Memos from media executives are always to be taken with a gigantic boulder of salt. Rarely do they shed any light on what is actually happening at a company. They really just function as a way for an exec to pat themselves and their company on the back. We’re sure you’ve seen memos like this — but you’ve never seen one as good as one recently sent from Politico’s CEO, Jim VandeHei.
Though parts of VandeHei’s memo — obtained by WaPo — are obviously a joke, there are sections that you just know he believes. Below are some highlights.
“There is no media company growing with more conviction and muscle than us.”
None. Zero! Also, don’t try to find one, dammit.
“This place is stacked with talent in editorial, business and technology that makes explosive growth so attainable.”
It’s really quite easy to be wildly successful.
“The one thing that bothers me about some coverage of comings and goings is the lack of emphasis on the flood of new talent.”
Please, media, cover us the way we want to be covered. However…
“You just can’t get worked up about criticism. In fact, you should be humble enough to mine it for any truth.”
We assume “humble” is used ironically here.
Phil Sklar and Brad Novak do not have a Milwaukee location picked out yet for their 2016 planned National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. What’s more, their very ambitious Kickstarter campaign – which ends at midnight tonight – is going to fall well short of the $250,000 goal.
But just like all those times Pete Rose used to thrillingly try and stretch a long single into a double, it’s head-first and full speed ahead for the pair’s genius idea.
\"We’ve been having some very informal discussions with the Milwaukee Bucks organization about our potential museum location,\" Sklar tells FishbowlNY via telephone. \"They’re scheduled to announce a site selection soon for a new arena and intend to make the arena part of a larger entertainment destination, like Staples Center does with LA Live. So we could find some space as part of that.\"
In the long run, only paid members of the museum will get to vote on bobblehead Hall of Fame inductees, with four planned each year. But to build up awareness and excitement, the duo are allowing, one time only, both members and non-members to vote online on this epic bobblehead question: Should Pete Rose be the first inductee?
Rose is up for it, and so far, the Yes’s are far outweighing the No’s. Sklar and Novak recently hooked up in with Rose in Las Vegas with Rose (per the excerpted interview below) and have talked to him about a neat idea relating to his potential induction.
\"We’ve started doing custom bobbleheads,\" Sklar explains. \"We did one of the “beard guy” [Jeremy Wilcox] who brought Aaron Rodgers good luck, and we’ve talked to Pete about maybe doing a special bobblehead if he is voted in. The bobblehead might be, literally, him at a podium, wearing a suit and being inducted.\"
Sklar, a CPA and MBA who recently quit his day job to focus on the Bobblehead project full-time, says the museum collection has quickly raced past the 3,000 mark. Teams are passing on remnants; individuals are donating items; and with a companion website launched late last year, the fun has only just begun.
Speaking of fun, outgoing MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who officially wraps things up January 24, works out of offices located in Milwaukee. So the pair sent a Rose bobblehead and a rose to try and get him to comment on this Hall of Fame campaign. There was no comment.
Sklar says that although the Kickstarter goal will not be met, the campaign allowed him and Novak to make many valuable connections, including some with potential museum sponsors. He also shares that at one point, in what was surely a gag, someone emailed to say that they would fund the entire Kickstarter amount if there was a guarantee that Rose would never be put in in the bobblehead Hall of Fame. Real or in effigy form, Rose continues to be a hot topic.
Chris Christie is firing back at New Jersey reporters who were banned from a meeting. Local members of the press were barred from Christie’s pre-State of The State address meeting, while national members of the press were allowed to attend.
During NJ 101.5’s “Ask the Governor” show, Christie lashed out. “Could you find a group of more self-consumed people? On a day like that, they are writing about themselves,” said Christie. “Do you think the public cares a whit whether they got into a private meeting? If they want to act like children, let them act like children,” he continued. “That’s the way it goes.”
To recap: Local reporters are mad so Christie is mad that they’re mad. Strong work all around.
(Image: Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock.com)
Glamour has promoted Anne Sachs from senior online editorial director to executive digital director. Sachs has been with the magazine since 2007, when the magazine only had two staffers tending to Glamour.com.
Prior to Glamour, Sachs worked at Ellegirl, Vitals, MTV Networks, The Gallup Poll, and McGraw Hill.
It’s safe to say that Sachs has made a major difference in Glamour’s online presence — Glamour.com now attracts about 8.5 million uniques a month.
Cindi Leive, Glamour editor-in-chief, will name a new online editorial director to succeed Sachs shortly.
The New York Times just made quite an enemy. James Comey, the director of the FBI, wrote an angry letter to the Times, blasting it for quoting an anonymous source in Al Qaeda. The quote appeared in an article about the timing of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
“Your decision to grant anonymity to a spokesperson for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula so he could clarify the role of his group in assassinating innocents, including a wounded police officer, and distinguish it from the assassination of other innocents in Paris in the name of another group of terrorists, is both mystifying and disgusting,” wrote Comey.
Yikes. If that wasn’t bad enough, Comey added “I fear you have lost your way and urge you to reconsider allowing your newspaper to be used by those who have murdered so many and work every day to murder more.”
Despite the tongue lashing (letter lashing?) from Comey, the Times’ international managing editor, Michael Slackman, defended the Times’ choice.
“The individual quoted anonymously has for several weeks provided accurate insight and information into the thinking and actions of AQAP,” said Slackman. “The material was generally central to the news, in one case noting that Al Qaeda and the Islamic State had not jointly planned the attacks in Paris.”
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, respected pop music critic Sasha Frere-Jones left his post at The New Yorker to join Genius.com, a lyric annotation site. It shocked many in the media world because 1) Why would anyone leave The New Yorker and 2) Why would anyone leave The New Yorker for a site like that?
There was plenty of coverage and dramatic media hand-wringing over what was simply one man’s personal decision. Some of that coverage annoyed Frere-Jones. Specifically, The New York Times’ headline “Pop Music Critic Leaves The New Yorker to Annotate Lyrics for a Start-Up.”
“Yeah, that’s not exactly accurate,” Frere-Jones told Newsweek, when asked about the headline. “The point is not to have me annotating all these lyrics myself, by a long, long shot. They’ve been around a minute. They’re not really a startup… Although I like the piece — I thought the piece was fair and accurate — I didn’t like the headline.”
Forgive us if we’re not sympathetic of Frere-Jones’ plight. The headline is fine. Of course it’s not “exactly” accurate — it would be slightly difficult to fit an entire job description in a headline.
Here is how you know someone has a good life: When they’re lucky enough to be covered by the Times, yet all they notice is a headline that — according to them — isn’t perfect. We’d love to have those kinds of problems.
(Image: Rodger Cummins)
Penske Media Group is considering reducing the print frequency of popular fashion journal Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). PMG acquired WWD from Fairchild Fashion Media in August of last year.
WWD is printed daily; cutting it down to a weekly would obviously save PMG a ton of cash.
While nothing is set in stone, it certainly seems like PMG is close to pulling the trigger. “Printing, paper and postage are 50 percent of the costs,” an “executive” told The New York Post.
The change is being spearheaded by Jay Penske, who prefers digital properties over print.
The awards success of The Grand Budapest Hotel rolls on. Wes Anderson’s latest confection led yesterday morning’s Oscar nominations, along with Birdman, and later in the day, added a Critics’ Choice Film Award for Best Comedy to go along with Sunday’s Golden Globe.
Situated perfectly in the middle of all this is New York magazine TV critic and ebert.com caretaker Matt Zoller Seitz, a lifelong fan of Anderson’s work and personal friend of the filmmaker. To go along with his 2013 book The Wes Anderson Collection, Seitz has a second book coming out February 10 just about Budapest.
The broad success of The Grand Budapest Hotel is introducing a new layer of folks to Anderson’s unique and intricate pleasures. No doubt, the result will also be a few more hardcore fans of Seitz’s books. From a recent Q&A with New York Times reporter Penelope Green:
The most incredible thing to me has been how people responded to this book as a work of art in itself, which is something I never could have imagined when my editor and I were sitting in his little windowless office laying it out and deciding what went on which page and why.
They take pictures of the book and send it to me. It’s like the garden gnome thing, but with a film book. One guy buried it in the sand with an Australian flag. One woman took it to the top of a mountain with her. Why would somebody do that? It’s a five-pound book.
I’ve got hundreds of these pictures from readers. My editor at New York Magazine showed me a photo from a shoot at Derek Jeter’s house, and there was a copy on his coffee table. It’s wild.
At the very end of the interview, Zeitz reveals that the love-of-Anderson tradition has been successfully passed on to his two young children. And he also lets a Halloween cat out of the bag involving his daughter going a few ones back as an Anderson character. Read the full interview here.[Jacket cover courtesy: Harry N. Abrams]
Dish, Fox News Channel Reach Deal (TVNewser)
Dish Network and Fox News have announced a multi-year agreement for carriage of Fox News Channel and Fox Business. The networks were pulled from Dish on Dec. 21, after the two companies could not come to an agreement. THR The pact covers a multi-year agreement for carriage of both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel. Terms were not disclosed. GigaOM When Fox News and Fox Business went dark on Dish last month, Dish complained that Fox was trying to add other channels to the bundle that hadn’t been part of the original agreement. \"It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well,\" said Dish’s senior vice president of programming Warren Schlichting back then. It’s unclear whether the new agreement includes any of those additional channels, or just the two channels that went off the air in December. Variety The new deal does not include any agreement to have the two cable networks distributed through Dish’s new broadband-distributed Sling TV service, according to a person familiar with negotiations. As part of the pact, both networks will be on the same pricing tier and Fox News is expected to fetch more than $1.50 per subscriber per month. Mediaite Just this week, Fox News had raised the stakes of its campaign to get viewers to drop Dish and switch to other pay-TV providers, enlisting star anchors Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly to appear in an ad that accused Dish of \"censoring\" Fox’s content. \"They’re censoring what you see,\" O’Reilly said to viewers in the ad. \"Enough is enough.\"
Local Station Groups Helping Test Drones for News Gathering (TVSpy)
Virginia Tech is working with 10 news organizations as part of a coalition safety testing drones in news gathering. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, NBCUniversal, Gannett Co., Getty Images, The E.W. Scripps Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group are part of the coalition that will work with the university to test the safety of real-life scenarios where a media organization would want to gather news. NYT The partnership, the companies said in a statement, is \"designed to conduct controlled safety testing of a series of real-life scenarios where the news media could use small U.A.S. technology to gather the news.\" The college is one of six sites designated by the Federal Aviation Administration for testing of unmanned aircraft systems, or U.A.S. Capital New York On Monday, CNN, which already works on drone research with the Georgia Tech Research Institute, signed a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration, the government agency that regulates small unmanned aircraft systems.
NBCUniversal Is Using Big Data to Launch Its Audience Targeting Platform (Adweek)
After 18 months of development, NBCUniversal is leveraging third- and first-party data to create what the company is calling its Audience Targeting Platform. THR / The Live Feed At the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Thursday, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment announced that its entire suite of networks will now be holding off on ratings reporting until “live +3″ measurements (which include DVR and on-demand) are factored in. Those networks include Bravo Media, E! Entertainment, Esquire Network, Oxygen Media, Sprout, Syfy and USA Network. Variety This large group of networks joins FX, which last year became the first network to move away from \"same-day\" ratings and use \"live +3″ as a starting point for disseminating numbers to the press. Premium cablers HBO and Showtime have also adopted this stance. Deadline \"Increasingly, ‘live+3′ metrics are a more accurate reflection of the performance, appeal and reach of our networks’ original programs,\" said Liz Mahaffey, EVP, brand strategy for NBCU Cable Entertainment.
News Corp. Steps Up Security in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack (Capital New York)
In the wake of last week’s terrorist attack at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, News Corp. has taken steps in response to the massacre. The heads of two of the company’s operating units, Dow Jones and News U.K., issued memoranda to staff this week to allay safety concerns. Mashable Hackers have attacked 19,000 French websites in the aftermath of the raid on the office of Charlie Hebdo, according to France’s cyberdefense chief. The attacks were carried out by “more or less structured” groups, including some well-known Islamic hacking groups, Adm. Arnaud Coustilliere, head of the French Army’s cybersecurity department, told reporters on Thursday. HuffPost / AP Pope Francis said Thursday there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith. Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good. Recently the Vatican and four prominent French imams issued a joint declaration that, while denouncing the Paris attacks, urged the media to treat religions with respect.
New York Leads 2015 National Magazine Awards Nominations (Adweek)
Thursday, the American Society of Magazine Editors released the list of finalists for the 2015 National Magazine Awards (or “Ellies,” after the elephant-shaped statuette given to winners). For the second year in a row, New York magazine racked up the most nominations — 10 in total, including Magazine of The Year — for a single title. FishbowlNY Condé Nast is the most nominated media company, with 22 nominations. HuffPost A total of 66 outlets were nominated across two dozen categories, with publications competing for distinctions in everything from reporting to fiction to design to video. Better Homes And Gardens, Cosmopolitan, The Hollywood Reporter, New York and Vogue, however, are the five publications in the running for the group’s most esteemed award, Magazine of The Year. Bloomberg Businessweek, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Politico and The New Republic are also among the magazines to receive multiple nominations.
Meredith Long Promoted to Publisher of Time Magazine (FishbowlNY)
As announced Thursday by Time Inc., Meredith Long, who started with the magazine as a San Francisco-based account manager in late 2002, is Time magazine’s new publisher. Poynter / MediaWire Long, 38, began her 12-year career at Time as an account manager and has worked in the magazine’s offices in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to a release announcing her hire. In February 2013, she was promoted to her most recent position, executive director of West Coast operations. WWD / Memo Pad Long fills the gap left by former group publisher Jed Hartman, who departed the company in November for The Washington Post to become its chief revenue officer.
Gawker Media Merging Gizmodo, io9 Teams (FishbowlNY)
Few companies take themselves more seriously than Gawker Media. Case in point: Its announcement that Gizmodo’s team is merging with io9’s to form something called Future Initiative. Capital New York Gawker Media has promoted io9 editor Annalee Newitz to editor-in-chief of Gizmodo. As part of the transition, io9, Gawker Media’s science and science fiction blog, is being placed under the umbrella of Gizmodo, Gawker Media’s technology blog. Charlie Jane Anders, previously the managing editor of io9, has replaced Newitz as editor of the site. The 11 members of io9’s staff will join Gizmodo’s 22-strong team.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Extends Contract Through 2018 (THR)
Philippe Dauman has extended his contract as Viacom president and CEO for an additional two years, keeping him at the helm of the conglomerate whose assets include MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures through the end of 2018. Variety The extension for Dauman comes at a time when there’s much speculation about the future of Sumner Redstone’s media empire. Redstone, 91, is the controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS Corp. CBS chief Leslie Moonves set a deal last month to extend his prexy-CEO contract through June 2019.
Vimeo to Invest in Content From Disney’s Maker Studios YouTube Creators for Paid VOD (Variety)
Maker Studios has cut a deal with Vimeo to help some of its smaller YouTube creators cash in on their video fare — off of YouTube. Vimeo and Disney-owned Maker, the biggest YouTube multichannel network, have formed a partnership to provide tools to Maker’s network of 55,000 creators for distributing their content on Vimeo’s paid video-on-demand platform. Deadline The development deal somewhat echoes one announced last week between Vimeo and New Form Digital Studios, which calls for developing four online-based series this year from among 14 projects incubated last year by New Form with other YouTube creators.
Lucky Deputy Editor Gets Bumped to Exec Editor (FishbowlNY)
A source at The Lucky Group says that Leigh Belz Ray, who joined Lucky in August 2013, was just promoted from deputy editor to executive editor. Immediately before joining the shopping mag, Ray was the deputy editor at Time Inc’s People StyleWatch.
Obama to Host Selma Screening at White House (Variety)
The movie Selma may have scored only two Oscar nominations, but on Friday it will get a special distinction: A screening at the White House. President Obama is scheduled to host a screening of the movie, the latest in a line of Oscar contenders like last year’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and 2012’s Lincoln and Beasts of The Southern Wild to be shown in the White House.
Veteran Broadcasting Executive Jonathan Barzilay Named PBS COO (Deadline)
Jonathan Barzilay was named COO of PBS Thursday, the public broadcaster’s president and CEO Paula Kerger announced. Barzilay — a former executive at ABC, CBS, FLO TV and the Ford Foundation — most recently served as director, freedom of expression for the Ford Foundation, overseeing its global programs in media and arts and culture.
Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel Top Oscar Nominees (Variety)
Fox Searchlight soared on Thursday at the 87th Academy Award nominations after two of its films, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, led the field with nine nominations each. Both movies were also nominated for best picture. Adweek / Ad Freak Everyone’s favorite teenage M.D., Douglas Howser, will be the host of this year’s broadcast, and will certainly not disappoint like that shlub Neil Patrick Harris usually does. Kidding aside, the Oscars rolled out a 30-second spot Thursday featuring a little optical trickery to promote the show, which will air Sunday, Feb. 22, on ABC.
Natasha Vargas-Cooper Resigns From The Intercept, Heads to Jezebel (HuffPost)
Natasha Vargas-Cooper is leaving First Look Media’s The Intercept and joining Jezebel, the journalist announced on Twitter Thursday. Vargas-Cooper made headlines in recent weeks after landing an interview with Jay Wilds, a key witness in the murder trial of Adnan Syed who refused to speak with the popular WBEZ podcast Serial.
Huffington Post Adds Global Editorial Director (Poynter / MediaWire)
The Huffington Post, which has expanded its international presence in recent months, announced Thursday the creation of a new editorial position overseeing its global news operation.
In January of 1991, Jim Carrier authored a sweeping eight-part series for the Denver Post titled \"In Search of the Marlboro Man.\" He was, at the time, the paper’s Rocky Mountain Ranger, the kind of beat that just doesn’t exist anymore. As Carrier puts it in his current bio, the job of reporting on the American West ran him through “500,000 miles, 7,665 sunsets and 87 pairs of Levis.”
Carrier’s series culminated with the reporter, pre-Google and with Philip Morris going out of its way not help, tracking down the most iconic Marlboro Man of them all – Darrell Winfield (pictured). The Wyoming rancher, who did his first campaign for Leo Burnett and Marlboro in 1968, passed away this week at age 85.
Although Winfield was more than happy to spend time with Carrier, he told the reporter it could not be in the form of an interview. So Carrier put away the notebook and just soaked everything in. From the end of Part 8:
As we re-entered the [backyard] sweat lodge, I realized my search was over. I’d looked on the billboards, in the hat shops, in rodeo shutes and wide open ranges, in museums, books and and minds of the West for this Western man.
But I’d learned that who he was came not from his hat, his set on a saddle or – lest of all – the brand he smoked. The cowboy beside me was just one I’d found, and it had nothing to do with his looks.
What I’d been seeking was the soul of the West, embodied in its people. As the water was sprinkled and steam rose again, I knew I’d found the Malboro Man.
Thus culminated a daily newspaper series as authentically journalism old-school as Winfield was authentically Old West. RIP, Marlboro Man.
This week, FanDuel is hiring a PR manager, while DailyMail.com needs a homepage editor. NowThis is seeking a writer, and Latina Media Ventures is on the hunt for a managing editor. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.PR Manager FanDuel (New York, NY) Homepage Editor DailyMail.com (New York, NY) Writer NowThis (New York, NY) Managing Editor Latina Media Ventures (New York, NY) Account Executive, Native Advertising SheFinds Media (New York, NY)
Find more great NY jobs on the Mediabistro job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented media pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.
Few companies take themselves more seriously than Gawker Media. Case in point: Its announcement that Gizmodo’s team is merging with io9’s to form something called Future Initiative.
The sites — Gizmodo, io9, Sploid, Space and more — will remain separate, but the writers and editors will be collaborating on items. That’s the easy way to say it. Here is how Annalee Newitz, io9’s current editor and the person who will oversee Future Initiative, explained it:
“2015 is going to be a year for stories with depth. I want everyone in the Future Initiative working on longer, reported articles. That means getting out of the news hype cycle to do explainers on a regular basis, giving our readers and communities the fundamentals they need to understand the rapid pace of innovation happening now. Put another way: To get to the stars, we first need to understand human history and the scientific rules that govern our world.”
Oh boy. That sounds way more intense than editors and staffers working together on posts. Human history is pretty long! Right? Someone Google that for us.
But hey, let’s be nice here — maybe the tone of that note was necessary. Whatever floats your boat. There’s probably a more complicated way to say that.
TVNewser: Like most of the media, ABC News needs to rethink its use of “exclusive.”
FishbowlDC: If we didn’t have TMZ, we’d never know what Jimmy Carter thinks of Mike Huckabee’s beef with Beyoncé. Thank you, TMZ. Thank you.
GalleyCat: File this under “Cool Library Stuff” — The Morgan Library is hosting an Alice in Wonderland exhibit.
No more warm LA winter weather for Meredith Long. But being a native of Chicago and alum of the University of Colorado Boulder, she’ll have no problems adjusting to the NYC switchover. And what a breathtaking switchover this is.
As announced today by Time magazine, Long, who started as an account manager in 2003, is the publication’s new publisher. Since February of 2013, she has been serving as executive director, west coast. From today’s release:
Long, 38, will oversee the integrated sales and marketing operations across all platforms of one of the world’s largest news brands, with more than 70 million Time readers worldwide in print, online, mobile and social media. She will work closely with editor Nancy Gibbs to develop new growth opportunities and revenue streams for Time and all of its franchises and extensions. She will report to Evelyn Webster, executive vice president, Time Inc.
“Meredith’s deep industry relationships and creative energy make her an exciting sales and marketing leader for Time,” said Webster. “With a strong reputation for bringing innovative solutions to advertisers, she is the perfect partner to join Nancy Gibbs in further expanding the TIME brand, building on its impressive digital growth and creating new revenue opportunities.”
The appointment is effective immediately. For those of you keeping old media/new media score, the new publisher is 54 years younger than the magazine. Long replaces Jed Hartman, group publisher of Time, Fortune and Money, who recently left for the Washington Post.
A source at Condé Nast tells FishbowlNY that Leigh Belz Ray, who joined Lucky in August 2013, was just promoted from deputy editor to executive editor. Immediately before joining the shopping mag, Ray was the deputy editor at Time Inc’s People StyleWatch. She has also held editorial positions at Teen Vogue – working her way up from senior features editor to senior features director — and Elle, where she last held the title of associate editor.
Per our Adweek colleague Emma Bazilian, two things remain unchanged this year with regards to the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) roll call of National Magazine Award nominees:
1) New York magazine is the most nominated outlet (10 nods this year)
2) Condé Nast is the most nominated media company (22)
At the other end of this awards safari, a robust group is celebrating their very first inclusion. And within the magazine world, it’s as big a deal as what’s going on this morning on the west coast for Academy Award first-timers:
Eight publications made their Ellies debut this year, including California Sunday Magazine, Grantland, Kinfolk, Matter, Nautilus, Politico, Powder and Refinery29.
Congrats to all nominees. The ceremony will be held February 2 at the New York Marquis.
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we sent out questions to some of the illustrious folks who’ve previously occupied the FishbowlNY editor’s chair. Our first participant is Dylan Stableford, at FishbowlNY from 2005 to 2007 and currently a senior editor with Yahoo News.
Favorite FishbowlNY memory:
That’s a tough one, because there are many. I would say the brawl that nearly broke out at a book party for Toby Young at Soho House. Here’s part of my recap:
About midway through last night’s book party at New York’s Soho House — hosted by Nick Denton and Jared Paul Stern — in honor of Toby Young’s Sound of No Hands Clapping, Young’s wife, Caroline, broke up a near-brawl involving former New York Post gossip columnist Ian Spiegelman and New York Press writer and freelance gossipist Douglas Dechert. Spiegelman, the author of Welcome To Yesterday, approached Dechert before shoving him, sending part of Dechert’s drink onto onlookers. Young and his wife intervened shortly thereafter. Later, Spiegelman told us — and just about anyone who would listen — that a piece Dechert wrote got him fired from the Post, and that Dechert recently made scathing, \"borderline anti-Semitic\" comments about him. [The two have what some would call a history.]
An inebriated, rambling but surprisingly thorough Spiegelman said he shoved Dechert’s forehead multiple times after the two exchanged various pleasantries. [Check out Gawker photographer Nikola Tamindzik‘s rather excellent photos of the blessed exchange.] [EDITOR’S NOTE: We recorded a video interview with Spiegelman immediately after the altercation, which we will post shortly.]
Sadly, I can’t seem to find the video. But trust me, Spiegelman was thorough!
A standout FishbowlNY post, and why it was memorable:
I guess that would have to be the report I did from a book party for Arianna Huffington hosted by Tom Freston, then the just-ousted CEO of Viacom, at his New York apartment. I was taking photos of the party, including his massive walls of books and trinkets collected from his worldly travels. I think I even took a photo of his \"to-do\" list. (All of this stuff was out in the open, by the way. I didn’t go sneaking around his townhouse.)
Whenever I did a party report, my approach was to take readers inside the party. Fly-on-the-wall kinda thing. In this case, I guess I went too far. He got mad and threw me out, and it became its own media gossip story for about a day. We ran the photos, and then ended pulling most of them after Arianna called Laurel [Touby]. I remember seeing Nick Denton a couple days later and he congratulated me. At the time, it felt like The Godfather of Party Crashes giving me his blessing.
A media company or personality you especially enjoyed writing about:
The Jared Paul Stern scandal was especially interesting to cover. We broke some news on that and I ended up going on the CBC to explain to Canadian viewers what Page Six was and why Bill Clinton would’ve been on a plane with Ron Burkle and a bunch of models.
Again, there were so many, I can’t remember a specific one. I did get a lot of hate mail through the anonymous alias. I used to print the best out and post them above my desk. (They were often really well-written!) I’m not sure what that says about me, but it was a daily reminder that not everyone loves my writing as much as my mom.
Best party invite or FishbowlNY perk:
Hands-down, the Time 100 gala, the annual black tie event at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the \"100 most influential people in the world\" – and, um, me. Working in media in New York, you get invited to a lot of parties, and naturally tend to get jaded about them. You start going to VIP events and then realize there’s a VIP section within the VIP section. But at this one, everybody is a VIP, and everybody has to enter through the same red carpet and drinks at the same bar. I’ve never been to the Oscars, but I imagine it’s as close to that as a party in New York gets. Actually hang on, Diddy is calling me.
Thoughts about where FishbowlNY today fits in today’s much larger media landscape:
I’m not sure. I think it fills its role covering the fishbowl that is New York. When I was there, it was Gawker up here, then the Observer, Fishbowl, the Huffington Post, Radar, Jossip, Keith Kelly’s column and a bunch of others I’m forgetting which covered New York media obsessively. Now Gawker has gone mainstream, other sites have come and gone, and a select few (Fishbowl, the Observer, Capital New York) that are as obsessive as they were when I was there. So I think it fits in by fulfilling the promise of its name.
We have some advice for you: Embrace the drone overlords now. New proof that flying robots will one day blot out the sun is here. A coalition of media companies has announced that they are testing the technology for news gathering purposes.
The group includes Advance Publications, A.H. Belo Corp., The Associated Press, Gannett, Getty Images, NBCUniversal, The New York Times, E.W. Scripps Company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and The Washington Post.
“The AP is excited to join with these other leading media companies in exploring the safe and responsible use of drone technology for newsgathering purposes that further our understanding of current events,” said AP director of photography Santiago Lyon.
We’re all for “safe and responsible” drones! However, if you need us, we’ll be re-watching Terminator 2 for tips on how to deal with robots. That dude Edward Furlong had some good ideas.
(Editor’s note: As you can tell by the odd placement of images, there’s a bug in the new site. Apologies for the odd look, it should be fixed soon.)
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have Variety taking on Harper’s Bazaar.
Variety went with a trio of men trying to do the impossible: Convince everyone not to judge Better Call Saul against Breaking Bad. Good luck, fellas!
Harper’s Bazaar, meanwhile, has an equally difficult goal with its latest cover — convince everyone that the hat worn by Miranda Kerr is socially acceptable.
Editor’s note: We’re still working out the bugs on this new site. One of them, apparently, is that poll codes get stripped out. So! Please discuss this week’s Cover Battle with coworkers and loved ones. You could also leave a comment with your choice or tweet us. Thanks for reading! This will be sorted out by next Thursday’s battle.