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Covering the pulse of New York media
Updated: 2 min 4 sec ago

Elle Decor Adds Mieke ten Have and Senga Mortimer

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 18:30

Elle Decor has added two to its team. Details are below.

Mieke ten Have is returns to the magazine as design editor-at-large. Ten Have most recently served as Vogue’s home editor. She served as Elle Decor’s associate style editor from 2010 to 2013. Senga Mortimer has been named contributing design editor. Mortimer will continue her in her role as House Beautiful editor-at-large.
Categories: News

Bring a Casual Voice to Scholarly Research With JSTOR Daily

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 18:10

You may remember JSTOR from your college days, that store of scholarly articles you drew on for your end-of-term research papers. But then you left school, and swapped out the world of scholarly research for more recent, faster news. Staying up on current events took precedence over deepening your knowledge of the historical and analytical research that explains those events.

Last fall, JSTOR introduced JSTOR Daily, a digital publication that bridges those worlds. As editor Catherine Halley explained: “We are looking at current news stories and giving you the scholarly backstory.” One of those areas for which JSTOR Daily is actively seeking pitches is for its “Long Reads” section.

These stories are published once a week on Wednesdays and run from 1,800 to 2,000 words. Ideally, the feature will have a hook that’s tied to a newsworthy event or an upcoming anniversary. Halley advises that you think of these as a new way to explore a current topic. “It’s slow news,” she says, adding that features should identify patterns between current events and scholarly work, provide the backstory for new studies, and keep a conversational, approachable tone. The idea is to reference journals, not to sound like them.

For more, including how to structure your pitch emails, read: How To Pitch: JSTOR Daily

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.

Categories: News

Matt Lauer Answers Vogue’s 73 Questions

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 18:00

Matt Lauer is the latest guest on Vogue’s “73 Questions” video series. As you can (hopefully) tell by the name, during the brief segments, a Vogue reporter asks someone famous 73 questions.

A few highlights from Lauer’s Q&A:

Most offensive sign held by a Today show fan? “Moon me Matt” Facebook or Twitter? “Twitter” Guest he was most nervous interviewing? “Chris Rock“ Style icon? “James Bond” Favorite show? “Cheers” Best thing about the Internet? “Online shopping” Worst thing about the Internet? “Lots of really bad information”
Categories: News

A Men’s Magazine Cover Infused with HIV-Positive Blood

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 17:45

To coincide with Life Ball, an annual AIDS charity event in Vienna, Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland partnered with a progressive men’s magazine headquartered in that city for a most unusual cover. From the Saatchi brief:

The front cover of 3,000 copies of Vangardist’s Spring issue are printed with ink infused with HIV+ blood donated by three individuals living with the HIV virus.

The magazine has been produced according to the most stringent controls and using processes developed according to guidelines established by Harvard and Innsbruck universities, ensuring that the handling of a physical copy of the magazines carries no risk of infection, and is 100% safe; the debate and discussion around the magazine and the issue it highlights has already been significant.

Each designated copy of the German and English-language publication is wrapped in plastic and includes a note that reads: ‘Break the seal and help break the stigma.’ Commented Vangardist publisher and CEO Julian Wiehl: “With 80% more confirmed cases of HIV being recorded in 2013 than ten years previously, and an estimated 50% of HIV cases being detected late due to lack of testing caused by social stigma associated with the virus, this felt like a very relevant issue for us to focus on not just editorially but also from a broader communications stand point.\"

The issue arrive at newsstands May 4. Vangardist has also created a Facebook page, HIV Heroes, and together with the hashtag #HIVHeroes, is hoping to foster renewed online support and discussion. Vangardist originally launched in 2009 as a digital-only publication. The 2015 edition of Life Ball, Europe’s largest AIDS charity event, will take place May 16.
[H/T: New York Daily News]

Categories: News

NY Times Approaches One Million Digital Subscribers

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 16:40

The New York Times is closing in on a digital milestone: The one million subscriber mark. In its first quarter earnings report, the Times announced it now has roughly 957,000 digital subscribers, an increase of 20 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014.

The first quarter of this year was the Times’ strongest quarter for digital subscriptions since 4Q of 2012. Along with that healthy 20 percent bump in subscribers came $46 million of revenue, good for a 14 percent increase compared to 1Q of 2014.

Now that we’ve brightened your day with the good news, we unfortunately have to darken it with the bad news. The Times posted a net loss of $14 million, due to pension payouts and a 11 percent drop in print advertising dollars.

Hey, this is the newspaper business we’re talking about here. You had to know it wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows.

Categories: News

Time’s Powerful Baltimore Cover

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 15:45

Time’s latest cover is powerful. Never has the phrase “The more things change, the more they stay the same” been more relevant.

Categories: News

Newspaper Guild Rebrands to ‘NewsGuild’

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 15:20

tnglogoThe Newspaper Guild of New York is no more. From now on, it’s The NewsGuild of New York. Guild members voted 407 to 105 to change the name of the 81-year-old union.

The change was made to reflect the fact that as time passes, more union members are working for media companies other than papers.

“The news is very much alive, but most of the newspapers that were around when we started are gone,” said NewsGuild president Bill O’Meara, in a statement. “From The Daily Beast to The New York Times, and pretty much everywhere between, more Guild members now work in 24-hour, increasingly-digital news environments.”

Categories: News

NY Times Promotes Cliff Levy

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 15:10

The New York Times has promoted Cliff Levy to assistant editor. Levy most recently served as associate managing editor. He also oversaw editorial for the NYT Now app.

In a note announcing the news, Times executive editor Dean Baquet wrote Levy will “oversee the presentation of our report on all platforms: mobile, home page, watch. Cliff will also lead an expansion of our rewrite and curation capabilities so we can better leap on fast-breaking news and trends with context and sophistication.”

Levy has been with the Times since 1990. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a three-time winner of the George Polk Award.

Levy has previously served as the Times’ Moscow bureau chief and deputy Metro editor.

Categories: News

FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 15:00



(Images: Newseum)

Categories: News

Can the Infomercial King Who Gave Us the PedEgg Save Publishing?

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 00:00

lunch at michaelsYou may not recognize A.J. Khubani, but if you’ve ever found yourself hypnotized by one of those “As Seen on TV” infomercials for the PedEgg, Hurricane Spin Mop and any number of personal and home products you didn’t know you needed, you’ve seen his genius at work. He has parlayed his company, Telebrands Corporation, which he started in 1983 on a whim with $20,000, into a nearly one billion dollar marketing behemoth. Today’s lunch was a master class in how moving quickly on a good idea and building your own business models can lead to unrivaled success. I was in awe.

AJ Khubani, Diane Clehane and Andrea Pass

AJ Khubani, Diane Clehane and Andrea Pass

The soft-spoken, New Jersey-based entrepreneur told me one tale after another of stratospheric marketing success. It all started with his first infomercial for Ambervision sunglasses, which sold out within days at New Jersey-based Herman’s World of Sporting Goods. The sunglasses went on to rack up $150 million in sales during the product’s lifespan. Some of his products like the PedEgg, which was introduced in 2007, were a complete surprise even to him. “It sat on my desk for a year. I thought, it’s a cheese grater for your feet. No one is going to buy this thing.” To date, over 50 million PedEggs have been sold. “We never launch a product with less than a million pieces.” See, I told you the numbers were staggering.

Between bites of Dover sole, A.J., who was nursing a broken collarbone from a fall while biking home from the office, explained that one of the secrets of his success is acting fast on a good idea. “We test market with a commercial which is not difficult to produce. If people are ordering, we go ahead. If they’re not, we move on.” And he’s always looking for ideas. Before Shark Tank came along, A.J. was one of three judges/investors on Discovery Channel’s PitchMen. The show, which aired for two seasons (2009-2010) involved inventors pitching products for infomercials. He backed three products: Heel Tastic, Jupiter Jack and One Second Needle, all of which, he said, have been more successful than any product featured on Shark Tank, which he dismisses as “not real, it’s entertainment.” And then, “No one on that panel has a lot of marketing experience except Lori Greiner and she’s limited to QVC.” Ouch.

Telebrands’ products are everywhere, including Walmart, Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond and are sold in 120 countries. I was surprised to learn that 90 percent of Telebrands’ business comes from its retail distribution, with the infomercials acting as more of an enticement to go to brick-and-mortar stores. Navigating the retail climate “is a lot more complicated” in the digital age, he said.

A.J. told me his company (he’s the sole owner) has a presence on social media and he finds Facebook the best of the lot for reaching its target demo of middle-aged shoppers. The company also posts videos on YouTube (“It’s free advertising”) and is “just starting to play around” with Instagram. But he’s dismissive of its net effect on sales. “It’s just window dressing,” he told me. “Everyone just feels compelled to be there.” In the next two months, Telebrands will unveil its own website, showcasing its 80 brands in one place with online videos.

A frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg, A.J. hosts regularly scheduled Telebrand Inventors Days across the country. Last year he hosted the industry’s first Virtual Investors Day, where inventors pitched products via a remote Internet access video feed. Next week, he’s convening an Inventors Day at his alma mater, Montclair State University, where ten teams of student entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas and products. The winning team will a $10,000 prize from Telebrands.

It wasn’t until our coffee arrived that I learned that A.J. has now set his sights on publishing. Under his own imprint Telebrands Press, he decided to get into the book business and publish Who Knew? 10,001 Easy Solutions for Everyday Problems in 2013, which sold 1.5 million copies. That was followed up with Dump Cakes, a cookbook written by “As Seen on TV” personality Cathy Mitchell, which sold a head-spinning 2 million copies. The second in the series, Dump Dinners, published earlier this year, has sold 800,000 copies and counting. Up next: Crock Pot Dump Dinners. In a bit of fortuitous timing, Telebrands Press will publish Colorama, an adult coloring book that comes with its own colored pencils in June. “We decided to do it and then we started to see all of these stories about adults coloring as a stress reliever. We just stumbled upon the idea and caught it at the right time.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Cynthia Lewis presiding over a table of movers and shakers

2. Peter Brown

3. Author Jesse Kornbluth whose latest book, Married Sex, is sure to steam up the beach this summer

4. Discovery Communication’s David Zaslav and Tivo’s Tom Rogers

5. Ex-Hearst CEO George J. Green and Jimmy Finkelstein

6. Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina and Andy Bergman

7. Lucianne Goldberg celebrating her birthday with Bonnie Dudley and two other well-dressed gals

8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia

9. Author Wednesday Martin

11. Andrew Stein

12. UTA’s Jay Sures

14. Simon & Schuster’s Alice Mayhew

15. Tony Hoyt and Andrew Amill

16. Avenue’s Judy Price

18. LAK PR’s CEO Lisa Linden with colleagues Hannah Arnold and Angel Strickland Fahy

20.  Author Linda Fairstein

22. Michael Heller and Michael Peterson

23. Alexandre Chemla

24. Playbill’s Bruce Hallett and Rachel Glickman

25. Christopher Kaplan

26. Disney Publishing’s Russell Hampton

27. AJ Khubani, Andrea Pass and yours truly

29. Act One: Deborah Fine; Second Seating: Stu Zakim and David Kaplan

81. Glamour’s Connie Anne Phillips

Faces in the crowd: Kira Semler and Vi Huse toasting the long awaited arrival of spring with champagne at the bar. Cheers!

Diane Clehane is a FishbowlNY contributor. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.


Categories: News

When Celebrities Meet Tinder

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 23:45

On a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jamie Foxx – for a by-applause non-Tinder using in-studio audience – gave the musical treatment to some real profiles found on the popular App. The last one is a doozy!

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Hilary Duff revealed to LA radio’s Valentine in the Morning that she has decided to give Tinder a try.

But the funniest recent bit of Tinder-celeb commingling came from Star magazine. As our friends at Gossip Cop confirmed, there is no truth to the publication’s report that Leonardo DiCaprio has joined Tinder under the profile name \"Leonard.\"

The brief Star item was headlined \"Leo Lurking Around Tinder?\" and, just for good measure, had a question mark in the secondary headline as well (\"Lookin’ for Love?). Had we been making up this item, we might have dressed it up with the idea that at age 40, Leo is having a full-blown celebrity mid-life crisis, with Smartphone in hand.

Categories: News

Media Minutiae

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 23:00

TVNewser: Vice is getting its own TV channel. It will be radical and hip and cool.

GalleyCat: Jewel’s memoir is titled Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half The Story and its cover will feature a photo of her on a horse. That’s peak Jewel right there.

LostRemote: A study found 21 percent of Americans have no remorse about consuming media content illegally. We really are a nation of assholes.

Categories: News

Sportswriters Try to Capture the Less That is Baltimore

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 21:35

As we write this, the Orioles are leading the White Sox at Camden Yards. In front of a riots-mandated crowd of zero people. The beauty of the Internet, in this case, is that sportswriters can file the story as the surreal events are unfolding. Here’s a snippet from Washington Post national baseball writer Barry Svrluga’s coverage:

Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph had already feigned signing autographs to imaginary fans, tipping his hat to the adoring… seats. A foul ball had found its way into the stands, only to bounce back out again.

Actually, zero people in the stands is not quite right. From Jére Longman’s NYT dispatch:

Except for two scouts sitting behind home plate and a press box full of reporters, the 45,971 seats and three decks at Camden Yards were an empty expanse of green as the first pitch was thrown at 2:06 p.m.

And since baseball is all about records, the Baltimore Sun at game time leads off a 24-picture slide show with a reminder of the previous MLB low attendance record. Hint: It happened in 1882.

[Screen grab via:]
Categories: News

For $20,000, You Can Name This Crowdfunder’s Kid

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 20:25

At first glance, the crowd-funding page designed to underwrite Kira Soltanovich’s one-hour comedy special looks like any other. At press time, there are 13 days left and the stand-up comic is one-fifth of the way towards her goal of $30,000.

But look a little closer and a couple of perks jump out. For 30K, a donor will get to cut the cord at the forthcoming birth of her second child, a daughter. And for 20K, the name of this offspring is in the offing.

\"To clarify, if someone is willing to donate the $20,000, Kira and her husband will meet with them to discuss the middle name ideas the donor has and they have every intention to follow through,\" a spokesperson for the couple tells FishbowlNY. \"They will however not use anything vulgar, sexist, racist or offensive and that’s what is implied when mentioning \"within reason.’\"

\"If for some reason someone was wanting to suggest an offensive name, they would of course in good faith, not accept the donation,” the rep continues. “They actually have not even chosen the baby’s first name, so they are secretly hoping the donor comes up with a suggestion they can use for the first name. They are really excited at the thought that this ‘naming’ would make a fantastic story to one day tell their child.”

Ha ha. That’s hilarious. We can just imagine the circa-2022 household conversation:

Ralphina: “Mommy, how did I get the name Ralphina?”
Mom: “Well, do you remember that TV program mommy is in, that you saw a little bit of the other day…?”

Soltanovich, seven months pregnant, will film the TV special May 10 during a performance at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. She taped her first special in 2012, has a podcast for which she interviews other comedians with kids and appeared for a number of years as a correspondent on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Categories: News

Profile Groundbreakers for The Red Bulletin Magazine

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 20:06

Red-Bulletin-ArtWhat started in 2005 as a magazine devoted to covering the Monaco Grand Prix is now a publication focusing on the urban 30-something male, with 12 country-specific editions published in five languages across the globe. The magazine does still cover nontraditional sports–BASE jumping, for one–but has also expanded into culture and entertainment coverage.

At the heart of the magazine are stories of people who persevere in the face of considerable obstacles:

The publication strives to showcase those who live beyond-the-ordinary lives, thereby inspiring readers to do great things with their lives. Whether readers are being taken to an electronic music scene in Detroit or a nightclub in Mexico, The Red Bulletin is always “highlighting folks who are making the most of life and tough situations or are really looking to expand their concept (or our concept) of what is possible,” says editor in chief Andreas Tzortzis.

Think about this as you send pitches for the magazine’s “Heroes” section, a good place for first-time freelancers to focus on.

Editors are primarily looking for profiles on innovators across several different industries, including music and entertainment. “When I say people who break boundaries, I’m not talking about the guy who skied a beautiful line down an incredibly steep mountain or [did] a triple backflip on a motor cross bike,” says Tzortzis. “I’m talking about the artist that manages to live up to expectations with his sophomore album. I’m talking about a scientist who’s redefining our understanding of what genome performance can be.”

For more, read: How To Pitch: The Red Bulletin

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.

Categories: News

Matthew Talomie Joins Observer Media

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 19:45

Observer Media has named Matthew Talomie chief revenue officer of, a new role at the company. Talomie comes to The Observer from Hearst Magazines, where he served as associate publisher of Town & Country.

Previously Talomie spent six years at Elle Décor.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Matthew, who brings significant experience in crafting luxury publishing brands,” said Observer Media CEO Joseph Meyer, in an announcement. “He will help us continue to build Observer as a leading innovative digital publisher, while delivering our smart and sophisticated sensibility to our growing influential audience.”

Categories: News

Photographer Recalls His Formative Years in Vietnam

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 19:30


Now based in Brisbane, Australia, Tim Page was just 20 years old when he started photographing the Vietnam conflict in 1965. For the next five years, he would freelance for Life, Paris Match, AP and UPI, somehow escaping the fate that befell 135 killed and missing comrades.

It’s a chapter that Page has now powerfully revisited via Newsweek essay. Here’s a taste:

We who survive have one foot in nostalgia. One of the strongest, enduring band of brothers and sisters who believed to the end that their photographs made a difference. It was ungarnished truth, in-your-face reality made more memorable by the lick that each shooter put upon his or her images. It was a war you lived in, not just one you visited.

It sucked you into the beautiful country — its women, its food. The ’60s additive of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Cross cultures. Surfing at China Beach and peace prayers on an island midstream the Mekong. One hour in an ambush, the next reclined over a soothing pipe or propped at a bar with a dollar beer, retelling the last escapade as a temporal catharsis.

Page, together with Horst Faas, co-authored the 1997 book Requiem, a tribute to those aforementioned fallen photographers. Read the rest of his Newsweek piece here.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Honoring the First American Woman Correspondent Killed in Action
[Jacket cover courtesy: Random House]

Categories: News

Layoffs Hit

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 19:03

A cold reality: Now that is being transformed in into an e-commerce site and any remaining articles are getting absorbed into, there isn’t really a need for editorial staffers.

The axe fell after Condé Artistic Director and Vogue editor Anna Wintour met with the team. A source told The New York Post “Anna gathered everyone at, told them thank you for your service,” and then… Well, they’ll have better days, let’s just say that.

Rumor is at least five staffers were cut, including a fashion market editor and photo editor.

Categories: News

New Yorker and WNYC Launch Radio Show, Podcast

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 17:40

The New Yorker and WNYC are joining forces to launch a national radio show and podcast. The one-hour, weekly show will be built around New Yorker content.

The New Yorker’s editor David Remnick and WNYC’s chief content officer Dean Cappello are working together to develop the program.

“The New Yorker and public radio have had a very long and rewarding relationship over the years, and we’re so pleased to expand upon that by collaborating with WNYC, one of the premier radio producers in the country,” said Remnick, in a statement.

Categories: News

News Magazines Newsstand Sales Hold Steady

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 17:00

The reports of news magazines’ death has been (slightly) exaggerated. According to Pew’s State of The Media, single copy newsstand sales of news magazines was down only one percent in 2014.

The big winner of Pew’s study was New York, which saw newsstand sales jump by an incredible 110 percent  last year. The Atlantic and Rolling Stone did well too, with increases of 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

As for online traffic, led the way.,, and rounded out the top five.

Categories: News


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