The Yahoo sale might rake in more than we all thought it would. According to CNBC, the company has received multiple offers of $5 billion or more for its core businesses.
Suddenly, Verizon—which has been the frontrunner to acquire Yahoo from day one—is seemingly on the outside looking in. The telecom giant’s bid was rumored to be only around $3 billion.
Yahoo’s board will now consider all the bids, with the best entering the final round next week. The sale process is expected to conclude sometime next month.
BuzzFeed news editor Ben Smith wants everyone to know that the site’s news coverage isn’t going anywhere.
Amid rumors that BuzzFeed was focusing more on lucrative entertainment and video content and less on news, Smith pushed back.
“We’ve never seen news and entertainment as being in competition with each other,” Smith said, according to Politico. “Our experience is that people always want to know what is going on in the world, whether that’s news or entertainment or a mix of both.”
“News has always been a pillar of great media companies,” he added.
Two questions: 1) What did you think Smith was going to say? 2) BuzzFeed is a great media company?
The NewsGuild of New York has rejected the latest contract proposal from Time Inc. The contract would’ve covered staffers for SI, People, Time, Fortune and Money.
To make things more complicated, both sides are fighting over how many people voted. The NewsGuild said that the contract was rejected by an “overwhelming majority” of those voting. Time Inc., however, countered that voter turnout was low.
Our understanding is that only 15 percent of the Guild membership voted to reject our offer,” said Time Inc. executive vp and chief of human resources Greg Giangrande. “That’s a miniscule minority not an overwhelming majority.”
Time Inc. NewsGuild have been working without a contract since the summer of 2014.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, Vulture posted an interview with Noah Galvin, the star of ABC’s The Real O’Neals. Front and center were incendiary remarks about Bryan Singer, Colton Hayes and Eric Stonestreet.
As the day unfolded, portions of the 22-year-old actor’s remarks were picked up by Vanity Fair, Mic, Refinery29, People, The Huffington Post, TheWrap, International Business Times, The Advocate, Slate, Teen Vogue, Perez Hilton, Just Jared, Us Weekly and other outlets, sparking a flood of angry social media reaction.
By the end of the day, there was a heartfelt apology from Galvin, posted on social media and funneled to Vulture by 7:38 p.m.
Gawker’s Jordan Sargent is questioning why Vulture would be willing to scub clean from the interview the remarks made by Gavin about Singer, but as several readers quickly commented, that decision likely connects to swift action by the filmmaker’s attorney Marty Singer and the perception that a client was defamed. Put another way: this particular strand of the mutant media apocalypse was defeated by a the legal equivalent of Magneto.
In a cover story for the July/August issue of Scientific American Mind, neurologist David A. Bennett, the director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, explains how the concept “cognitive reserve” can help delay the symptoms of older-age dementia. Among the ways an ageing person can accumulate extra brainpower, he has found, is to maintain a sense of purpose in their life.
That’s why Barbara Singer is on the cover. As the magazine’s managing editor Claudia Wallis explains in her issue letter, the 89-year-old New Yorker embodies much of Bennett’s study findings:
Singer does it all. She exercises, eats right and brims with purpose. Modeling and acting (recently in a Woody Allen project) is her third career; she had been an X-ray technician and photographer. Devoted to learning, she has taken philosophy classes and consultations at New York City’s Aesthetic Realism Foundation for decades. She is also busy promoting the work of her late husband, photographer and poet Nat Herz. “I feel strong enough to keep going for at least another 10 years,” Singer told me.
Someone else, of her age, who has remained equally adept at finding purpose in life is of course Allen, now 80. The filmmaker is about to hit the 40th anniversary year of arguably his most fully realized work as Alvy Singer. A.k.a. Annie Hall. (Though not officially credited, Singer plays a member of a ladies book group in Allen’s upcoming Amazon series, appearing in several episodes.)
Singer has a wonderfully well-constructed website. Along with the Scientific American Mind cover, the page fronting her acting credits is another lively placeholder.
Cover image by Aaron Goodman courtesy: Scientific American Mind
The winners of the 10th annual Mirror Awards—which honor the best in media reporting—have been announced. Congrats to all.
Best Single Article – Traditional/Legacy Media:
Peter Elkind, “Inside the Hack of the Century” – Fortune
Best Single Article – Digital Media:
Celeste LeCompte, “Automation in the Newsroom” – Nieman Reports
Best Single Story – Radio, Television, Cable or Online Broadcast Media:
Matthew Billy, “I Want My MTV” – Between the Liner Notes
Taffy Brodesser-Akner, “Anchorman: The Legend of Don Lemon” – GQ
Frank Rich, “A Dumb Job” – New York
John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting:
Jonathan Mahler, “What Do We Really Know About Osama bin Laden’s Death?” – The New York Times Magazine
That was quick. One day after Paul Fichtenbaum announced he was stepping down as editor of the Time Inc. Sports Illustrated Group, the media company has named Chris Stone editorial director for Sports Illustrated, SI Kids and Golf.
Stone most recently served as managing editor of SI.
“It is exciting to have Chris take the reins of Time Inc.’s sports brands at this time,” said Rich Battista, president, Time Inc. Entertainment and Sports Group and Video. “He brings great vision to the nexus of content and the digital, social, video and experiential ecosystem. He offers a fresh perspective, and the ambition to experiment and innovate at a time when we are transforming these iconic brands into true multimedia, multi-platform businesses.”
Curt Brown retired from the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2014. But this week, he’s back in the newspaper’s pages with a very entertaining piece about some youthful indiscretion.
Back in 1981, Brown and his girlfriend stayed at the Lakeland Motel in Fergus Falls, Minn. during Memorial Day Weekend as he made his way to a summer job at newspaper the Fergus Falls Journal. On his way out of the establishment, the Macalester College student instructed Adele to grab a pillow from the room as a souvenir. A week later, this happened:
I opened the door to a uniformed Otter Tail County deputy and a plain-clothed detective who reminded me of Columbo.
“What can I do for you, fellows?” I asked, wondering what they might have spied me doing through the window.
“You have the right to remain silent,” the deputy said, reading my Miranda rights, all the while looking like Dudley Do-Right with his big hat and gun.
The detective, glancing at his small notebook, asked if I had a pillow, a pillow case and a towel removed from the Lakeland Motel. I fessed up and returned the bedding.
I was charged with misdemeanor theft and ordered to appear in Otter Tail County court before the honorable Judge Elliott Boe. I panicked and decided on a no-cover-up strategy. Watergate was less than a decade old. Lesson learned.
The rest of the column is a must-bookmark. We suggest reading it later tonight or one other evening, when you are safely resting in your bedroom, and against a pillow that is rightfully owned.
Image via: fergus-falls.mn.us
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have Sports Illustrated taking on Interview.
SI’s latest features a young Muhammad Ali flashing that trademark smile. No doubt he must’ve just finished telling the photographer how pretty/great he was.
Interview, meanwhile, features Haley Bennett battling a swarm of bugs. Good luck, Haley!
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
It is a measure of social media’s ubiquitous impact that at one point in the conversation between Newsday TV critic Verne Gay and Tom Brokaw, the Newsday TV critic asks, simply: ‘How’s Dave’s beard?’
Ahead of this Sunday’s On Assignment interview of Letterman by Brokaw featuring said facial hair (it is the former Late Night host’s first such conversation since retiring), here’s how Brokaw answered:
“The beard was trimmed. He cut it back so that he didn’t look like Walt Whitman… He said the reason he grew it is that from an early age, he had to shave twice a day, in the morning and then before air, and said, ‘I got so damn tired of doing it.’ Nobody else in the family likes it, and his son says it’s creepy. Everyone else complains, but Dave says, ‘it’s just dad.’”
Another intriguing answer from Brokaw picks up on Dave’s suggestion that CBS missed a great opportunity by not hiring a woman to replace him on The Late Show. The NBC newsman explains to Gay that he ran that notion by Sandra Bernhard following his conversation with Letterman, which was taped in Indianapolis during the Indy 500 weekend.
The Brokaw-Letterman interview airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET as part of Dateline NBC.
Huffington Post co-founder and editor Arianna Huffington has a new project: Thrive Global.
According to CNBC, the health and wellness startup will provide companies with workshops and certifications to help their employees live healthier lives.
In a memo to HuffPost staffers, Huffington explained that nothing will change on her end when Thrive Global launches in the next few months.
“The company will be run by a separate management team and my primary focus will remain on The Huffington Post, with no change to my current role,” said Huffington.
Another week, another big change for Salon.com. David Daley, its editor in chief since 2013, is moving on to become CEO and publisher of the Connecticut News Project.
The Connecticut News Project owns the CTMirror and its websites TrendCT and CT Viewpoints.
“We believe that David Daley has the vision, the knowledge and the experience to implement an ambitious growth strategy across both the editorial and business sides of the enterprise,” said Shelley Geballe, co-president of the News Project’s board of directors, in a statement. “He shares our goal of providing even-handed, unbiased reporting to every resident of Connecticut to inform their participation in the state’s civic life.”
This is just the latest shakeup at Salon, as a few weeks ago CEO Cindy Jeffers was replaced with Jordan Hoffner.
Suitably enough, a reporter from Chicago got the jump this morning on the latest casting news related to this fall’s Broadway revival of The Front Page, Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht‘s ode to late 1920s-era Chicago newsrooms. Per Tribune critic Chris Jones‘ item, joining the cast are Holland Taylor and Robert Morse.
The addition of Morse means that the actor who played Bertram Cooper on Mad Men will now be on the Great White Way boards this fall alongside the actor who played Roger Sterling. A development certain to spark ticket sales among fans of the AMC series:
“I’ve had a lot more ink in my veins since Spotlight,” Slattery said Wednesday, referencing the Oscar-winning movie set in the newsroom of the Boston Globe and speaking from Washington, D.C., where he said he had been testifying, alongside journalist Ben Bradlee Jr. on matters of copyright infringement. “There is some tough language in the play that would not now appear in a family newspaper like the Chicago Tribune, but this is still a romantic look at those great days when all the reporters fed off each other in the same room.”
Jones has been all over this story since March.
The original production of The Front Page opened Aug. 14, 1928 at the Times Square Theatre and has since been revived on Broadway three times. It was also the basis for a pair of Golden Era Hollywood films. This latest production, with Nathan Lane and a tweaked book leading the way, will start previewing at the Broadhurst Theatre Sept. 20 and open Oct. 20.
Image courtesy: shubertorganization.com
Twitter has named Ross Hoffman its vp of global media. Hoffman has been with Twitter since 2010, most recently as senior director of brand strategy.
“This year we’re focused on delivering on five product priorities—refining our core service, live-streaming video, creators, safety, and developers—as well as recruiting great talent,” a Twitter spokesperson told Recode. “We’ve successfully increased our shipping cadence on our core service and have asked some of our top leaders to take on key roles in the other priority areas.”
Prior to joining Twitter, Hoffman worked for YouTube.
TheSteet has named David Callaway its CEO. Callaway comes to the site from USA Today, where he served as editor in chief since 2012.
Prior to his time with USA Today, Callaway served as editor in chief, managing editor and executive editor of Marketwatch.
Callaway is succeeding interim CEO Larry Kramer, who will step down and resume his position as non-executive chairman of the board.
Kramer described Callaway as “a rare combination of a brilliant editor and sensational manager.”
The Huffington Post has hired S.V. Dáte as a senior political reporter focusing on the presidential campaign.
Dáte joins HuffPost from National Journal, where he served as White House correspondent. He previously worked for NPR.
“Shirish is a gifted, seasoned journalist who will be a wonderful addition to our newsroom,” wrote HuffPost senior politics editor Sam Stein, in a memo to staffers. “I can’t wait to see the work he will do for us on the trail, at the convention, and through the election.”
Paul Fichtenbaum, who has been with Time Inc. since 1989, is stepping down as editor of the Sports Illustrated Group. His last day is June 30.
Fichtenbaum first joined SI as a senior editor. He served as managing editor/editor in chief from 2004 to 2012 then was promoted to editorial director of the SI Group. Fichtenbaum was named editor of the group in late 2012.
“I have been with Sports Illustrated since I was a kid and after more than a quarter century, I decided it was time to explore new challenges,” said Fichtenbaum, in a statement. “We have been talking about this for a while and now is the perfect time to make the change.”
Time Inc. is expected to announce Fichtenbaum’s successor soon.
Having binge-watched this season’s episodes of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York during my recent bout with the flu, I was more than a little excited about today’s lunch with two of the series’ stars, Ryan Serhant and Luis D. Ortiz. Now in it’s fifth season, the show had its best ever ratings last week with a record-setting 1.9 million viewers tuning in to watch Ryan, Luis and Fredrik Eklund negotiate the tricky — and oh-so-lucrative — world of Manhattan real estate. “In New York, buying a 5 to 7 million dollar apartment, is still technically considered middle class,” Ryan told me, fully aware of how completely bizarre that sounds. Alrighty then.
For me, one of the most fascinating aspects of watching Million Dollar Listing New York is when the guys sell a property at some head-spinning sum and their commissions (often in the six figures) flash on the screen. For some Bravolebrities, insta-fame is the big payoff but for these guys, it’s all about the business. “You couldn’t buy this kind of exposure,” said Luis before Ryan interjected, “Well you could, but it would cost you a billion dollars.” Worldwide fame helps, too. “The show is huge in Australia. Fredrik told me when he was there the people at the airport went crazy and [makes Fredrik’s signature sound — Schwee!]”
Clearly, being on the show has been a boon for business. Ryan’s team at Nest Seekers International has sold over $630 million — just in 2015 and were ranked the No. 1 sales team in New York by The Wall Street Journal. Luis has sold over $100 million in residential real estate in the past three years.
Not everyone thought signing on to do a reality show about selling real estate was a good idea — at least at first. “In the beginning, there were people who were upset about [the idea of a show,]” said Luis. Ryan agreed. “Everyone said, ‘Don’t do it. It will destroy your business.”
Fast forward five years. Now potential clients come to meetings armed with screen grabs from episodes to illustrate what they expect for their own deals. “The show has changed the way people think about real estate,” said Luis. And it’s not surprising clients want to cast themselves in the best possible light. “They also say, ‘I’m not going to be that guy,'” said Ryan, referring to the guys’ notoriously difficult clientele.
Television has clearly given these guys a huge career boost, but trust me, their hardcore work ethic, desire to succeed (more on that later) and crazy charisma would no doubt have landed them on the top of the city’s food chain eventually.
I first ‘Lunched’ with Luis in 2014 when he arrived a full half hour early (“My father always said if you’re on time, you’re late”) and talked about how he “escaped” his native Puerto Rico when he was 16 and wound up working as a janitor at a community college in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Somehow, he landed in Manhattan real estate. “I’ve always been a guy without a plan,” he told me then. Maybe, but on camera, at least, he’s always on a mission. In a recent episode, Luis stuck his neck out by schlepping out to Brooklyn to track down one of the city’s biggest developers, who was watching a Brooklyn Nets game in a swanky suite at the Barclays Center with Luis’ boss, Douglas Elliman honcho Howard Lorber. While both men were watching the game, Luis somehow got the developer to reinstate the initial lower Schedule A price of 13.8 million (It’s all relative, right?) which had been offered to a prospective (and very difficult) client before the developer decided to up the ante while Luis was still trying to reel in the deal. All that was missing was the theme from Rocky.
I’d never met Ryan before (he didn’t make it to our earlier ‘Lunch,’) but I was intrigued by the always impeccably dressed (today he was sporting his off-duty casual look and some uncharacteristic stubble) fast on his feet broker, whose deft touch with extremely high maintenance clients has saved plenty of Million Dollar Listings from real estate oblivion. Born in Texas and raised in Massachusetts, Ryan came to New York in search of an acting career. He did some hand modeling (“I held phones for AT&T”) and logged four months on As the World Turns before the writers’ strike stymied the show and he wound up as the in-house rental agent for 99 John Street. In March 2010, his boss encouraged him to go to an open casting call for Million Dollar Listing and that, as they say, was that. “I don’t remember doing real estate before this show,” he told me.
This season, viewers have seen Ryan negotiate with unrealistic clients whose certainty that their properties are worth more than the markets says they are (One guess on who usually walks away the victor) and lock horns with Amy, a prickly co-listing agent who lambasted him in one episode for taking a call from a seller without bringing her into the conversation. She now works for Ryan. “I told her I don’t ever want to be on the other side of a deal opposite her again. I want to be able to sic her on other people.” Smart, huh?
I’ve interviewed my fair share of television ‘personalities’ and suffice to say reel life and real life personas rarely match up. I knew the Luis I met was the same laser-focused, sincere guy viewers love to root for on the show. I’m happy to report Ryan is as smart, quick and funny as you’d expect. And today, there was no bickering between brokers. The guys explained when it happens on the show “it’s business.” To hear Ryan tell it the three of them are bonded for life. “We’ve become a family. The three of us understand what this is in a way that no one else does.”
While the show has certainly helped their businesses, I was more interested in how it has affected their personal lives — which it certainly has.
Two weeks ago, the cameras followed Luis, who was in a celebratory mood after his victory at the Barclays Center, home to his empty apartment. His loneliness in the scene was palpable. Luis broke down in tears during his ‘confessional’ explaining that he often talks to an empty chair in anticipation of the woman he’s in love with — but hasn’t yet met. “My mother called me and asked,’ Why did you cry on television?'” recalled Luis blushing at the memory. “She said, ‘You have to protect your image.’ I said, ‘I’m human.'” A human now in receipt of over 600 letters and emails “from mothers who say their daughters would kill them if they knew they were writing to me to tell me they have the girl for me.” I’m guessing Luis won’t be talking to an empty chair for much longer.
For Ryan, his upcoming wedding on July 7 in Corfu, Greece to fiancée Emilia Bechrakis has given viewers a glimpse into his life beyond real estate. He told me it took a while for him to convince Emilia to be part of the show, but “now she’s okay with it.” Coincidentally, the wedding will take place the same night of the season finale, which I’m told, will have “a lot of drama.” You expected otherwise? “We’ll be huddled together somewhere in the village looking for wifi so we can watch it.” They’re planning to have 150 of their family and friends and have two wedding planners — one in New York and one in Greece — “We talk to both of them and then they fight with each other.” The church where the ceremony will take place is on a separate island. Before I could anything else, Bravo’s Imani Ellis stepped in said we couldn’t talk more about it because my former colleagues at People magazine have the exclusive.
Perhaps there’s a reality show about the newlyweds in the future? Ryan’s eyes lit up at the idea. “Put that in there!” he joked as we said our good-byes. I’m betting there are plenty of fans who’d tune in.
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1.Producer Freddie Gershon and pals
2. Cosmopolitan editrix Joanna Coles and Donna Lagani
3. Accessories maven Mickey Ateyeh with the fabulous Francisco Costa. I was thrilled to stop and chat with the former designer Calvin Klein designer, who told me he’s off to Brazil and the Amazon and “working on his next big move.” Bon Voyage!
4. Author Jay McInerney
5. Politico Ed Rollins and his wife, Shari Rollins, who was celebrating her birthday. Cheers!
6. Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer
7. Book seller Glenn Horowitz
11. Bisila Bokoko with a well-dressed gent I didn’t get to meet
12. Producer Joan Gelman (we’re ‘Lunching’ later this month), PR maven Judy Twersky (who has been responsible for some of my dishiest ‘Lunches’) and their pal, Cynthia Tian
14. Star Jones
15. A&E’s Nancy Dubuc
16. United Stations Radio’s Nick Verbitsky
17. Peter Price
18. LAK PR CEO Lisa Linden with Katherine Lemire, president of Lemire LLC, a compliance and risk management firm specializing in investigative due diligence and “complex” investigations for the public and private sectors. A little birdie told me Katherine was a formal federal prosecutor and assistant Manhattan DA. Impressive, no?
20. Beauty Fashion-Cosmetic World’s George Ledes and wife Christine Schott-Ledes.
21. Cablevision’s Charlie Schueler
23. David Blum
24. British Heritage Travel’s publisher Jack Kliger
26. Carl Peterson
27. Ryan Serhant, Luis Ortiz, Imani Ellis and yours truly
28. Gwen Norton
Diane Clehane is a FishbowlNY contributor. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.