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Archives: March 2012

On Sarah Tressler: Reporter, Professor, Stripper and Former LA CityBeat Intern

OK. The story has gotten too big. I need to take a moment to say a word about Sarah Tressler.

For those of you who haven’t heard about Tressler, here’s a primer: Up until this week she was the “society” columnist for the Houston Chronicle… while secretly moonlighting as a stripper. Her double life was exposed this week by the Houston Press and made national news. She was subsequently fired from her Chronicle gig and went on Good Morning America to talk about the whole ordeal.

But back in 2009, before all the current craziness, Sarah was an intern at the LA CityBeat when I was the senior editor there. Sarah was smart, she was determined, and to say she was eccentric would be putting it mildly. She was an odd duck. I remember her nearly constant smirking and dismissive eye-rolling during our editorial meetings, particularly (for some reason) when editor-in-chief Will Swaim would speak. Sometimes she’d call us (including Swaim) out for how terrible our ideas were–without offering the slightest hint of constructive criticism. We’d all be tossing ideas around and every-so-often we’d hear a loud grunt or groan from Sarah’s corner of the table.

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Former KFI Host Defends LA City Council Resolution

Freelance radio columnist Richard Wagoner has a good write-up about LA City Council’s passage last week of a resolution condemning racist and sexist comments on AM-FM talk show airwaves.

Wagoner rightly reminds that since this issue falls under FCC jurisdiction, the March 21 resolution is “essentially meaningless.” Nevertheless, KFI has issued a statement of support for the resolution, which was actually backed in-chamber by former KFI station personality John Ziegler. From the article:

Ziegler, a KFI host from 2003 to 2007, has expressed concern about John and Ken for several years. “As someone who has been falsely accused of making racist statements in the past, I am very hesitant to accuse anyone of such a thing, but I do believe that John Kobylt is a racist,” Ziegler said in an earlier interview.

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Peeking at Hollywood Trades Web Traffic

The worldwide Web traffic in February 2012 for the Hollywood trades is pretty much what you’d expect. THR is a runaway leader with just under seven million uniques; deadline.com comes in a solid second at around a million-eight, followed by TheWrap and Variety.

More surprising are some of the other details compiled in a comScore comparison obtained by FishbowlLA. For example, according to the breakdown, within the U.S., Variety skews youngest among the four trades, hitting the 25-to-34 demo foremost. TheWrap meanwhile reportedly appeals more to women and readers ages 45-to-54. Sharon Waxman’s site also has, by far, the weakest international imprint.

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Ex Goldman Sachs Exec Greg Smith Gets $1.5 Million Book Deal

Sorry to start your Friday out like this, but we’ve got to tell you: The rich do, in fact, get richer. Greg Smith, the former Goldman Sachs executive who quit with a hilarious New York Times Op-Ed, is getting $1.5 million to write a memoir.

On Wednesday we heard that the deal was going to be about $1 million (which is absurd enough), but The New York Post reports that Hachette Book Group has agreed to pay a $1.5 advance to Smith.

Oh, and get this: that payday is about triple his old annual salary at Goldman Sachs.

USA! USA! USA!

Layoffs Hit Maxim

The staffers of Maxim has been hit by some layoffs that were deemed “corporate restructuring.” TechCrunch reports that six staffers — including Senior Editor Seth Porges — were cut in the morning:

We’ve confirmed that many employees were suddenly laid off this morning in what management called a “corporate restructuring”. Departments that were reaped include editorial, web, and photo… We originally published told us about half of Maxim team was laid off but we’ve now confirmed it the cuts were confined to the web, editorial, and photo teams.

Maxim only employed about 13 full time staffers, so that is one hell of a “restructuring.”

Panel Debates ‘Shifting Landscape’ of Independent Film

FishbowlLA was in attendance Thursday as Whitewater Films kicked off its third year of bi-monthly back patio panels in Santa Monica with a sunny lunch hour discussion of “The Shifting Landscape of Independent Film.” Manning the barbecue as usual was company founder Rick Rosenthal, while Indiewire editor-in-chief Dana Harris returned for another rotating stint as panel moderator.

Dustin Smith, vp of acquisitions and business affairs for Roadside Attractions, kept things lively with a number of jokes and direct exchanges with the other panelists. He recalled for example that by flying in Jennifer Lawrence from London for a Q&A, he was able to keep Winter’s Bone screening at the Arclight Cinemas Hollywood for a critical early third week. He also had lots to say about the state of “S-VOD” dealmaking with Netlifx; as the streaming service focuses more on episodic TV assets, he recently encountered his first outright rights renewal rejection (Goodbye Solo).

Deborah McIntosh, a member of William Morris Endeavor’s global finance and distribution group, addressed the exciting new distribution arm of client Tim League, co-founder of Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse. She also touched on the agency’s imminent plans to release an independent feature exclusively on Facebook.

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FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance

Dolby Negotiating Naming Rights to Former Kodak Theatre

Audio and video pioneer Dolby Laboratories are negotiating with the CIM Group for the naming rights to the former Kodak Theatre, according to Bloomberg News.

CIM isn’t expected to reach an agreement right away with the San Francisco based company as they solicit other offers. Kodak signed a 20-year naming rights deal for $72 million in 2000 and managed to break their deal in February after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Negotiations for a new naming rights deal are overlapping with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences negotiations to keep the Oscars at the Hollywood and Highland Center, built exclusively for the award show in 2001.

Don Mattingly Has a Bit of a Potty Mouth

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was on The Dan Patrick Show Thursday and let a four-letter curse word slip out when discussing fellow potty mouth manager Ozzie Guillen of the Miami Marlins.

We’re not sure if Magic Johnson would approve of such language.

FS San Diego in Stalemate with Time Warner, AT&T

Time Warner Cable and AT&T customers in San Diego that were hoping to catch the Padres on Opening Day next week should start making alternative plans because Fox Sports San Diego announced Thursday a deal isn’t likely prior to next week:

Despite our best efforts, we do not expect to have an agreement with Time Warner and AT&T by Opening Day.

We have offered Time Warner and AT&T very fair rates that are consistent with the terms that Cox and DIRECTV have agreed to. Time Warner has not even responded to our most recent proposal.

Unfortunately for Padres fans who subscribe to Time Warner and AT&T, they should explore alternatives for watching the Padres on Opening Day.

DirecTV and Cox Communications are the only two cable providers that currently have a deal with Fox Sports San Diego.

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