For eight years, John Siniff (pictured) oversaw the op-ed page of USA Today. He left the paper in the fall of 2012 and current works as a vp of content for Washington D.C. communications firm Subject Matter.
In a recent blog post, titled “Confessions of a Former Op-Ed Editor: 5 Things I Wish I’d Known,” he shares some valuable lessons learned in hindsight. These include:
(Fill in the blank) Day is a real thing. OK, so it became amusing to me when someone would pitch a piece that was attached to, oh, let’s say National Umbrella Day. (I was making that up as I wrote this, but turns out National Umbrella Day is February 10.) But op-ed editors shouldn’t give up on a piece just because there happens to be a “Day” attached to it. The fact that it’s National Umbrella Day doesn’t diminish a column illuminating new research on why climate change in some regions will bring longer periods of rain.
Siniff’s new firm has an extremely impressive client list. Among those served by Subject Matter are Ford, the National Football League, Nestle, The American Cancer Society and PBS.
Photo via: teamsubjectmatter.com
Last fall, Booth Moore was among the many eligible Los Angeles Times staffers who elected to accept a Tribune Publishing buyout offer. Today, the next full-time chapter of her career has been formally announced.
Moore is joining our sister publication The Hollywood Reporter as senior fashion editor, where she will oversee content for both THR and the portal Pret-a-Reporter. From today’s announcement:
Moore will report to Jeanie Pyun, deputy editor, and Tom Seeley, senior vice president, digital media. Booth will also work alongside Style editor Carol McColgin in shaping the content of THR’s franchises “25 Most Powerful Stylists,” “Top 25 Red-Carpet Designers” and “25 Best Beauty Moments.”
“Booth brings an incredible breadth of experience and industry-insider perspective,” Seeley said. “Her expertise is essential to amplifying our groundbreaking style coverage in print and across our digital verticals as we deliver entertainment’s smartest and most comprehensive coverage.” Adds Pyun: “Booth’s well-respected and long-cultivated expertise on fashion and beyond in Los Angeles is unparalleled — we’re truly excited to welcome her to the Style team.”
Booth wrote a book in 2014 about Juicy Couture and is currently at work on another tome covering worldwide shopping patterns.
Photo via: boothmoore.com
The third oral history put together by Death and Taxes editor in chief Brian Abrams is a ton of fun. Following similar looks at the NBC years of David Letterman and Gawker Media, the subject this time is beloved 1988 action movie Die Hard.
Abrams spoke with about 40 people. Not participating, unfortunately, is Bruce Willis, as it would have been fascinating to hear his memories. But there’s plenty to enjoy, including this tidbit involving the use of Fox Plaza in Century City as the stand-in for Nakatomi Plaza:
STEVEN E. DE SOUZA [writer]: The room where he [John McClane] loses his shoes, and there’s a giant fight, right? That was the floor that became Ronald Reagan’s office. When they moved into his [34th floor] office, there were bullets and empty cartridges all over the place. The brass was like, “Wait a minute. What’s this?”…
FRANK URIOSTE [editor]: Oh my god, I do remember that day. We neglected to tell the FBI that this was going on. They thought it looked like a terrorist attack. It was pretty serious for about an hour.
We’re talking blank bullets and cartridges, but still. Also in the book are lots of details about Willis’ early days as a Cafe Central bartender in New York and the struggles of convincing Fox to hire him for the lead role. The book is priced at $2.99.
Hearst has acquired a majority stake in the software-as-a-service company MedHok.
Founded in 2010, MedHok provides software that makes it easier for companies to ensure that health plans are compliant with federal and state requirements.
When the deal closes, MedHok will become part of Hearst’s Hearst Health division. Hearst Health is overseen by president Gregory Dorn, MD.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
It’s been a year now since Greenwich Village’s historic Caffe Dante re-opened as, simply, Dante. While some New Yorkers were less than thrilled with the revamp by a quartet of Australian owners, overall the transformation has been a success.
For a piece in the upcoming Food and Wine issue of the Australian Financial Review’s insert magazine, U.S.-based reporter John Kehoe shares a couple of intriguing details. Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin, who live across the street from Dante, like to have Friday dinners catered by the restaurant when they are in town. And during the renovation process, there was this:
During the renovations, an old gold Rolex watch and three packets of bullets were discovered in a hole in a wall.
Right out of a Scorsese movie. E.g.: What time is it? Time for a main character to head down to the neighborhood joint and get what he needs to do away with a pesky rival.
Also per Kehoe, previous Dante owner Mario Flotta still drops by every day for coffee.
Photo via: dante-nyc.com
Atlantic Media’s business site Quartz has named Zazie Lucke vp, global marketing and creative services. Lucke most recently served as head of brand solutions for Upworthy Media.
Prior to her time with Upworthy, Lucke worked for Bloomberg Media.
Joining Quartz is a bit of a homecoming for Lucke, as she previously worked for The Atlantic and Atlantic Media from 2008 to 2013.
“Zazie has a talent, experience, and vision for taking sophisticated media brands to the global stage. That’s a rare combination, and makes her a perfect fit for Quartz,” said Quartz president and publisher Jay Lauf, in a statement. “She knows how to deliver for clients, and I could not be more thrilled to be working with her again.”
On the heels of the National Newspaper Association shutting down its national ad sales company comes this — it seems no one trusts newspapers anymore.
According to a Gallup poll, only 20 percent of Americans have confidence in newspapers as an institution. That’s the lowest percentage ever, dating way back to 1973.
This is also the 10th straight year that more Americans said they had “Very little/none” confidence in papers, as opposed to “A great deal/quite a lot.”
The drop can be partly blamed on Democrats, who for the first time in the study’s history just aren’t feeling newspapers’ vibe. Roughly 27 percent of self-described Democrats said they have little or no confidence in papers, compared to 25 percent who said they have a lot of confidence in papers.
Republicans, meanwhile, maintain the party line that all media is evil and wrong. Aside from Fox News.
In what can only be seen as a sign of the times, the National Newspaper Association (NNA) is shutting down its national ad sales company Newspaper National Network (NNN).
According to a memo from the NNA, the NNN is on track to lose about $1 million for the first half of this year, and it’s time to close up shop.
The NNN was founded in 1994 by 25 of the nation’s top newspaper companies as an easy way for advertisers to get ads across multiple newspapers in a single buy.
The void left by the NNN will be filled by Nucleus Marketing Solutions, a company backed by Gannett, Tribune Publishing, Hearst and McClatchy. As Poynter notes, while NNN focused on print, Nucleus is digital-first.
Now that Gawker Media has filed for bankruptcy because a rich guy got his feelings hurt, it’s likely only a matter of time before the company will no longer belong to founder Nick Denton. However, while Denton will lose Gawker as a whole, he might keep a firm grasp on the site that started it all — Gawker.com.
According to Politico, if initial bidder Ziff Davis ends up buying Gawker Media, Denton has agreed to stay on as an advisor for two years following the deal’s close. During that time, Denton is forbidden from working with “any business enterprise that engages in the same or similar business as the Debtors.” With one big caveat: “Excluding Gawker.com.”
Of course if Ziff Davis doesn’t buy Gawker, then this entire scenario is out the window.
All companies looking to bid for Gawker must have their offers in by July 25, as the bankruptcy auction will happen on July 29. Stay tuned.
Time Inc. has named Tim Leong creative director of Entertainment Weekly. He’s the first staffer to occupy that role in EW’s 26-year history.
Leong joined EW in 2014 as design director. He previously worked at Fortune, Wired and Complex.
EW editor in chief Henry Goldblatt said Leong deserved the promotion, citing his “meteoric rise through the industry.”
Hitting newsstands today, the July issue of Women’s Running features a cover story contributed by freelance writer Savita Iyer. Titled “Body in Motion,” it’s all about the challenges faced by transgender runners and anchors the publication’s annual “Body Issue.”
That’s Amelia Gapin, a transgender runner from Jersey City, N.J., on the cover. She was photographed on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise, following a chilly early morning run. From the cover story:
Gapin finally decided to undergo the [reassignment surgery] procedure, because “my big goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and I can’t qualify for it as a woman without having surgery,” she says. “I knew the recovery process would be tough, and knowing that I wouldn’t be able to run for some months was holding me back – but it was also starting to increasingly feel as though not having surgery was holding me back from running, so I finally decided to do it.”
Among the other transgender runners featured in the cover story is San Francisco State University professor Marilyn Mitchell, who tells the magazine she will soon be releasing a solo album, “Be Alive,” inspired by her male-to-female transition.
Mark Sweney’s conversation in The Guardian with The Economist editor Zanny Minton Beddoes offers a number of powerful encapsulations of the challenge at hand. Minton Beddoes, who arrived in February of 2015, is the publication’s first female editor and looks forward to a time when that aspect will no longer be newsworthy.
1) “We don’t want to be the grandpa at the disco,” she says. This vivid, hilarious quote is the headline of The Guardian piece, and really says it all. Especially if you’ve personally experienced Gramps trying to bust a few moves at a wedding, disco or some other equivalent venue.
2) Minton Beddoes rightly states that a weekly print magazine in the 21st century is no longer enough. She says digital edition subscriptions have crossed the 300,000 mark, although these are doing much better in the U.K. and various international regions than they are in North America.
3) When Minton Beddoes was promoted to EIC, there was a single media staffer. Today, there are nine: seven in the U.K.; one in the U.S.; and one in Asia.
Much more in The Guardian piece, including her insistence that The Economist will not turn into a video company. Read the rest here. There’s also a great photo of Minton Beddoes, shot by Felix Clay.
Pictured: May 28, 2016 issue
It was 40 years ago, in June of 1976, that Don Bolles was targeted by a remote-controlled dynamite bomb placed under his vehicle at a Phoenix hotel. The Arizona Republic reporter, celebrated for his coverage of the mafia, died a week and a half later from injuries sustained in the June 2 attack.
In honor of his legacy, the paper has announced a namesake gift of $62,500 to ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The Don Bolles News21 Fellowship will allow an ASU student, starting next summer, to participate in the annual Carnegie Knight-News21 investigative initiative.
“At Cronkite, we try to make sure that every student who enters the school knows about Don Bolles,” Cronkite School associate dean Kristin Gilger said. “We sincerely appreciate The Arizona Republic continuing his legacy through this fellowship.”
News21 projects have won numerous awards, including four EPPY Awards from Editor & Publisher magazine, the first Student Edward R. Murrow Award for video excellence and a host of honors by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hearst Awards Program, considered the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism.
The reporting done each summer by News21 students is additionally published by major newspapers and various websites.
Bill Phillips, the Men’s Health veteran and editor in chief, is leaving the magazine. According to WWD, he was let go.
Phillips was named vp and editor in chief of Men’s Health in 2012. He joined the magazine in 2003, first serving as executive editor, then editor of Menshealth.com.
Men’s Health executive editor Bill Stump will serve as Phillips’ successor until a permanent replacement is found.
A wake was held Sunday in Everett, Mass., followed by a funeral this morning, for beloved former Harvard Crimson production supervisor Patrick Sorrento, who watched over the student publication from 1967 through 1998. He died, at age 80, last week.
The online obituary condolences page already has a several heartfelt tributes from former students, including this one from Andrew Karp, Class of 1983:
I have many cherished memories of the nights I spent downstairs at the Crimson with Pat. He gave me a lot of good advice when I needed it, not just about how to put the paper together but about how to live. Of course, we shared many laughs together. Pat was a dear friend, and I knew he always had my best interests at heart. Thank you so much for allowing Pat to share his time with me and the countless other students that he supported over the years. I think of Pat often, and I will continue to do so always–each time with a smile.
And in a Saturday piece by Crimson staff writer Brandon J. Dixon, others chime in as well:
“The Crimson had many student editors, but it had one mayor, and that was Pat,” Jeffrey R. Toobin ’82, a former Crimson sports and editorial editor and writer at the New Yorker, said. “Pat was the institutional DNA that connected the paper and the students to our predecessors and successors…”
As production supervisor, Sorrento was chiefly responsible for overseeing the daily creation of the paper. According to Sarah E. Scrogin ’96, a former managing editor, Sorrento would arrive at 14 Plympton St. around 8 p.m. each night and begin setting the templates for each page and helping editors flow stories into the paper. Tasked with a largely technical job, Sorrento still helped editors polish stories, offering alternatives for overused words and making convoluted sentences more precise.
Often berating Crimson editors for lagging behind during the production schedule, Sorrento would employ any number of expletives to light a fire under the editors’ feet.
On Sunday, Fox Sports Florida contributor Emily Austen tweeted the following apology for a series of misguided and career-costly remarks about Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love and various ethnic groups, uttered during a Barstool Sports Facebook Live discussion:
I made a terrible mistake. I was in an environment where I was trying to be funny and make a joke, and my comments were insensitive. You can trust this was absolutely not my intention. Anyone who knows me knows that it is not how I truly feel. I will continue to work hard to prove myself and make things right. I know I have some growing to do, and I sincerely apologize. Something like this will never happen again.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, who had already contacted a half-dozen broadcast sports industry figures to get reaction to the initial controversy, circled back to ask his anonymous panel what they thought of Austen’s apology. The group was split, with this reaction typifying the not-impressed side:
The sports television host: I mean, I suppose she does take responsibility for her actions. I read it however and think, ‘Why would you believe those comments would be viewed as funny?’ This apology has the feel of regret over getting caught rather than an understanding of why her words were hurtful to others.
A number of Austen’s other peers believe the apology is a good start. Read the rest of the panel’s thoughts here.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Barstool Sports Starts Spreading the Acquisition News
Image via: Twitter