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Posts Tagged ‘Tina Brown’

Tina Brown Punks Howard Kurtz

Damn. Someone call an ambulance, because Tina Brown just murdered Howard Kurtz.

For some context, Kurtz was fired after he wrote an incredibly stupid column about former NBA player Jason Collins, who came out via a Sports Illustrated article.

Maybe it’s time for Kurtz to just chill? Maybe.

It’s Not Tina Brown’s Fault That Newsweek Failed

Now that Newsweek has been sold yet again, it’s time to examine who is at fault for its downfall. The popular target is Tina Brown. She certainly receives the brunt of a New York Times piece, which features interviews with Newsweek staffers who claim that Brown’s style destroyed the magazine. And while that’s true, Brown is not solely to blame.

Brown is famous for being irrational and chaotic. As the Times notes, she sent staffers to Paris despite there being no promise of a story. She once asked Dirk Barnett, Newsweek’s former creative director, to design 82 covers in just seven days. When she did approve covers, they were often ridiculous. Brown even claimed that she knew about Breaking Bad before anyone else at Newsweek, which sort of shows how kooky she can be.

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Newsweek Sold to IBT Media

IBT Media, publishers of the International Business Times, are your new Newsweek owners. IBT is a digital-only company, so Newsweek will continue as it has since the print edition was folded. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 2010, Sidney Harman purchased Newsweek from The Washington Post Company. Harman then entered into a partnership with Barry Diller and IAC. Tina Brown — editor of Newsweek and The Daily Beast — tried her best, but aside from generating some catchy/creepy covers, Newsweek continued to flounder. After the magazine was folded, Diller even admitted that being involved with Newsweek was a mistake.

IAC will operate Newsweek for the next 60 days, after that, it’s all IBT Media’s. For better or worse.

Baba Shetty Heads Back to Advertising

Baba Shetty is heading back to the advertising world. AgencySpy reports that the former CEO of Newsweek/The Daily Beast has been named chief strategy and media officer at DigitasLBi.

Shetty joined Newsweek/The Daily Beast in September of 2012, after six years with the ad agency Hill and Holliday. He unexpectedly departed Newsweek/The Daily Beast this past June. In a memo announcing Shetty’s move, Tina Brown provided no details, simply stating Shetty was “moving on as CEO, taking the summer off to spend time with family.” We guess summer’s over?

Rhona Murphy is currently interim CEO of Newsweek/The Daily Beast.

For more on Shetty’s new gig, head over to AgencySpy.

Newsweek/Daily Beast Names Michael Moynihan Editorial Director of ‘Beast Weekend’

Newsweek/The Daily Beast has promoted Michael Moynihan to editorial director of “Beast Weekend,” which will launch this fall. According to a memo from Tina Brown, Beast Weekend will offer readers content that caters to a Saturday/Sunday mind. “Beast Weekend will refresh and refocus our weekend content towards culture as well as longer reads,” explained Brown.

Moynihan has been with Newsweek/The Daily Beast since September of last year. He most recently served as cultural news editor.

Below is the full note from Brown.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Apple Found Guilty | Hasselbeck’s Farewell | Newsweek Nears Sale


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Apple Colluded on eBook Prices, Judge Finds (Reuters)
In a sweeping rejection of Apple Inc’s strategy for selling electronic books on the Internet, a federal judge ruled that the company conspired with five major publishers to raise eBook prices. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan found “compelling evidence” that Apple violated federal antitrust law by playing a “central role” in a conspiracy with the publishers to eliminate retail price competition and raise eBook prices. GalleyCat “After carefully weighing the evidence, the court agreed with the Justice Department and 33 state attorneys general that executives at the highest levels of Apple orchestrated a conspiracy with five major publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster — to raise eBook prices,” the DOJ said in a statement. “Through [Wednesday's] court decision and previous settlements with five major publishers, consumers are again benefitting from retail price competition and paying less for their eBooks.” Fortune Apple has announced that it will appeal Cote’s decision. And if it’s to prevail in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals or — if it comes to that — the Supreme Court, it will be on the strength or weakness of her responses to the six major arguments Apple raised in its defense. NYT The verdict in the Apple case might have been a foregone conclusion, telegraphed by the judge herself, but it emphatically underlined how the traditional players in the book business have been upended. Only Amazon, led by Jeff Bezos, seems to have a plan. He is executing it with a skill that infuriates his competitors and rewards his stockholders. paidContent Judge Cote plans to schedule a separate hearing to determine damages and other consequences for Apple. These could be stayed pending appeal. Because all of the publishers in the case have settled and have entered into new agreements with Apple, it is unclear what kinds of changes Apple could be forced to make. There are a few possible answers, however, in a government pre-trial brief.

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Justine Rosenthal Departs Newsweek/The Daily Beast

Justine Rosenthal is leaving Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Capital New York reports that Rosenthal, who was editing Newsweek and The Daily Beast after Tunku Varadarajan left in March, will be succeeded by Richard Just, with help from Louise Roug.

In a note to staffers, Tina Brown said Rosenthal’s skills and determination will be missed:

Justine took over Newsweek at a challenging time for the company in November of 2011 and immediately took command, cultivating writers and creating memorable stories that made us all proud…

Under Justine’s editorship we were able to reverse Newsweek’s many years of decline and breathe life back into the magazine both as a print edition and in the stellar digital format that she and the team have continued to produce each week.

Roger Friedman Calls Out Tina Brown, Diane Dimond

For the briefest time Sunday morning, some alleged “news” published by UK’s Sunday Mirror newspaper about the late Michael Jackson was above The Drudge Report fold. But the multiple featured links quickly disappeared from Drudge, perhaps because the site’s Showbiz 411 pal Roger Friedman may have alerted that there was no substance to the sensational allegations.

This afternoon, Friedman is zeroing in on The Daily Beast article “The Story Behind The Latest Michael Jackson Bombshell:”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Zynga Lays Off 520 | Newsweek’s Poor Stats | Chris Cuomo’s Conflict?


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Zynga to Lay Off 520 Employees — 18 Percent of Staff — And Shutter New York And LA Offices (AllThingsD)
Zynga is laying off 18 percent of its workforce — which represents 520 employees — in a bid to reduce costs and more drastically restructure its troubled business toward mobile, according to sources close to the situation. Reuters One of the first firms to seize upon Facebook as a game-publishing platform years ago, Zynga has struggled to keep hold of players as people increasingly turn to their mobile devices — and games from Zynga’s rivals — for entertainment. Zynga’s chief executive, Mark Pincus, has shut studios, retired more than a dozen games and laid off hundreds of employees as part of a turnaround effort that focuses resources on developing mobile games. USA Today Two troubling trends have hit Zynga; for starters, fewer people are playing Zynga games, with the number of overall players dropping by more than 10 percent from last year. And those who are playing aren’t spending as much, with the company posting a first-quarter drop of about 30 percent from 2012. SocialTimes “None of us ever expected to face a day like today, especially when so much of our culture has been about growth… The scale that served us so well in building and delivering the leading social gaming service on the Web is now making it hard to successfully lead across mobile and multiplatform, which is where social games are going to be played,” said Pincus in an internal memo to employees. AppNewser Despite the layoffs, the company is still hiring in some positions across its locations. According to the company’s website, there are jobs available in its San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Beijing offices, among other places.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Howard Kurtz Fired | NY Mag Victorious | Norquist Edited Out


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Daily Beast Drops Howard Kurtz (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The Daily Beast is dropping Howard Kurtz, the veteran media critic who made headlines this week for his erroneous report about NBA star Jason Collins. “The Daily Beast and Howard Kurtz have parted company,” Tina Brown, the site’s editor-in-chief, said in a statement sent to Politico. The decision comes after Kurtz published a blog post that falsely asserted that Collins, who announced he was gay in an article for Sports Illustrated, had neglected to mention his previous engagement to a woman. In fact, Collins mentioned that engagement in the article and in a subsequent interview with ABC News. The Daily Beast retracted that post on Thursday morning. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Following Brown’s announcement, Kurtz tweeted: “I’ve enjoyed my time at the Daily Beast but as we began to move in different directions, both sides agreed it was best to part company.” He added: “This was in the works for some time, but want to wish all my colleagues continued success with a terrific website.” TVNewser Kurtz joined the Daily Beast in October 2010, after leaving The Washington Post. His tenure at the Daily Beast includes some big interviews with the likes of Roger Ailes and Matt Lauer, but was also filled with controversy. We wrote about a ridiculous item he filed about TV coverage of the primaries, and he emailed a Daily Beast colleague to discourage her from writing about Anderson Cooper’s sexuality. He also was reluctant to give credit when others broke stories, and was loathe to correct errors, a number of which were in his big interview with Lauer. The Wrap / WaxWord Howard Kurtz and his weekly Reliable Sources media talk show are under review after his firing from the Daily Beast over erroneous reporting, a CNN spokeswoman told The Wrap on Thursday. “We are reviewing it,” the spokeswoman told The Wrap. Jeff Zucker, the new chieftain at CNN is “supportive” of Kurtz’s show, but the network is unhappy with the error and is reviewing it, the spokeswoman said. Another senior executive at Turner said that there was no planned change with the show, but that it would ultimately be Zucker’s decision. HuffPost / The Backstory Despite his claim that he is merely a contributor, there are rumors that Kurtz has a larger role in the Daily Download. According to one media executive who spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity, Kurtz characterized himself as a partner in the Daily Download during a conversation last year. Separately, a journalist who was approached by Kurtz to work at Daily Download told HuffPost that he presented the site as a start-up he was developing along with editor-in-chief Lauren Ashburn. Read more

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