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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Taibbi’

This Racket Magazine is Alive and Well

Thanks to the wonderful whirl of Twitter, we received this rapid response Tuesday to an item about the retreat of First Look Media’s Racket:

RacketResponseTweet

Ha ha. Duly noted. As a public journalism service, we took the time to check out the content of this Racket gang, posted below the delightful tagline – ‘The Lifestyle Magazine For People With No Life.’ What’s more, in the retreating shadow of Matt Taibbi‘s eight months of service, this Racket – based in Redlands, CA – is getting ready to celebrate its tenth anniversary under the leadership of Jonathan Yost:

I launched Racket in 2005 because I loved talking about bands, concerts, comics, video games and God knows what else with my friends. It didn’t hurt that publishing one’s opinions makes you some kind of journalist, and journalists get this shit for free.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: 16 Million Watch Ferguson Grand Jury | Orman to Leave CNBC

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16 Million Tune in to Cable News for Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement (TVNewser)
The news surrounding the grand jury’s decision in the Darren Wilson case gave cable news channels a ratings surge Monday. While the decision had been reached by mid-afternoon, news channels had seven hours to consider the result as it was not announced until the 9 p.m. ET hour, when daytime viewership peaked. Capital New York During the 9 p.m. hour, when the decision was revealed, Fox News averaged 7.26 million total viewers, including 2.19 million adults 25 to 54. CNN averaged 6.26 million total viewers, including 3.16 million adults 25-54, and MSNBC averaged 2.20 million total viewers, including 742,000 adults aged 25 to 54. Mediaite The peak for CNN came not at 9 p.m. when the decision was announced, but instead during the second half of the 10 p.m. hour when the network reached 3.558 million demo viewers. With 7.256 million viewers during the 9 p.m. hour, Fox’s The Kelly File was the overall winner for the night. Variety Both The Kelly File and Hannity scored all-time highs in terms of overall viewers and audience in the advertiser-desired demo of 25 to 54. CNN’s Anderson Cooper was able to trump Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in the 25-to-54 demo at 9 p.m. In late-night viewership, CNN lured more viewers overall and in the demo at both 11 p.m. and midnight, according to Nielsen. THR / The Live Feed Many TV networks chimed in, with some broadcast nets interrupting primetime with President Obama’s remarks on the matter and each of the cable news outlets covering it well into the night. Some segments from the center of the embattled town even got too close, with CNN’s Sara Sidner being hit with a rock on air.

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The Colossal Failure of Racket is Now Complete

MTaibbiTwitterPicMatt Taibbi, what have you wrought?

While the jury is still out on exactly how much blame the high-flying journalist, now safely back at Rolling Stone, must bear for the implosion of First Look Media’s Racket, his abrupt exit has been followed today by a curt and even more far-reaching announcement. Right in the heart of Thanksgiving week:

Since Matt Taibbi’s departure, we’ve been working with the team he hired to consider various options for launching a project without him. After multiple explorations, we’ve decided not to pursue the project. Unfortunately, this means that the team Matt hired will be let go.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Raven to Retire From A&E | NBC Undecided on Virgin Galactic Series

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A&E Networks Chairman Abbe Raven to Retire (THR)
Cable pioneer Abbe Raven is set to retire. Her last day as chairman of A&E Networks will be Feb. 2. The news comes nearly a year after Raven’s protégé, Nancy Dubuc, was elevated to CEO and Raven to chairman. Deadline Hollywood Dubuc took oversight of the day-to-day operations of the company, while Raven remained in charge of A&E Networks’ long-term business and revenue opportunities, including distribution, as well as public policy initiatives and corporate outreach. A year ago, Dubuc also took over distribution. She will remain president and CEO. Variety Raven’s role as chairman will not be filled. Raven is without question one of key architects of A&E Networks’ growth, particularly in the past 15 years. The company, a joint venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney, is home to some of cable’s most prosperous channels, but as a private concern it is shielded from quarterly earnings scrutiny. Under Raven and Dubuc, A&E has rapidly expanded its domestic and international portfolio, which generates an estimated $3.8 billion in annual revenue. TheWrap Prior to her position as president and CEO, Raven held high level executive roles at the company’s properties A&E Network, The Biography Channel and The History Channel. WSJ The handoff also comes at a challenging time. After setting cable-television ratings records last year with hits like Duck Dynasty on A&E and The Bible on History, the company’s two biggest channels have endured sharp declines this year. A&E’s ratings are down 32 percent so far this year in total viewers and 25 percent in its target demographic of 25- to 54-year olds, while History’s ratings are down 15 percent in both total viewers and those 25 to 54.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ABC News to Oversee The View | NYT Reports Loss

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The View to Be Overseen by ABC News (TVNewser)
The View is moving from the entertainment unit of ABC to the non-fiction programming group of ABC News. THR New ABC News head James Goldston, who will now oversee The View, announced the move in a staff memo sent out on Thursday morning. Goldston is largely responsible for Good Morning America’s transformation to a multi-anchor ensemble, which helped the ABC morning show end NBC rival Today’s 16-year morning-news ratings winning streak. He’s also responsible for remaking Nightline into a multi-anchor, multi-topic program in the wake of Ted Koppel’s retirement. HuffPost / AP Following the retirement of Barbara Walters from an on-air role at the show she started, ABC brought in Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez to join holdover Whoopi Goldberg. A new production team was named, led by Bill Wolff, Rachel Maddow’s former producer. Capital New York Still, after a strong first week, the program has begun to slip in the ratings. For the week of Oct. 12, CBS’ The Talk, which is clearly based on the format of The View, matched the program in two key demos: women 25-54 and women 18-49. Variety One of Goldston’s central goals, according to insiders, is to make The View more appealing to younger viewers. The show has fallen 10 percent in the last year among female viewers between the ages of 18 to 49, but it’s up 1 percent in total viewers.

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Report: As a Manager, Matt Taibbi Made a Loud and Unwelcome Racket

MTaibbiTwitterPicThis afternoon, by way of an entirely unpredictable “second look” from First Look Media, we have an internal item bylined to Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill and John Cook. It’s all about what led to the shocking exit of Matt Taibbi and while some elements of the narrative are in dispute, the overall picture painted is one of – primarily – a talented rogue journalist having a hard time adapting to the broader intricacies of a managerial position.

According to the item, the tipping point occurred earlier this month. While Taibbi insists the following accusations led him to be told he would be stripped of all managerial responsibilities pending investigation, First Look says that’s not the case:

These simmering problems came to a head this month when a Racket staffer complained to senior management that Taibbi had been verbally abusive and unprofessionally hostile, and that she felt the conduct may have been motivated, at least in part, by her gender. [First Look president John] Temple conducted an investigation, and First Look determined that while none of the alleged conduct rose to the level of legal liability, the grievance bolstered their case that Taibbi should not be the manager of Racket.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gregory Joins Yahoo! for Election Coverage | FCC May Revive Aereo

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David Gregory to Join Katie Couric for Election Special on Yahoo! (NYT)
David Gregory, who was replaced as host of NBC’s Meet The Press in August, will appear in a Yahoo! midterm election program with Katie Couric, the company said Tuesday. TVNewser Gregory is not joining the company, but these appearances often can lead to more permanent placements. Matt Bai, who left The New York Times for Yahoo! last year, and Politico’s Mike Allen are also a part of Yahoo!’s coverage. TVNewser Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will lead Bloomberg’s election night coverage, dubbed Election All-Nighter, which begins at 5 p.m. ET with a special edition of With All Due Respect. Primetime coverage starts at 7 p.m. ET, with Halperin and Heileman joined by Al Hunt and analysts Kim Alfano, Bill Burton, Lanhee Chen, Fred Davis, Patti Solis Doyle, Anita Dunn, Michael Feldman and John Sununu. FishbowlDC Coverage will also extend to an “Election Night dashboard” on BloombergPolitics.com, comprising a Bloomberg TV livestream, website coverage and real-time election data. TVNewser CNN will turn to Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper — along with the Empire State Building — to headline the network’s election night coverage, dubbed Election Night in AmericaMediaite As they have done in the past, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be airing their respective Comedy Central shows live on Election Night next Tuesday so they can react to midterm results as they happen instead of being hopelessly behind the curve with pre-taped comedy.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Chopper Crash Injures NYT Reporter | Tribune Media Profits Up

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NYT Correspondent Injured in Iraq Helicopter Crash (TVNewser)
New York Times reporter Alissa Rubin was injured when the relief helicopter she was traveling in crashed Tuesday, killing the pilot. The helicopter was on a mission to aid Yazidi refugees in Iraq. FishbowlNY According to crash survivors, the helicopter went down shortly after takeoff. The cause of the incident has yet to be confirmed. NYT Rubin, 56, the Times’ Paris bureau chief and a longtime war correspondent, apparently suffered a concussion, at least one broken wrist and possibly some broken ribs but was conscious. Adam Ferguson, 35, a freelance photographer working for the Times who was accompanying Rubin, said via cellphone text that he suffered a sore jaw and some minor bumps. HuffPost Rubin has a long history of war reporting. She was the bureau chief for the Times in both Baghdad and Kabul before transferring to Paris. Time Iraqi parliamentarian Vian Dakhil was among the survivors of the crash. Dakhil garnered international attention for her impassioned pleas on the floor of Iraq’s parliament to deliver aide to tens of thousands of Yazidis, a religious minority that fled into the mountains as ISIS fighters advanced northward into the Kurdish region of Iraq. A Kurdish official told the Times that the cause of the crash appeared to have been an accident and that no ISIS fighters were seen in the area at the time.

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Gawker’s John Cook Leaves for First Look Media

GawkerJohn Cook, editor of Gawker, is leaving the site to join Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media. Recode reports that Max Read will succeed Cook.

Other First Look hires include The Guardian’Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi, formerly of Rolling Stone.

Cook had been with Gawker since 2009.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Facebook Buys WhatsApp | First Look Hires Taibbi | Greenwald Vows Return

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Facebook’s Latest Acquisition? That’s WhatsApp! (AllFacebook)
After its unsuccessful bid for photo-messaging application Snapchat last November, reportedly valued at more than $3 billion, Facebook opened up the vaults and announced its acquisition of cross-platform mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $4 billion in cash and some $12 billion in Facebook shares, also announcing that WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board of directors. CNNMoney Buying WhatsApp will only bolster Facebook’s already strong position in the crowded messaging world. Messenger, Facebook’s standalone messaging app for mobile devices, is second only to WhatsApp in its share of the smartphone market. The Verge In a press release announcing the monumental buyout, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.” He also shared news of the deal on his personal Facebook page, saying, “WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community.” Over 450 million people use WhatsApp each month, according to statistics in the press release, with 70 percent of those users active on a given day. GigaOM Facebook is going to end up competing with apps like Line and WeChat in many markets for the consumer’s mobile minutes and WhatsApp gives the Menlo Park-based company a strong competitive weapon. While potential monetization remains a bit of a head scratcher, there are more options for the company to think about, like new native advertisements in the near future. Forbes Koum picked a meaningful spot to sign the $19 billion deal to sell his company WhatsApp to Facebook Wednesday. Koum, co-founder Brian Acton and venture capitalist Jim Goetz of Sequoia drove a few blocks from WhatsApp’s discreet headquarters in Mountain View to a disused white building across the railroad tracks, the former North County Social Services office where Koum, 37, once stood in line to collect food stamps.

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