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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Calderone’

Blodget: AOL’s Content Strategy ‘A Mess’ (Meanwhile, Yahoo Beefs Up Staff)

Another prominent AOLer—Mike Porath, editor of AOL News— is leaving the company, and Henry Blodget at Business Insider says it’s because AOL’s being schizophrenic.

CEO Tim Armstrong has expressed a strong desire to turn AOL into the Time, Inc. of the 21st Century–a content production engine with great premium brands, super search-engine-optimization, a booming local news business, and a revolutionary freelance assignment and management tool that will give voice to thousands of aspiring journalists around the world. Tim has spoken often of AOL’s commitment to journalistic excellence as well as its commitment to finally figuring out the sustainable low-cost online content-production and distribution model that is eluding most traditional media companies.

And that sounds good. Insiders believe that Tim’s heart is in the right place. They also believe that AOL may eventually be able to cobble its myriad divisions and properties and strategies into a more unified whole.

But there’s a huge gap between theory and execution, and right now, AOL’s content strategy is a mess.

AOL runs sites like Engadget, Daily Finance, etc., but also has “content farm” Seed assigning articles. And it sounds like these two halves haven’t figured out how to work together.

Blodget writes: “AOLers are not clear whether AOL’s Google management intends to pursue a Demand-Media-like content farming strategy, in which editors and writers are perceived as annoyingly-high costs, or a premium content strategy, in which editors and writers are viewed as rare and valuable talent who can build big standalone brands.”

AOL’s made some high-profile hires over the past year so it seems unlikely that it will dump all the folks it lured away from the AP, HarpersBazaar.com, ESPN.com, and more. But it did just launch Seed. So this is certainly a company to keep an eye on.

Meanwhile, in other news of Internet companies from the ’90s that are still inexplicably around, Yahoo! has hired a dozen journalists for Yahoo! News. Politico’s Michael Calderone is heading over there, which was hugely talked about in the blogosphere last week, but also moving to Yahoo News are Jane Sasseen, formerly of BusinessWeek, and Emmy-winning news producer Anna Robertson. Three years ago, Yahoo started creating original sports content and found it profitable. So now the company hopes to “maintain our healthy profit margins,” James Pitaro, head of media at Yahoo, told the NYT.

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Ana Marie Cox Joins GQ As Washington Correspondent

Wonkette founder Ana Marie Cox is joining GQ, Politico reports.

Most recently at Air America, which just declared bankruptcy and ceased operations, Cox will now write magazine features, feed content to GQ.com, and do a podcast for GQ radio.

Cox told Politico’s Michael Calderone she’s looking forward to working on GQ’s D.C. Power List. “I’ve always seen myself as an arbiter of power,” she joked.

‘The Daily Caller’ Seeks Bloggers, Editors

the-daily-caller-s.pngTucker Carlson‘s “The Daily Caller,” the soon-to-launch right-leaning Huffington Post-style news site, is looking for a few good men and women, Politico reports.

He’s hired at least one editor, Moira Bagley, formerly of the RNC, Roll Call, and New Majority, and he’s posted an ad for an executive editor. Politico’s Michael Calderone also reports that the site will be hiring some reporters and bloggers, one who will cover the White House.

We found a job ad for freelancers that Carlson apparently posted on journalismjobs.com last week, and then deleted. Here’s the cached version, and here’s the full text:

“Freelance writers wanted to cover politics and government for The Daily Caller, a new web-based news organization edited by Tucker Carlson. Writers will be paid on a profit share model. Please contact submissions@dailycaller.com.”

If this ad is still accurate (and since it was taken down, we don’t know yet), we have one question. Profit share, eh? With $3 million of V.C. money to throw around? Well, unlike HuffPo, at least he’s planning to pay his writers.

All Other Papers May Die, But The Times Will Stand

The Politico has an interesting article today covering the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new building that will house Stanford’s student newspaper The Stanford Daily. Presiding over the event was New York Times‘ illustrious executive editor Bill Keller. After acknowledging in his opening statements that presiding over this ribbon cutting ceremony was a lot like honoring the opening of a new Pontiac dealership, he went on to make some striking, some harrowing and some down right bombastic statements about the newspaper industry and NYT‘s place within it.

Below are a few choice highlights from the event:

“The Internet still isn’t a source for much ‘indigenous’ reporting.” He did proceed to note a few publications&#151including Politico and the Smoking Gun&#151have earned the respect of journalists. Wow, I bet Michael Calderone is wiping some sweat from his brow. Clearly his work is all about gaining the respect of the NYT.

“Saving the New York Times now ranks with saving Darfur as a high-minded cause.” Bono might disagree, but we digress.

“The Times will be ‘left standing after the deluge.’” Really? The Times in its current incarnation? Some news pundits have doubts. Though he did go on to qualify the statement, contending that readers offered to donate money to keep the Times alive and suggested that GM probably isn’t getting similar offers. That is true, unless you consider the fact that the government, and there by the people, are currently paying for GM’s bailout.

All in all some interesting comments were made. Check out the full report here.