Women’s humor site The Toast is shutting down. Co-editors and co-founders Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg announced that the site would close for good July 1.
In a note, Cliffe explained that the financial burden of running The Toast had become too much.
“The conversation started when revenues were down, and I had to carry payroll for a month or two out of my personal account, which I had not had to do since shortly after we started this whole project,” she wrote.
Ortberg added that the work load was also a factor.
“I think we’d also both been talking about the three-year mark as a natural transition, because we’ve been working at a pretty furious clip with no signs of anything letting up, and were really hoping we could step back.”
Mashable has named Jason Abbruzzese business editor.
Abbruzzese previously served as a business reporter, covering media and telecom.
Abbruzzese joined Mashable in 2013. He previously served as a markers reporter and web producer for The Financial Times.
Michael Strahan is especially good for clicks this week, what with his early exit from Live With Kelly and Michael taking place this morning.
Last night, Strahan attended an event put on by DuJour magazine. He’s on the cover of the new issue. The article put together about this by the Daily Mail is an interesting reminder of one of their key approaches to an ongoing trending story: repackaging the same basic information with a pretty new bow. (The paper is of course not alone in this regard; many other sites and outlets do the same thing.)
Most of the piece by DailyMail.com Reporter is rehash of what has transpired leading up to May 13. There’s also another signature Daily Mail element, in this case four consecutive photos of Strahan with event attendee Patrick Dempsey.
Partying? Hardly. Posing? Yes.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Daily Mail Still Milking That Donald Trump-Studio 54 Quote
Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of The Guardian, will not step up to become chairman of the Scott Trust, the non-profit that owns the paper.
According to The New York Times, Rusbridger had made an agreement in 2014 to become chairman of the Scott Trust this fall. However, economic uncertainty changed that plan.
“The economic climate facing all newspapers has changed drastically in the last 12 months,” Rusbridger said in a statement. “It’s obvious that new business models will have to be created and I can understand why a new team would want a new chair. I send my former colleagues every possible good wish for the future.”
Rusbridger resigned as editor of The Guardian last year. He had edited the paper for 20 years.
A&E Networks is going hipster. The network is launching a digital branded content studio called 45th & Dean on Dean Street in Brooklyn.
Paul Greenberg, currently general manager of FYI Network, will oversee 45th & Dean. He’ll be joined by Shannon King as senior vp, content partnerships and social media. Todd Pellegrino will also join 45th & Dean as senior vp, video content.
The new studio is expected to open this fall.
The magic number this spring at Martha Stewart Living remains 25.
To go along with last fall’s 25th anniversary edition, the magazine has followed with a special $9.95 Collector’s Edition print issue on newsstands through June 26. There was also a 25-day social media campaign launched in March that encouraged readers to share their favorite magazine memories using the hashtag #25yearsofmartha.
The item that caught our eye is a chronological compilation of Stewart’s favorite covers over the years; 25 in all, one for each year of publication. Above is her first pick, the preview launch issue from Winter 1990.
Stewart’s second-through-fourth choices also feature the boss on the cover, but from there, intriguingly, it’s dominated by decorations, holidays and food, with just three more covers showing Stewart. Among the most striking cover artwork on display is a 1999 Christmas issue featuring a photograph of a sleeping child waiting for the big day to arrive, and a 2009 pumpkins-in-field display arranged for Halloween.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Martha Stewart Living Sweetens 25th Anniversary Issue With Will Cotton Cover
Today, The Guardian has shared a leaked 21-page internal document used to train Facebook news curators. We urge you to take the time to fully read “Trending Review Guidelines.” In the meantime, here’s a taste from page 10. The trending news team folks can ascribe to their topic a level of Normal, National Story, Major Story and:
Nuclear: Reserved for the truly “Holy S**t” stories that happen maybe 1-3 times a year. Leading all 10 websites AND require editor approval before marking as nuclear. Extreme examples are 9/11; major country’s president is shot; Russia declares war with Ukraine; etc. A team lead must approve before a topic is marked Nuclear.
Not long after Joe Morgenstern joined Newsweek as a film critic, he was enlisted to help research a March 21, 1966 issue cover story about American teenagers. In this week’s very fun 50th anniversary look-back at the issue and where the main participants wound up all these years later, there is also an article for which key contributors were interviewed.
Photographer Julian Wasser recalls how he found California cover girl and future actress Jan Smithers (Bailey Quarters in WKRP in Cincinnati); reporter David Morberg retraces his interview with her; and Morgenstern ploughs back into an ancient slice of data journalism:
“I went through this couple of days thinking, ‘My god, what have I gotten myself into?!’ Those were the days of far-flung bureaus with reporting just pouring in, and much of it very good and vivid. I remember long days and nights and, gosh, I think it was three weeks it took us to turn that thing out. My wife didn’t see much of me, and I was pretty much stuck in [the Newsweek office at] 444 Madison like a mad professor coping with this rising tide of reporting material…”
“It’s almost impossible now to think of teenagers without social networks. [In 1966], the social networks were called friends. Then I thought, it’s almost impossible to think we did that kind of data-intensive, information-dense journalism without the Internet and without computers.”
Another one of the fun pieces involves Christopher Reed, at the time of “The Teen-agers” a privileged Upper East Side 17-year-old and now… Well, you’ll just have to read to find out.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have Elle taking on Town & Country.
Elle’s latest features Bella Hadid wearing an outfit often seen in France. At least, we imagine this is what women wear there. Maybe some men, too! You really never know.
T&C, meanwhile, features the rugged Matt Damon, here to save us all. Damon’s first step? Promising to never make a sequel to We Bought a Zoo.
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
Hearst Magazines has combined its automotive brands under the new umbrella of Hearst Autos. The group consists of Car and Driver, Road & Track, Jumpstart Automotive Group and Veretech Holdings.
Overseeing Hearst Autos as president is Nick Matarazzo. He previously served as CEO of Jumpstart Automotive Group.
“Hearst is proactive in our efforts to work across divisions and identify opportunities where our businesses can maximize scale for clients and consumers” said Hearst Magazines president David Carey, in a statement. “Hearst Autos is a perfect example of this: we’re harnessing the innovation and engagement of our brands to provide automotive manufacturers, dealers and shoppers with trusted, informative content and sophisticated tools that make researching, buying and selling vehicles easier and more efficient.”
Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE) has promoted Nathan Guetta to vice president, product and technology, a new role at the company.
Guetta previously served as CNE’s vp of product. Prior to joining CNE, Guetta was Samsung Electronics’ London-based director of marketing, products and operations.
“Nathan has been instrumental in re-imagining The Scene as a mobile-first, social video platform,” said Joy Marcus, CNE’s executive vp and general manager of digital video, in a statement. “In his new role, Nathan will focus on industry-leading product improvements spanning all of CNE’s business including The Scene.”
In this week’s edition of our sister publication, there is an enlightening countdown of the men and women who help shape the momentum of alternative and adult-alternative radio airplay. The list reflects a survey of record label executives.
In the no. 1 spot are three SiriusXM programmers, two of whom have a strong connection to Brooklyn:
Ask record executives to name the most influential rock programmers at satellite radio service SiriusXM and they won’t give you a single answer – they’ll give you three. Jess Besack, adult alternative programmer at The Spectrum; Jeff Regan, host of alternative channel Alt Nation; and Vincent Usuriello, choosing new hard-rock acts at Octane, together have contributed to the growth of SiriusXM’s national subscriber base of more than 30 million. “We’re encouraged to move fast and take chances,” says Besack, a Park Slope, Brooklyn, resident, who has given The Spectrum’s support to The Record Company and Barns Courtney, among other acts. Regan, a father of two boys under 6, got behind Twenty One Pilots’ “Ride” before its release as a single, helping the track’s rise to No. 1 on the Alternative airplay chart. And Brooklyn-born Usuriello has seen his support for the band From Ashes to New propel its albumDay One to No. 2 on Hard Rock Albums.
Others on the list include All Songs Considered’s Bob Boilen (#2), WFUV-FM’s Rita Houston (#4) and British-born Mark Hamilton, now at KNKR in Portland, Ore.. Also, in somewhat of a hilarious confirmation of an old Los Angeles stigma, the only Djs on the list asterisked to the notation – *Declined to reveal age – are a pair who work for KROQ.
NowThis Media has named Tina Exarhos its first chief marketing officer. Exarhos most recently worked as MTV’s CMO and executive vp. She had been with MTV since 1993.
Exarhos also is joining the vc that seeded NowThis, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, as marketing adviser.
“I’ve known Tina for a very long time and can say with conviction that there is no one better in the business,” said Kenneth Lerer, chairman of NowThis and managing partner of LHV, in a statement. “Her knowledge and experience will be invaluable to both organizations, especially at this pivotal point in the growth of NowThis and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join our teams.”
This is not usually the way it goes.
On Tuesday, Purple Carrot, a vegan meal-kit delivery service, announced that it raised $5 million from Boston-based WindSail Capital. The money follows a seed capital round of $3.8 million:
“[Founder] Andy [Levitt] and his team at Purple Carrot have achieved impressive growth over the last 18 months. We see tremendous potential in the Purple Carrot model and are looking forward to this new partnership,” said Michael Rand, Managing Director of WindSail Capital.
Today, it was revealed Purple Carrot’s that chief innovation officer, former New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, is exiting the company. Though he retains what was described by Mother Jones, which broke the news, as a significant stake in the company. From food and agriculture correspondent Tom Philpott’s report:
In a phone conversation, Bittman wouldn’t say much about his reasons for leaving. “I wish the company nothing but the best,” he said. “I did everything I could do to help [with its recent West Coast expansion], and now I’m ready for something new.” Bittman told me he’s still mulling what his next project will be.
By the way, we couldn’t help notice how perfect the Mother Jones reporter’s last name is. Food… Agriculture… It’s all ultimately about filling the pot.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Mark Bittman Joins Vegan Meal Delivery Service
This week at Michael’s lunch was the usual head-spinning scene with a flock of social swans (Denise Rich, Becca Thrash, Felicia Taylor), Hollywood types (Mike Ovitz) and media mavens (Barbara Taylor Bradford) all dining and dishing in their respective corners. I was joined today by Peter Manning (at right, in photo) and Jeff Hansen, co-founders of Peter Manning NYC, the fledgling online menswear company for the “not so tall guy” (they’ve trademarked the tagline) whose business strategy and subsequent success — “We’ve been in business for 36 months and we’re profitable!” proclaimed Peter — is yet another case study in why brick and mortar retailing is being left behind in the digital dust.
Dapper Peter (who made Vanity Fair’s 2015 International Best Dressed List) and Jeff (who at one time ran luxury brands La Perla and Fette and whose command of digital marketing proved the time and money spent on a Harvard MBA is well worth it) are clearly passionate about their brand. “The world doesn’t need another clothing company,” Peter told me. “But it needs this one.”
A bold claim at a time when everyone from baby boomers to millennials are forsaking retail therapy for anything experiential, but one that seems to be based in reality. Peter Manning NYC has a very specific customer for their classic American clothing which has been, up to now, largely ignored. The entire line (with tuxedos coming soon) is designed for men 5’8″ which Peter and Jeff are determined to make the next big thing. “Look at how Plus Size [in women’s sportswear] has become cool,” said Jeff. “And there’s Big and Tall, if we could do the same thing for shorter guys it would be the holy grail for us.”
I’d say they’re well on their way. Peter Manning NYC counts George Stephanopoulos and Michael J. Fox as clients. George even did a segment on Good Morning America about the collection. Peter told me they suspect there are other celebrities out there wearing their “made to fit” classics. “We see a lot of stylists, so we know there are guys wearing our clothes, but we’re not like Issey Miyake and [the clothes don’t] scream ‘designer! Our clothes feel like made to measure, but they are made to fit.”
With more than 30 million men measuring 5’8″ and under (including Peter and Jeff), there are plenty of guys, said Peter, that have been paying “the tailor tax” for far too long. “It’s very expensive to get clothing from places like Brooks Brothers and getting them tailored. Guys that don’t tailor their clothes wind up wearing chinos with cuffs dragging on the ground, baggy jackets and too long ties.” But, he added, in designing for the “not too tall man” is an art and a science and “is not just about chopping off inches from pants.” Everything from Peter Manning NYC is sized to fit. “Our ties are four inches shorter [than other menswear lines] so guys don’t have to make double Windsor knots or tuck their tie into their pants.”
Jeff told me actor Christopher Fitzgerald, recently nominated for a Tony for his role in Waitress, came into their Fit Studio in DUMBO earlier this week and left a very happy customer. “He said with all the events and lunches for the upcoming Tonys he needed suits and walked out with two of them that he bought right off the rack.” Peter feels that more celebrities wearing Peter Manning NYC on the red carpet would heighten the brand’s profile considerably. Of course plenty of ‘big’ stars like Tom Cruise are loathe to admit their small-ish stature. “There’s a stigma attached to it,” explained Jeff. “A lot of actors don’t want to admit they’re short.” Jeff believes that a different type of association with a celebrity could be of value. “More and more actors are looking for more of an equity partnership type of arrangement, which is something we might consider down the road.”
For now, Jeff said, their marketing and advertising efforts are all digital (“because you can actually track it”) with programs on sites like Primer, a digital magazine for the millennial man as well as other “men’s general interest” sites. The guys are also currently appearing in a commercial for M&T Bank as one of their small business customers. But, said Jeff, the biggest boon to their business has come from “influencers” with their own websites or YouTube channels. The guys paid Image consultant Aaron Marino $5,000 and sent him a box of clothes which Aaron then featured on his YouTube channel. The spot resulted in over 3,000 visitors to the Peter Manning NYC website. “You never know which ones are going to draw business to the site, but influencers on social media have become increasingly important. The right ones can have a real impact on the business.”
Both Peter and Jeff believe this type of endorsement and exposure have eclipsed traditional print media in terms of importance and impact. “We had two separate stories in The New York Times and a piece in The Wall Street Journal’s Off-Duty section. Ten years ago, that’s all we would have needed,” said Peter. “[But] people still hadn’t heard of us!” New media requires a very different strategy to connect long term with customers. “We get people from all around the world… everyone from college kids to an 85-year-old man who needs help placing an order because he doesn’t understand the Internet,” Peter said.
And Peter Manning NYC isn’t just satisfying customers. “Wives and girlfriends love us. They tell us, ‘My husband’s ass looks great in your pants because they fit!'”
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. A table full of gals celebrating something. The faces we recognized: Star Jones, Felicia Taylor and Denise Rich
2. Author Barbara Taylor Bradford (Happy Birthday!) and her husband
3. Fox’s Jack Abernethy and Russ Salzberg
4. Mike Ovitz and Keith Meister
5. Carl McCall
6. Tastemaker and author Steven Stolman with Hutton Wilkinson (keeper of the Tony Duquette flame) with his agent Lyn Schroeder and Baker execs Tristan Butterfield, Greg Heller and Trish Hayes.
7. Beverly Camhe and Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund who is in town this week to attend a UN summit. Kirsten, who told me she once battled an eating disorder, helms her own foundation to raise awareness on women’s body issues.
9. Kate Zamar
11. Katherine Farley
12. Michael Kassan
14. Linda Robinson
15. Jeffrey Beers
16. Peter Manning, Jeff Hansen and yours truly
17. Becca Thrash and Chris Forbes
18. LAK PR CEO Lisa Linden and George Lence
20. Beth Comstock
21. UTA’s Jeremy Zimmer
25. Bob Tobin
26. Alexis Mersentes
27. Quest’s Chris Meigher going over some important looking plans with some young guns we didn’t get to meet. Anyone?
Diane Clehane is a FishbowlNY contributor. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.
Time Inc. and Colin Bodell part ways just a week after the chief technology officer told Keith Kelly that he wasn’t going anywhere. Bodell, who came over from Amazon in January of 2014, “overpromised and underdelivered,” according to one source, and got the heave-ho as a result. The writing had been on the wall for a few months, at least since Jennifer Wong took over as president of Time Inc. Digital. About his departure, Bodell told the New York Post that “it’s too early to process it.” JT Kostman heads out the door along with Bodell…
Eric Legendre and Celine Rotterman step into the role of co-managing directors of international advertising and strategic partnerships at Variety. They had both been international account mangers. Additionally, former Los Angeles Times London bureau chief Henry Chu joins as European bureau chief… The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group hires Michael Palmer as general manager, video. He had been a consultant at Hello Giggles and previously worked as svp at Defy Media… Condé Nast installs Beth Lusko as head of revenue for its female-focused Aurora network. She had been associate publisher at The New Yorker… And there are changes at Kargo, Vegas magazine and more…
The Hill has made a few additions to its team. Details are below.Johanna Derlega has been named publisher. She previously worked as senior vp for National Journal. Adam Prather, previously The Hill’s publisher, has been promoted to CRO. Bill Rehkopf, Cyra Master and Evelyn Rupert have all been named associate editors. Rafael Bernal and Melanie Zanona join as reporters. Tina Daunt, most recently The Hollywood Reporter’s contributing editor for politics, has been named a contributor. Holly Broderick joins as graphic designer. She previously worked for Wolf Den Associates. Meghan Milkowski has joined The Hill as president of The Hill Extra, its new paid subscription service. Milkowski previously served as vp for Prometheus Global Media. Jessica Falborn also joins The Hill Extra as executive director of business development. David Eldridge has been named healthcare editor for The Hill Extra. He preivously worked for Roll Call. Taylor Lorenz has been named director of emerging platforms. She most recently served as a tech reporter for Business Insider. Mauro Whiteman and Paulina Firozi join as social media curator and social video curator, respectively. Erika Burnett has been named director of circulation. Dakota Braun, most recently with Bloomberg, will work with The Hill’s special events team. Rita Barry-Corke has been named director of communications.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Since we all make mistakes, it’s all about how someone apologizes in the face of one of those missteps.
In that regard, we think Discovery Girls publisher Catherine Lee has done a fairly poor job in the wake of harsh social media criticism of the piece above, which counsels her pre-teen readers on how to look good in a bathing suit. Via Facebook, she sets things up fairly solidly with this first two sentences:
It’s still hard for me to believe that an article so contrary to our magazine’s mission could have been published on our pages. I have been a loss for words for days. The article was supposed to be about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident, but instead it focused on girls’ body image and had a negative impact.
But she does not go on to explain the process by which the piece was approved. Lee is also being criticized for her use of the word “confident.” Here’s just one example of the Facebook comments pouring in:
Jenna Glatzer: Subscriber here. I thought I was with you until this: “The article was supposed to be about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident”- what?! No. I don’t want your magazine telling my 9-year-old that she needs to feel “confident” in her swimsuit. She has no current thoughts about NOT feeling confident in her swimsuit. Just like boys have no thoughts about not feeling confident in theirs. This is straight-up conditioning to teach girls that they should be conscious of their body shape, compare it to others, and make sure they’re not wearing the “wrong” thing that will make predators think they’re not hot enough to gawk at. Because 9-year-old boys sure don’t care. So, really, are you just teaching her how to appeal to pedophiles?
Photo via: Kathryn Howell Dalton