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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Lauria’

Welcome Back, Justine Sacco

SaccoDating app Hot or Not received a lukewarm mention on BuzzFeed this morning, with writer Peter Lauria describing the product as “once massively popular, cruel, and addictive”; his very headline had the company returning to “an overheated online dating market.”

As marrieds with dogs, we’re far less interested in the fortunes of said app than the little nugget buried at the bottom of the post:

“To help with the marketing and promotion of Hot or Not’s relaunch, Andreev has hired Justine Sacco, the former communications director for Diller’s IAC”

That was quick, wasn’t it?

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Revolving Door: AOL Layoffs, ‘New York’s New Design Mag, and More


James Murdoch has resigned from his role as executive chairman of News International, the UK publishing group that has been embroiled in the infamous phone-hacking scandal. In a statement from his dad, Rupert Murdoch says, “Now that he has moved to New York, James will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations.” However, shareholders want him gone all together. They may get their wish, as insiders say that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for James Murdoch to hang on while the scandal still unfolds. Reuters Peter Lauria breaks down the story above.

According to PandoDaily, AOL will layoff hundreds of employees next week, many in the hyperlocal Patch division.

New York magazine is launching a new publication focused on home design. New York Design Hunting will be published annually, coinciding with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Longtime design editor Wendy Goodman will lead the coverage.

James O’Keefe, a right-wing favorite who has launched attacks against Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the now-defunct liberal activist group ACORN, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Keith OlbermannCurrent TV, and their guest host David Shuster. The lawsuit alleges that O’Keefe was wrongfully labeled a “convicted felon” who had been accused of rape. O’Keefe has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and was accused of harassment. The harassment charge was dropped. [via, via]

Whitney Houston has boosted magazine sales at the newsstand so much so that they’re going to continue putting her on the cover. Whitney Houston died on February 11.

Click through for more media news.

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Did Viacom Chairman Give Plum PR Job To Unqualified Candidate?

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According to the Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone “forced” the Showtime network, which is part of Viacom, to put a “young, apparently unqualified brunette on the public company’s payroll.”

The employee in question is Rohini Singh [pictured in red], who sources speculated to Lauria only got a job because of her association with Redstone. A source told Lauria that Showtime CEO Matt Blank “basically” told Richard Licata, the network’s executive vice president for corporate communications, to “make her happy.”

So what is Singh doing at Showtime? According to Lauria’s sources, “only the most basic entry-level tasks like compiling clips and making phone calls.” Meanwhile, she is receiving a decent salary and also received a substantial amount of Viacom stock.

Are these kind of moves unheard of in the media and entertainment world? Many would argue that they’re not. Nonetheless, when Lauria reached Singh for comment, she seemed defensive, and only stated, “This is not my first job, but I can’t tell you where I worked before. I have to go now.”

It also serves as more fuel to the fire between Redstone and the media. Just last week Redstone left a voice-mail to Lauria in which he said he would be “well-rewarded and well-protected” if he gave up a source to one of his stories about him and another scandal at Viacom.

RELATED: Showtime Hires VP Corporate PR Johanna Fuentes

Viacom CEO Tells Reporter To Give Up Source: ‘You Will Be Well-Rewarded and Well-Protected’

It must be a tough day in the Viacom PR department, after the company’s chairman Sumner Redstone left a long voice-mail to Daily Beast media reporter Peter Lauria basically offering him a bribe to give up a source for a story he wrote about a Viacom scandal.

In a nutshell, the story revealed that Redstone’s pushing of an MTV reality show for girl group the “Electric Barbarellas,” could lead to MTV CEO Judy McGrath leaving the company due to objections.

Redstone’s voicemail reads like a call from the mafia. Here’s an excerpt:

You may be reluctant, but we have to have the name of the person who gave you that story. We’re not going to kill him. We just want to talk to him. We’re not going to fire him. We just want to talk to him. You will be thoroughly protected. We’re not going to hurt this guy. We just want to sit him down and find out why he did what he did. You will not in any way be revealed. You will be well-rewarded and well-protected.

Not surprisingly, Viacom PR is distancing themselves from their 87-year-old billionaire chairman, saying they’re not part of any investigation to find the source.

Brooke Hammerling Receives NY Post Love For V-Day Cards

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Here’s the latest example of why it may make sense to shut off those social networks for a few hours and go back to a more “old-school” form of communication.

Brooke Hammerling‘s tech PR firm, Brew Media Relations, got a nice shout out from New York Post media reporter Peter Lauria after sending hand written Valentine’s Day cards to the Post‘s news desk.

“I love the idea of making sure everyone has a Valentine and making the cards personal so we write them out by hand to everyone and hand address them and create new cards each year because we love what we do, we love the people we get the opportunity to work with and I thought these cards would bring a smile,” Hammerling told the Post.

Hey Brooke: where was PRNewser’s card?