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Posts Tagged ‘Kara Swisher’

AllThingsD May Separate From Dow Jones

AllThingsD, the tech news site, is rumored to be working its way away from Dow Jones, the News Corp. subsidiary that owns the site. Fortune reports that AllThingsD’s contract expires on December 31, so Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg — the founders of AllThingsD — are busy trying to find investors that might be interested in buying a stake in the site.

The asking price is rumored to be somewhere between $10 million and $15 million for a 25 percent or 30 percent chunk of the company. Swisher and Mossberg are looking at media companies, and so far three proposals have been submitted; one of which is from NBCUniversal. Other companies that were discussed include Bloomberg, The Washington Post Company and Condé Nast.

As for now, this is just speculation. Swisher and Mossberg could leave to start a new site and AllThingsD could end up remaining under the News Corp. umbrella. Either way, a source told Fortune that Rupert Murdoch “will probably make the final call on what happens.”

Hearst Summons Bay Area Reinforcements

Kara Swisher got the jump today on a big announcement about the San Francisco Chronicle. In an aggressive move to revive the fortunes of both the paper and website (SFgate.com), the parent company has hired a pair of media execs who will be very familiar to SoCal readers.

Demand Media’s Joanne Bradford is the Chronicle‘s new president, while former Los Angeles Times CEO Jeffrey Johnson has been tapped as publisher. From Swisher’s AllThingsD post:

While the Chronicle and its website is the largest for local news in the Bay area, it has lagged a lot in aggressively covering key trends — such as tech — and the fast growth of the region… Its daily print circulation is now 265,000, and combined with its website it reaches close to two million people.

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AllThingsD Taps AdAge Reporter Jason Del Rey

AllThingsD has hired Jason Del Rey to cover e-commerce for the News Corp.-owned site, editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg announced Monday.

AllThingsD

He will be starting in two weeks.

Del Rey, most recently a reporter at Advertising Age, will cover companies such as Amazon, Groupon, eBay and the online payments business, “as well the escalation of the Internet of Things and the continued mashup of the offline and online worlds.”

Sounds broad.

Del Rey has been a business reporter since 2007, when he joined Inc. magazine covering startups. He was on AdAge’s digital media team, covering everything from the Yahoos and AOL Goliaths to the BuzzFeed and Gawker Media Davids.

Head over to AllThingsD to read the full memo.

Yahoo Cuts 14 Percent of Its Workforce

Yahoo announced that it was eliminating 2,000 jobs this morning–more than 14 percent of the company’s 14,000 employees.

“Today’s actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo! — smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require,” Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, reaching that goal requires the tough decision to eliminate positions.”

AllThingsD, which broke news of the cuts last night, says the carnage most likely isn’t over. According to the site’s Kara Swisher, this brutal round of cuts “is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg that will hit the storied Silicon Valley Internet giant in the months to come.” Swisher says the axe will come down hardest on Yahoo’s ad tech and search businesses, while the company may look to expand in other regions in the near future.

Given the company’s very public emphasis on content creation over the past few months, it sure looks like Yahoo is abandoning its Silicon Valley origins and going Hollywood. The site can’t compete with Google in terms of innovation, but it still has a massive user base. They’re obviously doubling down on the hope they can land premium ad bucks if they can get people watching some decent original programming,

Bloomberg News, Others, Take Home Multiple Loeb Awards

Bloomberg News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal each won multiple Gerald Loeb Awards, which recognize excellence in business journalism. Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg News’ Editor-in-Chief, said of grabbing multiple wins, “As there is no greater measure of respect than to be honored by our peers, we are grateful to be recognized with seven Loeb finalists and three Loeb winners, all of them advancing the public interest.”

The awards were presented last night. Below are the winners, congrats to all.

Bloomberg News:

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AOL’s TechCrunch Editor Michael Arrington Says It’s ‘Fine’ to Invest in Companies He Writes About

Yesterday, TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington widely announced via blog post that he is returning to startup investing in many of the companies TechCrunch is known to cover. As he states himself, “there will be financial conflicts of interests in a lot of my stories.”

And he is not at all sorry about it! “I think that this will all be fine,” he writes, with a remarkable amount of confidence, as long as he promises to disclose his conflicts as he writes about them.

Business Insider asked AOL if it is corporate policy that journalists are allowed to invest in the companies and industries they write about. The answer: No, they are not allowed to do that, unless they are named Michael Arrington. From AOL’s statement:

Michael Arrington operates from a unique position.  He was an investor in technology companies and start-ups before he started TechCrunch, and his extensive knowledge of, and involvement with Silicon Valley is one of the very things that has made TechCrunch a must-read site.

Is this whole ethical overhaul making you feel a little uncomfortable? This is what Arrington said about his potential detractors: “Other tech press will make hay out of this because they don’t like the fact that we are, simply, a lot better than them.”

Ouch! We bet none of his inferior competitors would dare criticize him now!

Well, not quite. Not everyone thinks this new order “will all be fine.” Tom Foremski writes for ZDnet.com:

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AOL Fires Moviefone Editor Who Offered Fired Freelancers Chance to Work for Free

Earlier today we reported that freelancers at AOL’s Moviefone/Cinematical were fired, and then, sweetly, offered the chance to work for free.

Shortly afterwards, we received a follow-up in which Patricia Chui, Editor-in-Chief of Moviefone, issued an apology of sorts to freelancers, where she attempted to clarify that “we have not been asking freelancers (i.e., any of you) to become unpaid bloggers.” (Except, of course, that she had.)

Now, Kara Swisher reports that today, sources said that Chui was fired by John Montorio, the HuffPo Media Group’s culture, entertainment, and lifestyle editor.

That was fast! But considering all of the bad publicity HuffPo has gotten for unpaid bloggers, and its effort to refashion itself as an outlet based on traditional journalism, Chui’s email was incredibly ill-advised.

Apparently it was not the first time Chui had made a serious gaffe.

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FIRED: Moviefone Editor-in-Chief Patricia Chui

The same editor who yesterday informed freelance contributors to AOL properties Moviefone and Cinematical that most of them were out of a job was herself let go today. Moviefone editor Patricia Chui has been taking heat in the media world for inviting the fired writers to continue writing for the websites — as unpaid bloggers. Kara Swisher of All Things Digital has the details:

Sources said Chui was terminated by John Montorio, the HuffPo Media Group’s culture, entertainment and lifestyle editor. Arianna Huffiington is head of all content at AOL, which recently paid $315 million to buy the Huffington Post.

This is the second time in as many months that Chui has come under fire for clumsy management. In March, she defended a Moviefone marketing employee who asked a TechCrunch writer to alter a published story because a film studio had complained.

Media Giants Gang Up on News Reader App Zite over Alleged Copyright Violations

The Apple iPad news reader app Zite has been making some powerful enemies.

Kara Swisher reports that a round-up of scary media giants including The Washington Post, AP, Gannett, Getty Images, Time, Dow Jones, and many other organizations issued a cease-and-desist letter today to Zite, a content aggregator, citing a ton of copyright violations.

“The Zite application is plainly unlawful,” said the letter to Zite CEO Ali Davar.

“It’s a bummer that they did this, but we expected it,” Davar told Swisher, sounding less terrified than we would have thought. Yeah, it does seem like sort of a bummer.

Davar said Zite, which aggregates personalized content by getting cues from user interest, would comply with the cease-and-desist letter by shifting the content from its “reading” mode to a Web one, which actually points to publisher sites.

AOL Is Folding 30 of Its Brands After Huffington Post Merger

It’s time to take stock of what is left standing at AOL after the massive cleaning taking place in light of the merger with Huffington Post.

Pre-merger, if you compared AOL and Huffington Post section by section, there was a considerable amount of overlap between the two sites. Post-merger, it’s up to Arianna Huffington to decide which sections stay and which sections go, based on whether the AOL version or the Huffington Post version is more profitable or promising.

The site slashing has begun. Forbes reports:

All told, some 30 brands will be “integrated” into other properties… Among those to be absorbed are Politics Daily (folded into HuffPost Politics), Walletpop (folded into Daily Finance), Urlesque (folded into HuffPost Comedy), Luxist (folded into Stylelist) and TV Squad (folded into AOL TV).

But all the merger casualties are not just on the AOL side; as Kara Swisher notes, “It goes both ways, though–the Huffington Post’s travel site will be closed in favor of AOL’s stronger offering in that arena.” Other popular AOL brands, such as its PopEater celebrity site and its StyleList fashion site, will keep their names but no longer exist as separate destination sites.

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