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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bercovici’

Forbes Pegs Shane Smith’s Net Worth at $400 Million

And assuming Jeff Bercovici’s calculations are correct, that puts the VICE co-founder way ahead of Tumblr wunderkind David Karp.

It all adds up to an amazing Canadian rags to U.S. riches story:

A bootstrapped indie magazine from Montreal that for years had no outside investors, VICE is now based in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, makes most of its $175 million in annual revenues from online video and event sponsorships, and is backed by Fox, WPP, the Raine Group and former Viacom CEO Tom Freston. But VICE’s senior management still holds about 75% of the equity. Of that, Smith, who was one of three co-founders, controls the largest chunk.

Bercovici revisits his December 2011 profile of Smith. A piece of advice the brash globetrotter received from director Spike Jonze resonates even more loudly two years later.

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Jeff Bercovici Tries to Answer Billion-Dollar LAT Question

In the wake of this weekend’s highly shared New York Times piece about the Koch brothers’ interest in Tribune Co. newspapers, Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici handicaps the overall billionaire odds. Because the Kochs have an alleged interest in the entire Tribune Co. print slate, he places them at the top of the list as an even-money bet.

Less convincing is Bercovici’s stubborn inclusion of David Geffen at 20:1. It seems pretty clear that the one-time suitor has lost all interest in the LA Times, but let the record show that if Geffen does indeed reveal he was putting forth a poker face, Bercovici wasn’t fooled.

At the bottom of Bercovici’s list is Warren Buffett:

Odds he’ll get it: 50:1. The Times just doesn’t fit the profile at all of the type of newspaper Buffett’s been buying. He’s looking to roll up papers in small, semi-isolated cities and towns that have a quasi-monopoly on local news. It would be shocking if he didn’t sit this one out.

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Studio City Freelancer Among This Year’s S.I. Newhouse Finalists

Remember all that business last spring about The Hobbit’s 48-frames-per-second technology? Among the reporters covering the topic at that time was Studio City-based freelance writer Hugh Hart for Wired magazine.

While Peter Jackson’s 48-fps experiment didn’t exactly set the movie business on fire, it has paved the way for Hart to travel this summer to New York City for the S.I. Newhouse School Mirror Awards, which honor the best reporting about digital media. His Wired feature is a nominee in the Best Single Article category alongside The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone, Media Matters’ Joe Strupp and three others.

Hart did a great job in the Wired piece of framing the historical Hollywood context, moving in his first two paragraphs from a current studio to Thomas Alva Edison circa 1890. The reporter also landed the holy grail for this sort of piece – an interview with James Cameron. (Hart also spoke with visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull and several others.)

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2013 Mirror Awards Finalists Named

The 2013 Mirror Awards finalists have been announced. The awards highlight excellence in media reporting. The winners will be announced Wednesday, June 5, at Cipriani. Congrats to all those nominated.

Best Single Article – Traditional/Legacy Media

Best Single Article – Digital Media

LA’s Longest-Serving Patch Local Editor is Suddenly Down and Out in Beverly Hills

There’s something a little strange this morning about the Beverly Hills Patch home page. The familiar smiling thumbnail image and email address for local editor Marie Cunningham has disappeared.

That’s because we’ve been told Cunningham, Patch’s longest running local LE, decided at the end of another busy week to abruptly pack it in. As we reported earlier this week, she had recently been tasked with the additional responsibility of covertly overseeing West Hollywood Patch.

Cunningham, a Michigan native, came to LA in 2007 to attend USC Annenberg graduate journalism school, where she was awarded a Carnegie-Knight fellowship to do multimedia reporting on the impact of Prop 8 in California’s Central Valley. She joined Beverly Hills Patch in April 2010.

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Report: Al Jazeera Finalizing Deal to Acquire Current TV

A few months ago, Michael Wolff wondered in the pages of USA TODAY - “Who Will Buy Al Gore’s Current TV?” He concluded that an Internet behemoth like The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed or even College Humor might make sense.

But according to a report this afternoon by New York Times media columnist Brian Stelter, the most interested party has turned out to be from far beyond our country’s borders, Web or otherwise:

Rather than simply use Current to distribute its English-language channel, called Al Jazeera English and based in Doha, Qatar, Al Jazeera will create a new channel based in New York, according to people with knowledge of the deal negotiations. The channel may be called Al Jazeera America. Roughly 60 percent of the programming will be produced in the United States, while the remaining 40 percent will come from Al Jazeera English.

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TIME Milks Cover Photo of Breastfeeding LA Mom

Media mission accomplished.

As TIME managing editor Rick Stengel explained earlier today to Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici, “the whole point of a magazine cover is to get your attention.” Even if, as is the case with the May 21 issue, the person depicted on the cover is not actually featured in the accompanying article.

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AOL and Hufington Post Exploiting Child Labor?

The AOL-owned web entities Patch and Huffington Post have begun recruiting adolescents as unpaid bloggers. HuffPo is looking for teens to contribute to HuffPost High School, an upcoming vertical, and Patch welcomes community bloggers 13 years of age and older. Of course, the Internet already has a large population of teen bloggers, but they’re not writing for major media outlets.

Jeff Bercovici of Forbes considers the ethical implications of adding unpaid minors to AOL’s blogging workforce:

People share overly personal information and make fools of themselves on the web every day, but the impulsiveness of teenagers plus the visibility of Huffpo could be a uniquely combustible mixture. Should teenagers who can’t legally vote, drink or have sex be allowed to decide for themselves what to publish in a place where it could potentially be read by millions of people? What if a 15-year-old wants to write confessionally about having an abortion, as this adult writer did, or joke about smoking marijuana, as this writer did?

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AOL/HuffPost Launches Huffington Post Small Business

The AOL Huffington Post Media Group has expanded yet again this morning, this time launching Huffington Post Small Business. As you can tell by the name, the site hopes to offer readers analysis of the many issues facing small business owners. Rod Kurtz is the site’s Executive Editor.

Peter Goodman, Executive Business Editor of AOL Huffington Post Media Group, said that the new site is filling a void.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and the key source of job growth,” explained Goodman. “Our site aims to crystallize a crucial conversation about what they need to prosper. We will spotlight what is working and amplify concerns about what is impeding the growth so sorely needed.”

Stay tuned for tomorrow when HuffPost launches HuffPost Wings, which will detail every aspect of the show “Wings.” Then next Tuesday, HuffPost is expected to launch HuffPost Kid Rock, a site dedicated to explaining how the Detroit native got people to purchase his music.

There’s more HuffPost sites coming, but that’s all we have confirmed for now.

UPDATE: Apparently this isn’t exactly something new. Jeff Bercovici of Forbes just tweeted to us that there was already a HuffPost small business site, and then Adam Clark Estes of The Atlantic Wire said that he helped launch a small business subsection for HuffPost last year. You’d think HuffPost would mention these details, but alas.

Arianna Huffington Fights Claims That She Is Spending AOL Into the Ground

Over a week ago, Jeff Bercovici at Forbes wrote a massive takedown of Arianna Huffington, focusing on the fact that, with Tim Armstrong‘s blessing, she was extravagantly hiring reporters and big names to the AOL-Huffington Post team, at a rate that might pose serious financial problems for the media company down the line. The questions Bercovici raised about expenditure at AOL-Huffington Post were similar to ones that analysts and shareholders are asking her at an investor day that AOL is holding right now. Bercovici posts her responses:

In response to an investor’s question about how “your interests are aligned with ours,” Huffington sought to defuse the notion that she’s on a shopping spree using AOL’s credit card. “I have a budget, and I have a long runway still in my budget,” she said. “I’m living within my means.”

“When we changed the freelancer model and let go of 90 percent of our freelancers, that budget became available to hire full-timers,” she said. “That’s the budget we’ve been using to hire. There has not been any increase in editorial budget. I inherited the budget that was there.”

As Bercovici notes, Huffington has hired some 75 new journalists since she arrived at AOL. That hiring was offset by the “by the dismantling of AOL’s network of more than 1,000 freelancers.” So Huffington’s claim that she is sticking to the budget is certainly reasonable. The only question is whether 75 reporters plus unpaid bloggers is worth more than 1,000 freelancers to a news organization. Tough to tell at this point, but it’s a compelling experiment for new media.

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