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Morning Media Newsfeed: Michael Hastings Dies | Holley Out at Lucky | NYT Blogs Shuttering


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Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone Contributor, Dead at 33
(Rolling Stone)
Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone has learned. He was 33. Hastings’ unvarnished 2010 profile of McChrystal in the pages of Rolling Stone, “The Runaway General,” captured the then-supreme commander of the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan openly mocking his civilian commanders in the White House. The maelstrom sparked by its publication concluded with President Obama recalling McChrystal to Washington and the general resigning his post. BuzzFeed We are shocked and devastated by the news that Hastings is gone. He was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians. BuzzFeed / Ben Smith Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects; occasionally his editor. While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave. And he was warm and honest in a way that left him many unlikely friends among people you’d expect to hate him. Slate / Weigel As one of the journalists who was lucky to know him, first admiring his work as a reader, then thinking “Oh thank God” whenever we reconnected on the 2012 campaign trail, I’m having trouble working through the pathetic injustice of this situation. GalleyCat Hastings was the author of The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan and I Lost My Love in Baghdad. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer “A lot of people in the news business want to seem unafraid,” Rachel Maddow said on her show. “Hastings was actually unafraid. To the point where he radiated a sort of energy that made you realize he was unafraid, and it made you treat him differently than other people in the business.”

Brandon Holley Exits Lucky as EIC (Folio:)
Condé Nast is continuing a leadership shake-up at Lucky with the announcement today that editor-in-chief Brandon Holley has stepped down and will be replaced by Eva Chen, who was most recently working with Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour as a consultant to the brand. Lucky began a restructuring early this year when Gillian Gorman Round left her corporate position of senior vice president, brand development to focus on the magazine as its general manager. FishbowlNY Holley was a veteran of Condé Nast. She was a senior editor at GQ from 1998 to 2000 and served as editor-in-chief of Jane from 2005 to 2007. She came to Lucky in 2010. Holley, according to Condé Nast, is now leaving the company. WWD / Memo Pad Behind the scenes, editorial control of the magazine was slipping from the editor’s hands. Wintour started spending more time at the magazine — several times a week — and was involved in every aspect of production, even attending run-throughs, several sources said. While Holley was nominally in charge, Wintour brought in Chen, whom she had flagged as a rising talent at Teen Vogue, in April as a consultant who would function as her conduit there.

Which Blogs Stay And Go at The New York Times? (Capital New York)
As we reported several months ago, The New York Times is in the midst of reviewing all of its blogs to determine which will stay and which will go as it prepares for a major Web overhaul. Over the past four months, the Times has announced the shuttering of its Green blog, Media Decoder and The Choice, which covered college admissions and financial aid. Additionally, Capital has learned that a decision has been made to pull the plug on most, if not all, of the Times‘ sports blogs, which include Bats (baseball), Straight Sets (tennis), Slap Shot (hockey), The Rail (horse-racing) and Off the Dribble (basketball), although each of those appeared to still be publishing content as of this writing.

‘What’s Trending’ Scores Major Investment From Bedrocket Media Ventures (TheWrap)
Bedrocket Media Ventures has invested seven figures in What’s Trending, the company that runs the Emmy-nominated webcast of the same name, the companies announced. Bedrocket will take an ownership stake of indeterminate amount and will also sell advertisements for the show, created by Shira Lazar and Damon Berger. FishbowlNY Since Bedrocket is located in Lower Manhattan, on Broadway, FishbowlNY decided to check in with “disruptive media firm” founder-CEO Brian Bedol to find out how the Lazar deal came about.

Vice Apologizes, Pulls Suicide-Glorifying Photo Spread From Web (Salon)
Vice has taken down its offensive fashion spread “Last Words,” in which models reenacted the suicides and deaths of famous female writers like Virginia Woolf, Iris Chang, Charlotte Perkins, Sylvia Plath, Sanmao and Elise Cowen. The photos appeared with captions that provided details of the women’s deaths alongside a list of what the models were wearing and prices for clothes. FishbowlNY “Last Words” is gross because it glamorizes suicide. There’s nothing sexy, fashionable or edgy about people killing themselves. Hell, the least Vice could’ve done was list some of the writers’ work. But nah, why do anything to distract from the goal of trolling people? PRNewser Note: They don’t apologize for making an error in judgment. They apologize if you were “hurt or offended.” Seems like they’re saying anyone who has a problem just doesn’t get it. Actually, it’s Vice that doesn’t get it. Alienating and disgusting your readers is not a good look.

Fox Business Terminates Contract With Contributor Who Was Paid $50,000 to Boost A Stock (Business Insider)
Fox Business Network has terminated the contract of contributor Tobin Smith, who was paid $50,000 to tout the stock of Petrosonic Energy, a network spokesperson told Business Insider. TVNewser Smith’s response when asked if he felt he violated any Fox rules: “That policy was added late last year… my contract was not subject to that clause.” According to a TVEyes search, Tobin last appeared on FBN on May 28.

Tumblr’s Media Director Quits (Valleywag)
Tumblr brought Mark Coatney aboard from Newsweek to bolster the site’s editorial side — “to show how [Tumblr] can be key to connecting journalists and readers.” Three years (and a Yahoo! acquisition) later, and another early employee is gone. That’s two in only a few weeks.

In Overhaul, Today Show Director Gets A New Title (NYT)
NBC News is replacing the longtime director of Today in the latest sign of a top-to-bottom overhaul at the morning show, which is trying to climb out of a second-place ratings pit after a painful year there. Joe Michaels, who has worked at the show since 1989 and has been the director for 18 years, was given a new job last week that portends more change to come. Michaels will be the senior director, responsible for the installation of a new Today show set and graphics style, among other initiatives. Michaels was caught off-guard by the change, according to associates of his. TVNewser On Thursday, the Today show marks 19 years in their “Window on the World,” Studio 1A. The street-side studio, which debuted June 20, 1994, has been a gathering spot for tourists and locals alike, as celebrities and chefs, musicians and athletes discuss their newest project or sing from their latest album.

LinkedIn Has A Stalker Problem (BuzzFeed)
For victims of sexual harassment, assault, and domestic violence, looking for work means exposing themselves to their assailants. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn doesn’t offer an option to block individual users. Yes, you can limit views to only people in your network, or block some information from search engines. But for a job seeker, the whole point is to make yourself easily discoverable to as many potential employers as possible. The only way to protect yourself from a stalker on LinkedIn is to hinder your chances of finding a job — the entire reason you’re there in the first place. An assault victim wrote to LinkedIn asking if its offers a way to make special exceptions for people like her. They told her the only option was to block the offending user with a court order. “I think my mouth dropped open,” Anna says. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

Turkish Newspaper Takvim Publishes Fake Christiane Amanpour Interview (HuffPost)
A Turkish newspaper published a fake interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, quoting her as saying that CNN had covered the recent protests in Turkey on behalf of business interests that wanted to hurt the country’s economy.


AOL’s Patch Limps Toward Profitability
(Bloomberg Businessweek)
After more than five years of reporting on school-board meetings and community bake sales, AOL Inc.’s Patch is now at the center of another story: whether the company’s bet on local news can be profitable. Following investor complaints that Patch has been holding back AOL’s turnaround, Patch now faces a do-or-die year in 2013, said Benjamin Schachter, a media analyst with Macquarie Securities USA Inc. in New York. If the company can’t make Patch profitable, it may close down the division, he said.

CBS News Washington Bureau Evacuated (TVNewser)
The Washington, D.C. bureau for CBS News was evacuated temporarily on Tuesday due to a suspicious package. Journalists that they are, some staffers documented the evacuation with photos and video. FishbowlDC Those on site reported that police brought in a robot an x-ray machine before giving everyone the all-clear to go back inside.

Nate Silver: Politico Co-Founders Lack ‘Curiosity for The World Outside of The Bubble’ (TPM / LiveWire)
Nate Silver has some thoughts about Politico. Plenty of them. In an email sent Tuesday to TPM, Silver — who nailed the 2012 presidential election by correctly forecasting the outcome in all 50 states — elaborated on some of his criticisms of Politico, a publication specializing in Washington’s insider culture that has frequently drawn his ire. The New Republic “There are people in our gang who think he is overblown and get worked up about Nate Silver,” said Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei. “I don’t give a damn. Some of his stuff goes on and on, trying to use numbers to prove stuff that I don’t think can be proved by numbers alone. I know he is a Politico hater.”

Photographer Sues BuzzFeed for $3.6 Million Over Viral Sharing Model (paidContent)
A photographer says BuzzFeed should pay copyright damages not only for an unauthorized photo that appeared on its site — but for the dozens of other sites on which the photo appeared. FishbowlNY The photo that originated on photographer Kai Eiselein’s Flickr account was published by BuzzFeed and included in “The 30 Funniest Header Faces.” Eiselein’s lawsuit was filed in New York this month. Court documents show that Eiselein wants BuzzFeed to pay up because the site encourages people to share images (and everything else).

How PBS Won at Digital (Digiday)
PBS Digital Studios started in 2012 and has had a heck of a first year, with hits like Mr. Rogers’ autotune and more than 15 original series on its YouTube channel. In addition, for the first five months of 2013, PBS.org was the No. 1 TV network site for unique visitors, according to comScore. It recently racked up seven Webby awards, more than any other media company. PBS Kids has been the No. 1 site in kids video for the last 16 months.

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