Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round pits Allure against Car and Driver.
Allure’s latest features Kendall Jenner explaining that she “wanted the attention to be on me for five seconds.” No word yet on if Jenner understands that concept of irony, but we’ll updated if/when we hear back.
Car and Driver went in an entirely different direction because it’s a magazine about cars, idiot. Its March cover features a Ford Raptor, a vehicle owned by people who have a hard time picking their favorite Toby Keith album.
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
Current headlines at website The Window include \"The Man Behind the Hair\" and \"Dressing for the Job.\" Starting tomorrow at the Barneys flagship location, that same general content can be picked up and put in a shopping bag.
Per Fashionista senior editor Alyssa Vingan, Barneys New York has decided to follow an evolving retail marketplace trend and parlay their website into a same-named magazine. From her post:
While the Barneys in-house editorial team has a huge hand in putting together The Window in print, readers can expect contributions from some of the industry’s most well-known photographers (like Christian Macdonald, Ilan Rubin, Daniel Jackson and Richard Pierce) and writers, including Christopher Petkanas, whose work has appeared in T: The New York Times Style MagazineW.
Danish photographer Mads Nissen has won the 2014 World Press Photo of The Year for his image of a gay couple in Russia. The photo was part of Nissen’s larger project, titled “Homophobia in Russia.”
The World Press Photo jury was chaired Michele McNally, The New York Times’ director of photography and assistant managing editor. “It is an historic time for the image,” said McNally, in an announcement. “The winning image needs to be aesthetic, to have impact, and to have the potential to become iconic. This photo is aesthetically powerful, and it has humanity.”
This is the second straight year that the winning image was selected from the contemporary issues category. Last year’s winner — by John Stanmeyer — was a photograph of African migrants attempting to get a cell phone signal.
(Image: Mads Nissen)
The minds of Time and Businessweek editors are becoming one. This week both magazines tackle aging, albeit from slightly different angles.
As for the covers, the baby is cute, but we prefer the in-your-face granny.
(Editor’s note: Time’s baby is not as cute as my baby, thus had no shot)
Update (10:38 am):
Perhaps Time’s baby could take some longevity advice from National Geographic’s baby, circa 2013:
Those writers you know who always have a story at the ready? There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because they’ve been blessed with a brain that effortlessly churns out ideas as if it were an act innate as respiration.
Ideas are merely the front end of a vast system of research, strategic reading and active curiosity that you must consistently engage with. As with so many things in life, you have to do the work to get the payoff. In our most recent Journalism Advice column, we looked at the habits and practices of three experienced writers that ensure their ideas keep coming.
One thing we learned is that reading widely is as important as reading works specific to your beat:
“When you immerse yourself in what’s going on in the world, you find not only new perspectives for yourself, but you see what and why things are resonating with society as a whole — all of which better informs you as a writer,” [Alicia] Lutes said. “You cannot write in a vacuum on the Internet.”
For more, including how to sort through all the information you’re taking in, read: How to Generate Story Ideas as a Freelancer
The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.
Time Inc. reported its fourth quarter and full year earnings today. The publisher endured a rough fourth quarter, with revenue dropping eight percent to $895 million. Digital ad dollars were up slightly — from $85 million to $87 million — but that wasn’t enough to offset losses in print, which declined by 10 percent.
The publisher was particularly hurt by plummeting circulation. Circulation revenues — which includes subscription, newsstand and other circulation revenues — declined eight percent in the fourth quarter and three percent year over year.
While Time Inc.’s overall ad revenue for Q4 declined by eight percent, for the full year it only dropped by two percent.
Ever the optimist (he pretty much has to be), Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp kept his eye on the future. “One of the unique sources of upside for Time Inc. is the ability to extend our powerful brands into new revenue streams,” he said.
BuzzFeed has named Lee Brown chief revenue officer. Brown was most recently head of global sales for Tumblr.
Prior to joining Tumblr, Brown served as senior VP of national sales for Groupon.
“Bringing over two decades of sales experience and leadership to BuzzFeed, Lee will be responsible for driving business globally with new and existing revenue streams,” wrote BuzzFeed president Greg Coleman, in a memo. “He is no stranger to leveraging technology and great storytelling to solve partners’ challenges.”
Bob Simon, 60 Minutes Correspondent, Killed in Crash on West Side Highway (New York Daily News)
60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon was killed in a car crash on the West Side Highway in Manhattan on Wednesday night, sources said. The 73-year-old reporter was a passenger in a livery cab traveling south on 12th Avenue at W. 30th Street when it rear-ended a Mercedes-Benz driven by a 23-year-old man and then slammed into a median around 6:45 p.m., a police source said. TVNewser Simon reported for 60 Minutes this past weekend profiling Selma director Ava DuVernay. Mediaite Simon, who joined the network in 1967, was a longtime correspondent for 60 Minutes whose career spanned more than five decades. In 1991, while covering the Gulf War in Iraq, he was captured and imprisoned for 40 days. THR Simon won 27 Emmys for covering major stories including The Vietnam War, violence in Northern Ireland from 1969-1971, The Gulf War and The Olympics. In 1991, he spent 40 days in an Iraqi prison alongside three other members of the CBS News team, and turned the experience into the 1992 book Forty Days. Variety The New York native worked at 60 Minutes for nearly 20 years, where he won a total of six Emmy awards, most recently in 2012 for his work on the segment \"Joy in The Congo.\" Simon also won a Peabody award for international reporting on CBS News.
John Malone Takes Stake, Board Seat at Lionsgate (NYT / DealBook)
John C. Malone rarely strikes straightforward transactions. And his deal to take a seat on the board of the film studio Lionsgate is no exception. Lionsgate announced on Wednesday that Malone, the billionaire who controls the Liberty empire of media and telecommunications businesses, would swap stock in the Starz cable channel for Lionsgate shares and a board seat. THR Lionsgate unveiled a stock exchange deal with affiliates of Malone that will see the mini-studio exchange 3.43 percent of its common stock for 4.51 percent of stock in Starz. Lionsgate’s stake will carry 14.5 percent of the voting power at Starz. Malone will remain Starz’s largest voting shareholder, holding around 6.1 percent of equity and around 32.1 percent of the voting power. Variety It’s possible that Malone could end up making a play for Lionsgate or the studio behind The Hunger Games and Divergent could try to take control of Starz, a collection of 13 cable channels. Both possibilities have been speculated about for some time, although analysts caution that the media companies are still just dating. Deadline The terms suggest that Lionsgate puts a $140 million price on its 4.5 percent of Starz, Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says. \"At first blush, this deal likely bodes well for Lionsgate’s TV production segment as Starz has been ramping up its original programming slate,\" he says. Lionsgate shares surged 7.4 percent Wednesday morning, with Starz up 3.4 percent.
Netflix Pulls House of Cards Season 3 After Leak (THR)
The third season of House of Cards debuted early on Netflix Wednesday afternoon, becoming fully available for viewing, but was pulled minutes later. Variety A spokesman for Netflix called it a technical error. \"Due to a technical glitch some Underwood fans got a sneak peak,\" Cliff Edwards told Variety. \"He’ll be back on Netflix on Feb 27. #no spoilers.\" In a tongue-in-cheek tweet, the House of Cards Twitter handle characterized the upload as a \"leak\": \"This is Washington. There’s always a leak. All 13 episodes will launch Feb. 27.\" Deadline According to user accounts, 10 episodes from Season 3 briefly were made available. The number of episodes created confusion, prompting Netflix to tweet that the new season will consist of 13 episodes. Mashable “President Underwood fights to secure his legacy,” Netflix says in the new season’s description. “Claire wants more than being First Lady. The biggest threat they face is contending with each other.”
Time Warner Earnings Beat Estimates, Dividend Increases (Variety)
A decline in home entertainment sales at Time Warner’s studio division, Warner Bros., pushed earnings and revenue at the media giant down slightly to end 2014, even as HBO and Turner continued to be the main engines driving the entertainment company. WSJ Time Warner reported a 1 percent drop in revenue for the December quarter as declines at its Warner Bros. studio offset increases at its Home Box Office and Turner Broadcasting cable businesses. Revenue at the Turner unit, which houses TNT, TBS and CNN, increased 2 percent to $2.6 billion due to gains from subscription fees and content. Advertising revenue, though, fell 1 percent because of declines in audience and fewer Major League Baseball playoff games. Time Warner on Wednesday raised its quarterly dividend by 10 percent to 35 cents. THR Time Warner plans to boost its annual spending on content to $19 billion “over the next few years,” chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said Wednesday. He told the entertainment conglomerate’s earnings conference call that the company spent $14.5 billion in 2014 on content production, programming and marketing. That would mean content spending would rise 30 percent over the coming years.
Twitter Acquires Niche, A Platform for Vine Video Creators (SocialTimes)
Twitter announced Wednesday that it has acquired Niche, a discovery platform of content creators on Vine (also owned by Twitter). THR Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports peg the deal at more than $30 million. Niche was founded in 2013 to work with the growing number of content creators on Twitter-owned Vine and other platforms, such as Instagram. As of last summer, Niche was working with 3,000 social media accounts that reached 500 million followers. Today, the company has doubled in growth to more than 6,000 accounts and 100 brand advertisers. Re/code This move means that Twitter is now the owner of a social media talent agency. And that means it can tap a revenue stream it wasn’t previously participating in — both on its properties and on other social services like Google’s YouTube and Facebook’s Instagram.
NBC Nightly News Removes Brian Williams’ Name (TVNewser)
\"From NBC News world headquarters in New York, this is NBC Nightly News. Reporting tonight, Lester Holt.\" So began the first night of Brian Williams‘ six-month suspension away from the NBC newscast he has led for more than a decade. The narration and graphics were scrubbed of Williams’ name, as was the set itself. Wednesday night, even the Nightly News website and Twitter account had been edited to remove Williams’ name and image. Mediaite About halfway through Wednesday’s broadcast, Holt followed a piece about snow in Boston by saying, \"Now to the story many of you are talking about tonight and one that not only hits close to home but in our home. He went on to announce Williams’ suspension and read statements from NBC News president Deborah Turness and NBC Universal chairman Steve Burke, before offering some thoughts of his own. \"If I may, on a personal note say, it’s an enormously difficult story to report,\" Holt said. \"Brian is a member of our family, but so are you, our viewers. We will work every night to be worthy of your trust.\"
Dashiell Bennett Joins Bloomberg (FishbowlNY)
Bloomberg continues to add to its markets team with the hiring of Dashiell Bennett. He most recently worked as news editor of The Atlantic, and he’ll retain the same role at Bloomberg Media. FishbowlDC Since his hiring back in October, Joe Weisenthal has continued to build his Bloomberg team with the recent hire of Tracy Alloway from the Financial Times, who will serve as executive editor of Bloomberg Media’s markets coverage.
Pages From USA Today to Appear in Other Papers (WSJ)
Gannett Co. on Thursday will announce deals to insert content from USA Today, its flagship newspaper, into a range of small and midsize publications owned by other newspaper groups, an arrangement meant to help both sides boost circulation revenue and attract new advertisers. FishbowlNY For more than a year, Gannett has been inserting content from USA Today into 35 of its other newspapers. It is partnering with nine additional outside outlets and chains, including New Jersey newspaper the Record.
Sky Shares Fall After Premier League Soccer Rights Deal (Deadline)
Sky shares have dropped about 2.5 percent after London’s stock market reacted negatively to news that Sky paid $6.4 billion (£4.2 billion) for five of the seven Premier League TV packages. Conversely, shares in BT — which acquired the other two packages for $1.46 billion (£960 million) — rose more than 2.8 percent. THR Sky got rights to 126 matches per season for $6.37 billion over three years starting with the 2016/2017 season, up 83 percent from $3.55 billion in the previous deal.
Ex-CBS Hoops Analyst to Have Solicitation Charge Dropped (TVNewser)
Former CBS basketball analyst Greg Anthony will have the charge against him, soliciting a prostitute, dropped if he performs 32 hours of community service and stays clean for four months.
AOL Posts Gains in 2014 (FishbowlNY)
AOL has released its fourth quarter and year-end earnings report. The company — which has been forging ahead with programmatic advertising in an effort to boost ad revenue — had some things to celebrate. Total revenue was up 9 percent compared to 2013, with a 5 percent jump in Q4 alone. Revenue at AOL Platforms, which includes programmatic advertising, was up 20 percent year over year.
Mic Investigates Possible Plagiarism by News Director Jared Keller (Capital New York)
Millennial-focused news site Mic has launched an internal investigation into possible plagiarism by news editor Jared Keller, Mic spokesman James Allen said in a statement. The investigation comes after Gawker’s J.K. Trotter identified and published 20 examples of apparent plagiarism by Keller.
Vice Names New EIC, Head of Content (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Vice Media has named a new editor-in-chief of the magazine and a new global head of content. Ellis Jones has been named Vice Magazine’s editor-in-chief, replacing Rocco Castoro, who has resigned from the company. Jones, the first female EIC in Vice‘s 20-year history, has effectively been serving in that role for six months.
Discovery Communications, Cablevision Renew Carriage Deal (THR)
Discovery Communications and cable operator Cablevision Systems have renewed their networks’ carriage agreement. The agreement covers Discovery’s full portfolio of networks, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Destination America.
HBO Online Service Will Launch in 2015, Priced as Premium Product (Variety)
HBO will launch its highly anticipated standalone digital service later this year, but the premium cabler remains tightlipped about what programs it will offer and how much it will cost. \"It’s a premium product and it will be priced accordingly,\" HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said during a call with analysts on Wednesday.
For more than a year, Gannett has been inserting content from USA Today into 35 of its other newspapers. The benefits, per a report by the Wall Street Journal’s Lukas I. Alpert, have been sizable:
\"What we found with our papers was that [subscriber turnover] dropped in every market and [the inserts] increased the amount of money people would spend on a subscription,\" said Larry Kramer , USA Today’s president and publisher. \"We were able to unlock value – many millions of dollars in fact – just inside the Gannett network.\" He said it was a \"no-brainer\" to extend the idea to new partners.
As a result, Gannett is expanding the partnership. Per Alpert, the media company will officially announce on Thursday that it is partnering with nine additional outside outlets and chains, including New Jersey newspaper the Record.
Concidentally, Alpert’s paper this year discontinued a similar arrangement, Wall Street Sunday, which repackaged content for 67 newspapers. He writes that the program was profitable.
Founded in 1986, Applied Arts is Canada’s leading magazine of visual communications. The 2015 Design Awards is now open for entry. There is a mind-boggling number of categories available grouped within Design, Promotional Design, Editorial Design, Packaging Design, Broadcast Graphics, Typography Design, Typefast Design, Craft and Young Blood.
As much as we’d love to bring you the latest gossip from Michael’s, our lady about town, Diane Clehane, is taking a break from the hustle and bustle today. Have no fear, she’ll be back at 55th and 5th next week.
In the meantime, here are some recent columns to chew on…
TVSpy: A tiny bit of silver lining to a dark cloud — police have arrested the man suspected of shooting KFMB sports director Kyle Kraska.
SocialTimes: A study found that Fitbit was “the most socially devoted brand” on Facebook in January. That’s good! What would be better is if Fitbit actually worked.
TVNewser: The media finally got the chance to talk about itself last night.
Article author Tascha Robinson, also a senior editor for Pitchfork film site The Dissolve, describes McCloud’s work as a \"magnum opus.\" Certainly, both the plot – about an artist who makes a deal with the devil – and the process by which McCloud constructed the novel bear that out:
What was difficult was planning and drawing The Sculptor, which became a five-year process of storyboarding the entire book in frame-for-frame detail, through multiple drafts, before McCloud ever finalized a single panel. McCloud took tens of thousands of pictures in New York to use as references for his \"obsessively detailed\" art. He used Google Street View to map out where his characters live, work and walk, and to draw the actual neighborhoods from life.
He doesn’t consider himself a natural artistic talent, so much as a laborious reviser. \"I’m not one of those artists who gets it right on the first try,\" he says. \"Basically, I draw a shitty figure, and then go through however many steps it takes to make it less shitty. I’ve got an unsteady hand, but a steady eye, and I know what needs to be fixed.\"
A most refreshing self-evaluation. McCloud kicked off his year-long book tour at the 92nd Street Y February 2. He’s in Portland today and Seattle tomorrow, ahead of Chicago, and will visit the Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach, California on February 18. Read the rest of the Chicagoist piece here.
[Jacket cover via: scottmccloud.com]
Reporter Reeves Wiedeman could not have hoped for a better lynchpin. His Popular Mechanics March 2015 issue look at \"The Daily Miracle\" of how between 300,000 and 600,00 copies of the New York Times are rolled off the print presses centers around a man who once delivered the paper.
The plant that Ernie Booth oversees is in Queens; his paper route was in the Bronx:
The trailer trucks carry twenty-four pallets, a load of 50,000 copies. The trucks will make about eighty departures from the plant by morning, fanning out to other distribution points, from which the copies will be delivered to grocery stores, bodegas, office buildings and newsstands from New Haven to Albany to Trenton. Booth used to spend his nights waiting for the trucks to arrive – he had a Times paper route in the Riverdale section of the Bronx starting in 1986, when his daughter was born and he needed extra income.
Another funny Booth tidbit is his reaction when Riedeman asks him how well the newspaper’s editors ten miles away meet his print operation’s nightly deadlines. Hint: It’s probably the same reaction he gave subscribers who failed to tip him at Christmas.
It’s been an interesting year so far for Ronnie Cremer.
In early January, the 36-year-old Reading, Pennsylvania computer technician and sideline musician went public via the New York Daily News with his version of how Taylor Swift learned to play guitar. It’s a minor biographical detail, perhaps, but one that the Swift PR team seems to have seriously fictionalized; they’ve seemingly shortened and inverted two years of truth:
“I never wanted to be the person who always begrudged someone’s success,” Cremer says. “And for whatever reason, and I don’t know if I’m even mad at the Swifts. It’s just that their publicity team, that doesn’t sell as good: A 36-year-old bald guy taught her. That ain’t gonna work. If you say, he worked with her six hours a week, it was basically Tuesdays and Thursday from 5 to 8. That ain’t gonna sell.”
Now comes the legal threat. Following the NYDN piece, Cremer registered the domain itaughttaylorswift.com. Late last week, he received a cease-and-URL-desist email from the superstar’s legal team.
But here’s the twist. In a Daily News follow-up, he tells the paper that he aims to launch a content site, not some sort of hub promoting his personal businesses:
Cremer says he now hopes to turn his website into a landing spot for untold Swift stories, and is not looking to make money.
“I would like to develop it,” he said. “It’s really not going to be a for-profit website. I’ve got nothing to sell on it. It’s going to be an informational website that basically lets people know what really happened.”
Cremer says he got a lot of hate mail from Swift fans following the January 10 NYDN exclusive by Andy Martino. We imagine a whole new wave of haters are going to flood his inbox after the reporter’s latest piece.
In a clever move, Cremer has itaughttaylorsswift.com redirecting to the February 10 Daily News article.
There’s been all sorts of fun media coverage framing this month’s 40th-year anniversary of Saturday Night Live. Everything from Bill Carter in THR to members of the current cast, interviewing each other, in Gotham magazine.
Today, Vulture has reposted Jeff Greenfield’s original coverage of the show’s 1975 launch. It’s a take Woody Allen must have loved:
“Your mind atrophies in L.A.,” says Chevy Chase, who wrote for the defunct Smothers Brothers comeback show last year. “Nobody reads the papers out there. It’s all one thing – ‘the business.’ In New York, you’re right out on the streets.”
George Carlin, the comedian who hosted the premiere show, observes that “there’d be no point in doing a live show in L.A. It’d be dull.”
Ouch. Greenfield also notes that to produce the show in Manhattan meant that production costs were 40% higher than if it had been done in Burbank. We should all be happy the program never tried to become synonymous with \"Live… from Burbank…\"