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Mona Zhang

Mona is the editor of SocialTimes and social media coordinator at Mediabistro. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and East Asian Studies. Before moving to NYC, she lived in Beijing, London, Madrid and Chicago.

The Good Life is Going Well, Says Dr. Oz

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Dr. Mehmet Oz and Lisa Oz at the TIME 100 Gala. (Getty Images)

“I think TIME 100 is an iconic event,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz at the TIME 100 Gala last night, where Seth Myers poked fun at everyone from President Obama to Charlie Rose.

We last spoke to Dr. Oz when our intrepid Lunch columnist Diane Clehane got the scoop on his new magazine. FishbowlNY wondered how the doctor was doing with the challenges of launching a print mag: “I’m [still] learning about the business,” he said. “The biggest challenge is being really concrete in the advice you give.”

Like everything he does, Dr. Oz seems to be handling all the challenges with aplomb. “[The magazine] is going well. We sold out the first issue, and we sold over 200,000 subscriptions, so I’m happy,” he said. The Good Life now has two issues under its belt.

For more on the event, head over to our sister site TVNewser.

Jose Antonio Vargas: ‘Journalism is Everything I’ve Ever Had’

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Jose Antonio Vargas introducing his film, Documented, at the Museum of the Moving Image on Thursday.

Last night, Jose Antonio Vargas‘ film Documented premiered in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image. The documentary, written and directed by the Pulitzer Prize-winner, chronicles his journey from outing himself as an illegal immigrant in The New York Times and his cross-country campaign for immigration reform. “This is not the film I envisioned to make, but it’s the film I needed to make,” Vargas said, when he introduced the film.

Vargas’ piece in the Times made waves when it was published back in 2011, recounting how he was smuggled into the U.S. from the Philippines at the age of 12, and how he built a successful career as a journalist. The film shows the behind-the-scenes planning that went into the whole ordeal and the consequences that followed. “I thought I could write my way into America, that was my plan,” he said.

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Time Inc.’s New Chief Content Officer on Native Advertising and TMZ

NPearlstineAt the Media Minds breakfast discussion this morning, new Time Inc. chief content officer Norman Pearlstine had some interesting things to say about media ethics in conversation with Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard. Jones, who pressed Pearlstine on the issues of native advertising, wondered how the exec would approach these issues at his new gig.

“[Native advertising] varies from brand to brand,” said Pearlstine. “It’s not to suggest that some magazines have a higher or lower standard, but that they’re different. If you think about the customer needs of some of our lifestyle magazines, they’re quite different from the customer needs from Time or Fortune.”

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Norman Pearlstine on Why Editors Should Report to the Business Side

MediaMindsMedia pros gathered this morning at the Bryant Park Grill for a Media Minds discussion with Norman Pearlstine, newly installed chief content officer of Time Inc., and Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard. All were glad for Cathy Gay‘s return after an unfortunate fall left the producer and founder of the series unable to attend the previous one.

It goes without saying that much of the discussion revolved around the Time Inc. spin-off and Pearlstine’s new role as chief content officer, a move that has garnered much discussion about the elimination of church and state at the publisher. He previously served as editor-in-chief of Time Inc. from 1995 to 2005, a position that has now been eliminated. “The idea of having editors report to business leaders is not all that different from what happened in 1997, when I stopped reporting to the board of Time Warner,” said Pearlstine, who then started to report to former Time Inc. CEO Don Logan.

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Clyde Phillips to Aspiring Writers: ‘Read Everything You Can’

MediabistroTV recently talked to Clyde Phillips, bestselling crime novelist and current showrunner for Nurse Jackie. He shares some advice for aspiring writers, and tells why novel writing is not that different from TV writing:

Scott Moore on How His Career Led Him to Deepak and Oprah

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Scott E. Moore has quite the resume: He’s an accomplished musician with five solo albums under his belt and has worked for big networks like MTV/VH1, TNT and Turner Movie Classics as a director and producer. For the past five years, Moore has been the creative director of a site that provides visual medical information.

He just completed his latest project — creating two hours of original music for Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey‘s 21- Day Meditation Challenge. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Moore explains how he came to be a part of the project:

So how did you go from creating videos for TheVisualMD to working on Deepak and Oprah’s Meditation Challenge?
Deepak was one of our colleagues on a project on the physiological science of emotional bonding between mother and infant. An old colleague who was working with Deepak on this meditation challenge told me they wanted to raise it up a couple of notches. Even though a lot of people participated, the product wasn’t at the quality level they felt it should be… So the person who handles the Chopra Center Digital Properties was in a crisis. And I just so happened to have just started my agency, and this project would be right up my alley. Ironically, I had started playing atmospheric, soul music live in a yoga studio, which would sell out every month. I played Deepak some of that music, and that’s when it all kind of came full circle and I got the opportunity to do this project.

To hear more about Moore’s eclectic career, read: Hey, How’d You “Score” That Job With Deepak and Oprah, Filmmaker Scott E. Moore?

– Aneya Fernando

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.

Soledad O’Brien on Diversity in the Media: ‘It’s not that hard’

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(from L to R) Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media and Keith Lorizio, VP of U.S. sales and marketing at Microsoft

Media types gathered last night at the 40/40 club in New York to kick off MSN’s partnership with Interactive One. The event was part of an ongoing trend necessity for media companies to focus on diversity, and Microsoft is looking to do just that not only with Interactive One, but also through partnerships with Lisnr and the Marcus Graham Project.

Interactive One’s chief content officer Smokey Fontaine spoke to the crowd about how the company evolved over the years to keep in line with America’s changing demographics. “We changed our focus from being solely African American to… all of the folks who demographically and psychographically are part of the multicultural landscape.”

Why? “Companies have no choice but to serve multicultural. If you want to stay relevant, you have no choice but to serve that market. But you do have a choice whether you’ll serve that market really well.”

Census data shows that minorities will be the majority in the near future, and Pew continues to document how little change there is in terms of minorities in the newsroom. “I’ve been having the same conversation about diversity for 26 years, since I started in TV news,” Soledad O’Brien told FishbowlNY. “Sometimes, that’s really disheartening.”

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How to Monetize Your Blog

Everyone has a blog nowadays, but not everyone manages to make money from it. If you’ve managed to strike upon a large readership for your blog, thanks to breaking news or a great idea, your road to monetizing is far from over. Just because the masses come to you for info or entertainment does not mean advertisers will do the same, or that a book deal is in the bag. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Blair Koenig shares her experience from building a successful blog STFU, Parents, which gets 1.5 to 2 million page views a month:

When you’re building your own personal blog, it’s up to you to figure out how to make money — whether it’s from ad networks, independent advertisers, book deals, stores or through other media outlets. Koenig jokes, “I know there’s a lot out there that makes it sound like if you’re a popular blogger someone’s going to just ring your doorbell and be like, ‘Hey, I want to make a movie [based on your blog]!’ But it’s really, really hard and usually a lot of that stuff is created from the blogger [rather] than the other way around.”

Koenig uses three different ad networks and a couple of independent advertisers to earn money on her blog. She landed a book deal after completing the grueling process of writing a 60-page book proposal. She has plans to build a store within her website featuring STFU, Parents-themed merchandise as well. But money doesn’t suddenly start flowing in when your blog becomes popular, according to Koenig. She’s appeared on Good Morning America and various news outlets to talk about her blog, and although these appearances spike traffic to her site, she’s not getting paid outright for any publicity.

For more tips and advice on blogging, read What You Need to Know About Writing for Blogs.

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.

Land a Byline in the Fourth Most Circulated Magazine

For almost a century, Better Homes and Gardens has been offering actionable advice on everything from decorating and gardening to personal and family well-being. No sections are off-limits to freelancers in the book, and landing a byline means your work is sent to its 7.6 million-plus subscribers. Not only is it a chance to get many eyeballs for your writing – the pub also pays its freelancers up to $2 a word.

While editors at the mag regularly come up with ideas in house and assign them to writers who they regularly work with, “I really am always hungry for story pitches,” said senior deputy home editor Kelly Kegans. “The better pitches that we end up running with, by and large, come from outside.” All sections of the book are open to freelance pitches, and unlike many other mags, editors don’t discourage newbies from pitching the feature well. “It just depends on the strength of their story idea, more than anything,” she said.

For editors contact info and more, read How To Pitch: Better Homes and Gardens.

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.

Michael Musto: ‘I knew I was on the chopping block’ at Village Voice

While news of Village Voice vet Michael Musto getting the axe was a shock to many, the man himself knew there was trouble ahead. When EIC Will Bourne and deputy editor Jessica Lustig were on their way out the door, one of them told Musto that he needed to worry. “I knew I was on the chopping block,” he told Mediabistro for its latest So What Do You Do? interview.

Yet, while “La Dolce Musto” may have ended, the show goes on with “Musto! The Musical!” and other fantastic things:

When it got onto Gawker.com that I was going to be laid off and the word was out, I didn’t have to pitch myself. People started coming to me. So, by the end of the week, I had lined up all this stuff. It was only on contingency, because I thought the Voice might keep me on in some capacity — the rumor was that I was going to be a Web-only [columnist] — and I was prepared to work that out with them. But it turned out to be a complete layoff, so I was able to take these other opportunities.

For more, read So What Do You Do, Michael Musto, Entertainment and Gossip Columnist?

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