At age 75, Rome cab driver Alberto Tomassi is finally getting ready to retire. But not before taking International New York Times reporter Elisabetta Povoledo for a delightful spin down Corsia di Memoria (Memory Lane).
The article has not a single ounce of click-bait in it. It’s also a reminder of the sort of subject matter expanse that only a few outlets today can still afford to cover. From Povoledo’s piece:
Then as now, celebrities were fodder for the gossip-hungry public, and paparazzi buzzed the streets on swerving scooters scouting nightclubs – like Milleluci and the Grotte del Piccione, long since closed – for their prey. “Those were the days before the selfies,” Mr. Tomassi said.
Unfolding a plastic bag, he gingerly lifted a faded newspaper clipping mounted in a simple frame: a personal memento from those long-gone days when Rome was known as Hollywood on the Tiber.
A photo showed Mr. Tomassi as he squired the actors Ursula Andress and Jean-Paul Belmondo around Rome.
The actors met while filming the 1965 comedy Up to Their Ears (trailer, above). When Tomassi drove them, they were working on the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale. Over the years, Tomassi, who started at the wheel of his first taxi vehicle Feb. 5, 1966, has also driven Frederico Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren,
All week, entertainment reporters in Las Vegas for the annual CinemaCon movie theater owners and operators convention have been simultaneously tweeting out news from each of the big, successive studio presentations. Yesterday’s marquee news was that Warren Beatty is finally getting ready to release his long-gestating Howard Hughes movie and may also crank out, of all things, a Dick Tracy sequel.
Today, James Cameron has Beatty handily beat with the revelation that there will now be four Avatar sequels, reaching all the way to 2023. There are definitely many more than five different ways to slice up the Twitter avatar reactions. We’ve glommed on to one particular strand and the thoughts of, in order: The Atlantic’s associate editor, culture; the author of the novel Pro-Apocalypse; and New York indie listings magazine editor and publisher Jon Dieringer.
Taylor Swift is Vogue’s latest cover star.
For the accompanying endless praise of a profile, Swift brought Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay along to her best friend’s wedding. Swift was serving as, according to Vogue, “the best maid of honor ever.” Sorry everyone, ever.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have Cosmopolitan squaring off against W.
Cosmo’s latest features Scarlett Johansson looking pretty great with short hair. Also, Flat Belly Fast! Which is all we’ve ever wanted, honestly.
W’s May issue also comes with a stunner — Jennifer Lopez. She’s dressed like a matador and still looks amazing.
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
Fun moment at the top of Shaun King’s online interview with our former TVNewser colleague Jordan Chariton, now covering the Presidential campaign for The Young Turks.
King, the paper’s senior justice writer, disagreed with Chariton’s statement that he might not want to come out with criticism of the paper’s interviews with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, because it could be seen as “biting the hand” that feeds him.
“I don’t see it as biting the hand that feeds me,” King explained. “I was telling you before we started. The Daily News has really given me a lot of freedom to say what I think and to give my honest take and perspective on, not just the Sanders campaign, but a wide variety of issues – on injustice, police brutality. For instance, our paper has traditionally been the most read paper in New York by police officers. We’re kind of seen in the city as a working-class paper for public servants and others. But I’m very critical of not just police brutality but police misconduct, the way police handle misconduct. I’m critical of public servants and people in power. And so, they’ve given me the freedom to do that.”
“I am a young turk inside of the New York Daily News, in essence,” King later added. Indeed, King has been impressive in his time so far at the paper, in a way that would fit right in with Cenk Uygur’s operation.
New Republic’s new owner Win McCormack is about to have a new editor. Gabriel Snyder, who served as NR’s editor since 2014, is departing the magazine.
Snyder previously worked for Gawker and The Atlantic.
In a memo to staffers, New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish said Snyder “put his distinctive mark on what a political and cultural institution looks like in 2016.”
A couple Revolving Door items for you this morning, involving Cosmopolitan and Atlantic Media’s Defense One. Details are below.Angela Ledgerwood has been named books editor at large for Cosmo. Ledgerwood is the host and creator of the podcast Lit Up and previously worked for Cosmo as an assistant editor. Marcus Weisgerber has been promoted to global business editor of Defense One. He previously served as a global business reporter for the site.
As Jordan Clarkson put the finishing scoring touches on Kobe Bryant’s final game as a Laker, 710 ESPN Radio play-by-play announcer John Ireland marveled on-air that the game was “in the refrigerator” and that, in reference to No. 24’s record-setting 60 points, “I don’t believe what I just saw.” Those were, respectively, references to the late, great Chick Hearn and Jack Buck’s call when Kurt Gibson hit a walk-off home run for the Dodgers in the 1988 World Series.
This morning on ESPN 710, Ireland explained that the only thing he had thought about ahead of time in terms of game-ending calls was such a nod to Hearn’s signature wrap-up. It’s only upon listening to his broadcast words again this morning that Ireland realized he had also hit the memory bank for the Buck reference. On a recent NBC Sports list, the Buck World Series reaction was ranked as the fifth best call sports broadcast history.
Ireland’s ESPN colleague J.A. Adande has his own great take today. Under the headline “Kobe’s Glorious Ending Was So Kobe,” he writes:
Kobe Bryant went out in the most Kobefied way possible. Sixty points on 50 shots. FIFTY SHOTS. He shot shot shot to the very end. He either defied his critics or proved them right. You’re welcome to choose. There will be no more parsing of Kobe Bryant to be done around these parts. No more narratives because there’s nothing left to write. No more arguing about how he should do it, or how his way compares to others. This is how he did it. Past tense. If the methods were debatable, the results were undeniable, and now finalized. They will hang his jersey on the wall in Staples Center and they will erect a statue of him in the plaza outside because of the way he did it.
Pictured: The front of this Sunday’s L.A. Times special Kobe Bryan pull-out section.
The New York Times is going all in on its digital future by announcing NYT Global, a team tasked with expanding the Times’ revenue streams outside of America.
In a note to staffers, Times executive editor Dean Baquet said the paper would be investing $50 million into NYT Global over the next three years.
“Every part of the company, the newsroom, product and technology, advertising and consumer marketing, and data and analytics, among others, needs to think creatively about attracting and retaining a bigger non-American audience and growing revenue outside the U.S.,” wrote Baquet.
The NYT Global team is as follows:
Joe Kahn and Stephen Dunbar-Johnson led the recent International work stream, and together they will head NYT Global. Joe, as assistant masthead editor, International, will orchestrate editorial coverage and strategy together with the International Desk and other top newsroom editors. Stephen, as international president, will oversee business operations.
Lydia Polgreen will become an associate masthead editor and editorial director for NYT Global, Joe’s second in command in this endeavor, charged with crafting our approach to new markets and prioritizing international readers.
Paul Walborsky, who in partnership with Lydia, successfully managed the launch of The New York Times en Español, will become senior vice president, International Market Development, where he will be charged with setting up and managing businesses in identified key markets, including those already established in Mexico and China. Craig Smith who oversees our China business operations will now report to Paul.
James Slezak, who has played a central role developing our international digital strategy, will become vice president and chief of operations, charged with coordinating the work of the NYT Global teams and maintaining the overall business case, strategy and vision.
Charlotte Gordon, as vice president, international consumer marketing, will oversee non-U.S. consumer revenue and is successfully driving the strong rate of subscriber growth we are seeing from international markets.
Dan Blumberg, who has led key elements of our mobile and off-platform product, will manage digital product vision as product director, International.
Suzanne Yvernes, as international chief financial officer, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on the group’s financial performance.
Jean Christophe Demarta, as senior vice president, Global Advertising, will continue to lead our efforts to grow our international advertising across all of our platforms.
Sports Illustrated’s MMQB.com has added Tim Rohan as a writer. Rohan most recently worked for The New York Times as its Mets beat writer.
Rohan had been with the Times since 2012. He previously covered national college football for the paper.
“Tim is one of the most inquisitive young reporters I have met,” said MMQB editor Peter King, in a statement. “What impresses me about him is his ability to step into a situation of unfamiliarity and turn around a good and smart story quickly.”
Rohan will join MMQB in June.
There’s a striking illustration at the top of today’s Mercury News front page, related to the Golden State Warriors breaking the Chicago Bulls NBA regular-season mark for victories. The artwork, by Milan-based freelance artist Davide Barco, shows Steph Curry grabbing a Chicago bull by the proverbial horns.
Barco is no stranger to vivid NBA-related artwork. On his home page, previous samples include a pair of Warriors illustrations created for a Dec. 25, 2015 New York Times piece as well as a personal illustration inspired by Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of David.”
For the latter, Barco drew Lakers No. 24 reaching out an extended arm to Bulls No. 23. Many are calling last night the greatest night in NBA regular season history, what with Kobe dropping 60 in his final game and the Warriors reaching 73 victories. The Barco Curry illustration is also on the front of today’s East Bay Times, the other Bay area paper resulting from the recent consolidation of dailies by the Bay Area News Group.
Image via: newseum.org
Vice has added Ravi Somaiya to its upcoming Vice On HBO news show. Somaiya most recently served as a media reporter for The New York Times.
Somaiya previously worked with Gawker. He joined the Times in 2012.
“Ravi has been a collegial presence in the newsroom, quick to help colleagues and offer insight into stories on the media beat and elsewhere,” wrote Times business editor Dean Murphy, in a memo.
Running until September 4, 2016, at The Met Breuer in New York, the Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible exhibition assembles 197 works spanning the Renaissance to the present, with the goal of exploring the notion of what it is for a work of art to be "finished."
The fictional one works for Rolling Stone and is played in the new movie Miles Ahead by Ewan McGregor. A real version filed investigative pieces out of Massachusetts for Gay Community News, The Advocate and Boston magazine before passing away in 1979.
As Cincinnati Enquirer arts reporter Carol Motsinger notes in her look at the new film directed by and starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis (alongside McGregor), there’s more to this odd coincidence. The film, which was principally shot in the Ohio city, is set the year that the real Brill died:
Cheadle does know that there were a handful of journalists who did try to interview Davis during what’s now known as his “silent period.” So it made sense to cast a reporter as Davis’ sidekick in the central caper.
Another real-life David Brill is a distinguished Australian cameraman, now 71. It might seem like a stretch to include this Brill in an item about a film set in New York circa-1979. Except that Brill was here at that time, carrying out what turned out to be a ten-year posting alongside Australian Broadcasting Corporation colleagues Ray Martin and Jeff McMullen. Cool cats, all.
Tonight at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, Calif., there will be two big reasons to celebrate. This year marks the 20th anniversary of public radio-TV program Democracy Now! And Tuesday was the official publication date of a new book about the independent daily global news hour, written by co-host Amy Goodman, her brother David Goodman and program contributor Denis Moynihan. All three will be in attendance tonight for the book signing and reading event.
From the event page:
In 1996, Amy Goodman began hosting a show on Pacifica Radio called Democracy Now! to focus on the issues and movements that are too often ignored by the corporate media. Today Democracy Now! is the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., broadcasting on over 1400 public television and radio stations around the world, with millions accessing it online at democracynow.org.
This important book looks back over the past two decades of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world. Goodman takes the reader along as she goes to where the silence is, bringing out voices from the streets of Ferguson, to Staten Island, Wall Street, South Carolina to East Timor – and other places where people are rising up to demand justice.
Amy’s brother David is a contributing writer for Mother Jones and host of radio show The Vermont Conversation. Moynihan writes a syndicated column with Amy and is the founder of community radio station KFFR 88.3 FM in Winter Park, Colo., where he lives. Goodman co-hosts Democracy Now! with Juan González.
Jacket cover courtesy: Simon & Schuster
Good article today on Vice, translated from Vice France.
Last summer, the anonymously bylined male reporter traveled to Iran on a tourist visa; he took all sorts of precautions before and during his visit. However, at one point after journeying north from Tehran to Tabriz with a photographer and handler, the trio were hauled away to a private room for interrogation while attending a soccer match. It was touch-and-go, all the way through:
In my stupidity, I still had two or three issues of Charlie Hebdo in my bag, thinking I would read them before leaving them somewhere on a plane. And I had printed a series of articles on de Pasdarans – also known as Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution – a branch of the Iranian army, who have been accused of smuggling alcohol into the country through a secret airport. On an insane impulse, I asked if I could be excused to use the toilets for a minute.
A few guards accompanied me to the doors of a set of filthy toilets. I rolled up my sleeves, tore up dozens of pages and buried the balls of paper as deep as possible in the shit heap that had accumulated in the toilet. It didn’t flush, of course. I washed my hands with a water pipe and got out 20 minutes later praying that nobody suspected anything. I was made to return to the interrogation room. A couple of hours later, our passports were given back to us, and we were free to go.
The reporter found out shortly thereafter from his colleagues that the interrogating agents planned to search the septic tank of the toilets. That night, he, the fixer and photographer were convinced they would be arrested any minute and hauled away for good. To find out what happened, read on.
The original article was published on Vice France Jan. 7.
Lakers great Magic Johnson posted a letter to Kobe on his official website. On The Players’ Tribune, where Kobe announced around Thanksgiving his decision to retire at the end of this NBA season, the quartet of Horace Grant, Brian Shaw, Ron Harper and Devean George take turns sharing memories under a combined Retired / Los Angeles Lakers byline.
Shaw kicks things off by recalling how some time spent with a young Kobe in Rome in the late 1980s when he played with Italian team Il Messaggero Roma took on a media life of its own:
By the time Kobe got to the league and we were in the NBA Finals that first time in L.A., I had reporters coming up to me asking, with a straight face, “Did Kobe really take it to you in a game of one-on-one back in Italy?”
I’m like, “What? He was 11. I was 22. Are you serious?”
But that was the power of Kobe.
What actually transpired was a game of H-O-R-S-E during warm-ups (one which Shaw can’t remember if he won or lost). In the Washington Post, Caron Butler outlines the bond that developed with Kobe during the 2004-2005 season:
Forget playing with you; just working out with you was crazy. It tested my will, because you were a creature similar to some of the best players I’ve played with: D-Wade, Gilbert, Dirk, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, guys who worked on their craft relentlessly. I wasn’t going to ever quit on a workout, especially with you, but it just made me think, “This is what it takes. All this stuff didn’t happen by coincidence. That’s why he’s so successful. And if I want to be successful, that’s what I’ve got to do, and that’s the work I’ve got to put in.” That opened my eyes.
Another great essay was published Tuesday by Sports Illustrated. Here are part of Pao Gasol’s thoughts, as told to Lee Jenkins:
There are so many games in the NBA, it’s easy to start going through the motions. He kept everybody on edge. In practice he challenged people. He talked trash to people. It wasn’t for everybody. Some players can’t deal with that, but I didn’t mind. It was his way of motivating you and pushing you to give more. It’s easy to get comfortable. He made sure nobody was comfortable.
Image via: @NBA2K
E.W. Scripps Company has acquired Demand Media’s Cracked.com for $39 million.
Cracked was founded as a magazine in 1958, while Cracked.com debuted in 2005. In 2007, Cracked folded its print edition.
Scripps said Cracked was profitable and generated about $11 million in revenues last year.
“In this era of fragmentation, you can’t just be middle-of-the-road. You have to be something that consumers love, and people love their Cracked,” said Scrips chief digital officer Adam Symson, in an announcement.
Time Inc. has named Joseph Messer publisher of Travel + Leisure. Messer most recently served as associate publisher of Food & Wine.
This marks a return to T+L for Messer, as he previously worked for the title for seven years.
“Joe is well respected in the travel industry and among his peers at Time Inc.,” wrote Time Inc. executive vp Evelyn Webster, in a memo. “His ability to find and cultivate talent and inspire teamwork, combined with his proven sales skills and experience creating innovative marketing programs, makes him the ideal person to lead Travel + Leisure along with editor Nathan Lump as we continue to build on the brand’s recent momentum.”
Messer is succeeding Jay Mayer, who is leaving Time Inc.