The Morning Newsfeed: 03.18.08
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Condé Nast Taps Sischy, Brant for European Ventures (NYT)
Both the editor and the publisher who ran Interview for almost two decades will join Condé Nast to help guide one of its fastest-growing businesses, the European editions of Vanity Fair. Sandra Brant and Ingrid Sischy will become international editors of the European Vanity Fairs, their names appearing in each magazine's masthead just below the top editor's.
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Fleeting-Profanity Case (B&C)
The Supreme Court agreed to weigh in on fleeting broadcast profanity. The court Monday agreed to hear Fox's and others' appeal of a lower-court ruling that the Federal Communications Commission's fleeting-profanity policy was insufficiently justified, arbitrary, and capricious. The court will likely hear the case in the fall, so the FCC's profanity-enforcement regime remains in limbo until then.
NYT Co. Agrees to Place 2 Harbinger/Firebrand Nominees on Slate (E&P)
The New York Times Co. has acquiesced, at least in part, to the request of two hedge funds, Harbinger Capital Partners and Firebrand Partners. The company said today it's adding two of the hedge funds' nominations to the slate of directors to be nominated by Class A shareholders.
Slate, the online news and opinion magazine, plans to join a bustling business news market with an analysis and commentary site expected to launch this summer. The Big Money aims to use wit and irreverence to explain the arcana of Wall Street, the same way Slate has done with general and political news, editor James Ledbetter said.
TW Entertainment Units Under Scrutiny (Hollywood Reporter)
Since Jeff Bewkes took over as CEO, Time Warner has folded a movie studio, set about re-creating its specialty film operations, and might soon examine its already arms-length relationship with the CW and broadcast television in general. At the same time, the company has made significant investments in nonentertainment entities. The moves are part of a larger rethink at Time Warner that entails scrutiny of its entertainment assets.
'Internet Week' Digital-Culture Fest to Hit NY in June (CNET)
New York City will be getting its own digital-culture festival. Called Internet Week New York, it will span June 3 to 10 and encompass several existing events like Federated Media Publishing's Conversational Marketing Summit, Advertising Age's Advertising 2.0 conference, and the Webby Awards. Other tech and media companies have also announced preliminary plans to host events in conjunction.
The cover of the current issue of Vogue, featuring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen, is proving controversial with some African Americans. While no one questions the historical importance of James' cover appearance he's the first black man ever to be so featured word in the black blogosphere is that the cover plays into the old stereotype of the black man as a savage in search of a prized white woman.
Sports Sites Score Big With March Madness (NYP)
With millions of people obsessed with picking the winners of the NCAA men's hoops tournament, sports sites that offer bracket games and contests are winning with advertisers and audiences. March Madness is one of the peak Internet events of the year, driving everyone from college basketball fans to office-pool bettors to places where they can fill out a bracket and compete for bragging rights.
Jury Still Out on Future of Newsweeklies (Folio:)
Last year saw more newsweekly magazines shifting their news content online and focusing more on opinion and analytical reporting in print with U.S. News now more akin to Consumer Reports, focusing more on "news you can use," and Time becoming more like The Atlantic, moving toward analysis and interpretation.
Peter Carlson: Politics publishes many fine articles, but the most astonishing, amazing, and entertaining thing about the magazine is the ads. Flip through the March issue and you quickly come to an ad illustrated by a photo of a wood-paneled sitting room where three animal heads are mounted on the wall like hunting trophies. But they're not the heads of deer or moose. They're the heads of donkeys.
Radiohead Launches Amateur Video Contest (Silicon Alley Insider)
The band that released its last album as a pay-what-you-like download last fall has a new stunt: A contest where the winner gets $10,000 and the chance to make the band's next video. The band, along with online animation studio Aniboom, are launching an online search to find an animator likely an amateur to create a full-length music video for the band.
Invasion of the Cable News Money Honeys (Best Life)
Ben Stein: Men watch CNBC and the other business outlets more than women do. Someday it may change, and then maybe a magazine like Cosmopolitan will ask me to write a piece about money hunks. But for now, it's us pig men watching the money shows, in general, and we want to see women.
Farhad Manjoo: For people who feel strongly about an issue for Apple fanatics, for abortion partisans, for folks who think they know the truth about global warming personal views feel distinct and luminous. Journalistic "objectivity" inevitably produces a muddier picture. When they come upon that difference, the audience tends to assume the worst: The reporter must be licking someone's balls.
ABC Pushes Mags to File Sales Numbers Faster (Mediaweek)
The Audit Bureau of Circulations board last week took a step to get magazines to file their topline sales numbers faster to ABC's online Rapid Report. ABC is expected to announce that the board approved a recommendation from its mag buyers' advisory committee that weeklies and monthlies file initial postings no later than three and seven weeks, respectively, after their on-sale date.
Critic: We Need Online Rules (Miami Herald)
Ed Wasserman: On the Internet, public comment isn't kitchen table talk, it's saloon brawl. Postings are sharp and rough-and-tumble. Harsh and derisive exchanges are common. So are personal attacks. Chat rooms and message boards routinely allow people to post comments anonymously. That's the cyber pond that traditional news organizations are diving into.