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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Keller’

Morning Media Newsfeed: AT&T to Acquire DirecTV | NYT Publisher Speaks | CNN Fires Editor

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AT&T to Buy DirecTV for $48.5 Billion (NYT / DealBook)
AT&T formally agreed on Sunday to buy DirecTV for about $48.5 billion, striking another transaction meant to overhaul the American telecommunications landscape. CNNMoney The boards of the two companies met on Sunday to approve the plan. “This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens — mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes,” said Randall Stephenson, the chief executive of AT&T, in a statement. WSJ Just months ago, Comcast Corp. announced a $45 billion agreement to buy Time Warner Cable, a combination that would serve close to 30 million video subscribers, after proposed divestitures. Meanwhile, Sprint Corp. continues to work on a bid for smaller rival T-Mobile US Inc., people familiar with the matter say. The deal for DirecTV gives AT&T almost 26 million pay TV subscribers and a national footprint in the business at a time when the telecom carrier sees video delivery as core to its future. The Associated Press Dallas-based AT&T’s proposed combination could improve its Internet service by pushing its existing U-verse TV subscribers into video over satellite service, and thereby free up bandwidth on its telecommunications network. AT&T currently offers a high-speed Internet plan in a bundle with DirecTV television service. The acquisition would help it further reap the benefits of that alliance. DirecTV would continue to be based in El Segundo, Calif., following the merger. The companies expect the deal to close within 12 months following a government review.

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New York Times Publisher Takes Media to Task for Abramson Coverage

new-york-times-logoThe spiraling debate and speculative coverage of Jill Abramson‘s departure from the New York Times as a pay-inequality issue finally became too much for her boss to bear. This afternoon, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. categorically denied the notion that Abramson was paid less than her male predecessors.

He then went on, very candidly, to outline why Abramson was let go. Here’s the full statement, sent to FishbowlNY:

Perhaps the saddest outcome of my decision to replace Jill Abramson as executive editor of the New York Times is that it has been cast by many as an example of the unequal treatment of women in the workplace. Rather than accepting that this was a situation involving a specific individual who, as we all do, has strengths and weaknesses, a shallow and factually incorrect storyline has emerged.

Fueling this have been persistent but incorrect reports that Jill’s compensation package was not comparable with her predecessor’s. This is untrue. Jill’s pay package was comparable with Bill Keller’s; in fact, by her last full year as executive editor, it was more than 10% higher than his.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Walters Signs Off | Abramson/NYT Fight Unfolds | FCC Approves Proposal

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Two Dozen Women of TV News, Barbara Walters’ Legacy, Join Her on Her Final View (TVNewser)
Thursday afternoon, the legacy of Barbara Walters came to life in the finale of her final The View, taped at ABC’s Westside studios and set to air Friday. Mediaite All 11 current and former co-hosts of The View turned up to send off Walters. In an emotional segment, the hosts shared their fondest memories of the program’s founding member and some of the advice that they said guides them in their present careers. THR / The Live Feed Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton were among the surprise guests who showed up to say goodbye. After more than 50 years in TV news, Walters is officially retiring, leaving her co-hosting gig on The View, but she’ll continue to serve as the show’s executive producer and contribute to ABC News on an as-needed basis. The Associated Press Walters brought the hour to a close with a heartfelt statement looking back with amazement on her career, then signing off with a pledge to “take a deep breath and enjoy my View.” But a more telling moment took place during a break, as the throng of women she had paved the way for posed with her for a group portrait. TheWrap The cadre of A-List media stars who gathered for the photo included Winfrey, Katie Couric, Joan Lunden, Robin Roberts, Connie Chung, Gayle King, Maria Shriver, Paula Zahn, Jane Pauley, Savannah Guthrie, Elizabeth Vargas, Lara Spencer, Tamron Hall, Diane Sawyer, Cynthia McFadden, Natalie Morales, JuJu Chang, Amy Robach, Deborah Norville and Hoda Kotb, as well as Walters’ co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Rosie O’Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Debbie Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, Star Jones, Jenny McCarthy and Meredith Vieira.

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Deconstructing Jill Abramson’s Sudden Departure

new-york-times-logoHere’s the first of what will be many bits of anecdotal evidence submitted in an effort to decipher the abrupt exit of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson. It comes from a New Yorker item by Ken Auletta:

Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs.

“She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.

Another source however told Auletta that the salary gap had been closed,* leaving only a pension disparity tied to the pair’s differing lengths of NYT service.

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Gabriel Dance Joins The Marshall Project

Gabriel Dance GGabriel Dance is joining The Marshall Project — a nonprofit news organization that focuses on the American criminal justice system — as managing editor in charge of digital journalism. The Marshall Project’s editor is former New York Times executive editor, Bill Keller.

Dance comes to the Marshall Project from The Guardian US, where he served as interactive editor. He previously worked for the Times and News Corp’s The Daily.

“Gabe Dance is one of the most creative journalists I know, a master storyteller of the digital age,” said Keller, in a statement. “I expect him and the team he will build to be a vital part of every project we undertake, from inception to completion.”

Dance’s appointment is effective May 1.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Keller Departs NYT | Armstrong Apologizes | Intercept Launched

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Bill Keller, Former Editor of The New York Times, Is Leaving for News Nonprofit (NYT)
Bill Keller, a columnist at The New York Times and its former executive editor, will leave the paper to become editor in chief of The Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism start-up focused on the American criminal justice system. “It’s a chance to build something from scratch, which I’ve never done before,” Keller said, “and to use all the tools that digital technology offers journalists in terms of ways to investigate and to present on a subject that really matters personally.” NBCNews.com He is slated to begin his leadership position at The Marshall Project on March 1. The nonprofit venture was formed late last year by Neil Barsky, a journalist turned Wall Street hedge fund manager, who will serve as publisher. The Washington Post / Style Keller began his tenure by overseeing coverage of the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the U.S. military invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Times later acknowledged that its reporting on this period — particularly on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — was flawed. Under Keller’s editorship, the Times published excerpts of sensitive U.S. military and diplomatic files obtained by WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization that had received them from then-Army Pvt. Bradley Manning. The paper also published stories disclosing the George W. Bush administration’s practice of “warrantless wiretapping” of suspected terrorists in 2005. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Bill has made so many contributions to the Times over his 30 years here, it’s difficult to quantify them,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the Times‘ publisher said in a statement. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media For all his feats, including leading the paper out of one of the most tumultuous periods in its history, Keller had a vexed relationship with members of the Times leadership: its publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., and its editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, who Keller has reported to since 2011.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Cancer Column Backlash | Weather Channel Yanked | Couric Debuts on Yahoo!

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Readers Lash Out About Bill Keller’s Column on Woman With Cancer (NYT / Public Editor’s Journal)
Bill Keller’s column in The New York Times on Monday about Lisa Bonchek Adams has generated a great deal of negative response. Xeni Jardin, the well-known writer who blogs on Boing Boing, sometimes about her own experience with cancer, was outraged, calling it bullying. Adams herself responded this way on Twitter: “I don’t know why I, a person dedicated to education and personal choice by cancer patients, have been so mischaracterized.” CJR / Behind The News Before last Wednesday you probably hadn’t heard of Adams, a Connecticut mother of three who has been tweeting and blogging about her experience living with, and being treated for, stage IV breast cancer. Adams’ moderate following occupies a niche realm, consisting largely of cancer activists and those afflicted with the disease, and there would’ve been little way for her frequent updates to make their way onto the press radar — aside from a short feature on Adams in USA Today published in 2011 (the piece didn’t mention her Internet presence). Then Bill and Emma Keller took it upon themselves to chaperone her feeds to a new breed of Internet fame, in a husband wife one-two punch: Emma published a controversial piece on Adams in The Guardian Wednesday and Bill wrote an editorial on the same subject for Monday’s Times. HuffPost In a piece in the Times entitled “Heroic Measures,” Bill compared her “fierce” approach to that of his father-in-law, who he said died a “calm” death in a British hospital that emphasized palliative care. “His death seemed to me a humane and honorable alternative to the frantic medical trench warfare that often makes an expensive misery of death in America,” he wrote. NYT In The Guardian, Emma questioned Adams’ documenting her illness in a public forum. “Are her tweets a grim equivalent of deathbed selfies, one step further than funeral selfies?” Emma wrote, referring to self-taken images. A wave of online criticism developed from Adams’ followers and others, accusing Emma of mischaracterizing her. Emma was also criticized for publishing private correspondence with Adams as part of her column. Poynter / MediaWire The Guardian has removed the post. “Following an investigation by the Guardian’s independent readers’ editor, we have removed the article in question from our website because it is inconsistent with the Guardian editorial code,” spokesperson Gennady Kolker tells Poynter via email. On The Media / TLDR It’s unclear to me why Emma picked on Adams. Before Emma’s piece, Adams’ follower count was in the 7,000 range. That’s not a huge audience. I don’t know what the larger scene of writers who discuss illness online is, but I assume that there’s a lot more people than Adams, and that many people are more prominent. Medium / Zeynep Tufekci Both Kellers get the basic facts wrong. That’s quite an astonishing event in and of itself — and exactly why Adams is providing such an important educational service.

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Joanna Coles, Wendy Williams and the Inside Story on the New JFK Book

LunchAtMichaelsForget about having to dig out a coat for the first time this season to ward off this morning’s chilly temps, the real sign of fall here is that the power lunch scene is back in full swing at Michael’s. Today the dining room was full of famous faces (Al Roker and wife Deborah Roberts at separate tables, Wendy Williams, Star Jones); entertainment bigwigs (Tad Smith, Nick Verbitsky); social swans (Margo Nederlander and pals); and more spinmeisters than there are Kardashian tabloid covers on any given week. You get the picture.

Fall also means the launch of a plethora of “important” titles and made-for-gift-giving books. I was joined today by Steve Koepp, editorial director of Time Home Entertainment, the book publishing division of Time Inc., who gave me the inside story on the company’s impressive and incredibly diverse fall list. He came toting three books to illustrate the point: the just-published Zoom: Surprising Ways to Supercharge Your Career by Daniel Roberts, born out of Fortune‘s compulsively readable “40 Under 40″ annual list and featuring original interviews from headline-making top execs, including Marissa Mayer and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank; LIFE‘s bookazine The Wizard of Oz: 75 Years Along the Yellow Brick Road; and JFK: His Enduring Legacy (published by Time as both a book and bookazine).

Steven Koepp and Diane Clehane

Steven Koepp and Diane Clehane

Between bites of Cobb salad, Steve told me the book business is, in fact, thriving over at Time Inc. thanks to the company’s multi-pronged approach to reaching all different readers with books that often connect them back to those people and eras that “resonate” and seem to grow more iconic over time. This is certainly true with The Day Kennedy Died from Life, which Steve described to me as “magisterial.” Certainly sounds like it. Due out Oct. 15, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the book is full of fascinating reporting, artifacts and images from Nov. 22, 1963. In fact, there is so much material that has been thoughtfully assembled that the book comes with a magnetic closure to hold a full-size exact replica of the issue of Life published immediately after Kennedy’s assassination as well as a gatefold with the entire Zapruder film — all 486 frames — published for the first time. Reporting includes the “centerpiece” of the book: a narrative by Dick Stolley, then the magazine’s Los Angeles bureau chief who flew into Dallas after the shooting and recounts his experience covering the event that made the world stand still. Read more

Hollywood, Meet the New York Times’ New Culture Editor

Nikki Finke was first on the west coast this morning to some major Grey Lady news: the appointment of Danielle Mattoon as culture editor and Sia Michel as editor for Arts & Leisure. As Finke points out, even though Hollywood does not read the paper nearly as much as it used to, the moves still put Mattoon at the top of the Tinseltown PR pitch-list.

Finke also reminds that this NYT news should have really come out before the Oscars:

Executive editor Jill Abramson‘s announcement today was nearly four weeks late according to her own timetable for naming a new culture editor. Then again, she has a lot on her plate because her publication is beset by financial problems, editorial buyouts, stiff competition, not to mention conservative critics who want to put what they see as the Liberal Paper Of Record out of business.

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Jill Abramson Discusses The New York Times

Yesterday, before heading off to catch what was probably the whitest Jay-Z concert ever, Jill Abramson spoke to people at South by Southwest about the future of The New York Times. The discussion covered a wide array of topics, and at times Abramson came off as a bit arrogant, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re in charge of the best paper in the world.

Below are some highlights, via Poynter.

  • Abramson said that the reason the Times is succeeding (to the degree that you can call losing boatloads of money “succeeding”) when other paper’s are failing, is “our news report is like nowhere in the world in terms of depth and breadth.”
  • “It’s different.” That was Abramson’s reply to being asked if The Wall Street Journal is worse with Rupert Murdoch overseeing it.
  • On the difference between her and Bill Keller: “He reads poetry on the subway. I’m reading my horoscope in the NY Post on the subway.”
  • When asked why the Times seems to lack links — a hot topic of late — Abramson said, “Linking out to other quality sources of news, of which there are many, is something you’re going to see more.”

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