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Posts Tagged ‘Variety’

Variety Adds TV, Real Estate Editors

DebraBirnbaumPicThere’s a fair bit going on these days at Jay Penske‘s Deadline and Variety twin trades.

On the Deadline side, Dominic Patten recently started anchoring daily video reports under the rubicon DeadlineNow. From PMC’s new westside Los Angeles digs, he has been chatting with reporter Jen Yamato, film editor Anita Busch, east coast-based chief theater columnist Jeremy Gerard and others about the latest developments on each journalist’s beat.

Meanwhile, Variety has been staffing up. This morning, TV EIC Cynthia Littleton announced that Debra Birnbaum (pictured) has joined the publication as executive editor, television:

Birnbaum came to Variety in April to help spearhead the eight Extra Edition special issues published this month in conjunction with Emmy season. She will be at the helm of Variety’s expansive TV awards season coverage leading up to the July 10 nominations announcement through the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on August 25.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Abramson Gets New Gig | Twitter COO Resigns

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Jill Abramson to Teach at Harvard (FishbowlNY)
Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times who was unceremoniously fired last month, has a new gig — teacher. Abramson is joining Harvard University’s English department this coming fall to teach undergraduate courses on narrative nonfiction. NYT Abramson, the first woman to hold the top editing post at the Times, was abruptly dismissed last month by the newspaper’s publisher, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. Her firing stunned the Times newsroom and the media world in general. Sulzberger said she was dismissed because of her management style, while other published accounts said she was paid less than her predecessor, Bill Keller, an allegation that Sulzberger denied. Capital New York Abramson, a Harvard alum, will hold the title of visiting lecturer at the university for the 2014-2015 school year. THR “Narrative non-fiction journalism is more important than ever,” Abramson said in a statement. “Its traditions and how it is changing in the digital transition are fascinating areas of study.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media During a May commencement address at Wake Forest, her first and only public appearance since her termination, Abramson said she did not know what her next career move would be after the Times. Abramson has previously taught journalism seminars at Yale and Princeton.

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Reuters Signs Syndication Deal with Variety

Reuters is teaming up with Variety for all its entertainment news. Reuters had previously partnered with a few different outlets for syndicated entertainment content.

The deal involves Reuters, Variety and VarietyLatino.com.

“Reuters is committed to providing our customers around the world with real-time, high impact multimedia news,” said Daniel Mandell, Reuters’ senior VP of business development, in a statement. “As a leading provider of quality entertainment news, Variety and Variety Latino are natural partners to help Reuters deliver unparalleled entertainment coverage to our clients.”

You can expect to see Variety’s editorial content popping up on Reuters starting in August.

Variety EIC: ‘Paywall Did Nothing But Severely Limit Our Audience’

At the recent 63rd annual MAGGIE Awards, where Variety won three awards including Most Improved Publication/Trade & Consumer, the 109-year-old outlet’s digital editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein delivered an afternoon keynote about changes in the PMC era.

Although much of what Wallenstein had to say is common knowledge at this point, it’s still rare in the Hollywood trades world to have the opportunity to hear a key editorial team member speak so frankly and in detail about the inner workings of the operation. Wallenstein joked at one point that he does not recommend doing a full website revamp in three months; he said website traffic has increased, since the elimination of the paywall, by 400%; and noted that the company’s new offices in west LA were set up for “year-round video production.”

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Esquire Names Fashion Manager, Variety Adds Film and Media Reporter

A couple moves to note this morning, involving Esquire and Variety. Details are below.

  • Esquire has promoted John Wattiker to international fashion manager. He most recently served as account manager of beauty, grooming and financial services. Wattiker has been with Hearst since April of last year.
  • Brent Lang is joining Variety as a film and media reporter, based in New York. Lang comes to Variety from TheWrap, where he had been for the past four years.

A Questionable Robert De Niro-Tribeca Headline

In bold, headline form, the word “admits” usually infers that someone has: A) Previously denied something, or; B) Been prone to dodging the topic altogether. In the case of today’s Ramin Setoodeh Variety Q&A with Tribeca Film Festival head honchos Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, there is no such prior context.

DeNiroVarietyHeadline

Are you click-baitin’ to me? De Niro told the reporter that he is “trying to see them [the movies] now” and that it is difficult for him to find the time. Especially, one assumes, in a young year that included the demands of finalizing a deal to sell 50% of the festival’s parent to MSG.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

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Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Paramount Denial Leads to Immaculate Re-Conception of Variety Headline

ShutterstockRussellCroweHWoF_FeaturedIt’s one of the oldest tricks in the digital journalism playbook. Adjust the headline without letting readers know that such an adjustment has been made.

At press time, there is no Editor’s Note or Correction to indicate that a March 17 item by Variety New York film editor Ramin Setoodeh was originally headlined “Pope Cancels Tentative ‘Noah’ Meeting With Russell Crowe (EXCLUSIVE).” From a related report in The Hollywood Reporter:

Although Crowe had hoped to meet Pope Francis at the Pontiff’s weekly gathering in St. Peter’s Square, Paramount Pictures is denying a report that the Vatican canceled a planned meeting.

“A meeting was never scheduled,” a Paramount spokesman said. A story posted today by Variety ran under the headline: “Pope Cancels Tentative ‘Noah’ Meeting With Russell Crowe.” The original headline did not include the word “Tentative,” which was added after the studio objected.

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The Rocky Musical Reviews Are In

RockyMusicalPosterThe cleverest headline following last night’s Broadway musical debut sits atop the review by NBC New York’s Robert Kahn. It reads: “Knockout Second Act Helps ‘Rocky’ Come Back.”

Like many of his colleagues, including Variety‘s Marilyn Stasio and the Washington Post‘s Peter Marks, Kahn was blown away by the staging of the show’s climax:

The electric final 15 minutes of the new musical based on Sylvester Stallone’s small-town Philly boxer are likely to inspire a heavy outpouring of adjectives: Game-changing. Jaw-dropping. Astounding. All are fair…

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Cover Battle: Sports Illustrated or Variety

Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round features Sports Illustrated versus Variety. For its latest cover, SI went retro. As we noted yesterday, the image was inspired by a 1977 SI cover featuring Larry Bird. Other 1977 things we’d like to see resurrected? Gold lamé jackets.

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