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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Ellison’

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.: ‘The Question is, Am I Doing a Bad Job of Picking Leaders for the New York Times?’

VanityFairLogoThe statement in the headline was volunteered Sunday by Sulzberger during his first post-Ambramson interview with Vanity Fair‘s Sarah Ellison. When she asked him what the terminations of Jill Abramson in 2014, president/CEO Janet Robinson in 2011 and executive editor Howell Raines in 2004 signify, the New York Times publisher chose to read between her interview lines. He goes on to answer his own question with, “I don’t think so.”

This is the second time Ellison has interviewed Sulzberger for the magazine; the first was for the 2010 cover story “Two Men and a Newsstand.” She reminds off the top that the framed Winston Churchill quote in Sulzberger’s office is incorrect and later, ponders a strange metaphor from the 62-year-old publisher about not wanting to wait to cut off the other arm after the first arm has been chopped.

Ellison covered a lot of solid ground during Sunday’s interview with a series of well thought-out questions. Sulzberger’s answer to this one suggests Abramson ultimately may have been undone by changing Times:

When I pointed out that other executive editors of the Times had possessed the very traits that some have attributed to Abramson —that she could be aloof or autocratic — he countered that times had changed. Sure, he said, Abe Rosenthal, who edited the Times through the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, was famously difficult. Rosenthal could also focus simply on gathering and publishing the news.

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A Closer Look at Dean Baquet

DeanBaquetPicWhen a huge media story like today’s New York Times shake-up breaks, the second place we turn – after Twitter – is the FishbowlNY archives.

It was Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Ellison who, in the fall of 2006, broke the story of Dean Baquet‘s ouster from the LA Times. When Jones appeared on a KCRW radio show with LAObserved’s Kevin Roderick to chat about it all, they deemed the replacement of Baquet as EIC by James O’Shea to be a victory of “Tribune culture over LAT culture.” Not exactly an auspicious quote all these Sam Zell-years later.

Los Angeles magazine subsequently rounded up five LA Times editors to talk about the state of the Spring Street union. Here’s a quote from Baquet:

“The 20 percent of my time that I spent dealing with a bad publisher — and I mean David Hiller, not Jeffrey Johnson — was not the dominant part of my day. I spent most of my time with a newsroom that really wanted to change and do great stuff. I brainstormed ideas with a staff that wanted leadership, and for a brief moment it seemed as if we could be the best paper in the country.”

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Vanity Fair Interviews Edward Snowden

Vanity Fair’s May issue is officially a must read. The magazine somehow snagged an interview with Edward Snowden, which serves as a starting point for the glossy’s 20,000 word piece on the man who leaked countless NSA documents to the press. Below are some highlights from the Snowden interview.

On the rumor that he has almost 2 million documents:

Look at the language officials use in sworn testimony about these records: ‘could have,’ ‘may have,’ ‘potentially.’ They’re prevaricating. Every single one of those officials knows I don’t have 1.7 million files, but what are they going to say? What senior official is going to go in front of Congress and say, ‘We have no idea what he has, because the N.S.A.’s auditing of systems holding hundreds of millions of Americans’ data is so negligent that any high-school dropout can walk out the door with it?’

On his political leanings:

I’d describe my political thought as moderate.

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Vanity Fair Launches New E-Book on Rupert Murdoch

Everything Rupert Murdoch is in vogue right now. Profiles in magazines, TV talking heads examining his health, Rupert Bobblehead Night – if you’ve got something about News Corp.’s man, you’ve most likely got yourself a hit. So it’s no surprise that Vanity Fair’s second e-book ever takes an in-depth look at the man.

Rupert Murdoch: The Master Mogul of Fleet Street, takes 20 selected pieces from the pages of Vanity Fair and puts them in one, tiny electronic place (it’s available on the Kindle or Nook).

The book documents Murdoch’s journey from Fleet Street until now, and includes works from Sarah Ellison, Edward Klein, James Wolcott, and Michael Wolff and more.

Vanity Fair Probes Julian Assange

Sarah Ellison, former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has a sprawling, in-depth look at Julian Assange and his relationship with The Guardian and other media entities in Vanity Fair, and it just went online. Naturally the Internet is buzzing with reviews of the piece, so instead of giving of our take (we could be bribed though – think king-size Snickers), below are a collection of views from places we like to read:

Sarah Ellison on Writing War at The Wall Street Journal

So, you’ve got a great idea for a book. You’ve done all the research, secured a publisher, and are ready to go. Now here comes the hard part: writing the damn thing.

Sarah Ellison, author of War at The Wall Street Journal, not only faced the usual writer’s block, but her manuscript and first child were due on the same day. In our Media Beat interview, Ellison told mediabistro.com founder Laurel Touby what it took to finally get started.

“It’s really important at the very beginning even though you’re eager to start writing and eager to start moving on your book, it’s really important to set out an organizational structure from the get-go,” Ellison said. “And then, even if you change that along the way, you sort of know where the snippets are going from your various interviews.”

Watch the full video to get more tips from Ellison on getting through the writing process and why she almost returned her advance money.

Part 1: Sarah Ellison Calls Wall Street Journal Sale ‘An Epic Clash of Cultures’

Part 3: Sarah Ellison Makes Friends and Enemies with War at the Wall Street Journal

Sarah Ellison Calls Wall Street Journal Sale ‘An Epic Clash of Cultures’

As a journalist, you never know which assignment is going to be your big break. For Sarah Ellison, author of War at the Wall Street Journal, it was covering the newspaper beat during her day job at that very paper that eventually landed her a book deal.

“I spent the last three, four, five months that I was at the paper reporting on the story for the Wall Street Journal,” she told Laurel Touby for Media Beat. “Then people approached me about writing the book, and I thought that it was such a great story and such a kind of epic clash of cultures that it was definitely something that could be of interest beyond the pages of the newspaper.”

Watch the full video to find out what Ellison feels is the true motivation behind business journalism and whether writing such an investigative tome landed her more enemies than friends.

Part 2: Sarah Ellison on Writing War at The Wall Street Journal

Part 3: Sarah Ellison Makes Friends and Enemies with War at the Wall Street Journal

Pre-Murdoch Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Walked With $6.4 million

PH2008070702834.jpgDon’t cry too hard for Marcus Brauchli, the former Wall Street Journal editor who resigned from the paper four months after Rupert Murdoch acquired it from the Bancroft family.

Now executive editor at The Washington Post, it’s always been a closely-guarded secret how much Brauchli got to walk away from his position, but the new book on the Murdoch/Bancroft saga by Sarah Ellison has finally revealed the number to be $6.4 million.

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New Book Reveals Inner Workings Of WSJ Takeover

51dkFmvXhSL._SL500_AA240_.jpgBe careful what you write about Rupert Murdoch or his various entities: not only will you inevitably suffer the full backlash from The New York Post or Fox News (as Michael Wolff found out last year, when his affair with Victoria Floethe was revealed in Page Six shortly after his book The Man Who Owns The News was released), but you’ll also have to contend with the litany of newspaper articles that crib the information from your book without giving you any credit (again Wolff, complaining that last Sunday’s profile of Fox New chief Roger Ailes in The New York Times was directly taken from his book).

Sarah Ellison is taking an obvious gamble with her new book, War at The Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle to Control an American Business Empire. Not only is the subject matter covering almost the exact same trajectory as Wolff’s book — the Bancroft family’s selling of The Wall Street Journal to Murdoch for $60-a-share — but, according to the David Carr review of the book on today’s Times Media Decoder blog, it’s a much more intimate portrait of the man than the “ethereal” presence we’re used to reading about.

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Chambermaid Book Party

bookcover_small.jpg Does a successful book party equal book sales success? If so, then Saira Rao‘s first novel, Chambermaid, is headed for stratospheric heights. The party was a rager, with over 200 people in attendance. Held in a Fifth Avenue Park-facing apartment, it was a delightful if homogeneous mash-up of well-heeled lawyers, bankers, media — and one actor:

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