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Posts Tagged ‘Norm Pearlstine’

A Ripp-Roaring Time Inc. Yarn

There are more than a half-dozen standout quotes in the dog-days-of-print examination by Gabriel Sherman in this week’s New York magazine. Two of the zingers belong to Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp and, in both cases, connect the company’s august history with the disruptive challenges currently being sorted through.

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“If you have a church and nobody shows up, it doesn’t work so well,” Ripp tells Sherman at one point, referring to the appointment of Norm Pearlstine as chief content officer and a new reporting structure that has removed the wall between church (editorial) and state (advertising). Later on, when the specter of company co-founder Henry Luce is brought up, Ripp has this to say:

“You know the great thing about Henry Luce? He didn’t have to worry about what Henry Luce would have done. He wasn’t held to his past.”

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Norm Pearlstine Dismisses Spreadsheet Furor [Updated]

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Sometimes, Time-ing can be everything. New York contributing editor Gabriel Sherman has been working on a big feature article about Time Inc. that is due next week.

So… When Gawker fanned the flames of the Sponsored Content Apocalypse with its Monday report about a controversial Sports Illustrated spreadsheet, Sherman was in a perfect warm-phone position to get comment from a top executive. He spoke today with Time Inc. chief content officer Norm Pearlstine:

Pearlstine pushed back hard against the criticism of the document. He said the controversy has been drummed up by the [Newspaper] Guild as part of a tense contract negotiation.

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Norm Pearlstine Chats with the Observer

The transcribed Q&A is relatively brief. But when the interviewee is Time Inc. executive vice president and chief content officer Norm Pearlstine, much of it can be mulled.

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In answering Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke‘s second question, Pearlstine paints a wonderfully accurate and vivid picture. It’s something we too have noticed – in this case, truly, as non-media critics – at the neighborhood supermarket checkout line:

“If you stand at a checkout counter, you’ll see people on their tablets, on their cellphones. Traditional media has to respond to that…”

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Jess Cagle Talks Shop

JessCaglePicJess Cagle, the newly crowned editor of People and editorial director of Entertainment Weekly, has a lot on his plate this year. People had a nice 2013, but as Time Inc. prepares to be spun-off from Time Warner, Cagle will be steering the biggest ship in the fleet.

Cagle spoke with Adweek about what lies ahead for Time Inc. and People, and below are some highlights.

On keeping People’s newsstand sales strong:

I don’t know that you can reverse the newsstand decline. However, newsstand is incredibly important, especially for People. I will go from being not that concerned about newsstand to very concerned about newsstand. I think I can do it; I just think I’ve got to be focused on it.

On the new Time Inc. policy that will have newsroom staffers reporting directly to business execs:

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Jess Cagle Gets Two BIG Promotions

JessCaglePicWhen we spoke last spring with EW managing editor Jess Cagle, he was getting ready to juggle those duties with some 24/7 Sirius XM overseeing. A year later, there’s a whole lot more on this talented and well-liked journalist’s plate.

Per a report this morning from Capital New York’s Joe Pompeo, Cagle has been promoted to editorial director of EW and given the reins of sister publication People as editor. He replaces Larry Hackett:

The announcement was made this morning by David Geithner, president of Time Inc.’s style and entertainment group, and Norm Pearlstine, the company’s chief content officer, in a memo obtained by Capital.

It is the first sign of major rumblings that are expected to rock Time Inc. this year as the company prepares to be spun off from Time Warner.

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Time Inc. Continues Search for Chief Revenue Officer

TimeLifeBuildingRockCenter_articleboxTime Inc. is still on the hunt for a new chief revenue officer. The company — which is preparing to spinoff from Time Warner — has been without one since Paul Caine left in March.

According to Ad Age, Time Inc.’s CEO, Joe Ripp, has already interviewed at least two people for the role. Apparently the rumors that the publishing company wouldn’t be hiring a new chief revenue officer were incorrect.

A new executive would be just one of many changes expected to impact Time Inc. over the next few months. The most notable? Layoffs, of course. No one wants them, but according to chief content officer Norm Pearlstine, they’re coming.

In fact, pink slips might arrive quicker than anyone expects. One anonymous Time Inc. staffer told Ad Age that the cuts will come “sooner rather than later.” Uh, happy holidays?

Norm Pearlstine Networks With Bonnie Fuller

LunchAtMichaelsWe’re going to file this week’s lunch in under ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’ Aside from a dining room full of the usual Wednesdays at Michael’s suspects, comprised of moguls (Barry Diller), media mavens (Bonnie Fuller, Connie Anne Phillips) and money men who keep the lights on all over town (Alan Patricof), I had an illuminating chat with Donald Albrecht, curator of architecture and design at the Museum of the City of New York and the editor/contributor of the new book, Gilded New York Design, Fashion and Society (The Monacelli Press). We were introduced by Dan Scheffey, who, in his past life, has handled public relations for Disney, Miramax and most recently toiled at Conde Nast. Dan is currently working on Monacelli’s fall book list and is gearing up to launch the Spring 2014 list with Ellen Rubin. When he mentioned Gilded New York to me some months ago, I immediately wanted to know more. Donald, an independent curator specializing in the decorative arts and architecture, joined us to talk about his work on both the exhibition and the book on New York’s Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

Dan Scheffey, Diane Clehane and Donald Albrecht

From left: Dan Scheffey, Diane Clehane and Donald Albrecht

By way of introduction to the period he explained, “The city’s old and new money used architecture, interior design, fashion and events — even lunch and dinners — as markers of status.” See where I’m going with this?  I thought you might.

Donald, who traded his career as an architect to focus on curating exhibitions and writing (“I found working solely in architecture really boring”), explained his love of curating exhibitions as a way of producing “visual culture.” His current exhibition (which shares the same name of the companion book) “Gilded New York” runs through the end of next year and features a stunning collection of objects that lend a window into the fascinating lives of the early swells of New York City whose great fortunes built the vast Fifth Avenue mansions during what was arguably city’s most glamorous era. Among the relics of this bygone age visitors to the museum can see: an ”Electric Light” dress by couturier Charles Frederick Worth dress once worn by Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt. The gown (which didn’t really light up) earned its name from the glittering crystals that illuminated the bodice (a newspaper at the time breathlessly reported it had been trimmed in diamonds), Tiffany & Co.’s Bon Bonniere, a miniature purse designed to hold bon bons or small pieces of candy to be discreetly carried so it could be enjoyed while dancing, and a swan-billed flask crafted from engraved glass and silver. The funny thing is I have no doubt any one of the artifacts would be right at home worn by Sarah Jessica Parker or carried by — dare we say it – Kanye West — at the Met Ball, no?

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Taking Another Look At The BusinessWeek Deal

bloomberg logo.jpgYesterday afternoon came the long-awaited news that Bloomberg LP had snapped up McGraw-Hill‘s BusinessWeek.

This morning, there are a few new points of view on the deal, which is said to have cost Bloomberg less than $5 million. Bloomberg also reportedly agreed to assume all of BusinessWeek‘s liabilities, including the cost of getting magazines to all of its subscribers who have paid in advance and any severance packages for BusinessWeek employees who are laid off during the transition. The New York Times says BusinessWeek‘s liabilities were $31.9 million as of April.

The Times also reports that the magazine will be rechristened Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

The Financial Times focused on the fact that this acquisition is a change of pace for the privately owned Bloomberg. “The rare break from Bloomberg’s tradition of organic growth came as Thomson Reuters, its rival in financial data terminals, was putting the finishing touches to a takeover of Breakingviews.com, a UK-based financial commentary website.”

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Bloomberg “Most Aggressive” Bidder For BusinessWeek

businessweek cover.jpgAlthough BusinessWeek‘s media columnist Jon Fine has already departed for his six-month sabbatical, his publication is still closely tracking its own sale.

Bids for the business magazine were due yesterday to BusinessWeek‘s owner McGraw-Hill, and at least four parties have submitted revised bids, according to Tom Lowry, who has taken over Fine’s “On Media” column:

“Among those submitting revised bids were financial data giant Bloomberg LP, private equity firm Open Gate Capital, and investment firm ZelnickMedia LLC. At least one other bidder, which BusinessWeek was not able to identify, also submitted a bid.”

Although details of the bids are unknown, Lowry said Bloomberg has been “the most aggressive in its pursuit of BusinessWeek.” According to Lowry, Bloomberg’s chief content officer Norm Pearlstine met with various members of the BusinessWeek editorial team last week, including editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, executive editors Ellen Pollock and John Byrne and Ciro Scotti, BusinessWeek‘s managing editor. These meetings discussed topics like the possibility of integrating content from Bloomberg into the magazine and adding more editorial pages to the book, which “suggests Bloomberg might be looking at tinkering with BusinessWeek‘s traditional 60-40 mix of editorial pages to ad pages,” Lowry said.

Right now, it’s all speculation. The sales process is just at the beginning, but we’re bound to learn more as it progresses. But a successful media company like Bloomberg taking over the reins of a struggling pub like BusinessWeek certainly seems promising, even if the editorial mix of the mag may change in the future. If BusinessWeek survives in any form, and jobs are saved, it’s better than the fate suffered by other magazines, like Portfolio.

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Earlier: Getting The Skinny On The BusinessWeek Deal As Bid Deadline Looms