As L.A. Weekly writer Hillel Aron makes mention of in his tronc deep-dive “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures,” the daughter of Patrick Soon-Shiong was for two summers an intern at the Los Angeles Times. A fact that has gained new prominence now that her father, routinely ranked as one of L.A.’s two richest individuals alongside with Elon Musk, owns a large stake in parent company tronc.
This bit of history begs the media question – what has daughter Nika (pictured) been up to since her stints at the L.A. Times science desk in 2012 and 2013, during which she wrote nearly three dozen articles? The answer is massively impressive.
She has completed two degrees at Stanford (a B.A. In International Relations with a minor in Creative Writing; an M.A. in African Studies); shepherded an ambitious photography project in South Africa; and is set to return to her father’s native country this coming school year as a Princeton in Africa Fellow. From a recent Stanford University African Studies newsletter:
Nika conducted a photovoice project among unemployed youth at Etafeni, a community resource center for people affected by HIV/AIDS. The project culminated in a gallery exhibition at the Cape Town Public Library titled “Ilizwi Lam” (Xhosa for “My Voice”), which highlighted both sources of inspiration and barriers to employment in the township community of Nyanga.
That was in the summer of 2014. The following summer, Soon-Shiong continued this great project at the Baylor Pediatric Aids Initiative in Gabarone, Botswana. As a Princeton in Africa Fellow, she be working with the organization Equal Education and receiving support from San Francisco-based non-profit the Cameron Schrier Foundation.
We’re not sure if dad’s technology patents will help tronc chairman and CEO Michael Ferro conquer the 21st century journalism world. But it does appear pretty certain that Soon-Shiong’s daughter Nika will conquer whichever world she chooses to focus on following her time as a Princeton fellow.
Photo via: LinkedIn
I knew I’d have plenty to talk about at this week’s ‘Lunch’ with passionate politicos Joan Gelman and Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman. Both are headed to the Democratic National Convention in a few weeks. Joan will be producing Joan Hamburg’s WABC radio show from Philadelphia and Robert will be rallying the faithful, while no doubt serving up the dead-on soundbites for the cable networks that have made him the go-to guy on all things relating to the party.
Joan arrived first and we talked about the challenges of covering what is sure to be one of the most media-centric conventions ever. “It’s a gold mine for booking,” said Joan, between bites of salmon tartare. Top among her dream guests: Elizabeth Warren (“She’s fabulous”) and Joe Biden (“Everyone respects him.”)
Of course the person attracting the most media attention at the convention besides Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly be her tireless challenger Bernie Sanders, whose endgame has been both bewildering and enraging (depending on who you ask) to Clinton supporters. Joan left little doubt where she stands on Senator Sanders’ reluctance to cede the spotlight and rally his supporters behind the presumptive nominee. “It’s absurd and absolutely selfish,” she told me. “We’re going to have a president and it’s going to be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Time to get on board. It’s no longer about you.” Got that?
When Robert arrived (he’s got a very full plate these days helming his marketing-advertising firm, Zimmerman/Edelson, now in its 26th year, in addition to his political work) it was clear he’s fired up about the Democratic convention because of his firm belief that the event is much more than entertainment for political junkies (more on that later) and plays an important role in electing a president. “Conventions do have a role in the process because it’s when the country stops and listens to what the candidate are saying. They unveil to the country what the parties and candidates represent.”
And that, as we all know, is where things are going to get very interesting this year.
Robert told me he is unconcerned about today’s polls, which once again put Clinton and Trump in a statistical dead heat. “No matter who you are supporting for president, you can a find a poll to support [that candidate].” But, he admitted, “It’s going to be a very competitive race.” He dismissed the ongoing investigation into Clinton’s emails and her role in Benghazi as having any negative effect on her campaign. “The Republicans continue to try to exploit [those stories] and the country has rejected it.”
“Hillary as a candidate is standing out especially now because we need stable, strong leadership for the challenges ahead.” Trump “doesn’t have political policies, he’s got tweets,” said Robert, as he tucked into his mini-lobster rolls. “He’s the most unstable and unprepared candidate in modern presidential politics.” Robert pointed to the news that Republicans like Hank Paulson and Brent Scowcroft have jumped ship and announced their support for Clinton as evidence of “a coalition of leading Republicans coming together [with Democrats] for the sake of the country.”
Robert was mum on the specifics about what viewers can expect when watching the Democratic convention, but assured me whatever “entertainment” or star power that’s in the mix will no doubt be “inspiring.” Having not taken out a loan to see Hamilton, we’re intrigued by that rumor that creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda might be making an appearance on stage.
Robert said that reports that The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, who helped turn Trump into a television star, is working on glitzing things up is evidence that “Republicans are using a reality show theme” for the convention. All of this is no surprise, because, he noted, “Within the Republican party you have 44 percent of registered Republicans who believe the president is a secret Muslim. Duck Dynasty is a think tank for those people.”
As you can see, Robert pulls no punches in speaking on the record — and Trump has taken notice. Shortly after Trump posted his much-derided Cinco de Mayo taco tweet, Robert was asked about it during an appearance on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show. “I said it was like the Iranian Ayatollah eating matzo ball soup and saying he loves Jews.” Robert laughed when he recounted how Kelly later showed Trump a tape of his remarks which resulted in the candidate branding him ‘a flunkie.’ “That was my moment of fame. I had T-shirts with ‘flunkie’ written in a heart and chocolates sent to me from a leading Democrat calling me their ‘favorite flunkie’.”
Even with the country’s unending fascination with and worship of celebrity, said Robert, things are not entirely what they seem. “Donald Trump’s emergence is not about Donald Trump, but about the state of the Republican party.”
“There are two Americas,” noted Joan. “It’s racism and sexism versus progressive empathy.”
I was heartened to hear that Robert has a more optimistic view of things. “We’re going to be all right. We’re a great nation. I have absolute confidence in our constitution and our democracy. Ultimately, our people and our government are stronger than political grand-standers and trends.”
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. HollywoodLife.com’s Bonnie Fuller and Penske Media’s Gerry Byrne, playing host to Million Mom March founder Donna Dees, Carol Evans, co-chair of Executive Women for Hillary, Glamsquad’s Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Robyn Santiago of Illumination PR, Jessica Abo, a “TV personality” and YouTuber, Open Road Integrated Media’s chair Jane Friedman, Julie La’Bassiere, CEO BAFTA/New York, AMPAS’ Patrick Harrison, Dr. Betty Spence of NAFE, actress Ashley Williams, FRAK PR partners Lina Plath and Clare Anne Darragh. Don’t ask me how they squeezed that many movers and shakers around one table.
2. Producer Beverly Camhe and three pals
3. Joan Jakobson and Rikki Klieman
4. Former Hearst president Cathie Black with House Beautiful’s publisher Kate Kelly Smith
5. Herb Siegel and his son Bill
6. Andrew Stein
7. Glenn Horowitz
8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia with author and screenwriter/director Tracey Jackson
11. Susan Duffy and Marie Claire’s publisher Nancy Cardone
12. Joan Gelman, Robert Zimmerman and yours truly
14. Michael Wolff
15. Tom Rogers
16. British Heritage Travel’s publisher and CEO Jack Kliger
17. Owen Grover
18. Legendary lensman Sir Harry Benson
20. Gena Smith
21. Quest’s Chris Meigher
22. Colin Welch
23. Ted Hathaway
24. Robert Marston
25. PR maestro Tom Goodman
27. Walter O’Hara
We’ll be off for the next two weeks. Hope your Fourth is full of fireworks! See you on July 20.
Diane Clehane is a FishbowlNY contributor. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.
While Novak Djokovic last month became the first tennis player to hold his sport’s pure Grand Slam since Rod Laver, things off-court have been anything but aces. That general thought and the ESPN reporting that provoked it were front and center Tuesday during the sports network’s coverage from the All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
From a tip sheet by ESPN PR’s Dave Nagle:
Pam Shriver: “In my 35 years of being involved one way or the other with professional tennis this has been the most disappointing, devastating year off court… The leaders in the game have to stop enabling corruption to happen – whether it’s doping or whether it’s match fixing. There’s going to have to be some organization and leaderships that are really brave and give up some money in order to regain the integrity of the sport.”
This year, through the weekend of July 9-10, ESPN will stream a staggering 1,500 hours of Wimbledon action, from all 15 televised courts, on its WatchESPN App.
Photo via: wimbledon.com
Following a recent visit to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. by the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, the NPS has published a valuable record of some of The New York Times columnist’s sage advice.
Friedman teased his forthcoming book Thank You for Being Late, which he said begins with a series of discussions between the author and an Ethiopian-blogger-slash-parking attendant. He also provided this vivid metaphorical description of what it takes to engage readers of opinion:
“A news story is meant to inform. A column is meant to provoke. I can write a story about NPS, but I am actually in the provocation business. I am either in the heating business or the lighting business. I am either stoking up an emotion inside of you or illuminating something for you, and if I do it right, I do both together. I create heat or light. I create a reaction,” said Freidman.
Friedman went on to note that creating both “heat and light” requires an act of chemistry that involves a combination of personal values, an understanding of the forces that shape people and events, what he refers to as the “machine,” and insight into how those forces affect the peoples and the cultures that interact with them.
Another very intriguing point touched on by Friedman is his belief that the year 2007 will go down in the history books as a momentous one. To find out why the journalist is of that mind, read the rest of Kenneth Stewart’s excellent write-up.
HarperCollins has named Sara Nelson vp, executive editor and special advisor of its Harper imprint. This is a new role at the company.
Nelson comes to Harper from Amazon, where she served as its books and Kindle editorial director. She previously worked for O, The Oprah Magazine.
“She has proven her ability to identify, support and drive great books and bestsellers at Amazon and elsewhere,” said HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham, in a statement. “I can’t wait to see her deploy her experience in the context of a publishing imprint.”
Rodale Inc. has named Stephen Twilliger executive vp, chief financial officer. He most recently served as vp, CFO for Dorling Kindersley (DK), a division of Penguin Random House. Twilliger had been with DK since 2011.
Prior to joining Penguin Group in 2003, Twilliger served as a financial analyst for Simon & Schuster.
“Steve brings an impressive mix of strategic and analytical experience to his new role” said Rodale chairman and CEO Maria Rodale, in a statement. “His deep experience in book publishing and children’s publishing, a key launch area for us in 2017; strong leadership and communication skills, proven track record and passion for the work we do at Rodale make him an ideal candidate.”
Twilliger’s appointment is effective August 8. He’ll report to Rodale.
Remember when book reviewers would praise a title as ‘moth-to-flame reading’? That wonderful expression, employed by Newsday in 1980 (and likely today to be replaced by something along the lines of ‘millennial-to-smartphone’), is recalled by New York Times obituary writer William Grimes in his tribute to the accomplishments of Barbara Goldsmith.
Goldsmith, who died over the weekend at age 85, was a founding editor of New York magazine. She was also an author, who got that part of her life going in spectacular fashion with the book Little Gloria… Happy at Last:
In 1974, Ms. Goldsmith was doing research at a law library for a novel about the art world, The Straw Man, when she chanced upon four fat volumes labeled In the Matter of Vanderbilt. They contained 8,000 pages of court transcripts from the custody case that pitted Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Gloria’s aunt, against the child’s mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, with a $2.5 million trust fund the glittering prize.
It was one of the great headline-hogging trials of the age, and Ms. Goldsmith threw herself into the subject with abandon. For the next five years, she pored over the court records and conducted more than 300 interviews in seven countries. The result was a 650-page whopper…
Goldsmith worked over the years for Art News, Women’s Home Companion, Town & Country and the New York Herald-Tribune. It was at the Herald-Tribune that she met Clay Felker, to whom she lent a then rather large sum of money to start New York magazine. Goldsmith would on to make waves in 1968 with a profile piece for the magazine titled “La Dolce Viva.”
Jacket cover courtesy: Knopf
Wired is adding some flair to its world with the addition of Lauren Goodman, who will serve as contributing style director.
Goodman comes to Wired with plenty of experience. She has served as a fashion consultant and stylist for W, GQ, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Google, American Express and more. Goodman previously worked as a fashion editor for Condé Nast and fashion director for Elle and Domino.
“From the rise of wearables and the future of retail, to the migration of street style to social platforms, the convergence of fashion and technology is one of the most exciting developments taking place right now,” said Wired editor Scott Dadich, in an announcement. “And there’s no better person to help us navigate this emerging space than Lauren.”
Reuters is set to publish a magazine for the Republican and Democratic shit shows, uh, we mean conventions, next month.
The magazine, titled The American Voter, will be 66 pages, perfect-bound. It will feature content from Sir Harold Evans, Jonathan Alter and Ross Barkan.
The American Voter will be distributed by Reuters street teams in Cleveland for the GOP and in Philadelphia for Democrats.
Gannett can’t seem to buy Tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing), so it is settling for other acquisitions. The latest is ReachLocal, a digital marketing solutions company. The $156 million deal is expected to raise Gannett’s revenue by roughly 50 percent.
“ReachLocal’s focus on local small and medium sized businesses aligns well with Gannett’s local-to-national strategy and extends our reach into new local markets,” said Gannett president and CEO Robert Dickey, in a statement. “This transaction represents an important step as we continue to transform our business to meet the changing needs of consumers and advertisers in today’s digital world.”
This is Gannett’s second acquisition this month. The company agreed to purchase several New Jersey papers—including the Garden State’s second-largest, The Record—just two weeks ago.
The position at the paper, which is owned by New York-based Advance Media, had been vacant since Thom Fladung left in July 2015. Today, finally, the Plain Dealer has filled it, promoting a journalist from the ranks to be the paper’s next managing editor.
Moving up is Timothy Warsinkey. From today’s announcement
Warsinskey has been a reporter and editor at The Plain Dealer since 1990 and has won numerous writing, reporting and community service awards. He started in the paper’s Lake-Geauga Bureau, covered a range of professional sports, and covered the 2008 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Most recently, as Trending News editor, he has been working closely with business, entertainment, news and sports journalists to help intensify the newsroom’s digital focus.
In the same announcement, the paper also revealed that editor George Rodrigue has been given the second, additional title of general manager. The Plain Dealer wound up printing an extra million copies of its commemorative June 21 issue celebrating the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA Finals victory.
The 2016 Gerald Loeb Award winners have been announced. The annual prizes honor the best of business journalism.
The big winner of the night was The Wall Street Journal, which took home five Loeb Awards. The New York Times and NPR were the runners-up, winning two each. Below is the full list of winners.
Your Money and Your Life, by Chris Arnold, Uri Berliner, Neal Carruth, Lori Todd, John Ydstie, Heidi Glenn, Ariel Zambelich, Avie Schneider, Alyson Hurt and Annette Elizabeth Allen, NPR
Beat Reporting Winner
Testing Theranos, by John Carreyrou, Michael Siconolfi and Christopher Weaver, The Wall Street Journal
Breaking News Winner
Inside the Dow-DuPont Merger, by David Benoit, Jacob Bunge, Dana Cimilluca, Dana Mattioli and Dennis K. Berman, The Wall Street Journal
Inside the Boardroom, by James B. Stewart, The New York Times
Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections, by Michael Grabell, Howard Berkes and Lena Groeger, ProPublica and NPR
The Unraveling of Tom Hayes, by David Enrich, The Wall Street Journal
Making Data Visual, by Amanda Cox, Gregor Aisch, Kevin Quealy, Matthew Bloch, Wilson Andrews, Josh Keller, Karen Yourish, Eric Buth, Nicholas Confessore and Sarah Cohen, The New York Times
Malaysia’s Missing Millions, by Tom Wright, Bradley Hope, Simon Clark, Mia Lamar, Justin Baer, Tom Di Fonzo and Paolo Bosonin, The Wall Street Journal
Seafood from Slaves, by Margie Mason, Martha Mendoza, Robin McDowell and Esther Htusan, The Associated Press
Payday at the Mill, by Whit Richardson and Steve Mistler, Portland Press Herald & Maine Sunday Telegram
Personal Finance Winner
Aging’s Costliest Challenge, by Donna Rosato, Kate Santichen, Alexandra Mondalek and Shayla Hunter, Money
Joanna Stern’s Videos, by Joanna Stern and Drew Evans, The Wall Street Journal
Lifetime Achievement Award
Paul Ingrassia, Reuters
Lawrence Minard Editor Award
Amy Stevens, Reuters
CNN has named Samantha Murphy Kelly a tech editor based in New York. Murphy Kelly joins the team from Mashable, where she spent the last four years as deputy tech editor.
Prior to her time at Mashable, Murphy Kelly worked for TechNewsDaily, where she penned stories for LiveScience.com, Laptop and Space.com.
Murphy Kelly’s appointment is effective July 11.
Recent graduates of Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. have found jobs with Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, CBS Sports and NBC Sports. That trend is certain to expand now that the private university has added Bachelor of Arts in Sports Media program.
The 24-course-credit degree will be available starting this fall semester. From the announcement:
“Students will be able to take advantage of Rider’s strategic location, near New York City and Philadelphia – two of largest media and sports team markets in the United States,” says program director and associate professor of journalism A.J. Moore. “Our communication majors have easy access to internships and other professional development opportunities and have a history of interning with major professional sports franchises, minor league organizations and Division 1 programs.”
The new B.A. will fit nicely with existing media properties at Rider. These include college radio station The Bronc 10.7. FM, the Rider University Network (R.U.N.) TV station and student paper The Rider News.
Graphis currently produces Design, Advertising, Photography, Poster and New Talent Annuals, with published work selected from among the entries. Entries for New Talent are submitted jointly by both professor and student.