. Previously, McCrudden was on the launch team of Al Jazeera English and helped run the channel’s Asia operation.

“Derl is one of the smartest journalists in the business, a proven leader whose calm demeanor and steely determination mark him out as a natural for this role,” said Sandy MacIntyre, AP’s VP and director of global video, in a statement.

The AP also announced the following changes:

  • Denise Vance, deputy director of U.S. video, has been promoted to head of U.S. video and radio.
  • Vaughn Morrisonformerly of CNN and Fox, was named head of U.S. video production.
  • Debora Gorbutt, head of video content development, will expand her role to oversee AP Middle East Extra.

Weird Al’s Early Jobs Included ‘Accordion Repo Man’

ShutterstockAccordionIt’s been a long time since a comedy album topped the Billboard 200 charts. Today, Weird Al Yankovic, the man responsible for that feat, sat down for a radio interview with KFI AM 640′s Bill Handel.

Yankovic started off the conversation by talking with Handel about his earliest jobs. He reminded that while studying architecture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, he went by the DJ name of “Al Matthews” for an off-campus, paid radio gig.

The man born Alfred Matthew Yankovic also, hilariously, talked about being an “accordion repo man.” He was a teacher at a music school, and when students discontinued their lessons, it was often up to Yankovic to show up at their door and request that they return the loaned musical instrument. “They were more than happy to give it back, for some reason,” Yankovic deadpanned.

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Josh Topolsky Joins Bloomberg

bloomberg media logoJosh 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.”

Topolsky’s appointment is effective August 4. He’ll report to Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel and Bloomberg Media’s CEO Justin Smith.

At The Verge, Nilay Patel, a former managing editor of the site, will serve as editor-in-chief. Dieter Bohn will become executive editor.

Nobel Prize Winner’s Wise Words Frame NYT Op-Ed

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:

NYTRogerCohenOpEd

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Paul McKenna on What Makes a Great Interviewer

McKenna-article

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?

Nikki Finke Cranks Out Her Best New Story Yet

JeffBlakePicWhy did Nikki Finke return to the Internet airwaves, under threat of litigation from her former boss Jay Penske? So she could continue sharing stories like this one.

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”.

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Cover Battle: Lucky or Wired

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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FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance

Morning Media Newsfeed: Major Changes Hit Condé Nast | MTP May Oust Gregory

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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.

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