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News Corp. Releases 'Anti-Semitic' Regan Comments, Her Attorney Claims Libel (WSJ)
Andrew Butcher, a News Corporation spokesman, quoted Judith Regan as saying: "Of all people, Jews should know about ganging up, finding common enemies, and telling the big lie." In the next breath, Mr. Butcher said, Regan said that literary agent Esther Newberg and HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman, and others constitute "a Jewish cabal. All of you people are conspiring against me." NYT: Regan's lawyer, Bert Fields, denied that she had said there was a "Jewish cabal against her," saying that she had used only the word "cabal" in the conversation. LAT: Fields said that Regan's firing, which HarperCollins called "for cause," was a breach of her contract. "She has performed brilliantly for this company. She's brought in a great deal of money and she'll be suing for every penny that's coming to her." NYP: Before the latest eruption, rumors had been swirling through the publishing world on where Regan would land next and who, if any, among her high-profile authors might follow her out the door. One rumor had her headed to CNBC. NYDN: The woman in Rupe's corner. NYDN: The man in Judy's corner.
Barbara Walters Nabbing Exclusive Interview With Fidel Castro (Jossip)
While ailing Fidel Castro has been keeping the press at bay to avoid the off chance they might, like, hint that he's nearly dead, we hear 20/20's Barbara Walters is on her way to scoring an exclusive get with Cuba's leader. Not only that: She's taking Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez along for the ride.
Iran Article Is Blocked Amid Dispute on Cause (NYT)
Two former government Mideast experts have accused the White House of abusing secrecy rules to block the publication of an article they had written for the Op-Ed page of the New York Times that criticized Bush administration policy toward Iran. Administration officials strongly denied that any political censorship was involved and claimed that there was classified information in the article.
Forbes Inc. has joined a growing list of companies cutting back future pension liabilities and blocking new employees from joining their plans. Chairman Steve Forbes told employees about the news in a year-end package that went out late last week. A spokeswoman insisted yesterday that the Forbes plan "is frozen; it's not being scrapped."
Marine Press Officer Who Died In Iraq Had Been Escorting Oliver North and Newsweek Journalist (E&P)
Marine Maj. Megan McClung, a public affairs officer who became the highest-ranking woman killed in Iraq when she died two weeks ago, had been escorting Oliver North and a FOX News crew through Ramadi just moments before a roadside bomb took her life, a military spokesman said.
Tyra Renewed Through 2009 (B&C)
Warner Bros. has effectively renewed the syndicated Tyra Banks Show for two additional seasons. Currently in its second season, Tyra has been renewed through the end of the 2008-09 on Fox-owned stations in 22 markets, including WNYW New York, KTTV Los Angeles and WPWR Chicago.
The lead independent director of Tribune Co. said the company's management team "has remained independent and has not aligned itself" with any of the outside bidders. William A. Osborn issued the statement in response to an LA Times story that said Tribune CEO Dennis J. FitzSimons was thinking of making a leveraged buyout offer in concert with three private investment firms.
Trace Magazine Celebrates 10 Years (WWD)
The magazine of "transcultural styles and ideas," has marked 10 years since its launch, "back when Snoop still had the 'Doggy' and Diddy was still 'Puffy,'" as it notes in its anniversary issue. "We did Diddy back in January '97, and I want to say it was his first magazine cover," said Trace founder and editor-in-chief Claude Grunitzky. Mediabistro: 2004 interview with Trace's Grunitzky.
Yogi Bear, Flintstones Creator Joseph Barbera Dies at 95 (USAT)
Robert Bianco: There are icons of our childhood we never totally leave behind. Yogi Bear. Huckleberry Hound. Fred Flintstone. George Jetson. Scooby Doo. Space Ghost. All those were creations of Joseph Barbera, who died yesterday of natural causes at the age of 95. If the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, link it with that of his late work partner William Hanna, who died in 2001.
Executives at the magazine publisher have been meeting with a "flip squad" of high-school girls to receive feedback on its plan to launch a new Web site for teenage girls. "These girls are so creative, they create shrines within their environment," says Dee Salomon, a vice president at CondeNet. "It must be the hormones they customize everything."
HuffPo Hires Jim Smith as CRO (NYP)
In another sign that the Huffington Post is evolving into an actual business, the Web site said yesterday that it hired AOL advertising executive Jim Smith as its chief revenue officer. The move to hire Smith, who starts in January, follows a cash infusion of $5 million in August from venture capital firm Softbank and famed Silicon Valley investor Alan Patricof, among others.
MySpace Makes Foray Into Print (Guardian)
MySpace is to make its first move into print publishing through a deal to turn an edition of U.K. style magazine Marmalade over to user generated content. The mag's March issue will feature cover-to-cover MySpace content submitted by users. MySpace users can make themselves and their work known via Marmalade's profile on the Web site myspace.com/marmalademag.
The New York Review reissues eight or 10 out-of-print children's books a year. We're not talking Harry Potter sales here, of course, but then again, there's no need to lay out Harry Potter money in advances. The books' reappearance makes booksellers and buyers happy reversing, in a tiny but symbolic way, the publishing trend toward keeping books in print for shorter and shorter periods of time.
Santa Barbara Newspaper Owner Sues Over Critical Article (LAT)
The owner of a Santa Barbara newspaper has sued the author of an article critical of the paper's management, alleging defamation. The lawsuit calls the American Journalism Review article by Chapman University journalism professor Susan Paterno "nothing but a biased, false and misleading diatribe" against the holding company of the paper's billionaire co-publisher Wendy McCaw.
The Secret of CSI (Independent)
Gerard Gilbert: It's the show the critics don't bother with but the public can't get enough of tales of forensic investigators going about their strangely compelling business in three of America's most photogenic cities.