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Posts Tagged ‘Matea Gold’

Matea Gold Now Believes in a Different Newspaper

The Twitter profile for LA Times DC bureau reporter Matea Gold resolutely states: “I still believe in newspapers.” But perhaps not those being coveted by Rupert Murdoch and a pair of Koch brothers.

In what could be interpreted as hedging her bets, maintaining control of her professional fortunes or a little bit of both, Gold is staying in DC but moving up in terms of the daily Beltway newspaper she writes for, as money and politics reporter for the Washington Post.

Warm wishes are flowing across Twitter to Gold, proof of how well-liked a journalist she is. That’s how we first caught up to the news. Kevin Roderick has the Post announcement memo. He also spoke to Gold, who seems to confirm ever so slightly that the transitional aspect of Tribune Co. had something to do with this.

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Sinbad & Family Dish on Their New Reality Show

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It would have been hard to beat the head-spinning scene that I witnessed at Michael’s last Wednesday, but this week came close. A camera crew from WNBC-TV’s LX-TV was on hand filming a segment on celebrity lunch spots as the masters of the universe (Barry Diller) and socialites (Melania Trump, swathed in mink) strolled in and air-kissed their way to their tables. When Amy Rosenblum, the show’s producer, heard I was having lunch with comedy icon Sinbad and his family to talk about their new reality show for WE tv, her ears perked up. “Perfect!” she said. “We’ll come over and borrow him for our segment. ”

Having never met the comedian, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that 10 minutes after the family arrived (right on time!) fresh off their morning at SiriusXM, it felt as if I’d known them all forever. They’re the anti-Osbournes! Named one of the Top 100 Stand-up Comedians of All Time by Comedy Central and a sitcom (A Different World, The Sinbad Show) vet, Sinbad told me the new show, Sinbad: It’s Just Family (premiering April 12 at 10 pm on WE tv) is a marked departure of the bumper crop of dysfunctional family fright fests that populate the reality TV landscape.

“These producers want meltdowns and dramas, but most of the dramas wouldn’t happen if people weren’t shooting their show. Most reality shows have an agenda and you have to understand that. I got about 80 percent of what I wanted. I was the voice of reason. We picked and chose what we wanted to shoot.” Any scenes in the master bedroom were off-limits, he said. “That’s just not respectful.” Instead, the show focuses on his version of family life — his re-marriage to his ex-wife Meredith Adkins and his relationship with his two “grids” (semi-grown kids) Paige and Royce. When he’s not on the road doing stand-up, he’s home keeping things together — his way. “The show is not about some comedian looking for a comeback because I never went away!” he quipped.

I had to ask him what he thought of this season’s Celebrity Apprentice since he appeared on season three of the show. “Donald Trump likes fights. He likes drama,” he told me. “That’s why Meat Loaf and Gary Busey are still around. That’s what people want to watch.” As for his take on his former cast mates: “Brett Michaels was a baby and Sharon Osbourne has the filthiest mouth of any woman I’ve ever met. She faked being sick just so she could miss being project manager for the first three weeks.” He also has choice words for Ozzy Osbourne. “That show they did made him look like a fool. Do you really want people to remember you like that? These people are stars and they don’t really think about how they want to be perceived.”

For their show, Sinbad and the family ”focused on the positive” and shot weeks of 12-14 hour days for six episodes, which was quite an adjustment. “It’s the most time we’ve spent together since the kids were babies,” says Meredith. “We were miked all the time and had to remind ourselves that they were recording everything.”

Royce is a college student studying audio sound engineering, and Paige is an R&B artist (Meredith is her manager) who co-wrote all the songs on her new album, Imperfect Me. Both had to be convinced to do the show at first, but wound up enjoying the experience. Proud Papa says of their TV debut: “He surprised me and she turned out to be quite the daredevil.”  In one episode, Paige convinced the family to try out a trapeze park, and the producers were only too happy to get it all for the show. “That’s what was so great about the show.  If we wanted to do something and the producers thought it was a great idea, they made it happen,” says Paige. “The flip side was we were having family barbecues, and there was someone standing on the driveway handing out releases for our friends to sign. That was a little strange but we got used to it.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Sinbad, his wife Meredith Adkins, daughter Paige, son Royce and yours truly.

2. Project Playlist CEO John Sykes and Brian Bedol

3. Melania Trump and designer Rachel Roy. I was nearly blinded when I happened to look over at The Donald’s better half  and spotted the sparkler on her ring finger. And, yes, she is even more gorgeous in person.

4. Barry Diller

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LA Times Calendar Section Defends Itself

Yesterday we listed all the people who are no longer at the Calendar Section of the LA Times. We noted it makes the section look pretty dysfunctional. We don’t hear of en masse exits from say the Sports Section. But it’s been pretty consistent at the Calendar section.

The newspaper has sent us a statement saying we forgot to mention they’ve hired people too. Hear that obit writers? You should also talk about how people are being born. Otherwise it’s only half the story.

From Nancy Sullivan:

LA Times Calendar section: The Mass Influx

NEW HIRES (in the same frame):
Joy Press, Randall Roberts, Melissa Maerz, Gerrick Kennedy, Yvonne Villarreal, Nardine Saad, Nate Jackson, Rebecca Keegan, Nicole Sperling, Ben Fritz, Joe Flint, Steve Zeitchik, Julie Makinen, Deb Vankin, Jori Finkel, Amy Kaufman, David Ng

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LA Times Calendar Section: The Mass Exodus

Look, we’re old salts when it comes to journalists changing gigs. We were there for what we call the ’08-’09 blood bath. Tens of thousands of journalists laid off. It was like blogging at a morgue.

Anyway, the post-Apocalypse LAT Calendar section is still losing talent. Today’s exit: one of the last remaining senior television writers Maria Elena Fernandez. That makes three senior writers whom have left Calendar in the past month (music critic Ann Powers and reporter Chris Lee being the other two).

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Canned From NPR, Juan Williams Lands New Fox Gig

That was quick. Only a day after getting canned from NPR for saying that riding on the same airplane with traditionally clothed Muslims made him “nervous” and “worried,” Juan Williams has landed a new $2 million deal with Fox News.

Tribune Company/LA Times reporter Matea Gold has the scoop:

Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract Thursday morning, in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. The Fox News contributor will now appear exclusively and more frequently on the cable news network and have a regular column on FoxNews.com.

“Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997,” Ailes said in a statement, adding a jab at NPR: “He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis.”

Williams regularly appears on Fox News as a commentator, so the move isn’t exactly a surprise. The press alone for the hire, in the wake of Williams’ controversial exit, is probably worth the price of Williams’ contract.

What’s Going On at LAT Arts & Entertainment Section?

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As those who cover the newspaper industry, we don’t flinch when journos lose jobs anymore. It’s barely a story. Layoffs have been the norm for the past two years or more. But it seems like LAT is losing more journos in its Arts & Entertainment section than other sections. And the reporters and editors in that section are quitting. That’s news.

In the last year they have lost Kate Aurthur to Daily Beast, Joseph Kapsch to Zap2it, Denise Martin to TVGuide, Richard Rushfield to Gawker, Tim Swanson to teaching, Rachel Abromwitz to a TV show, blogger Elizabeth Snead to Zap2it and this week it’s Matea Gold. We also heard that photographer David Strick‘s contract was not renewed.

What’s going on over there? “People are fleeing since Sallie Hofmeister took over,” a former reporter said to us.

Which isn’t conclusive really. It’s someone who hates their former boss. So we made a list. That’s a lot of people leaving in a short amount of time. And then we asked around.

Another Entertainment Section vet wrote us, “I’d say that the coverage has been going in the wrong direction since Sallie took over — she cares only about the business of entertainment, not the content of it. She has disdain for the web, and no understanding of it, but insisted on taking it over anyway. Sadly, I never hear of anyone happy there.”

This isn’t good. This is the equivalent to the Washington Post having debilitating problems covering Congress. This is Los Angeles. It’s the “Entertainment Capital of the World” and the Los Angeles Times’ Entertainment section is this dysfunctional? Not good.

On The Menu: Assessing “60 Minutes”

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Today on the media- bistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast, Los Angeles Times reporter Matea Gold joined hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven to discuss her recent article about CBS News‘ “60 Minutes.”

“I thought it would be a really fascinating time to take a step back and look at what’s going on inside the show because its creator Don Hewitt passed away last month and he had really been a constant presence there even though he retired in 2004,” Gold explained. “’60 Minutes’ is, in some ways, really an anomaly in our new media universe because its an old media show conceived 41 years ago and it still is one of the few that commands regularly and reliably a mass audience every Sunday. And that is a pretty miraculous thing.”

In fact, the show saw viewership grow 10 percent in last season compared to the year before, growth that Gold attributes to the show’s coverage of Barack Obama and the increasing profile of contributor Steve Kroft.

“They also did a lot of really hard-hitting reporting on the financial crisis and in a lot of ways just hewed closely to the formula that Don Hewitt conceived of, which is a really strong mix of newsy features, investigative pieces and fun, lighter take-offs that I think there’s still a really big audience for in this country,” Gold said.

Gold also discussed the aging audience that all television news shows is facing, although she noted that the audience of “60 Minutes” has actually stayed the same age over the years, and it is a year younger than the average age of the audience that watches the evening network news. “60 Minutes” has also stayed fresh by adding correspondents like Katie Couric, Lara Logan, Anderson Cooper and Byron Pitts.

But is there a future for “60 Minutes” and other shows like it? Opined Gold: “I think if programs like ’60′ can evolve enough to provide their content online in an on-demand format, then viewers who are younger will get to know the brand and consistently turn to them. But, it’s a matter of figuring out an economic model that works for that.”

Also discussed: New York Times columnist William Safire‘s death yesterday and his contribution to language and journalism.

Read more of Gold’s article here.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

Weigh-In: Seder vs. The Young Turks

The LAT ran a story about an open programming slot on MSNBC (we’d argue it’s the entire weekend line-up – hello Locked Up? – but no one asked us).

From Matea Gold‘s piece:

The grass-roots campaigns were triggered by the news that the cable channel is contemplating creating a new show for its 7 p.m. time slot, currently occupied by a repeat of “Countdown With Keith Olbermann.” That prompted the launch of independent Facebook groups extolling the merits of two radio hosts: Cenk Uygur of the Internet show “The Young Turks” and Sam Seder of Air America.

We’re torn. We like that Cenk Uygur and crew are local yokels. The internet show is filmed on Miracle Mile. Of course, Sam Seder is a comic. We will always be on the side that hooks up any comedian with full-time employment. Sorry Norm Coleman, you never had a chance with us.

Who should get the 7PM slot on MSNBC
( surveys)

Our sister site TVNewser also has a poll on this subject. Great minds.

Networks Vow Election Night Restraint

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In a story that we don’t believe for a second, the Associated Press and network execs tell Matea Gold that until one candidate reaches 270 electoral votes, TV reporters will not call the election:

“If Sen. Barack Obama racks up victories in key Eastern and Midwestern states tonight, television viewers will probably hear that he appears headed for victory even before the polls close in the West.

But officials at the broadcast and cable networks as well as the Associated Press said Monday that they would not project a president-elect until one nominee has at least 270 electoral votes in his column. And they won’t award any electoral votes from a state until after all the polls in that state are scheduled to close.”

Like many pre-election promises, we’ll have to wait and see if this one comes true.

LAT In 90 Seconds — Afternoon Edition

40870480.jpgNuts! Matea Gold has the goods on the Jesse Jackson/Barack Obama balls brawl. No, it doesn’t give us any pleasure to say “balls brawl.” OK. We’re lying. But it doesn’t give us a lot of pleasure.

40876200.jpgDaunt-ing Task: Tina Daunt, once again, goes behind the scene to get the great story you’d never think to write even if you knew about it, which you don’t because you’re not Tina Daunt. So there.

40319001-24192341.jpgThe Really Big Picture: Patrick Goldstein comes to the conclusion that big studio movies pretty much suck. Apparently, he missed the day in 5th grade that they went over this.

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