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Posts Tagged ‘Laurel Touby’

Happy Holidays From Our Family To Yours!

Alan Meckler, CEO of mediabistro.com’s parent company WebMediaBrands, may be all doom and gloom as the Ghost of Christmas Future, but Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby still wants to wish happy holidays to you and yours. And as we head into a new year and a new decade, we’re hoping 2010 won’t suck as much as 2009.

And may we offer some advice to those wanting to get into the media in the coming year? Check out our job listings before you do anything extreme.

Wishing you a peaceful holiday season and a very happy, creative and productive New Year, from FishbowlNY and the whole Mediabistro.com family!

Media Columnist Among BusinessWeek Casualties

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Today, we have been following the tweets of departing BusinessWeek writers and editors as they get word from the bosses at Bloomberg LP about layoffs.

Although we knew no one was safe, we were shocked to learn that media columnist Jon Fine, who has been enjoying a six-month sabbatical since September, would not be returning to the magazine after it gets taken over by its new parent. So what will become of respected media reporter Fine and his column Fine on Media?

The sad irony of the situation is that the magazine’s own media columnist missed the opportunity to cover the sale of BusinessWeek, a deal that ultimately ended up eliminating his job. But we have a feeling that when Fine returns from his travels abroad, he won’t have trouble finding some place to write about the media and the new Bloomberg-owned BusinessWeek.

Update: We asked Fine if he had any regrets about taking his sabbatical when he did. “I have absolutely no regrets,” he told us, while enjoying a burger at Peter Luger. “We had a chance to do it, to go around the world and talk to media people on the ground. And that’s going to serve us well no matter what.”

Fine and wife Laurel Touby wrapped up the first leg of their worldwide tour earlier this month, and they’re planning to depart to places unknown in early December.

Follow all the BusinessWeek layoffs tweets here.

Earlier: Jon Fine Says Goodbye

Jon Fine Leaves Business Week

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Business Week columnist Jon Fine just announced via Twitter that he won’t be returning. Fine’s wife is the founder of Mediabistro Laurel Touby.

Departing BusinessWeek Tweets

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News of this week’s layoffs at BusinessWeek is starting to trickle on to Twitter.

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Looks like technology editor Steve Wildstrom and innovation and design writer Damian Joseph are among laid off by new owner Bloomberg LP. Good luck guys!

We’ll keep updating with Twitter news, but if you know of anyone else who got dumped by BusinessWeek (as Joseph says), drop us a line

Update: More tweets after the jump

Earlier: Bloomberg Looks To Cut BusinessWeek Staffers

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Exit Interview: Mediabistro Founder Laurel Touby

IMG_0196.jpgAnyone who comes to mediabistro.com for media news, job postings or classes has Laurel Touby to thank. She started the company in 1994 as a series of media mixers, which led to the founding of a Web site in 1996 — before the dotcom bubble burst. Over the years, Touby navigated uncharted territory as a digital entrepreneur and Internet pioneer, obtaining funding from venture capitalists and eventually selling the company just over two years ago.

When she sold her baby to Jupitermedia (now WebMediaBrands) for $23 million in July 2007, Touby signed a two-year contract. When that ran out a couple of months ago, she became a contractor for the company. Although she stayed involved in the day to day of mediabistro.com, she also started planning her getaway with her husband, BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine.

Earlier this month, the couple announced something big: a six-month sabbatical that they plan to spend traveling the globe, visiting foreign countries, blogging and — not surprisingly if you know these two — doing a little work here and there. But not too much. That’s not the point after all.

“I just feel like I’ve really gone balls to the wall for so many years and I just wanted a break, a real serious break, so I could come back fresh and renewed with new ideas and a new vision from this travel around the world,” Touby said. “Who knows what that vision will be.”

We couldn’t resist asking Touby a few parting questions as she headed out the door after 15 years at Mediabistro. In this exit interview of sorts — conducted via phone as Touby and Fine explored the Piedmont region in Italy one week after leaving New York — Touby opened up about her proudest moments, her regrets and her plans for the future.

“I have some ideas,” she said of her future plans. “But nothing has gelled yet.”

FishbowlNY: Why did you decide to take this sabbatical?

Laurel Touby: I’ve been looking forward to taking an extended break because I haven’t taken a real vacation since I started the company in 1994. I really have been going full speed ahead, always worried, always kind of logged in at home. Even if I was away from the office or “on vacation,” I was always doing work constantly just like anyone who is tethered electronically to their job. Only this was my responsibility and I felt very much like it was a child in many ways. You feel this maternal feeling towards this company that you’ve started, especially as a woman. And especially as a woman with no other children.

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Jon Fine Says Goodbye

fine.jpgToday, BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine said his goodbyes before jetting off on a six-month sabbatical with his wife, Mediabistro.com founder Laurel Touby. Although he seemed excited about his adventures, Fine said he would miss his readers most of all:

“The biggest surprise to me about this whole taking-time-off thing is how hard it is to step away from the keyboard with the knowledge that it’s going to be a while before I come back and hang out here with you all again. Really. I can’t adequately convey how much I will miss your comments, your challenges, your wit, your exasperation with my lazier moments, and, more than anything, the attention that you’ve so kindly granted me. ‘Privilege’ is an overused word. But it’s also the only one that seems appropriate in this situation.”

Ron Grover and Tom Lowry will be updating Fine’s “Fine On Media” column while he is away. Lowry has already taken up the BusinessWeek sale beat, reporting yesterday that investment firm ZelnickMedia LLC and L. Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal are in talks to make a play to buy the business mag.

It seems like every day there is news of another media reporter leaving the fray, so the loss of Fine will not go unnoticed. He may be missing out on some of the biggest stories in his career as he departs amid the BusinessWeek sale, but hopefully there will still be a magazine for him to come back to when he’s done globetrotting.

A Note Before I Dash Out The DoorBusinessWeek

Earlier: Mediabistro Founder Announces Sabbatical

Getting The Skinny On The BusinessWeek Deal As Bid Deadline Looms

businessweek.jpg After tracking the upcoming BusinessWeek sale all summer, the magazine’s own media columnist Jon Fine has compiled all the known information about the transaction and put together this helpful guide.

So what do we know? The deadline for any interested parties to place a bid for the magazine is tomorrow. And Fine knows of at least seven potential bidders who have gotten debriefed by BusinessWeek execs and the management of the magazine’s owner, McGraw-Hill:

“They are New York Magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein; Fast Company and Inc. owner Joe Mansueto; and four private equity firms: Platinum Equity, Warburg Pincus, OpenGate Capital, and ZelnickMedia. The seventh player is Bloomberg LP, which despite having previously rebuffed McGraw-Hill in talks regarding a deal for BusinessWeek, apparently got very interested very quickly and is expected to meet with BusinessWeek management Monday, Sept. 14.”

Fine also said there are as many as three other unnamed parties who have shown interest, although he has been unable to dig up any info about them. (Know something? Send us an email.)

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Mediabistro Founder Announces Sabbatical

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Mediabistro.com’s founder Laurel Touby is planning some time off.

This morning, Touby and her husband, BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine, tweeted about their plans to take a six-month sabbatical to travel the world, starting later this month. The first two countries they’ll hit: Italy and China. Touby and Fine also plan to launch a blog to document their travels, and it will focus on travel, arts, culture and, of course, media.

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In mid-July, Touby announced via Twitter, that two years after selling Mediabistro to WebMediaBrands, her full-time contract had run out and she was now working for the company on a consulting basis.

Today, Touby said she will return to Mediabistro as a consultant after her trip. Fine, who has recently been tracking BusinessWeek‘s impending sale, will also return to his gig at the magazine after their travels have concluded.

Web Journalists To Debate Business Model At Upcoming Mediabistro Panel

keyboard.jpgNext week, mediabistro will be hosting a panel that will discuss how social media is changing the face of journalism, whether an online business model is on the horizon and what that business model may look like.

We suspect this panel, moderated by BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine, will be similar to last week’s Reuters <a href="panel or this week’s Gotham Media panel about the media in crisis. However, while Reuters and Gotham Media offered insight from “old media” editors like Lawrence Ingrassia from The New York Times, the Financial TimesChrystia Freeland and Andrew Edgecliff-Johnson and Air America‘s Bennett Zier, next week’s panel will have a distinctive point of view from panelists with vast online experience including NYU journalism professor and blogger Jay Rosen, Mediaite.com Editor at Large Rachel Sklar, blogger Maeghan Carberry and former Star-Ledger staffer Matt Romanoski, who helped found NewJerseyNewsroom.com.

In the hopes of learning a little bit more about what this panel will focus on, we picked moderator Fine’s brain for a bit. “There isn’t an answer,” Fine said of the ever elusive online business model question for media companies. “But if you can get people to pay for something you’re in good shape.”

Expect panelists to wrestle with this conundrum, offer suggestions and advice and describe their own experiences. It all goes down July 16.

(Photo via flickr)

The Future Of Multiplatform Journalism: Giving Readers What They Want

reuters panel.pngAfter wrapping up two days of the Personal Democracy Forum yesterday, we ran over to a panel hosted by Reuters and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers discussing the future of journalism in a multimedia world.

Moderated by Reuters’ global managing editor Betty Wong, the panel included New York Times business and financial editor Lawrence Ingrassia, a very pregnant Financial Times U.S. managing editor Chrystia Freeland, Columbia Journalism School dean Sree Sreenivasan and mediabistro.com founder Laurel Touby.

Wong opened up the conversation by asking the panelists how media companies can make the best of all their resources, in order to take advantage of the many different platforms available.

“We all have to ask ourselves, ‘What do our readers really want?’” Freeland said. She added that journalists are entrepreneurial at heart and want to create a brand and a Web presence for themselves, but it’s up to the editors and management to decide what’s best for the news organization. “The turning point came when journalists realized that it is in their personal interest to have a Web presence,” she said. “Journalists became journalists to become famous and make a name for themselves.”

Photo: Thomson Reuters Markets CEO Devin Wenig (right) introduces the panel featuring (from left) Touby, Sreenivasan, Freeland and Ingrassia

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