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Posts Tagged ‘EARLIER:’

Times‘ Murdoch Exposé Fizzles Out

The much-anticipated Times investigation of Rupert Murdoch is out. A day late — it was originally supposed to appear on Sunday, June 24 — apparently because the Times lawyers had a field day with it. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing we didn’t know about Rupe before. No juicy exposés, no Wendi Deng scandals, no frightening influence-peddling, none of that. Just 3,900 words on an old-fashioned Hearst-ian mogul.


  • News Corp. lobbyists include Ed Gillespie, Al D’Amato and Rudy Giuliani.

  • Murdoch donated $500,000 to Bill Clinton‘s Global Initative.

  • When Nielsen Media Research switched to a new method of measuring television ratings, Murdoch launched a “grass-roots ground war” to force them to change back.

  • Harry Evans really hates Murdoch.

But the most surprising thing here is what wasn’t mentioned. Although there was lots of talk of old news like Murdoch trying to kill Chris Patten‘s book, there was little new in the Times‘ exposé.

What’s of much more interest, however, is Ken Auletta‘s New Yorker revelation that Bloomberg and the New York Times are actively trying to lure away WSJ reporters leery of a Murdoch-owned Journal.


  • Times To Publish Controversial Rupe Investigation Sunday
  • Good Morning America Intern’s Blog Pulled

    Is this the first casualty of the ABC layoffs?

    Interning at a big television network this summer? Have a blog? Well, if you want to keep that internship, perhaps don’t call your blog “My Good Morning America Summer” like Kelly, a Milwaukee native and fourth year journalism student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose lifelong dream was to intern at GMA.

    We’re told GMA staffers weren’t too happy with Kelly’s blog, and now it appears her blog has been pulled from blogspot. (The cached version, however, lives on.)

    What GMA wasn’t happy about is unclear (“Today was an AWESOME day! Even though my story didn’t air today like I thought it would…”) — Kelly seems like an achiever:

    I got up the courage in the 10am newsmeeting to pitch my story idea. I was the first intern to speak up and do so (at least at this meeting). As I described my idea, the faces around the table looked excited and nodded in approval. One woman said “Mmmm honey I know what you mean!” Then, Jim Murphy, the head-honcho, pointed at me and said “Great idea. You have got a great mind for morning television!”


  • Breaking: ABC News To Axe 35 Staffers In Restructuring
  • Laura Albert Takes the Stand/Mystery Doc. Maker Revealed


    JT Leroy’s creator/channeler Laura Albert may have made a fatal error of judgment (besides the obvious ones). She’s being sued for fraud by a film company that bought the rights to Leroy’s book, Sarah. The Washington Post quotes Marjorie Sturm, a San Francisco-based poet/musician/filmmaker (complete with Noam Chomsky as a MySpace friend) who actually caught the implications of Albert’s recent testimony:

    I was wondering if Laura would show up and say, ‘I couldn’t tell the difference between JT and me. But that’s not what she’s saying. She’s saying, ‘I was in complete control.’

    According to Stephen Beachy who broke this story,

    She (Sturm) had been hired by JT at some point to make a documentary, but they killed it when they realized that Savannah Knoop, who played JT in public, would be recognized. Marjorie has all of this footage from early on, and she’s interviewed everyone involved with the story, with the exception of Laura.

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    Rather-Moonves: War Of Words


    Some juicy Dan Rather-Les Moonves point-counterpoint action — if you’re into that sort of thing.

    First up, Rather, on Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News:

    “You know, she tried to change networks, which is always difficult and change the programs at the same time. They’ve done all of the usual things. They changed the set. They changed the executive producers. They changed the graphics person, lately, forced out a guy who had been there, Ned Steinberg, for many, many years. They make all those kind of the superficial changes. I do want to say that, I think, under Rick Kaplan, that they have tried to harden up the broadcast in recent days, but that is a relative phrase, harden it up. That, you know, the trend line continues, as I say, dumbing it down, tarting it up, going to celebrity coverage rather than war coverage.”

    Then Moonves at this morning’s breakfast with Ken Auletta:

    Moonves called the remarks “sexist” and said he was surprised at the amount of negative coverage Couric was receiving. Couric, the first solo female news anchor, has been struggling in the ratings. “She’s been on the air for nine months. Let’s give her a break.”

    Then Rather, today:

    “It’s insulting and disappointing that Les Moonves, who know a lot about entertainment, would try to mask the real point of that comment. This isn’t a Katie Couric problem,” he said. “It has nothing to do with her gender.”


  • Ken Auletta To Undress Les Moonves
  • What Did Stray-Rod’s Blonde Have To Do With Daily News‘ Firings?

    Heads are rolling at the Daily News, with new executive editor David Ng making drastic personnel changes at the paper. Well-respected metropolitan editor Dean Chang is out, replaced by former Post news managing editor (and current United Federation of Teachers press secretary) Stuart Marques (whose wife, JoAnne Wasserman, just happens to be an editor at the News). National editor Mark Mooney was fired as well.

    Both the metro editor and national editor desks have been abolished; instead, Marques‘ new title will be “managing editor/news” and new hire William Goldschlag is expected to be named as the News‘ political editor. The New York Post spoke with a News source, who gave additional background:

    “It’s bleak,” said one veteran reporter. “Dean and Mark were sort of the heart and soul of the newsroom. Most people’s loyalties flowed to those guys much more than to Martin Dunn or David Ng.” Said another insider: “People don’t know why it happened. There’s been zero communication from the guys at the top.”

    In fact, many rank-and-file staffers were aghast that Ng hadn’t suffered, because he had apparently blown a chance to break the story about Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez cavorting around Toronto with another woman.


  • ‘Stray-Rod Scandal’ Reaches Day Three
  • Spawning New Blogs At Incredible Rate

    babbles.coms.jpg launched two more blogs yesterday., boasting a name only a blog-parent could love, promises to cover the top million baby products, while targets celeb parents and their beautiful children.

    The baby-centric site, which also recently launched the parenting wiki Babblepedia, now boasts 25 bloggers. That’s fine for now, but if they start producing offspring, we’re gonna be in trouble.


  • Nerve’s Wiki Strategy Beats Disney
  • Revolutionizes The Pickup Line
  • Launches Indie Film Site
  • Nerve Video Launches
  • HBO’s Chief Gets Whacked

    albrecht_mug_shot.jpgThat didn’t take long. A day after Chris Albrecht took a leave of absence from his post following a weekend in which he was arrested for allegedly beating his girlfriend, Time Warner has whacked the HBO chief executive. Nikki Finke reports that because of “Albrecht’s past behavior with women at the cable pay channel” he “is being told to quit or be fired.”

    UPDATE: Time Warner confirms the whacking:

    Time Warner Inc. today announced that the Company and Chris Albrecht have agreed that he will no longer serve as chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, effective immediately. Mr. Albrecht said: ‘With great regret, at the request of Time Warner, I have agreed to step down as chairman and CEO of Home Box Office. I take this step for the benefit of my Home Box Office colleagues, recognizing that I cannot allow my personal circumstances to distract them from the business. I’m very proud of what we have achieved together at Home Box Office, and I wish everybody there many more successes in the future.’ Time Warner Chairman and CEO Richard D. Parsons said: ‘Jeff Bewkes and I believe that this is the right decision for the Company. We thank Chris for all of his contributions to Home Box Office over the years.’”


  • HBO Chief Takes Leave After Alleged Beating Of Girlfriend In Vegas: Memo
  • Johnny Knoxville Pens Intro To Vice Dude’s Book

    And it’s a doozy:

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    Rupe Wooing Dow: No Slash-And-Burn, But No ‘Holiday Camp’


    Lots of ins, outs and what-have-yous in the fallout from Rupert Murdoch‘s surprise $5 billion bid to buy Dow Jones & Co. earlier this week.

    For starters:

    News Corp., launching a two-pronged offensive, is planning to take its case for buying Dow Jones & Co. to the media company’s controlling shareholders, the Bancroft family, and directly to the newsroom of the Wall Street Journal.

    Murdoch insists this isn’t about turning the Journal into the Post or “slashing-and-burning” the staff:

    “We’re not coming in with a bunch of cost-cutters,” he said, but added: “I’m not saying it’s going to be a holiday camp for everybody.”

    The staff, meanwhile, has been asked to show support for the Bancroft fam.

    While just about everybody who has watched Fox News or picked up a Post has an opinion on the matter, perhaps none are more poetic than those of this media consultant guy, who weighs in — poetically — on Rupe’s pre-Grape Nuts thoughts:

    “Rupert wakes up in the morning and thinks about how he can change the media world and where there are white spaces.”

    The Economist asks a rhetorical question: Is Murdoch’s bid for Dow Jones just about vanity?

    We ask one we hope isn’t: Would you want Rupert Murdoch as your boss?


  • Citizen Rupe?
  • Was Murdoch’s Rejected $5B Bid For Dow Jones A Marketing Stunt?
  • Dow Jones Confirms Murdoch’s $5B Bid; WSJ Staffers Blast Rupe’s ‘Quality Crushing’ Ways
  • Rupe Makes Huge, Crazy, Wack Bid To Buy Dow Jones
  • Ballers First Guest: Gay, Ex-NBA Baller


    Ballers, BET’s attempt at The Best Damn Sports Show Period, premieres tonight and features special guest John Amaechi. We’ve been on the edge of our seats for almost two weeks, and the amazing poster — Guy Torry‘s gonna have some kind of Napoleon complex — clinches it: We’ll be on our couch at 10:00PM tonight.


  • BET’s Ballers: ‘Sports In A Sexy Club Environment’
  • BET Casting Intern Reality Show