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Jackie Stone, Marketer Extraordinaire, Shares her Advice for Newcomers

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Jackie Stone has been working in online media since 1995, when the Internet as we know it today was just a baby. At the time, Stone was an account supervisor for the Promotion Development Group and pioneered the first web-based marketing efforts for companies like Budweiser and Macy’s. Stone has also contributed her marketing talents to top digital companies, including AOL and About.com. These days she is the senior vice president of marketing for Spanfeller Media Group, which publishes The Daily Meal and The Active Times.

In the second week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, Stone offers advice to anyone looking to break into the ever-evolving world of marketing: “Ask a lot of questions. I feel a lot of people are scared [of that]. I asked a lot of questions in my career, and I think it got me to where I am.”

Check out the video below to learn about Stone’s innovative content strategies for The Daily Meal and the best career advice her dad ever gave her.

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Mediabistro Course Social Media 101

Get hands-on social media training for beginners in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Hurry, this boot camp starts next week! Register now!

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A Freelance Web Designer Turned CEO Explains His Road To Success

GabrielShaoolianGabriel Shaoolian‘s success story is at once familiar and entirely unique. He moved to NYC in 2001 and set up his business with nothing but a laptop and some web design experience. Since then, his company, Blue Fountain Media, has generated over $2 billion in revenue by building sites for everyone from AT&T to AOL.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That?, Shaoolian talks about how he went from a freelance web designer to CEO:

Describe the early days of your freelance life.
Well, let me tell you, and I’ll tell anyone out there. It’s crazy. You know, doing this without funding, you lose a lot of sleep, and you lose your life, really. The company becomes your life. It’s not easy. It’s not for someone who wants weekends and who wants vacations. I tell people that you go on vacation and you are still thinking about work every second of every day.

I had no idea what I was in for. I just wanted to build something small. But I realized that I can’t do everything on my own. If I want to do good work, I need team members that are specialized. As Blue Fountain Media grew, I started working on an infrastructure for the company.

To hear more about Shaoolian’s career, as well as his advice for freelancers and entrepreneurs, read: Hey, How’d You Build Profitable Websites For Brands Like AOL and AT&T, Gabriel Shaoolian?

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How One Working Mom Finds Work/Life Balance

TiffanyShlainTiffany Shlain knows a thing or two about juggling. She’s a successful filmmaker with a million side projects (like her AOL On Originals series) and she’s a wife and mother of two.

So how does Shlain create that seemingly impossible work/life balance that so many working mothers crave? For one thing, she says it’s important to have flexibility with your work, whether you’re a man or a woman. She also believes that modern technology has helped working mothers tremendously:

Make your own schedule. Or talk to your boss about a more flexible schedule. I think that what the Internet has given our generation is this kind of flexibility to work in new, creative ways that our mothers did not have. I have friends who work for corporations, but most of my friends work from home as consultants or own their own business. I feel like the Internet was the tool that the feminist movement always needed.

To hear more from Shlain, including how she boosts her own productivity, read: So What Do You, Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker and Founder Of The Webby Awards?

Diller Likes AOL While National Journal’s Latest Hire Talks Decline, Plus Other News of the Day

- Well the Wall Street Journal is sure enjoying a recent jump in its advertising revenue, and it wants to make it clear that the New York Times isn’t matching it. According to a company memo obtained by Romenesko, the WSJ‘s print and online revenue jumped 17%, while its digital advertising revenue skyrocketed up 29% in the first quarter of 2011. How’s NYT‘s? According to the memo, “for the same three month period the New York Times has forecast total print and online revenue for its calendar third quarter to fall 2 to 3% compared with a year before. Total print advertising revenue is expected to be down 5%. Total digital advertising revenue is projected to rise 14%.” Does this mean the WSJ is winning?

- AOL has one fan in IAC CEO Barry Diller. Of course this fan was speaking at AOL’s recent acquisition, TechCrunch’s conference when he spoke of AOL. “For the first time in more than ten years … which in an internet company of such size is an eternity … real things are happening,” said Diller, according to paidContent. “There is a real direction, a real plan, it is under a real leader. It is independent, it’s got a real chance.” What are Diller’s thoughts on Yahoo, however? He didn’t want to talk about it.

- The media watchdog group Free Press has filed a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission to stop the practice of paid publicists supporting products on television news casts, when the news station presents the person as a consumer advocate. This move by the Free Press has come on the heels of Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey calling out the FCC for not doing something about this practice. “The agency hopes the threat of public embarrassment will keep hucksters in check,” wrote Rainey. “Judging from my reporting on toy woman Werner, I’m not so sure. Several PR professionals told me they see secretly paid promotions only growing…. Television stations won licenses from the FCC with promises to uphold a trust to serve the public interest. Critical in that trust is helping the audience understand where content comes from.” Wonder how the FCC will react to that.

- It’s a continuing theme of this nightly roundup, but National Journal picked up another hire today. Boston.com’s editor David Beard will join the publication as its deputy editor-in-chief and online editor. But Beard had some thoughts about what he does and the old media world as he left. “I thought about the first Times owner…and how much he really dreamed up new ideas and thought like an entrepreneur — as opposed to a manager of an extant company,” said Beard to Nieman Journalism Lab. “I didn’t want to live my life managing decline.” That’s a sad, but poignant statement.

New Rochelle Patch Responds to Charges of Plagiarism, Bias

Update: [A day after Patch responded to plagiarism, denying the claim that the local editor lifted a photo, Patch admitted that their statement below was based on false information. The company has since acknowledged that local editor Allison Esposito lifted the photo then lied about it to her editors. Here's the email Patch editor-in-chief sent to the New Rochelle blogger for Talk of the Sound Robert Cox, admitting the mistake.]

Yesterday in the nightly roundup, I mentioned a claim by a local blog in the New Rochelle, New York area that charged AOL’s Patch with plagiarism. Talk of the Sound managing editor Robert Cox wrote a post saying that the New Rochelle Patch editor Allison Esposito took photos from Talk of the Sound and published it on the Patch.

“As readers know, we like to publish a photo across the full column of most stories. In this case, I obtained the three mug shots from NRPD and then used Adobe Photoshop to make a single image containing all three mug shots, cropped, along with a caption indicating the names of each suspect,” wrote Cox. “As is plain from looking at the image file on AOL Patch, Ms. Esposito lifted that image from Talk of the Sound, chopped off the caption with the names and presented it as her own work.”

AOL Patch has responded to the claim. In an email from the Hudson Valley regional editor for Patch, Katie Ryan O’Connor said “Allison Esposito, did not plagiarize anything from Mr. Cox’s blog in any form.” She goes on to add that “The objects in question — police generated mug shots — are publicly available and any similarity to Mr. Cox’s presentation of those public images is purely coincidental. Linking mug shots together in Photoshop (in this case, apparently doing nothing more than placing three similar sized objects in a row) is standard operating procedure for news organizations everywhere.”

But that’s not all. Cox has made claims that Esposito, who worked as communications director for Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin in the New Rochelle area for about a year, is actually a “democratic political operative.” O’Connor brushes off that accusation as well.

“Here’s the truth: Like so many journalists faced with finding work in an industry that is shedding jobs at a rapid pace… Ms. Esposito took jobs in other fields that would utilize her writing and editing skills, most recently working as a communications director for Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin,” wrote O’Connor. “She held that position for only about 12 months. During an extensive interview process, Ms. Esposito made it clear her first and foremost passion was journalism and has been working to find her way back into a full-time reporting and editing position ever since.”

O’Connor added that Esposito makes her political past clear in her biography, and the site (which has only been live since last Thursday) has not published anything out of the ordinary for or against the current town administrators.

I’ve emailed Cox for a response, and will post if I hear back from him. But this sounds more like a turf war than anything else, and maybe what many of the Patch editors will have to get used to as they encroach on areas that already have an active and motivated blogging circle.

You can read the entire Patch response after the jump.

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AOL Reportedly in Talks to Purchase TechCrunch

AOL might be looking to add another huge blog to its new list of sites. GigaOm reports that the media company is close to purchasing TechCrunch, the famed technology blog started by Michael Arrington in 2005. According to the report, the announcement could come very soon.

“The deal is at a sensitive stage and might fall apart yet, but I don’t think so,” wrote GigaOm’s Om Malik. “Sources familiar with both entities says that the announcement is likely to come onstage at Disrupt, TechCrunch’s flagship conference currently underway in San Francisco.”

The two sides would not comment on the reported deal, according to Malik. When reading all about Arrington’s daily schedule last week, I wondered how long could he keep this up. Who knows what the deal will look like, but I’m not sure you can separate Arrington from TechCrunch and still have as valuable of a blog. I guess I’m wondering, does this mean Arrington will join the AOL workforce? If Arrington does join, what a pickup for AOL.

Hearst Sees a Future in the Tablet While Patch Struggles in New Rochelle, Plus Other News of the Day

- Fresh off the announcement that Women’s Wear Daily will bring on New York Observer reporter John Koblin to cover media, Fairchild editorial director Peter Kaplan spoke with the Village Voice about the future of WWD. It sounds like they want to walk a fine line, heading into the future. “I think we have two readerships here: one of them is a deep industry, deep trade intelligencia that has been reading WWD for 100 years, and there’s another readership that John Fairchild stoked to a very very high level that’s the civillian readership that cares about media, and society, and style, aside from the one that cares about retail and fashion, and I hope we’ll be speaking to them as well.”

- It’s exciting day when you finally launch a new site, but for AOL Patch’s New Rochelle edition, it has brought on a total headache. The other local site in town has cried plagiarism as the Patch site reportedly lifted a photo from Talk of the Sound’s website. Talk of the Sound’s managing editor Robert Cox has asked for Patch editor Allison Esposito to take the photo down, and as far as I can tell, Esposito has. Of course, there’s also the small accusation that Esposito isn’t exactly the objective journalist Talk of the Sound had hoped for. That’s a bad first week.

- Nielson has added a new feature to its ratings repertoire, and it could provide some transparency to marketing campaign’s effectiveness. It’s cool if it’s true, but who knows if it will actually work. “This is a major step forward for both Nielsen and our industry,” said Nielsen’s president of media products Steve Hasker. “This new system will provide marketers with a better understanding of their ROI, and will give media companies a much needed tool to prove the value of their audiences.”

- Here’s another view of the future of media. Hearst’s CEO Frank Bennack says it’s all about tablets, and forget the paywalls. Mashable’s Lauren Indvik covered Bennack’s speech at the IAB Mixx Conference & Expo, writing, “Unlike Internet users, who have come to expect access to premium media content for free, users of devices like the iPad are being conditioned to pay for subscriptions and individual pieces of media content. Tablets also offer advertisers greater value beyond display advertising, such as in-app e-commerce integration. Eventually, Bennack said, Hearst will sell products directly on advertisers’ behalf, though it will ‘still very much be in the business of helping our advertisers sell their businesses.’”

Photo by enviziondotnet

A Glut of Media Reporter Resignations

Ever want the opportunity to follow in a star’s footsteps? Well you might well soon get the chance as two large organizations lost media reporting studs (does that exist) today. Both AOL and New York Observer learned that their star reporters are stepping away for new projects elsewhere.

First, AOL, which learned that media reporter Jeff Bercovici will join the new blogging platform at Forbes. A huge loss for AOL, which has attempted in recent years to bring on high-profile journalists in an effort to legitimize its reporting.

The other media reporter deciding to call it quits at his old job is the Observer‘s John Koblin, who plans to join his old editor, Peter Kaplan, over at Women’s Wear Daily. He’ll be running the Memo Pad, which the Village Voice says has had “some bigger-ticket media industry reporters over the years.”

“The Observer was my first job out of school, and I’ve had the best time here,” said Koplin to the Village Voice. “WWD is a fantastic source for media coverage, and I can’t wait to join their team. Also! It’s gong to be a lot of fun to work in an office with Peter Kaplan again.”

It’s a good time to be a media reporter looking for that next gig. Get the resume ready.

Photo by timsnell

Former AOL CEO Finds New Job With News Corp.

jonathan_miller_aol.jpgThe former head of AOL, Jon Miller, is joining News Corp in the new role of CEO, Digital Media reports BoomTown. In this capacity, Miller will oversee the global internet and mobile businesses as well as developing new digital strategies across all News Corp. sites.

Since 2006, Miller has been working with the venture capital firm Velocity, which he founded. This new role is an interesting turn as Miller is just emerging from his non-compete contract with Time Warner, which he has been under since he left the role of AOL CEO three years ago. Previously Miller was barred from taking a seat on Yahoo‘s board of directors by this same contract. Even now Miller can not officially take this new position heading News Corp’s digital media group as his contract is still binding for another three days. News Corp expects to officially announce Miller’s appointment on Tuesday or Wednesday. This is not the only battle Miller will have to face when it comes to News Corp. More on this after the jump.

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More Changes At AOL

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Since he was hired two weeks ago at AOL, everyone has been wondering what Tim Armstrong&#151 former head of advertising at Google and soon-to-be CEO of AOL as of April 7th&#151will do with the company. The first answer seems to be restructure.

In an effort to simplify and rid the company of redundancy, AOL announced today that it would be restructuring Platform-A, the division that primarily deals with sales and advertising.

In a memo from Platform-A head Greg Coleman&#151you may remember him as the former head of Yahoo ad sales, brought over to AOL by former CEO Randy Falco to reorganize the ad sales division in February&#151he announced that there would be “Execs moving in and out of musical chairs and fewer cooks in the kitchen.”

Read the entire memo about the restructure, reprinted by BoomTown, after the jump.

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