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Posts Tagged ‘Gabriel Sherman’

A Ripp-Roaring Time Inc. Yarn

There are more than a half-dozen standout quotes in the dog-days-of-print examination by Gabriel Sherman in this week’s New York magazine. Two of the zingers belong to Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp and, in both cases, connect the company’s august history with the disruptive challenges currently being sorted through.

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“If you have a church and nobody shows up, it doesn’t work so well,” Ripp tells Sherman at one point, referring to the appointment of Norm Pearlstine as chief content officer and a new reporting structure that has removed the wall between church (editorial) and state (advertising). Later on, when the specter of company co-founder Henry Luce is brought up, Ripp has this to say:

“You know the great thing about Henry Luce? He didn’t have to worry about what Henry Luce would have done. He wasn’t held to his past.”

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Norm Pearlstine Dismisses Spreadsheet Furor [Updated]

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Sometimes, Time-ing can be everything. New York contributing editor Gabriel Sherman has been working on a big feature article about Time Inc. that is due next week.

So… When Gawker fanned the flames of the Sponsored Content Apocalypse with its Monday report about a controversial Sports Illustrated spreadsheet, Sherman was in a perfect warm-phone position to get comment from a top executive. He spoke today with Time Inc. chief content officer Norm Pearlstine:

Pearlstine pushed back hard against the criticism of the document. He said the controversy has been drummed up by the [Newspaper] Guild as part of a tense contract negotiation.

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Gabriel Sherman Talks Fox News and Roger Ailes at New America NYC

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“It’s not a company, it’s a cult around him,” said Gabriel Sherman, talking about Roger Ailes and Fox News to a packed room in Soho Tuesday night.

Sherman had come to New America NYC to discuss The Loudest Voice in the Room, his controversial book about Roger Ailes and how he created one of America’s most successful media empires. Ailes is a brilliant political consultant who built a news organization out of fear, said Sherman. And he argues that atmosphere informs Fox’s ethics and reporting at every level, from top anchors like Shep Smith to low level producers.

“They live in terror of him, but they hang on his every word,” he said. “People are terrified to speak his name or speak ill of him because they’re worried that the phones are tapped.”

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If Vox Media is the Next Condé Nast, Will Ezra Klein Build its New Yorker?

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Jim Bankoff sounded brazen in December 2012 discussing his plan for his little digital publisher Vox Media to someday rival the magazine titan housing The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired and Vogue.

“We look at what Condé Nast did in magazine publishing, and we can do that in digital publishing, meaning scale and quality and value,” the 44-year-old CEO told Forbes, which scoffed at him to “put down that glass.” The network of three sites, the largest of which was sports-focused SB Nation, had only earned an estimated $25 million in revenues.

Less than a year later, SB Nation is busy competing with Grantland, Deadspin, Bleacher Report and ESPN — for which Condé has no equivalent. The Verge is poaching editors from Wired and expanding its editorial mandate far beyond gadget reviews. And Vox’s newly-acquired Curbed network — with its food (Eater), real estate/architecture (Curbed) and fashion (Racked) brands blossoming across North America’s major cities — nips the ankles of numerous glossy magazines that have failed to transition meaningfully to the Web.

But, aside from The Verge’s limited embrace of non-tech news, could Vox add something a little more general interest, like The New Yorker, to its stable?

Enter: Ezra Klein.

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Roger Ailes Blasted in Biography

On January 21, Gabriel Sherman’s biography of Roger Ailes, The Loudest Voice in The Room, will be released. The New York Times got a peek at it, and let’s just say that Ailes probably isn’t going to want a signed copy. In fact, he might try to buy every copy he can, and then burn them.

What do we learn about Ailes from Sherman’s book? As far as we can tell, mostly bad things. Here’s just a few:

  • Ailes used Fox News to try to influence the 2012 election and make Mitt Romney the president. He uh, wasn’t so good at that.
  • Ailes is not a nice boss, as former employees cited his “volatile temper and domineering behavior.”
  • Ailes described Fox News stars Bill O’Reilly as “a book salesman with a TV show,” and Brian Kilmeade as “a soccer coach from Long Island.” Is that a bad thing? We’re not quite sure. Soccer is lame, so maybe?
  • Randi Harrison, a TV producer, said that when she tried to negotiate her salary with Ailes when they both worked at NBC, he offered her more money if she would just have sex with him whenever he wanted. Ah, the ol’ “money for sex” tactic! A classic corporate maneuverer.

Unsurprisingly, a spokesperson for Fox News told the Times “These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.”

Rupert Murdoch Calls for Gun Control, While Fox News is Told to Stay Silent

By now you know that Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to plead for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. The head of News Corp. asked in a tweet, “when will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons?” Then Murdoch followed that up by saying that President Obama’s speech to the Newtown residents was “nice,” but asked for “bold leadership action.”

It was all sort of surprising coming from Murdoch. It almost — almost! — made us applaud him. But according to insiders, while Murdoch was saying the right thing, the execs at Fox News were telling staffers to keep their mouths shut. New York quotes several sources that claim David Clark, executive producer for Fox News, was telling staffers not to address gun control policies on air. “This network is not going there,” Clark allegedly told one producer. Another source inside Fox News added, “We were expressly forbidden from discussing gun control.”

As New York’s Gabriel Sherman notes, the two very different messages exposes a rift between Murdoch and Roger Ailes, head of Fox News:

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Roger Ailes Cancels Paper Subscription Out of Spite

Apparently Roger Ailes will stick it to his critics in any way possible. In a post on Daily Intel, Gabriel Sherman — who has been working on a book on Ailes — writes that Ailes is dealing with a newspaper duel upstate. Ailes and his wife own the Putnam County News and Recorder and with a rival paper launching, things have been a bit testy.

So much so that Sherman has seen his subscription to the News and Recorder cancelled:

This week, I learned that my PCN&R subscription had been canceled. When I called the paper to ask about it, [its editor, Doug] Cunningham told me that because of my pending book on Roger Ailes and Fox News, ‘we don’t desire to have a relationship with you.’

Well done, Ailes. That’ll teach people to cross you.

2012 Mirror Awards Finalists Announced

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications has unveiled the 2102 Mirror Awards finalists. Winners will be announced June 13, at an event hosted by Anderson Cooper.

Below is the complete list of finalists.

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New York Launches Online Politics Channel

In advance of the upcoming presidential election, New York magazine has launched a new online politics channel. Titled Early & Often, the site offers a constant stream of content from some of the magazine’s best, including Frank Rich, Dan Amira, Noreen MaloneGabriel Sherman, Chris Smith, John Heilemann and Jonathan Chait.

The site is a welcome addition because it collects all of New York’s political news in one spot. Adam Moss, New York’s Editor-in-Chief, said Early & Often is a response to the magazine expanding its reporting.

“National politics has been a crucial part of New York magazine since its founding, which has steadily increased over the last five years, and the time has clearly come for us to give politics its own destination at nymag.com,” said Moss. “We have assembled a uniquely talented team to cover all aspects of our current political climate and the 2012 election cycle.”

UPDATE:
A tipster noted that this is Early & Often’s second iteration. Here’s a link to the old site, which stopped posting in 2006.

Jill Abramson Tries to Stop Defections From the New York Times

It’s not just The Daily that has been bleeding talent as of late. The New York Times has itself withstood a series of unexpected departures over the past year, notably to the Huffington Post, which swallowed up “Sunday Business” editor Tim O’Brien as well as business reporter Peter Goodman. New York magazine also had an unexpected coup by taking on Times columnist Frank Rich. So one of new Times editor-in-chief Jill Abramson‘s goals, she tells Gabriel Sherman at New York, is to put an end to all the defections, a surprising problem for the storied paper.

“Retention is becoming a challenge,” she said. “The economy has improved, whether it’s Bloomberg or the Huffington Post, I can feel on any given week that I’m playing whack-a-mole keeping our most talented people.”

Perhaps the Times will take a page out of Arianna Huffington‘s book and add a nap room in for the staff. It certainly can’t hurt.

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