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Time Inc. Once Owned a Forest

Time Inc. is officially splitting off from Time Warner today, so we thought it’s the perfect moment to remind everyone that the publisher once owned a forest. Yes, as in that place with trees and grass and stuff.

According to Ad Age, in 1952, Time Inc. purchased a wooded area in Texas because executives “figured they’d benefit from owning the very trees required to print magazines like Time, Life and Fortune, and they got a kick out of the way east Texans did business.”

Of course all good things — and dumb things — eventually come to an end. In the early ’80s Time Inc.’s execs came to their senses and spun the forest product company off.

Here’s hoping the next chapter of Time Inc.’s life includes at least one more odd purchase. Perhaps a windmill?

Time Inc. Buys Technology Company Cozi

Time Inc. will spin off from Time Warner this Friday, but before then, the publisher has a bit of news: It is buying Cozi, a Seattle-based tech company. Cozi creates digital organization products and apps for families. Its most popular product is the Cozi Family Organizer.

In an email to staffers notifying them of the purchase, Time Inc.’s CEO and executive vice president, Joe Ripp and Evelyn Webster, respectively, described the move as “a strategic fit on many levels.”

Because we know you’re wondering, here is Ripp and Webster on those levels:

First, its digital tools naturally align with the more than 53 million families we reach every month. We look at this as an attractive opportunity to combine content from our brands like Real Simple with these interactive tools and products, ultimately giving us a much deeper level of engagement with this important audience. We also believe that Cozi’s organizational products can be applied more widely across our portfolio of brands—imagine the possibilities if we offer travel buffs, sports enthusiasts, or food lovers tangible digital and mobile tools to organize their activities combined with deep, relevant content.

Nightline Pays a Visit to BuzzFeed Video HQ

In lieu of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, think of BuzzFeed’s Los Angeles office on Beverly Blvd. as the equivalent of Ze Frank and the Viral Factory. Into which, for Nightline, dropped Nick Watt.

In addition to executive VP of video Frank [first name pronounced ZAY], other BuzzFeed staffers featured in the piece include video fellow Keith Habersberger, senior video producer Jeff Rubin and junior video producer Andrew Ilnyckyj. All possessors of what the ABC reporter deems to be “Sissyphian minds,” constantly looking to take intelligent risks in pursuit of one-million-plus-views vids.

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Condé Nast Drafts Native-Ad Conflict Resolution Doc

CondeNastLogoThe brave new world of native advertising has an intriguing road map. Per Ad Age‘s Michael Sebastian, senior editorial staff at Condé Nast are currently reviewing a 4,000-word draft document:

The document’s aim is to give publishers and editors who might clash over native ads a quick reference guide to solve any disputes, the executives say. “There are things in there editors won’t like, and things in there that publishers won’t like,” one editor said.

Another one of Sebastian’s sources for the article gets a little bit ahead of proper native context by comparing the document to the Great Charter of the Liberties of England, sealed under oath by King John in 1215. Describing the Condé Nast document as “a Magna Carta for native ads” is hilariously grandiose.

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Time Inc. to Leave Time & Life Building

TimeLifeBuildingRockCenter_articleboxTime Inc. is moving on. The company announced that it is moving its offices from the iconic Time & Life Building — where the publisher has been since 1959 — to Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. Please, by all means, listen to Scorpions’ Wind of Change as you continue reading this post.

While this is certainly a big change — it could have been worse. Joe Ripp, Time Inc.’s CEO, said the company almost moved to New Jersey, but decided to stay after receiving tax incentives. New Jersey! That’s almost as bad as Iowa.

“Lower Manhattan has become a new destination for creative businesses,” said Ripp, in a statement. “We have ambitious plans for a modern, open workspace that will foster a greater sense of community and collaboration across the company, and it will deliver significant cost savings.”

Time Inc.’s new space will cover 700,000 square feet on six floors. The plan is to have the move completed by early next year.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.: ‘The Question is, Am I Doing a Bad Job of Picking Leaders for the New York Times?’

VanityFairLogoThe statement in the headline was volunteered Sunday by Sulzberger during his first post-Ambramson interview with Vanity Fair‘s Sarah Ellison. When she asked him what the terminations of Jill Abramson in 2014, president/CEO Janet Robinson in 2011 and executive editor Howell Raines in 2004 signify, the New York Times publisher chose to read between her interview lines. He goes on to answer his own question with, “I don’t think so.”

This is the second time Ellison has interviewed Sulzberger for the magazine; the first was for the 2010 cover story “Two Men and a Newsstand.” She reminds off the top that the framed Winston Churchill quote in Sulzberger’s office is incorrect and later, ponders a strange metaphor from the 62-year-old publisher about not wanting to wait to cut off the other arm after the first arm has been chopped.

Ellison covered a lot of solid ground during Sunday’s interview with a series of well thought-out questions. Sulzberger’s answer to this one suggests Abramson ultimately may have been undone by changing Times:

When I pointed out that other executive editors of the Times had possessed the very traits that some have attributed to Abramson —that she could be aloof or autocratic — he countered that times had changed. Sure, he said, Abe Rosenthal, who edited the Times through the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, was famously difficult. Rosenthal could also focus simply on gathering and publishing the news.

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New York Times Publisher Takes Media to Task for Abramson Coverage

new-york-times-logoThe spiraling debate and speculative coverage of Jill Abramson‘s departure from the New York Times as a pay-inequality issue finally became too much for her boss to bear. This afternoon, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. categorically denied the notion that Abramson was paid less than her male predecessors.

He then went on, very candidly, to outline why Abramson was let go. Here’s the full statement, sent to FishbowlNY:

Perhaps the saddest outcome of my decision to replace Jill Abramson as executive editor of the New York Times is that it has been cast by many as an example of the unequal treatment of women in the workplace. Rather than accepting that this was a situation involving a specific individual who, as we all do, has strengths and weaknesses, a shallow and factually incorrect storyline has emerged.

Fueling this have been persistent but incorrect reports that Jill’s compensation package was not comparable with her predecessor’s. This is untrue. Jill’s pay package was comparable with Bill Keller’s; in fact, by her last full year as executive editor, it was more than 10% higher than his.

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Deconstructing Jill Abramson’s Sudden Departure

new-york-times-logoHere’s the first of what will be many bits of anecdotal evidence submitted in an effort to decipher the abrupt exit of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson. It comes from a New Yorker item by Ken Auletta:

Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs.

“She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.

Another source however told Auletta that the salary gap had been closed,* leaving only a pension disparity tied to the pair’s differing lengths of NYT service.

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A Closer Look at Dean Baquet

DeanBaquetPicWhen a huge media story like today’s New York Times shake-up breaks, the second place we turn – after Twitter – is the FishbowlNY archives.

It was Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Ellison who, in the fall of 2006, broke the story of Dean Baquet‘s ouster from the LA Times. When Jones appeared on a KCRW radio show with LAObserved’s Kevin Roderick to chat about it all, they deemed the replacement of Baquet as EIC by James O’Shea to be a victory of “Tribune culture over LAT culture.” Not exactly an auspicious quote all these Sam Zell-years later.

Los Angeles magazine subsequently rounded up five LA Times editors to talk about the state of the Spring Street union. Here’s a quote from Baquet:

“The 20 percent of my time that I spent dealing with a bad publisher — and I mean David Hiller, not Jeffrey Johnson — was not the dominant part of my day. I spent most of my time with a newsroom that really wanted to change and do great stuff. I brainstormed ideas with a staff that wanted leadership, and for a brief moment it seemed as if we could be the best paper in the country.”

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The Huffington Post’s Got Talent

The call for reader-viewer entries went out Monday. And today, as the informal search for the best Arianna Huffington impression continues, various staffers are also taking their best shot.

In the mash-up above, HuffPo food and culture writer Joe Satran proves that a blonde wig  head of borrowed female hair and name-dropping can go a long, hilarious way towards compensating for loose mastery of the sing-song cadence and heavy Greek accent. Satran starts from the anecdotal vantage point of talking to Larry Ellison while on David Geffen‘s yacht and ends with a brainwave about a third life-metric. Well done.

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