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Archives: May 2009

Links for 5-29-09: San Jose Merc To Vote On New Contract | Yahoo Guy Goes Startup | More

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!


datwon2.pngYou may have heard that Datwon Thomas, formerly editor-in-chief of XXL magazine, has jumped ship from print to web. Well, it’s true. Thomas left XXL to become the new editor in chief and COO of, a hip hop news site backed by Russel Simmons. As COO and EIC, he’ll be focusing on both editorial as well as finding ways to generate money for the site.

Thomas told us he’s excited to be coming back to the Web, and despite his many years in print, he’s no stranger to the digital platform. Why’s that? Find out after the jump.

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‘Jilted Journos’ Turn Flack

Let’s get real. Journalists leaving for PR happens all the time. This is nothing new to the recession: we’ve always been underpaid compared to our sellout more marketing-oriented counterparts.

And if you’re going to make the jump, you might as well do it right. Jilted Journalists, a new web site by an ex-journalist that helps newspapermen and women make sense of their new futures, has a feature up today about hacks turned flacks. Ignoring the absolutely terrible layout (sorry guys), the piece contains some useful information besides the usual “journalists are valued in other professions because they know how to write” stuff you hear all the time.

John Yocca was a reporter at three newspapers before he moved to Stern + Associates. “What we bring to Stern is a respect for journalists, Yocca said. “Communications majors who focus on PR never really understand both sides of the coin. We’re bound to the client but we have to respect the journalists just as much. Without respect, we won’t get clients into the media.”

And having that experience on the other side of the coin is valuable when meeting with journalists: “It seems to disarm journalists,” said Laura Moss, an account executive at Stern who calls the news business “a dead end.” (ouch!)

The hardest part about transitioning to PR? Learning to manage clients. Yocca “said he got a crash course on balancing clients’ needs with media needs and learned not to give more than the client wants to give.” (Oops!)

So, are you a jilted journalist thinking of turning to public relations? Tell us in the comments.

AP Stylebook Online Gets A Makeover, Needs A Copyeditor?

Welcome to the 21st century, Associated Press: the online edition of the AP Stylebook has gotten a serious makeover.

Journalists must remember what the old one looked like:
AP Stylebook before makeover

The new has a cleaner look and, if memory serves me right, a better search.

AP Stylebook after

One minor detail, guys: you who are so strict about usage, spelling, and style might want to get your own copyeditor on the case:


John A. Byrne Gets Nerdy On Social Media

John A ByrneEditor-in-chief of John A. Byrne sat down with Social Nerdia to talk about twittering and the value of social media. Here are some highlights:

“Years ago, if you were a smart, ambitious professional you distinguished yourself by having something worthwhile to say about your business or profession. You sought opportunities to be a panelist at an industry or professional trade association. You tried to give a speech at the local Chamber of Commerce. You wrote a bylined article for a trade journal. Today, your active participation in social media can convey similar status and prestige.

“We now have more than 50 editors and writers on Twitter seeking story ideas, sourcing suggestions, and advice on all kinds of editorial decisions from what our lead online story should be to what music to play on our podcasts.

“Lately, some news organizations have banned or heavily restricted the use of Twitter by reporters. That is a big mistake. Besides the advantage to engagement, Twitter is another tool to make newsgathering more effective.

“I envy the young people who are graduating now. Some of them will be creating the new Huffington Post or Slate or TechCrunch. Whatever your dream, don’t settle.”

Byrne’s Twittering has established him in the media world as somebody who really cares about reader engagement as well as a guy who “gets” social media. (Here‘s a story we did about a dinner he hosted for readers..)

As a reminder, he’ll be speaking at the Mediabistro Circus next week (on Wednesday at 1:45 to be exact), and you can still get tickets here.

Job Title To Watch: Twitter Coach

Yes, really.

“At first blush it might seem downright silly to hire someone to teach your senior management team how to post short, pithy comments with video or links on web sites like Twitter, Facebook, Jaiku, Tumblr, Flickr or any of a number of social networking sites,” writes Aliah Wright at

But maybe it’s not so silly. Picking up on Twitterese, Wright says, might not be so easy for people not used to this mode of communication. How are you supposed to know what a hashtag means right away? How do you know the best way to monitor your brand? Tweetdeck or Splitweet?

If you don’t want to spend the time experimenting, maybe it’s time to bring in a pro: at least one HR pro’s used three coaches “informally.” Will Twitter-coaching for pay be next? We’re fairly sure the answer’s yes.

What Not To Put On Your Resume: Part 1

What Not To Put On Your Resume
What not to put on your resume: scribbles. flickr: kafka4prez, share alike.

Jane Ashen Turkewitz is a contract media recruiter and the President of T & Jam Resume Services, where she writes resumes for media and entertainment professionals. She is also the Editor of

I interviewed some of the top media recruiters in New York to find out what they don’t like to see in a resume. There really is no scientific reasoning as to what people like or dislike, just a bunch of strong opinions. Some recruiters like personal information, others don’t. Some prefer a two-page resume, some one. Take a read and decide for yourself how you might want to update your resume accordingly.

Karen Danziger, from the Howard-Sloan-Koller Group, specializes in placing folks in editorial, production and creative. Here’s what she feels strongly about:

  • Skills-based resumes are just all around bad. She wants to see resumes in chronological format and believes it’s uber-important to have months alongside your dates of employment. Years alone make it look like you are hiding a short stint somewhere.
  • No “I” or “me” or “my” please.
  • Lay off the canned, industry buzzwords and focus on substance.
  • Don’t bother with the personal information —i.e., married with two kids; avid boater, etc. She says that many recruiters actually delete this information.
  • Don’t waste your time hyping the companies you worked for. Instead, focus on your job and responsibilities.

As a media recruiter and resume writer, you bet I’ve got some opinions of my own on this topic. To check them out, visit, where I analyze what these top recruiters say and give my two cents.

Ed. note: More coming next week!

NBCU Exec: It’s As Bad As It’s Gonna Get

NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego today: “We have bottomed out.” He says broadcasters may post better-than-expected sales for the upcoming season.

Not time to start celebrating just yet: analysts project broadcast network ads will fall another 10 percent this year to $12.8 billion, while cable advertising will drop 3 percent to $20.9 billion.

Zucker also spoke about some of the issues broadcasters face, that we’ve all heard before: for example, networks don’t make as much money off reruns anymore because the shows are now available online. But Hulu and iTunes, et. al., aren’t making up the difference: “You do have to have 10 businesses like this to make up for the ones that you lost,” he said. Makes Progress; Advertises On Our Job Board

Ann Arbor NewsWe told you back in March about the Ann Arbor News closing and moving online to; ‘course, that’s not entirely accurate, since will be printing twice a week. We’re thinking the “closure” statement reflects not the actual death of print but a)the new philosophy—they’ll be “reverse-publishing” instead of treating Web as an afterthought, and b) the job cuts that are certain to result.

Back in March, publisher Laurel Champion invited the 272 Ann Arbor News employees to apply for positions at the online only venture, though she said that job losses would be inevitable.

So how many of those 272 took her up on her offer? How many got jobs?

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Links for 5-28-09: Salart Cuts | WaPo’s New London Bureau Chief | More