In the world that Bevnet covers, a deal connecting Brooklyn startup Runa with actor Leonardo DiCaprio had long been rumored. This week, a partnership was formally confirmed and per the site’s report, includes an admirable DiCaprio back-end:
DiCaprio’s stake in the company wasn’t revealed, but he wasn’t making the deal to make a profit: according to an announcement from the company, the actor will eventually donate his shares to indigenous community groups in the Amazon rainforest, the source of Runa’s key ingredient, guayusa leaf.
DiCaprio is also joining the company’s advisory board.
The Runa website is very well done and includes a dynamic summary of its history. Other recognizable names in this latest round of Runa financing, which the New York Business Journal pegs at $5 million, include fellow actors Marlon Wayans and Adam Rodriguez.
The company’s line of energy drinks, infusers and teas can be found at Whole Foods, Safeway and on Amazon.
The Tampa Tribune’s name will live on, starting Friday, as the local news section for the Hillsborough County edition of the Tampa Bay Times. Meanwhile, the two separate current websites – the Times’ tampabay.com and the Tribune’s TBO.com – will continue to operate.
I subscribe to both papers. What do I do?
We’ll consolidate your subscriptions and give you a credit for any duplicate newspapers.
Will my subscription cost go up?
Your current rate will remain the same through the end of your subscription term.
I am a long-term Tribune subscriber. What do I need to do?
Nothing. Enjoy reading the Times.
The Tampa Tribune was started in 1893 when Wallace Stovall moved his existing news operations to Tampa from Bartow, according to Tribune files. Stovall’s first Tampa Morning Tribune debuted on March 27, 1893, and became a daily in 1895. The Tribune was sold by longtime owner Media General to California-based Revolution Capital in 2012 for $9.5 million. The investment capital group last July sold the Tribune’s headquarters on Parker Street in downtown Tampa for $17.75 million to South Florida developers who plan an apartment complex on the site. The Tribune, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966, has been weakened, as has the Times, by decades of competition.
In a note to readers, newly installed publisher Ed Woods promises that local ownership of The Berkshire Eagle will translate into jobs:
Today, the real transformation work begins. Our strategic plans call for bringing back jobs that had been consolidated into other Digital First Media locations. We’ll be enhancing our products by improving quality and adding additional relevant and compelling content.
Meanwhile, in a separate note to readers celebrating the return to local ownership of The Berkshire Eagle and three other Vermont papers – the Bennington Banner, Brattleboro Reformer and weekly Manchester Journal – to a local ownership group, president Fredric D. Rutberg, a retired judge, concludes on a note of pride:
Personally, I am flushed with pride to have been a part of returning this great institution to local ownership; at the same time, I remain awed by the responsibility that comes with leading such an important organization. While my colleagues and I have purchased the company in the legal sense, we know that the newspapers really belong to their readers and the communities they serve. We are stewards of your hopes and inspirations and those of future generations. This is a duty we accept eagerly, as we strive to make you as proud of your newspaper as you are of Berkshire County.
It’s a miracle of sorts. One that from the West Coast, employees of the L.A. Times can perhaps see as a sign that it is possible to be returned to local ownership after years as part of a consolidating and streamlining behemoth. What makes this transaction especially remarkable is that it returns the properties to the same family, the Millers, which owned the papers from 1891 through 1995.
The paper has another piece, for which they got comment from Mark Miller and sister Margo, who enjoyed a long career with the Boston Globe. Included are more details on the new board:
In addition to Rutberg, the ownership team includes John C. “Hans” Morris, of Stockbridge, a former president of Visa Inc. and the current board chairman of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams; Robert G. Wilmers, chairman and CEO of M&T Bank Corp. in Buffalo, N.Y., for the past 33 years, a longtime second-home owner in Stockbridge; and Stanford Lipsey, publisher emeritus of the Buffalo News and former owner and publisher of the Sun Newspaper Group in Nebraska.
Former Eagle Publisher Martin Langeveld is a member of the board of directors and was an adviser to the group during negotiations leading to the purchase of the New England Newspapers group.
Screen grab via: berkshireeagle.com
Business Insider has named Alyson Shontell executive editor of its tech site, Tech Insider.
Shontell most recently served as a BI deputy editor, overseeing its technology, science, lifestyle and entertainment verticals. She has been with BI since 2008; previously serving as a tech reporter, correspondent, senior correspondent and editor.
In a memo announcing her promotion, BI founder and editor in chief Henry Blodget praised Shontell’s “high-impact, long-form investigative work.”
Remember the dinner table conversation in 2013 comedy hit This Is The End, when Jonah Hill responds to Seth Rogen talking about the proliferation of sinkholes around the world with the exclamation “Sinkhole de Mayo!”? Well, this Thursday, that notion will come to life in the Crescent City.
Melinda Norris, life and culture editor for the Times-Picayune, touched base with co-organizer Carson Rapose. By day a financial analyst for Capital One, Rapose has decided to make the best of the cratering, which appeared April 29 and sits across from the Harrah’s Casino:
“We try to put on events like this through the year but this has by far gotten the most publicity.”
“We’ve run events similar to this before, though more pub-crawl based and not had problems. Granted, I don’t think those events ever exceeded 100 people. This is definitely a bit larger than we’re used to hosting and was done very impromptu. Had we had more time to plan we’d probably be selling patches or something fun…”
“Sometimes you just have to seize the opportunity when the road falls out,” Rapose said.
Ha ha. We love the intersection designation too at the top of the Facebook invite: “Sinkhole & Canal Street.” It should make for more fun live TV coverage and such Thursday.
H/T: Matt Brennan
Rodale has named Melanie Hansche editor in chief of Rodale’s Organic Life. Hansche most recently served as executive director of food and content strategy for the publisher.
Prior to joining Rodale in 2014, Hansche was the managing editor of Australia’s Donna Hay Magazine.
“Melanie is a strong leader with a keen eye for vibrant design and compelling content,” said Rodale chairman and CEO Maria Rodale, in an announcement.
Vice and ESPN are joining forces through a multi-platform distribution deal. As result of the new agreement, Vice Sports will produce exclusive series to air on ESPN’s platforms (TV, digital and mobile) and select ESPN 30 for 30 films will air on Viceland.
Other highlights from the deal include Vice Sports and ESPN Films creating short-form and animated series to run across Vice and ESPN platforms; select episodes of Vice Sports’ The Clubhouse will air on ESPN and its digital properties; and Vice World of Sports will be added as a digital cutdown to ESPN.
“To be teaming up with ESPN, creating brand new sports shows for them, and then showing 30 for 30’s on VICELAND is perhaps one of the favorite moments in my professional life,” said Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith, in an announcement.
According to Reporters Without Borders, the country with the highest level of press freedom on this, 2016 World Press Freedom Day, is Finland. That’s where CTV News chief anchor and senior correspondent Lisa LaFlamme finds herself today, as as a result of being the first Canadian to sit on the international jury for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award.
This year’s prize was given to Khadija Ismayilova, a freelance journalist currently sitting in an Azerbaijan jail. LaFlamme was one of a dozen jury members. That’s attendee Christiane Amanpour, above, calling on the 560th day of the reporter’s incarceration for Ismayilova’s release.
In a piece for CTV, LaFlamme notes that World Press Freedom Day is quietly celebrated in Canada, a country ranked 18th on this year’s press-freedom index. (Today, in Ottawa, Vice News national security reporter Ben Makuch will accept a prize from the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom). But she is well aware that is not the case for many colleagues around the world, and frames the valiant efforts of Ismayilova with some of her personal experiences as a globe-trotting journalist:
I have brushed up against journalistic strength in the face of adversity in many places around the world. In the Congo, female reporters I’ve met have been raped to try to force their silence. MOSTLY it hasn’t worked.
This year I met a journalist in Yangon, Myanmar, who spent nine-and-a-half years in prison – again for reporting on an anti-government protest. Nine-and-a-half years!
I asked: What was the trial like?
“Trial,” he said. “I wish, there WAS no trial.”
Accepting the UNESCO prize today in Helksinki, on Ismayilova’s behalf, are her mother and sister. The Cano prize was created in 1997 and named in honor the Colombian journalist, who was killed in 1986 in front of the offices of newspaper El Espectador.
The Bloomberg Pursuits revamp continues.
The magazine—which has been changing to appeal to a more general (yet still insanely rich) audience since Emma Rosenblum was named editorial director—has unveiled its first Travel issue.
Pursuits’ Travel issue features content on places like London, Jamaica, Monaco, Tasmania and Montana. Yes, Montana. The cover story on a high-end safari in the plains of Montana is pretty great.
“Here’s the first and last time a Bloomberg employee will ever write these words: Log off your Terminal,” wrote Rosenblum, in her editor’s note. “For a weekend. For a week. For as much time as it takes to get on a plane, go away, and have an adventure that leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated and maybe a little bit tan.”
Advertising Age has named Josh Golden as its new publisher. Golden comes to Ad Age from Xerox, where he most recently served as vp of global digital marketing.
Prior to his time at Xerox, Golden worked for Story Worldwide and Grey New York.
Golden is the publication’s first publisher to come from outside parent company Crain Communications.
“We had a dozen extremely strong candidates for the job, but kept coming back to the need to find someone who could lead Ad Age through all the opportunities we see in this new technology-driven world of media and marketing,” said David Klein, group publisher for Crain Communications, in a statement.
Business Insider just made a slew of promotions, including four new executive editors — Matt Rosoff, Mo Hadi, Brett LoGiurato and Sara Silverstein.
Rosoff oversees global tech, science and entertainment. Hadi oversees global markets, finance, retail, transportation and general business. LoGiurato oversees news, politics, military, sports and front-page. Silverstein oversees strategy, lists and BI Video.
BI, via a memo obtained by Talking Biz News, has also named Lyndsay Hemphill and Leah Goldman managing editors. Matt Turner, Ashley Lutz, Steven Tweedie and Alexei Oreskovic have been named deputy editors.
Additionally, Devan Joseph and Jessica Orwig are both now senior producers for BI Video.
Amanda Maciasto has been promoted to senior editor. Christina Sterbenz is now weekend and features editor; Harrison Jacobs has been named senior news editor; Bryan Logan has been promoted to evening news editor; Jonathan Garber has been upped to markets editor; and Hayley Peterson has been promoted to senior correspondent.
Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan) has decided to sue Gawker Media one more time. Well, maybe not just one more time. The way this is going, who knows.
Bollea—who has already been awarded $140 million from Gawker for publishing his sex tape, a ruling Gawker is currently appealing—now claims that Gawker leaked closed court documents to the National Enquirer. The documents, from yet another sex tape, feature Bollea going on a racist rant about his daughter’s black boyfriend.
As a result of the Enquirer publishing Bollea’s comments, the New York Post reports that Bollea’s legal team said his “income was cut off, his legacy in entertainment was severely damaged (if not completely destroyed), and his global brand was forever tarnished.”
Gawker Media has responded to the new lawsuit by describing it as “ridiculous.”
“Hulk Hogan is a litigious celebrity abusing the court system to control his public image and media coverage,” said Gawker, in a statement. “It was absurd enough that Hulk Hogan claimed $100m for emotional distress and economic damage for a story about a sex life that he’d already made public. Now Hulk Hogan is blaming Gawker for racist remarks he made on another sex tape, which Gawker never had. As we’ve said before and are happy to say again: Gawker did not leak the information. It’s time for Hulk Hogan to take responsibility for his own words, because the only person who got Hulk Hogan fired from the WWE is Hulk Hogan.”
In its quarterly earnings report, The New York Times announced that it now has roughly 1.4 million digital-only subscribers.
During the first quarter of 2016, the Times gained 67,000 digital-only subscriptions, the most it has added in a quarter since late 2012.
In a statement, Times CEO Mark Thompson was pleased with the paper’s digital march. “We have continued to prioritize deepening the level of engagement of our readers with Times content, and this effort, along with the application of new consumer marketing tactics, has led to an increase in new subscribers and improved retention of existing ones,” he said.
Now that we’ve covered the silver lining of the Times’ earnings report, here’s the cloud — the Times posted a $14 million net loss for the quarter. The main culprit was print ad dollars. The Times’ print advertising revenue dropped nine percent compared to the first quarter of 2015.
Periscope, the live-streaming app owned by Twitter, has named Evan Hansen its editor in chief. Hansen most recently served as editor of the blogging platform Medium.
Prior to his time at Medium, Hansen served as Wired’s editor in chief for seven years.
“I still love the written word and Medium, but I honestly can’t think of many things more exciting than helping build a new platform with mobile phones and real time video,” wrote Hansen, in an announcement.
The 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellows announced this week are another impressive group. They include InvestigateWest executive editor Robert McClure, Le Monde journalist Chloe Hecketsweiler, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation reporter Rosalia Omungo and Brooklyn-based freelancer and author Maura R. O’Connor.
When the 34th class of KSJ journalism fellows convenes this fall, there will be an additional layer to go along with the auditing of courses at MIT, Harvard and other Boston institutions. From the announcement:
For first time, fellows will also develop original projects during their time in Cambridge – from feature stories and short films to podcasts and photo essays – which will be showcased at undark.org.
Tom Zeller, editor of the digital science magazine Undark, was on the KSJ selection committee for this year’s fellowships along with program director Deborah Blum, former acting director Wade Roush and Wall Street Journal senior science writer Robert Lee Hotz. Among the topics currently being explored by Zeller’s new publication are the lack of “nude” bra choices for black women and Media Cloud, a tool that shows how information shared on Twitter at the height of the Ebola scare often had little to do with scientific fact.
Earlier this year, in an article explaining the genesis of the new digital science magazine, Blum connected a visit to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and the plight of factory workers in the 1920s tasked with applying glow-in-the-dark paint to items like wristwatches:
“The Power of Radium at Your Disposal” enthused one 1920s newspaper ad, one of a series encouraging Americans to enjoy radioactive materials in their home life. Companies like the New Jersey-based U.S. Radium Corporation hurried to hire workers — mostly young immigrant women — to meet demand, paying them to paint the tiny, lacy numbers on watches and clocks. The women were taught to use their lips to return their paintbrush bristles to a fine tip after each stroke. No one worried about the risks — this was the stuff of cosmetics and health drinks, after all. And the dial painters — or as they would later be called in newspaper stories, the Radium Girls — decorated themselves with the paint, giving themselves glow-in-the-dark smiles and hair that twinkled in the dusk as they walked home from work.
Then they started to fall sick. Their leg bones broke under them as they walked. Their jaws shattered. They developed wasting anemias and other exhausting illnesses. And then they began to die.
The U.S. Radium Corporation called its product “Undark.” When Blum and Zeller sat down to decide what to call their magazine, they agreed that was a perfect and powerful name for a publication devoted to ‘illuminating the intersection of science and society.’
It was exactly two years ago that Tony Gervino assumed the role of editor in chief of Billboard. Today, per a memo from chief creative officer and THR-Billboard Media Group president Janice Min, his time with the publication has come to an end.
As Min notes, Gervino’s efforts helped the revamped music industry bible hit a couple of big monthly traffic numbers this year:
As you can sense, Billboard’s impact and size is expanding by the second. We just wrapped a hugely successful all-star Latin Conference in Miami and televised the Billboard Latin Music Awards on Telemundo. Shortly, the Billboard Music Awards will air on ABC, in partnership with Dick Clark Productions.
Digitally, this past month we recorded our second-largest audience total in history (27 million unique visitors), following the all-time record set in February (27.2 million). This year already we’ve had 67 videos exceed a million views on Facebook. Our social audience is now at a staggering 18 million, and we regularly see our content and events trending worldwide.
The quality and quantity of content, from our exceptional Prince coverage, to our in-depth Kesha story, to our artist visit live streams and 360 videos shot at Ultra, is breathtaking.
Mike Bruno, our Senior Vice President of Content, and I have discussed at length how we best and most effectively continue to grow this organization. I’d like to communicate to all of you some changes effective today.
Tony Gervino will be departing Billboard as its print editor in chief. Craig Marks will retain the title of executive editor reporting into Mike and serve as a deputy. Denise Warner and Shirley Halperin also will continue serving as deputies, operationally managing news and content creation on a day-to-day basis, with Shirley reporting into Craig on print production. All other print jobs and functions will remain the same.
The print content and covers of Billboard have undergone an unbelievable transition that we will continue (it only takes one look at the Prince cover to feel the impact). I’d like to personally acknowledge Tony’s contributions toward making this possible and thank him. Our magazine — especially its cover and influential readership — is among the many platforms we have that will continue to be championed and treasured.
Mike and I are confident and exhilarated by the power of the brand, as we hope you are too, and by our stable of best-of-class content creators here who will continue to innovate and grow with us.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Mike with any questions or thoughts.
Gervino came over to Billboard in 2014 from Hearst Magazines International.