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Covering the pulse of New York media
Updated: 6 min 1 sec ago

Deadspin Fooled by Fake News Site

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:30

Deadspin has been duped. In a post touting the addition of 3-on-3 Olympic basketball, Deadspin wrote “The IOC has officially added a new half-court 3-on-3 basketball event to the competitions to be held in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This rules.”

There is no doubt that 3-0n-3 Olympic basketball would uh, “rule.” However, this announcement was pulled from fake news site The Betoota Advocate. You’d think Deadspin would’ve easily realized that, given this paragraph included in the Advocate:

Spectators will be given the opportunity to watch the competition in the evenings, from the comfort of their own cars. It is proposed that each game be played in the evenings and the lighting will be complimented by the headlights on spectator vehicles that are to be surrounding the arena.

Pretty sure that would not happen.

Deadspin did eventually update their post admitting their mistake, so good for them. Now, on to more important matters — how do we get this 3-on-3 thing to actually happen?

Categories: News

Adele Dazeem, Meet Dick Poop

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:15
DickPopeOnSet

[Sony Pictures Classics]

Let it go? Sorry, but as Ricky Gervais so delightfully reminded at the Golden Globes, that’s not the way these things work.

The major upside-down highlight of this morning’s announcement in Beverly Hills of the 2014 Oscar nominees was Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs‘ struggles with the teleprompter. She woke up the crowd with a number of embarrassing stumbles, including calling Birdman “The Birdman” and Mr. Turner cinematographer Dick Pope “Dick Poop.” (That’s Pope, at right, pictured on set behind director Mike Leigh.)

Right now, many more entertainment reporters that could ever have been expected are scrambling to contact the Best Cinematography nominee. He’s British, and since the British generally like to have fun with this sort of thing, the reaction quote(s) from the 67-year-old DP should be good.

To use a few (other) titles in Pope’s credits list: Even though Isaccs’ stumble was Nothing Personal, more of just a Topsy-Turvy mistake, there’s no Walking Away from this for Pope. The masterful picture taker of Mr. Turner will be forever also known as Mr. Poop.

Pope’s work on Leigh’s movie about British painter J.M.W. Turner has “cogitated” his second Oscar nomination. He previously got the nod for 2006’s The Illusionist.

Categories: News

FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:00

NY_DN NY_NYT NY_NYP WSJ

(Images: Newseum)

Categories: News

Morning Media Newsfeed: Hebdo Ups Print Run | O’Reilly to Helm FNC Series

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:22
Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

Charlie Hebdo Post-Attack Issue Sells Out, eBay Bids Top $1,100 (THR)
What is being billed as \"the survivors’ issue\" of Charlie Hebdo will increase its record print run from 3 million to 5 million, distributor MLP said on Wednesday. Amid huge demand, copies of the issue also appeared on eBay in markets outside of France, with one auction on the U.K. version of the site reaching a price of more than $1,100. FishbowlNY Canada received five times more copies of Charlie Hebdo than the U.S. because unlike the U.S., where distribution of the French satirical magazine was halted in 2010, Canada has continued to carry the publication, mainly in Quebec. The U.S., which normally sees zero copies, will have 300 on hand by the end of the week. PRNewser The issue has prompted a debate about media ethics. Nearly every outlet around the world saw it as a reputation challenge: show the image of Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo cover, which repeats the \"offense\" that inspired the attack on the magazine by publishing a visual representation of the prophet Muhammad, or not? HuffPost In the aftermath of the attack, major news sites, including The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast, published some of the cartoons in question. The New York Times didn’t budge amid calls for solidarity and was joined in its decision last week by The Associated Press, most television news divisions and several major newspapers. But nearly all top U.S. newspaper editors reached a different decision on the matter of publishing the latest cover. The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post all published it in recent days. Mediaite It appears as though their squeamishness is not nearly as severe as that of media in the U.K. Hebdo writer Caroline Fourest appeared Wednesday evening on SkyNews to tout the magazine’s newest issue. The camera then panned out as Fourest reached for a copy of the magazine. The anchor then explained the decision to cut away: \"We at SkyNews have chosen not to show that cover, so we’d appreciate it, Caroline, not showing that.\" WSJ Additionally, French prosecutors Wednesday ordered stand-up comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala to stand trial next month on criminal charges of being an apologist for terrorism, after he appeared to express solidarity with one of the gunmen who stunned France last week.

Bill O’Reilly Is Executive Producer of Upcoming FNC Series (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel has announced a new 10-week series, Legends & Lies: Into The West, which will be executive produced by Bill O’Reilly. The first episode airs on April 12 at 8 p.m. ET. THR The series will tackle different figures of the American West — including Jesse James, Davy Crockett, Doc Holliday and Billy The Kid. “We are thrilled to present our viewers with insight that defined the West’s past and pay tribute to some of the most notorious American trailblazers,” said FNC senior exec VP Bill Shine of the pickup. Variety Two original episodes will run back-to-back for the premiere week, with brand new episodes debuting every following Sunday. Legends & Lies will also be presented during additional weekend slots including Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET and on Sundays. The documentary-style series is produced by Warm Springs Production, which is known for such programs as History’s Mountain Men, Animal Planet’s American River Renegades and HGTV’s Log Cabin Living. Capital New York During its 10-week run, the replays of the show will be taking over a time-slot that had been occupied by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s eponymous program. Huckabee announced that he was parting ways with FNC to pursue a possible presidential bid.

Rosie Perez to Exit The View (Variety)
After only four months on The View, Rosie Perez is leaving the ABC morning show. Mediaite Perez joined The View alongside existing moderator Whoopi Goldberg, returning co-host Rosie O’Donnell and newcomer Nicolle Wallace last fall. Deadline ABC News tried to shoot down a report of Perez’s departure Wednesday afternoon, issuing this statement: \"Rosie Perez is currently in rehearsal for her Broadway play for the month of January. Her status with the show has not changed.\" When ABC announced back in September that Perez had been hired for its daytime talker, it was explained that the actress previously had signed on to co-star opposite Larry David in the Broadway production of Fish in The Dark, produced by Scott Rudin, and would take off the month of January from The View for rehearsals, returning next month. TheWrap According to an insider, the network has reached the conclusion that it has steered the panel too old. ABC now wants to look at replacements for Perez who appeal to young viewers. Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox and Glee alum Naya Rivera are on the preliminary short list.

Carlos Slim Could Become Top NYT Shareholder (FishbowlNY)
Carlos Slim, the 74-year-old Mexican billionaire, could become the largest shareholder of The New York Times if he exercises his options by Thursday’s deadline. NYT Slim has more than doubled his stake in The New York Times Company, to nearly 17 percent, the company said on Wednesday. Slim exercised warrants to acquire nearly 16 million shares of the company’s Class A stock at a price of over $6.36 a share, the company said, increasing his stake from 7 percent. He now owns nearly 28 million shares in total. New York Post / Media Ink Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson said the Times would use the money from the stock sale for a one-time stock repurchase program.

DOJ Tweaks Its Own Rules on When to Subpoena Press (HuffPost)
The Justice Department is revising guidelines that spell out when federal prosecutors can seek information from and records of reporters in a move intended to expand high-level review before subpoenas and warrants are issued, attorney general Eric Holder announced Wednesday. Minneapolis Star Tribune / AP The revisions affect guidelines for obtaining records from the news media during criminal leak investigations, removing language that news organizations said was ambiguous and requiring additional levels of review before a journalist can be subpoenaed. The updated policy revises protocols announced last year amid outrage among news organizations over Obama administration tactics. Politico / Josh Gerstein A phrase that limited protections to individuals engaged in “ordinary newsgathering activities” is being changed to simply say “newsgathering activities,” undercutting prosecutors’ ability to argue that the techniques a journalist was using to gather information were so unorthodox as to be unworthy of consideration under the department’s policy.

Iran Court Studies Case of Detained Washington Post Bureau Chief (The Washington Post)
Iranian judiciary authorities have referred the case of a detained Washington Post journalist to Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, a news agency reported Wednesday, in a move that appears to set the stage for a review before a possible trial. Poynter / MediaWire Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, told al Arabiya English Wednesday that Jason Rezaian’s case was \"a judicial matter,\" and that the government was \"doing its best\" to intervene on his behalf. Rezaian, who was arrested with his wife in July, was formally charged in December, although the court has not made the charges public. HuffPost / AP The report by the official IRNA news agency came the same day as U.S. secretary of state John Kerry met with Zarif before talks with world powers resume over the Islamic Republic’s contested nuclear program. It wasn’t immediately clear if the two events were connected, though Zarif earlier said he hoped the case against Rezaian could be “resolved.”

Jim Cantore Joins Sam Champion’s Morning Show (TVNewser)
Long-time Weather Channel meteorologists Jim Cantore and Jennifer Delgado will be joining Sam Champion on the network’s three-hour morning show, AMHQ. Deadline Cantore’s gig starts Jan. 26, and The Weather Channel in its release promised he won’t be tethered exclusively to the studio — good news for fans of his on-the-scene reporting that has made him the network’s most popular weather honcho. \"While Jim will be in the studio regularly for AMHQ, the minute severe weather threatens, he will be out in the elements providing his insights and expertise,\" Champion said. Variety The Weather Channel is also expanding the program to weekends.

Seventeen Names Exec Editor (FishbowlNY)
Seventeen has named Joey Bartolomeo executive editor of the magazine. Bartolomeo comes to the magazine from Self. Prior to her time at Self, Bartolomeo was a senior writer at People and Us Weekly. She begins Feb. 2 and will report to Seventeen’s editor-in-chief Michelle Tan. WWD / Memo Pad In 2013, Bartolomeo served as entertainment and features director at Self when it was helmed by then-editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger. A year later, Self had undergone a shakeup under newly installed editor-in-chief Joyce Chang, who came from Joanna Cole’s Cosmopolitan. Recently Coles, Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief, added the title of editorial director of Seventeen, with Tan reporting to her.

Study: 53 Percent Shun Movie Theaters, Citing High Ticket Prices (THR)
Was 2014’s 5 percent slump in domestic box-office revenue an aberration or the start of a trend? A new PricewaterhouseCoopers survey reveals that about 25 percent of American consumers say they saw fewer movies in a theater in 2014 than they did in 2013, primarily due to rising costs. Variety Fifty-three percent of moviegoers tell PwC that the reason they don’t see more movies is that it costs too much in theaters, while 30 percent say they prefer to watch them on their own schedule and 29 percent prefer to spend their money on other recreational activities. For the first three quarters of 2014, the average ticket price was $8.12, according to information provided by the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Print Book Sales Rose 2.4 Percent (GalleyCat)
Think eBooks are killing print book sales? Think again. According to the latest metrics from Nielsen BookScan, unit sales of print books rose 2.4 percent in 2014. This accounts for more than 635 million units sold.

Rupert Murdoch Walks Back Tweet About ‘All Muslims’ (Mediaite)
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch Wednesday apologized (well, sort of) for his controversial tweets saying all Muslims should be held accountable for radical acts of Islamic terrorism. Murdoch subsequently fell on the receiving end of much ridicule last week, from The Daily Show, comedian Aziz Ansari, and yes, even the grand purveyor of Hogwarts herself, J.K. Rowling.

U.K. Creative Industries Worth Record High to Local Economy in 2013 (THR)
The U.K.’s creative industries were worth $117 billion to the local economy in 2013, a record high, buoyed by a surge in film and TV. The figure rose 9.9 percent on 2012’s figures, with the industry growing three times faster than the wider U.K. economy.

WSJ Alums Fete John Quincy Adams Book Author And Zinczenko’s Latest Best Seller (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
Sometimes a Wednesday at Michael’s is all about bold face names and celebrities (not that I’m complaining, mind you) and sometimes I can barely wrap my head around the brain power (let alone ambition) contained in one room.

Imax Delays Game of Thrones Launch to Jan. 29 for Bigger Theater Roll-Out (THR)
Imax and HBO are delaying by one week the big screen treatment for Game of Thrones to bump up the number of theaters for the roll-out. The final two episodes from season four of Game of Thrones will now debut on Thursday, Jan. 29, followed by the worldwide debut of the series’ season five sneak-peek preview created exclusively for Imax.

Maryland Court to Decide on Serial’s Adnan Syed’s Appeal (Mediaite)
Adnan Syed’s hopes of ever getting out of prison currently hang in the balance of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The man who was the subject of the massively popular Serial podcast, which raised doubts about his guilt in the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend, high school student Hae Min Lee, currently has his final state appeal in the hands of that court.

Adweek Blog Network

FishbowlNY Our Interview with Lea Ann Leming, Chief Content Officer at SheKnows Media

TVNewser Jim Cantore Joins Sam Champion’s Morning Show

TVSpy Former WBZ Anchor Called as Potential Juror in Marathon Bombing Trial

Lost Remote How ‘AVG Male Magazine’ Tumblr Will Complement New Show \"Man Seeking Woman\"

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FishbowlDC Our FishbowlDC Anniversary Interview with Patrick Gavin

GalleyCat Kate Beaton Inks Deal with Drawn + Quarterly

PRNewser Newest Issue of Charlie Hebdo Prompts Media Ethics Debate

AgencySpy Virgin Atlantic Hands Figliulo & Partners North American Creative Duties

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Categories: News

WSJ Alums Fete John Quincy Adams Book Author | Zinczenko’s Latest Best Seller

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 01:16

lunch_350Sometimes a Wednesday at Michael’s is all about bold face names and celebrities (not that I’m complaining, mind you) and sometimes I can barely wrap my head around the brain power (let alone ambition) contained in one room. Today was one of those days. When my friend Betsy Perry asked me to attend a lunch she was giving for her aunt Phyllis Lee Levin, celebrating the publication of her latest book, The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams (Macmillan), I had no idea I’d be sitting with a who’s who in journalism and some of the most interesting folks I’ve chatted with in a long, long time. The lively, collegial group at Table One included a Pulitzer Prize winner (Manuela Hoelterhoff), best-selling authors (John SearlesWill Schwalbe)the former publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones CEO (Les Hinton), a revered editor (Mandi Norwood) and some seasoned politicos from both sides of the pond. If I had my druthers, I’d still be there asking everyone at the table every question I could think of, but in service to you, faithful “Lunch” reader, I offer this week’s dispatch of dish from 55th and Fifth.

Diane Clehane, Phyllis Levin and Betsy Perry

Diane Clehane, Phyllis Levin and Betsy Perry

Phyllis’ new book is the culmination of a decade’s work. “When I’m doing a book, I have to work every day,” Phyllis told me. “I’m not one of those people who can go out to lunch and talk about other things when I’m doing a book. I’m not a multitasker.” But she is an incredibly inspiring and charming woman whose impressive career spans several decades, starting out as editor of the iconic college board issue of Mademoiselle to a long career in the women’s news department at The New York Times. “They called it the ‘women’s pages’ then with fashion and recipes,” said Phyllis. She went on to work “part-time” for Vogue for many years (“Those jobs paid so little you had to have money or live at home to do them, which seems to be what’s happening now in a lot of places’). Besides the obvious status the job at Condé’s top title conveyed, she recalled with a feisty twinkle in her eye, “It was quite a nice job for woman with four children — as my husband often liked to remind me.” I asked Phyllis, who was a working woman in New York City at a time when the ‘work/life balance’ of women wasn’t constant fodder for a self-congratulatory blogosphere, what she thought of the current climate, where the minutiae of motherhood is endlessly written about and discussed. She said simply, “It’s boring!” then added, “Everyone is so serious — but I do think it’s harder than ever to have a career and raise children.” No argument here.

In her second act as an independent historian, Phyllis’ work has been characterized by lively, empathetic writing grounded in meticulous research. In her previous books, including Abigail Adams: A Biography (St. Martin’s Press) and Edith and Woodrow, she spent many hours analyzing the important roles of two very different women in American history and told me that examining the role the family played in shaping John Quincy Adams made for a much more nuanced and interesting portrayal in her latest project. When she examined the official memoir of her subject at the Historical Society she found that “all the personal observations and neuroses were removed by the family’s historians” because, she explained, “That was the style then.” Delving into his voluminous writings, Phyllis told me she uncovered a more well-rounded and sympathetic look at the man “who has been written off as a one-term president and a cranky one at that.” On January 29, C-SPAN will be covering Phyllis’ talk about the book at the Massachusetts Historical Society. If you want to get a look at terrific role model for women — and men — of all ages, tune in. I know I will be watching.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Guest of honor Phyllis Lee Levin, presiding over a table full of underachievers, including her adoring niece (and my friend) journalist Betsy Perry; Les Hinton and his wife Kath Hinton, adviser to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Home Secretary David Blunkett, who has written for The Daily Telegraph; Manuela Hoelterhoff; Niche Media’s SVP/editorial director Mandi NorwoodJohn Searles (Help For the Haunted, Boy Still Missing), who moonlights as a book critic; Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Bookclub); editorial director/EVP for Macmillan and founder of Cookstr and Kate Levin (Phyllis’ daughter), principal Cultural Assets Management/Bloomberg Associates and former Commissioner Cultural Affairs NYC for the Bloomberg Administration; and yours truly. I learned all kinds of interesting factoids about my dining companions (Kath became a U.S. citizen last year. Congrats!) but time is short…

2. Andrew Stein and an attractive gal we didn’t recognize that hobbled in on crutches

3. “Mayor” Joe Armstrong and David Zinczenko, who is starting the new year off going great guns. The guys were celebrating Dave’s latest book, The Zero Belly Diet, which  hit No. 1 on Amazon last weekend. Dave has been making the rounds to promote it far and wide with appearances on “The View” and Toronto’s “The Marilyn Denis Show.” And he’s off to Palm Springs at the end of the month to speak on the main panel at The Clinton Foundation’s Annual Summit, which will be focused on veterans’ health issues. Congrats!

4.  Discovery ID’s Henry Schleiff, looking very collegiate and dashing in his fuchsia V-neck sweater

5. Allen & Co.’s Stan Shuman with, so we’re told, Rupert Murdoch‘s investment banker

6. Dr. Gerald ImberAndy Bergman and Michael Kramer

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia, who stopped by our table to grab a quick snapshot of Phyllis

9.  Louis Vuitton’s Nancy Murray

11. Patrick Murphy with Aon’s Pam Newman

12. Michael Kassan

14. Simon & Schuster’s Alice Mayhew

15. Laurie Tisch

16. PR maven extraordinaire Judy Twersky with Cathy Vasapoli (Paul Shaffer‘s wife) and two other fabulous friends

17. Amy Kliger, who was kind enough to introduce me to her guest, Joan Breibart, founder of the PhysicalMind Institute. Joan, you should know, virtually started the Pilates boom in 1991 when she introduced the first Pilates certification program in the States. No wonder she looked so tranquil.

18. LAK PR’s CEO Lisa Linden (who I “Lunched” with last week) with Joel Moser and Charles Millard. Lisa was wearing a gorgeous pair of aquamarine earrings by designer Judy Geibe “in honor of the launch of Joel’s Aquamarine Investment Partners fund.” Just thought you’d like to know…

20. Producers Joan Gelman and Sandy Pearl

21.  Quest‘s Chris Meigher, with an elegantly appointed lady in brown tweed (but of course!) and social fixture R. Couri Hay

22. Howard Meitiner of Phoenix House

23. Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan

24. Christine Falcone of the World Economic Forum

25. Michael Peterman (Holly Peterson‘s brother)

26. Leesa Rowland

27. Billy Kimball

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

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Categories: News

Tom Hanks Fondly Remembers Chabot College

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 23:45

ShutterstockTomHanks2014CriticsChoiceAwardsIt’s not nearly as dramatic as the time Tom Hanks outed his Oakland high school drama teacher from the Philadelphia Best Actor stage.

Still, the two-time Oscar winner’s New York Times Op Ed about the lasting value of a Community College education is well worth reading. Mainly because it reminds just how effortlessly this guy can spin a tale.

Hanks remembers, very fondly, the flight-attendant-slash-fellow-student who gave him rides to class one week. He also outlines, in the shadow of President Obama’s free tuition proposal, some very specific examples of how he applied what he learned at Chabot College:

I produced the HBO miniseries John Adams with an outline format I learned from a pipe-smoking historian, James Coovelis, whose lectures were riveting. ..

In Herb Kennedy’s Drama in Performance, I read plays like The Hot L Baltimore and Desire Under the Elms then saw their productions. I got to see the plays he taught, through student rush tickets at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Those plays filled my head with expanded dreams. I got an A.

The best part of this NYT guest contribution is how it brings Hanks full print-circle. You see, it was while at Chabot that he first picked up a copy of the Times, becoming quickly frustrated with the paucity of comic strips.

[Photo of Hanks at 2014 Critic’s Choice Film Awards: DFree/Shutterstock.com]
Categories: News

Media Minutia

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 23:00

SocialTimes: A study found that the number of UK teens using Twitter has declined. How will they all survive?

TVSpy: Pittsburgh-based meteorologist Dennis Bowman is retiring after 43 years of telling the city’s residents that it’s going to be cloudy.

LostRemote: A new FX show has a companion Tumblr. Hey, might as well try everything.

Categories: News

Dan Patrick Set to ‘Put a Bow’ on Letterman Appearances

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 22:45

lateshowThe ongoing and heavily milked well of Dan Patrick‘s professed angst about appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman rolls on.

Patrick will be back on the program tomorrow night for a final time, closing out a string that started in 1999. The only problem: in-between his last appearance (2012) and Thursday, Letterman called Patrick a “stooge” while chatting with Adam Sandler, who loves to gift Patrick with movie cameo roles.

Given that Patrick’s neurosis about doing Letterman is worthy of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it’s fitting that the lead guest tomorrow night will be Larry David. We’re looking forward to the shenanigans and agree whole-heartedly with Patrick that Dave’s “two footballs” gag wasn’t funny the first two times.

As Patrick and the Danettes debated this morning on the radio show the pros and cons of one more trip to the Ed Sullivan Theater, Seton stressed it made sense for DP to “put a bow” on this on-air relationship.

Categories: News

So What Do You Do, Lea Ann Leming, Chief Content Officer for SheKnows Media?

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 21:36

Lea-Ann-Leming_smWhen Lea Ann Leming says her best advice is “be fearless in your career choices,” she’s sharing some tried and tested wisdom. Years ago, when she was unsure of where her career was heading, she took the risk of trading a graduate program at the University of Chicago for an internship in the media industry — a bet that has clearly paid off. Leming’s willingness to try her hand at untested ventures is a quality that has carried her to successful heights throughout her career, from her auspicious start at CNN as a founding member of CNN.com at the dawn of the Internet age to the numerous thriving digital businesses she has co-created and launched. Now, at the leading women’s media group SheKnows Media, she is spearheading dramatic changes within the company — the platform already has more than 75 million unique page views a month across its five brands — as it swells in size and reach, with the bonus of fulfilling her mission of “identifying and developing talent” (through staffing and SheKnows’ Experts Among Us blogger program) and making a difference in women’s lives.

Here, Leming revisits her early career and discusses SheKnows’ steady achievements.

Name: Lea Ann Leming
Position: Chief content officer, SheKnows Media
Resume: Began her career as founding member of CNN.com and CNNfn.com (now CNNMoney). Was VP of content strategy and news features for CNN Interactive in 2001, then a VP of strategic planning for Turner Broadcasting in 2002, where she helped develop the premium gaming service, GameTap. As a founding member of Turner’s New Products Group in 2004, she co-created new digital businesses like TheFrisky, CNNgo and Eatocracy. Went on to launch HLNtv.com as the head of HLN Digital. Joined ABC News Digital as an executive producer in 2012 and SheKnows Media as chief content officer in 2014, where she oversees content from its brands and influencers, social media and the Emmy-award-winning SKM Video Studios.
Birthday: “I’m old enough to have worked on the launch of CNN.com in 1995.”
Hometown: Knoxville, TN
Education: Bachelor’s in English from University of Tennessee
Marital status: Coupled
Media mentors: Scot Safon, CMO and EVP of The Weather Channel; Betty Cohen, founding president of Cartoon Network. “I can’t claim him as a mentor, per se, [but] Ben Sherwood, who ran ABC News when I was there, is my model of impeccable leadership.” (“Each of these people is wildly smart, a visionary, ethical, kind and, most of all, actively encourage ideas from all levels of an organization.”)
Best career advice received: “Your job is not your life,” from Maggie Bellville, VP of Hitachi Consulting, Inc., former executive at Cox and Charter Communications
Guilty pleasure: “Real estate. I can look at houses and apartments online for hours. [Another] guilty pleasure of mine is — even though I don’t work in television news right now — TVNewser. I still go there several times a day.”
Last book read: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Twitter handle: @laleming

Throughout your career, how did you develop the qualities that led you to becoming a visionary and the person spearheading the launch of products?
At the beginning it was happenstance. And then it was curiosity. I actually met somebody at a party in Atlanta and she worked at CNN and said, “There’s this new division called CNN Interactive and you might want to check in with them.” She hooked me up with a friend who introduced me to the head of CNN Interactive, and at that point CNN Interactive was honestly like some forums and CD-ROMs. The guy that became my boss said I was the first writer ever hired for CNN Interactive, which is now CNN Digital. By the time I joined, we changed direction and were building CNN.com. That was the very early days [of] consumer Internet and there weren’t a lot of models to look to in terms of what a news website should look like and what roles people should play. We made mistakes along the way but, ultimately, we also built great stuff and a great team. It was all about experimentation and trying things.

Then during the first Internet bust, I moved over into corporate strategy at Turner Broadcasting and that was a major, major change for me as somebody who was primarily editorial in background. It was a very hardcore MBA training on the job and that’s where I learned all about how you program and position news networks. And through the course of my work there — which involved  creating new network strategies as well as gaming strategy for CartoonNetwork.com — we developed a new gaming business called GameTap and then worked on the launch of a whole new division for Turner called the New Products Group, where our sole focus was developing and launching new businesses. That’s where we launched TheFrisky.com for women and a food vertical Eatocracy.com and an international site for CNN. It’s about curiosity and passion and not being afraid to fail and liking to identify talent.

Imagine that you had to mentor yourself early in your career. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself?
I would tell myself not to worry so much. I think that especially younger people in their careers think there are a lot of wrong paths or wrong decisions. And so when they’re trying to make a decision about “Should I stay with this job or not” or change companies or change cities, a lot of times people just worry too much. I would just say — probably like Maggie Bellville told me — your job is not your life. And there are very few wrong decisions — as long as you’re not damaging yourself, someone else or your brand. [With] time I’ve just become much more confident in trying a variety of things.

How have you succeeded in your goals of unifying the SheKnows brands across digital and mobile and increasing video content production?
I’ve actively hired terrific talent for SheKnows. A couple of SheKnows hires include: Amy Boshnack, from Café Mom’s The Stir, [who’s] our editor-in-chief now for SheKnows.com and Melissa Haggerty, our video head who’s worked at Condé and Sundance. I was fortunate enough to get Laurel Pinson, who is the editor-in-chief of the StyleCaster brand, as part of our team when we acquired StyleCaster earlier this year.

And then in terms of evolving SheKnows… we’ve changed our look and feel. We’ve also changed our coverage and our voice. I very much wanted a site that was participating in the conversation. There’s a wide array of things that we’re talking about. And I definitely feel like our site and our coverage is extremely dynamic. We hired a terrific social editor who had been at HLN — a woman named AJ Willingham. We hired a terrific parenting editor, Eve Vawter, who was editor-in-chief of Mommyish.com. Putting these different people together has created in itself a robust conversation.

On the video front, there [are] some great things that we’re launching. We are developing new programs, we’re lining up new talent. We’re going to have some pretty big announcements about how we’ll be working with bloggers and experts and influencers. And StyleCaster will have a large role in that process. Of course BlogHer [recently acquired by SheKnows] has given us — we’re now number one in women’s social media — huge reach to amplify social conversation and distribute video.

What advice do you have for bloggers or experts who want to become a part of the SheKnows network? How do they make themselves stand out?
I think that, first of all, there [are] so many incredibly talented people who maybe haven’t found the perfect platform yet. I would say just reach out to us. We’re very hands on and approachable. Probably the most fun part of my day is when I get to talk to people who are interested in contributing. It’s just being able to speak in an authentic manner about something that’s important to you. I’ll give you an example of one of my friends. He and his wife take their three kids to the Atlanta Pride Parade every year. [It’s] something he feels very strongly about. So they wrote and submitted beautiful photos of the kids. Be willing to put yourself out there and believe that you have something to contribute.

SheKnows has stated it wants to be much more in tune with advertisers and be a leader in terms of expressing what the female buyer wants in the marketplace. What have you gleaned from your audience?
We did a Fem-vertising survey among our users in October. Something that was interesting to me is that like 92 percent of the responders were aware of at least one pro-female ad campaign — for instance, Dove “Real Beauty.” And 47 percent, or just under half, have shared a commercial or a print advertisement with a pro-female message. And nine out of 10 women believe how women are portrayed in advertising has a direct impact on girls’ self-esteem. That’s a huge number. I think as women we can say that, yeah, we probably agree with that, right? That’s a trend in advertising, in general, which I love — positive portrayals of women and girls. I think what our users are telling us is: “We appreciate and we’ll share messages from brands that we agree with. We like to see advertising that puts women in a positive light and/or really in a straightforward way addresses the challenges that we as women still have in our society.”

Janday Wilson is a storyteller based in the greater New York City area. You can find more of her work at jandaywilson.com.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Categories: News

Frank O. Smith and the Railroad Tramp

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 21:00

DreamSingerCoverJournalists sometimes get grief for asking an actor what drew them to a role, or querying an author about the inspiration for a book.

But you know what? Every once in a while, that generic set-up produces a spectacular payoff. From the top of a Q&A by South Maine weekly newspaper reporter Kate Irish Collins with locally based author Frank O. Smith.

Q: What gave you the idea for Dream Singer and what is it about?

A: I wrote two freelance magazine feature stories about riding freight trains. The first was about crossing the continent by train. The second was about riding freights in the Pacific Northwest where I met a tramp who was a Modoc Indian. I traveled with him for two weeks. He told me a story about a murder in a rail yard, which became the seed for Dream Singer. But it was the tramp, whose rail name was Lonesome Walt, who became the real inspiration for the book.

Collins spoke to Smith on the heels of Dream Singer being named a \"Notable Book of the Year\" by respected independent book review magazine Shelf Unbound and being in the running for the latest Bellwether Prize. The author and Maine College of Art professor tells Collins he has four-five other novels in “the drawer” and has been deciding at the beginning which one of those to get back to work on.

Smith’s answer to Collins’ second question, asking how long it took him to write the book, is equally memorable. Read it here.

[Jacket cover courtesy: Artisan Island Press]
Categories: News

How FBNY’s Lunch Column Came to Be

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 19:51

FishbowlNY_10-yearsWhen Mediabistro’s intrepid founder Laurel Touby told Kurt Andersen she was launching a new media-centric site, he told her he’d read a list of who ate at Michael’s every week — and the \"Lunch\" column was born. (Here’s our very first post.)

What was once just a list of names and table numbers with a diagram of Michael’s floor plan has evolved into the gossip column it is today.

DrOzDianeClehaneI started doing \"Lunch\" in 2006 when Dorian Benkoil, a former Mediabistro editor, asked me if I’d take a stab writing up the weekly list of who’s who in media after we’d met at the restaurant on a day when I happened to know a lot of folks in the dining room. I was a new mom with a baby at home and figured, why not? For one day a week when I wasn’t hanging on by my fingertips at Gymboree, I’d mix and mingle with Manhattan’s famous and fabulous. I had no idea what I was in for.

Diane Clehane and Lesley Nicol

Looking back over nine years and some 300 columns, I’ve had a blast breaking bread with a head-spinning roster of media mavens, moguls and bold face names. Every Wednesday, there are so many tasty tidbits that come my way, I can barely squeeze them into one column. Some of my favorite \"Lunches\" have been with Dr. Mehmet Oz (who chose the column for his first sit down about his eponymous Hearst title), genetic wonders Naomi Campbell, Coco Rocha and Karolina Kurkova (when they were forced to play nice while working together on \"The Face\") and Lesley Nichol aka Mrs. Patmore on \"Downton Abbey\" (who was game enough to recite lines with me!) Last summer, I could barely believe Outlander author Diana Gabaldon when she told me how a dare to herself (she wanted to see if she could write a book) spawned one of the best-selling series of all time.

Happy anniversary, Fishbowl! Here’s to another year of dining and dishing with the A-list at Michael’s because \"Lunch\" is never just about lunch.

Categories: News

Wired Editor Wants Staff to Stop Being Disgusting

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 19:45

Prior to Wired’s move into new offices on January 5, editor Scott Dadich felt he needed to address cleanliness. It seems Wired staffers are sort of gross and needed to be reminded to not be that way.

In a memo, Dadich gently scolded staffers like a parent would reprimand a teenager — he’s not mad, he’s just disappointed. Below are some highlights of the memo. You can read the full note at The Awl.

“Clean your dishes, and please remove the food from your dishes from the sink.”

This is something most people learn at age nine, but alas.

“I love your custom-made/vintage/neon sign/one-of-a-kind lighting appliance. But it’s not right for the design of this new space. Please use the brand-new desk lamp we just purchased for you.”

Something tells us Dadich does not actually love those lighting appliances.

“It’s an embarrassment: coffee stains on walls (and countertops and desks), overflowing compost bins, abandoned drafts of stories and layouts (full of highly confidential content), day-old, half-eaten food, and, yes, I’m going to say it, action figures. Please. Wired is no longer a pirate ship. It’s the home of world-changing journalism.”

We love that Dadich called out action figures. Adults should not own — or even enjoy — action figures. Also, Wired’s new tagline should be “Not a pirate ship.”

(Image: Instagram/Scott Dadich)

Categories: News

Seventeen Names Exec Editor; Slate Adds Editor

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 19:10

A couple Revolving Door items for you this afternoon, involving Seventeen and Slate. As always, details are below.

Seventeen has named Joey Bartolomeo executive editor of the magazine. Bartolomeo comes to the magazine from Self, where she served as entertainment and features director since 2013. Prior to her time at Self, Bartolomeo was a senior writer at People and Us Weekly. She begins February 2 and will report to Seventeen’s editor-in-chief Michelle Tan.

Laura Bennett is joining Slate as a senior editor. She most recently served as a clutter editor for Salon. Previously she worked for The New Republic.

Categories: News

Canada Getting Five Times More Charlie Hebdo Issues Than U.S.

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 18:55

LMPILogoThat’s because unlike the U.S., where distribution of the French satirical magazine was halted in 2010, Canada has continued to carry the publication, mainly in Quebec.

The U.S., which normally sees zero copies, will have 300 on hand by the end of the week. Canada, which typically receives 100 copies of the magazine via distributor LS Distribution/LMPI, will get 1500. LMPI also handling the U.S. extension.

It will be interesting to see if the social media community starts singling out and objecting to retailers who publicly chose not to carry the limited available run. For example, a Barnes & Noble spokesperson told U.S. News & World Report they wouldn’t be offering the item.

We’re talking here about the first wave, only. Independent vendors in New York City like Bouwerie Iconic Magazine and other U.S. cities have put in requests for hundreds of copies. And LMPI has asked for a second shipment of several thousand more copies. But, France and Europe will get first priority, and given the gigantic demand there, it’s very possible these numbers are all that will be non-eBay circulating.

Categories: News

Today Debuted 63 Years Ago

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 18:15

We’re not the only ones celebrating an anniversary. Today the Today show turns 63. On January 14, 1952, the now popular morning show debuted.

Today’s founding host Dave Garroway — who had the gig from 1952 to 1961 — started it all with “Well here we are.” Hey, things were a bit more subdued on TV back then.

“The very first good morning of what I hope and suspect will be a great many good mornings between you and me,” Garroway continued. “Here it is, January 14, 1952, when NBC begins a new program called Today and, if it doesn’t sound too revolutionary, I really believe this begins a new kind of television.”

You have to credit Garroway for nailing that part; Today really did change TV forever.

[h/t Poynter]
Categories: News

50 Cent Breaks Down Scarlett Johansson

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 17:30

50CentDailyNewsIt’s funny enough to see 50 Cent in a New York Daily News byline (that’s FifthEstateCent, at right, with the paper’s EIC Colin Myler). But it’s even more hysterical to read the guest editor’s politically incorrect comments about Scarlett Johansson, who wowed the rapper-mogul at a Golden Globes SoHo after-party.

According to Cent, Johansson belongs to the ‘Oh, your head is pretty too’ club.

Also according to Cent, not only was it nice that Johansson’s French journalist husband wasn’t at the party. But: \"In Hollywood, husband means ‘my serious boyfriend.’\"

Actually, since Romain Dauriac and Mrs. Dauriac spend a great deal of their time in Paris, Cent might have that conjecture the wrong way around. But we’re not going there.

The Confidenti@l gang definitely got the headline right. It reads: \"Sex and the Fiddy: 50 Cent Catches Big Case of Scarlett Fever from Golden Globes.\" Read the rest of 50 Cent’s gossip trail here. At that end, he’s a little more cautious, explaining about the topic of Justin Bieber that \"it’s not OK to directly say anything negative about Bieber. His fans will not accept your apology.\"

P.S. At press time, only items about naked Miley in W and Jeremy Renner trying to explain his Globes “boobs” joke were ahead of the 50 Scarlett piece on the paper’s Most Viewed chart. Way to go, Fiddy!

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Scarlett Johansson, Action Bronson Share Vice Stage

Categories: News

The Newspaper Business is Always Tough

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 16:30

FishbowlNY_10-yearsAs we continue to celebrate FishbowlNY’s 10 year anniversary, we were struck by how often history repeats itself. In May of 2005, we reported that the The New York Times was planning a “targeted staff reduction plan” that would lead to about 130 staffers losing their jobs.

Bill Keller, the Times’ executive editor back then, wrote in a memo that if not enough people volunteered for buyout packages, layoffs would be necessary. Sound familiar? Well that’s because the same thing just happened a few months ago.

In October of last year, we reported that the Times needed to cut at least 100 staffers. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger sent a memo that stated “The job losses are necessary to control our costs and to allow us to continue to invest in the digital future of The New York Times.”

We then pointed out that “The Times plans to offer buyouts to staffers, but will resort to layoffs if enough people don’t accept the deals.”

As the great Rust Cohle once said, time is a flat circle.

Categories: News

Gawker and Nylon Add Staff

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 16:16

A couple Revolving Door items for you today, involving Gawker and Nylon. Details are below.

Alex Pareene is rejoining Gawker as special projects editor. Pareene most recently worked for First Look Media. Prior to that he worked at Salon as a politics blogger. Pareene previously spent five years at Gawker.

Nylon has named Shruti Ganguly VP of television and video, a new role at the company. Like Pareene, this is a homecoming of sorts for Ganguly, as she previously served as a video producer for Nylon. Ganguly comes to Nylon from Condé Nast Entertainment, where she worked as a video producer.

Categories: News

Miley Cyrus Gets Naked for V

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 16:00

In an effort to prove something or other, Miley Cyrus got naked for the latest issue of V. Billy Ray, avert your eyes. Again.

According to V, Cyrus was photographed by Cheyne Thomas, Cyrus’ best friend. The photos that appear in the issue are “private polaroids from their travels together.”

Let those who haven’t taken photographs of their completely naked best friend cast the first stone.

The latest issue of V hits newsstands tomorrow.

Categories: News

Carlos Slim Could Become Top NY Times Shareholder

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 15:30

carlos slim 640Carlos Slim, the 74-year-old Mexican billionaire, could become the largest shareholder of The New York Times if he exercises his options by tomorrow’s deadline.

Slim loaned the Times a tiny bit of spending cash ($250 million) in 2009 and has been paid back and more.

If he exercises his options, he could own almost 17 percent of Class A shares, which would be valued at about $349 million. Not bad.

Obviously execs at the Times are hoping Slim opts to get fatter. As media analyst Ken Doctor explained to Bloomberg News, if Slim exercises his stock options, it would be “A vote of confidence in the Times.” It would also be a nice addition to his bank account.

Categories: News

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