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Posts Tagged ‘Hillel Aron’

Alt-Weekly Reporter Pens Dumbfounding Defense of Texting While Driving

LAWeeklyBlogsLogoThe LA Weekly Web item, by staff writer Hillel Aron, is headlined: “Yes, I Text and Drive. No, I’m Not Sorry.” After reading it in full, twice, we’re sad to say that it has no redeeming value. From the top of page 2:

That’s why I text.

Sure, it’s illegal, but you get the sense that it’s harder to spot from a cop car, especially if you hold the phone in your lap (of course that makes it much more dangerous, since your eyes are further away from the road, but what can you do?). If a cop does pull you over, you can always lie and say you were getting directions.

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One Cheeky LA Weekly Op-Ed Deserves Another

It’s not quite Epic Rap Battles of History. But Andy Hermann‘s late rebuttal to Hillel Aron‘s February 26 LA Weekly item “Echo Park: Greatest Neighborhood in Los Angeles, Which Has 87 of Them” is still a lot fun to read.

The nearby residents respectively overstate their neighborhood arguments and, within that context, Hermann saves the best for last:

And OK, if we’re really going to get into a neighborhood pissing contest, let the record show that Highland Park, not Echo Park, has the city’s most dazzling and dangerous display of illegal Fourth of July fireworks. Oh, you set them off over your nice big lake, Echo Park? That’s adorable. We light that sh*t up in our driveways and then run for cover. And we’re not talking M-80s, either. These are professional-grade pyrotechnics.

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Eli Broad Confirms His Interest in LA Times

Austin Beutner was front and center in LA Weekly‘s recent look at potential LA Times bidders. Tonight, he is connected once again to billionaire Eli Broad and the non-profit vision previously outlined by Hillel Aron.

The big difference is that Broad is now making it official. From The Hollywood Reporter item by west coast business editor Paul Bond:

“Mr. Broad has always believed in local ownership of the Times and would be interested in joining with others to buy the paper,” Broad spokeswoman Karen Denne tells THR.

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San Diego Columnist Chuckles at Koch-Manchester-Tribune Rumors

We’ve moved from a dollop of salt to a giant pepper grinder. At least that’s the view of Doug Porter, who offers a hilarious quick-take reaction in the San Diego Free Press to the wave of coverage sparked by Hillel Aron’s barn-busting LA Weekly item:

The rumor mills continue unabated, like a distracted waiter with an oversized pepper grinder ruining a Caesar salad at a faux fine dining restaurant. My favorite take of the day on the latest LA Times speculation was in Forbes:

LA Weekly pegs the price of the Tribune newspaper group at about $600 million. By my calculations, that’s a little more than Charles and David pull in dividends from Koch Industries each year — after reinvesting 90% of the profits back in the business. So no question they can swing it. But after a career of successfully investing in businesses that make money, I am not sure Charles Koch wants into this one.”

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Report: Koch Brothers Circling Tribune Co. Assets

Ha ha. Hillel Aron, ably working the LA Times transition-phase beat for LA Weekly, warns that today’s reported rumblings should probably be taken not so much with a grain of salt but rather a dollop of it. Nonetheless, with Tribune Co. reps having recently hinted they would prefer to find a single buyer for the company’s entire daisy chain of newspaper assets, this makes a lot of on-newsprint sense:

Multiple sources tell LA Weekly that Charles and David Koch — the infamous right-wing billionaire brothers — are considering an offer on either the Tribune Co. newspaper group, which includes the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun or the entire Tribune Co., which includes more than 20 stations like WGN and KTLA Channel 5.

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Five Takeaways from LA Weekly’s Fabulous LA Times Feature

Timing is everything. Just a few days before this week’s LA Weekly article “Who Will Buy the LA Times?” by Hillel Aron, CNBC broke the news that JPMorgan and Evercore will be handling the sale of the paper and other Tribune Co. assets.

That context gives the piece some extra urgency, and from this excellent bit of work by Aron, we were most struck by the following:

Richest Man in LA vs. Richest Man in the World: Aron references Patrick Soon-Shiong (pictured) in connection with former mayoral candidate Austin Beutner’s effort to put together a stealth group of combined LAT buyers. Surprisingly (at least to us), nowhere in the article does Carlos Slim come up, the man responsible for the relaunch of Larry King and much more. Aron confirms to FishbowlLA that it was not a case of being edited out; “no one ever mentioned Slim,” the writer says.

Two Shades of WSJ: The article characterizes Rupert Murdoch as the man who could potentially outbid everyone, with media expert Ken Doctor telling Aron the Wall Street Journal owner remains the odds-on favorite to acquire the newspaper. Doctor also thinks the two publications’ editorial and ad operations could be streamlined in a number of intriguing ways.

Which is perhaps ironic, because Aron also reminds that Times publisher and Tribune Co. CEO Eddie Hartenstein took a lot of flack internally for his decision to allow the Journal to print at the LAT, bumping the paper’s daily schedule down and “ruining its time-zone advantage over east coast papers.”

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A Changing of the West Hollywood Online Media Guard*

To the casual observer, West Hollywood might seem like a perfect fit for the Patch model. The area’s affluent residents consistently support local businesses-events and are acutely interested in “hyper-local” coverage of their community.

But there’s also a general weariness of the media outsider, something the AOL venture has painfully confronted. Compounding matters is the fact that West Hollywood Patch has so far had four different local editors. When “guest editor” James Mills most recently stepped down, he was replaced by the unusual tandem of Beverly Hills Patch LE Mary Cunningham and Patch local area associate editor Brantley Watson.

Now comes a new version of Patch, so to speak – WEHOville. Launched over the weekend, the site has a crisper design and, based on the editorial-sales staff hires by West Hollywood-residing publisher Henry Scott, some fluid short-term financing. But already, there have been hiccups.

Contentious reader comments seem to be disappearing with a little too much frequency, including at least one left in response to a Hillel Aron-contributed piece about former United Methodist Church pastor Scott Imler.* That particular article also boasts a misleading, sensational headline: “The Church vs. the Pothead Pastor.”

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WeHo News Publisher Susses Out Some New Competition

Ryan Gierach, owner of online publication WeHo News, has some unique insights to share about Henry Scott, the man behind WEHOville.com, a competitor scheduled to launch next week. That’s because a few months after Scott moved to West Hollywood from the east coast in October 2011, he offered to buy one half of Gierach’s publication.

Gierach writes that the two forged a “firm verbal agreement,” only to have the deal fall through in May:

Scott told Gierach that: a) he would not consider investing in a web-based news source, preferring to remain in print media; b) his own projects prevented him from committing sufficient time and energy to publishing a media outlet; c) WeHo News’ reporting failed to meet his own editorial standards; and d) if he were to take on WeHo News, he would not only want a majority position, he would push founding publisher and editor Mr. Gierach out to take a 100 percent ownership position while “possibly” offering him employment as an editor.

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The Native Angeleno, LA’s New Website

Another blog about Los Angeles launched this past month, this one from native sons Hillel Aron and Richard Rushfield. They’re a pair left jaded by journalism careers, which have included a good deal of reporting on both Hollywood and the city that surrounds it. “We know the rules,” they write. “A website about Los Angeles is supposed to be about the search for the cutest artisanal tamale stand made of sustainable vegan bamboo. Or it can be a website devoted to kissing up to talent agents, deputy editors, chefs, curators, hoteliers and dead buildings.”

But they promise something different: “We come to point fingers and poke eyes, to name names and call names and dig up dirt.”

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LA Journos Launch Local News Podcast

Too cheap to pay for the LA Times? Too busy doing the robot in your car to the smooth electronic grooves of KCRW to bother with the news? Local journos Alex Schmidt and Hillel Aron may have the answer for you. The duo recently launched a weekly podcast devoted to “anyone who cares about local news, but…feel like they have a hard time keeping up.”

Schmidt tells FishbowlLA the podcast is called L.A. Redux. “It’s 15 minutes of real talk, once weekly, on the most important, and amusing, L.A. news headlines.”

The duo plan to have a different guest journo sit in to discuss the news each week. Commie Girl/Wonkette Rebecca Schoenkopf was the show’s most recent guest. You can check out the show here.

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