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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Heffernan’

And the Dumbest Most Cynical SEO-Driven Hurricane Story Goes To…

Yahoo News, for this little gem.

SEO is useful and all, but, Jesus, do you have to be so damn transparent about it? It’s one thing to optimize your headlines, it’s another thing to craft a wholly useless story on your political blog (a blog, might we add, that you’ve spend big money gussying up by hiring names like Virginia Heffernan) specifically for click bait.

You can almost see the wheels churning: “I know, if we just put Sandy and Obama in the headline, 1 billion people will click on our story! Now if only we could find a way to put ‘Brittney Spears’ vagina’ in there too…”

The saddest thing is it actually looks like some time was spent on the piece. Yahoo even has a little chart demonstrating the names of other major hurricanes and their donation patterns. Katrina is also, apparently, a Democrat.

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Yahoo News Expands Its Scope

Yahoo! News, traditionally known for its link aggregation and culling pieces from the AP wire, has slowly been expanding its original content in recent years. The site has a fairly robust blog presence  at this point, particularly in the political realm. Now, Yahoo News has decided to take things further and expand into documentary news. The site is producing a new weekly series called Remake America about six middle-class families trying to navigate America’s sagging, post-bubble economy.

“This puts us on a new track,” VP of Yahoo News and Finance Robertson Barrett tells AdWeek. “We’re looking to earn our return visitors.”

Barrett says in addition to the new series, Yahoo News will follow the model laid by Yahoo Sports–of enterprise reporting boosting by a roster of high-profile columnists. Former New York Times columnist Virginia Heffernan is apparently among the writers Yahoo will begin to trot out in the near future.

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Virginia Heffernan Joins Yahoo! News as National Correspondent

Yahoo! News continues to expand its journalism team. Virginia Heffernan joins as a national correspondent covering culture and politics from a digital perspective. She will also explore how our daily lives and decisions are shaped by emerging technology and behavior.

“We could not be more excited about Virginia joining the growing Yahoo! News team,” said Hillary Frey, managing editor. “Lots of us here are long-time admirers of her writing—from her earlier TV writing at Slate, to her work at The New York Times and beyond— so bringing her on is truly a thrill. No one understands the intersection of politics, video, technology and culture the way Virginia does.”

Prior to joining Yahoo!, Virginia wrote op-ed columns on digital culture for The New York Times. Prior to that, she wrote “The Medium,” a weekly column about Internet culture, for The New York Times Magazine.

“It’s a fascinating time in news, and Yahoo! is out front, leading the shrewdest, most inventive developments in digital media,” said Heffernan. “The company has hands-down the most intelligent concept of what news ought to mean now, online and everywhere. It’s a huge privilege to be working with such a talented team and I can’t wait to get started.”

She will be based in the New York City offices, reporting to Frey.

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Virginia Heffernan Is Moving to the Opinion Pages at the New York Times

Virginia Heffernan, former columnist for The New York Times Magazine, has a new position at the Times: starting Monday, she will “write regularly for the Opinion pages,” she told Adweek.

She also announced her new position over Twitter: “Some late Wednesday news: I’m going to the NYT’s Opinion pages. Excited.”

Heffernan, 41, was with the Times Magazine for four years until earlier this year, when new editor Hugo Lindgren decided to end her column, “The Medium.”

This news comes following several departures at the Times‘ Opinion pages, including Bob Herbert, who recently left to pursue other projects, Frank Rich, who left earlier this month for New York magazine, David Shipley, who left for Bloomberg’s new opinion venture, and editor Mark Lotto, who is leaving for GQ.

Deborah Solomon Parts Ways With The New York Times Magazine

After heading up the “Questions For” page of The New York Times Magazine for eight years, Deborah Solomon has fallen victim to editor Hugo Lindren’s staff overhaul and is leaving the title.  Solomon joins former deputy editor Alex Star and “The Medium” columnist Virginia Heffernan as The NYT Magazine’s most recent departures.  Solomon discussed her next steps in a letter to The Observer.

My immediate plan is to devote myself to my long-overdue, almost-finished biography of Norman Rockwell, which will be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. I had eight great years writing the column, and I have been encouraged by the paper’s top brass to continue writing for the paper. Naturally, I also plan to continue asking as many impertinent questions as possible.

Virginia Heffernan Leaves The New York Times Magazine

The New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren took another step toward putting his stamp on the publication by parting ways with columnist Virginia Heffernan.  Originating on nytimes.com in 2006, Heffernan’s web-themed column “The Medium” will no longer appear in Lindgren’s mag.  “The Medium” transitioned over to NYT Magazine in June 2009 and showcased digital stories including top viral videos and popular mobile device apps.

Heffernan represents the most recent departure in a string of staffers that have parted ways with the magazine since Lindgren’s entrance in late October.  Alex Star vacated his post as deputy editor in December and now works with the Times Book Review.

Prior to joining The New York Times, Heffernan served as a television critic for Slate and co-authored The Underminer with Mike Albo.

Perez Hilton Makes It His Own, Even Other People’s Photos

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Perez Hilton continues to try to find a basis for his claim of fair use of photographs on his blog. In the NY Times, Virginia Heffernan quotes him:

When I look at a picture, I go through the same process as when I look at a news story. How can I process this image to make this as entertaining as possible to my readers? I’m looking at it, cropping it, resizing it, drawing on it, making it my own.

Right you are if you think so. Heffernan thinks there some mysterious forces at work, causing people to pour over every pixel of celebrity skin in search of omens and augeries.

Perez goes for the naughty bits:

citing the photographs that seem to accidentally reveal the most vulnerable square inches on celebrities’ bodies.

Accidently is the key word here. The stars have been flashing those bits for years and years.

Earlier:
Perez Hilton–Creative Commmons’ New Poster Boy?

Times‘ Bruni Goes To Penthouse Club For The Meat

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He may be banned from all 29 Jeffrey Chodorow restaurants, but the Penthouse Club welcomes Frank Bruni with open, uh, arms

It’s no secret the New York Timesmuch lambasted food critic Frank Bruni is said to be gay. And he’s rather out about it in today’s piece from the Penthouse Club, in which he and some buddies go to sample the steak while, he says, being less susceptible to other pleasures of the flesh. Still, he does sample a desert known as a “buttery nipple”:

“It involves one of the women straddling your lap, tilting your head back, pouring a combination of Baileys Irish Cream and butterscotch schnapps down your throat, and squirting Reddi-wip into your mouth. It costs $20 in cash. Note to the newspaper’s expense auditors: I don’t have a receipt.”

Meanwhile, in a review of not food but TV, Virginia Heffernan tells us that American Idol‘s Paula Abdul has a “mom I’d like to sleep with” vibe.

We’re blushing.

Blvd. of Broken Dreams Not Mean Enough for NYT; Too Mean For Niki Taylor

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Virginia Heffernan of the NY Times reviews E!’s new spin-off from True Hollywood Story, Blvd. of Broken Dreams and compares it unfavorably to VH1′s Behind the Music. The show’s just not mean enough. However, Niki Taylor has slapped the network with a federal slander suit, alleging emotional distress. The suit, which also includes fraud, breach of contract and invasion of privacy, said that

E! falsely claimed that the show would focus on Taylor’s current life and professional endeavors, including her signature fragrance, clothing line, upcoming cosmetics line and charitable foundation

Instead (surprise, surprise) the network and its producer focused on Taylor’s past hardships and characterized her as a celebrity

who risked everything … and lost.

Nothing like a lawsuit to get an producer noticed. THS is basically cancelled, and EP Suzanne Ross needs to develop something, anything to either solidify her position on the quicksands of E!’s executive offices or have an original series on her resume when she leaves. Any show at E! has to do three things: make use of the existing footage, come in under budget, and not piss off anyone off. To quote Meatloaf:

Two out of three ain’t bad.