Esquire has named Kevin Sintumuang culture and lifestyle director and Jeff Gordinier food and drinks editor. Both start today and report to Esquire editor Jay Fielden.
Sintumuang most recently served as The Wall Street Journal’s digital director for life and style. He previously spent more than a decade at GQ.
Gordinier comes to Esquire from The New York Times, where he served as a food writer and contributor to the paper’s T Mag, Book Review, Styles, and Travel sections. He previously eight years as editor at large for Details.
Business Insider has partnered with Netherlands-based Z24 Media to launch a Dutch version of Business Insider.
“We’re thrilled to launch a Dutch version of Business Insider as our 10th international site,” said BI editor and CEO Henry Blodget, in a statement. “Z24 Media has a deep understanding of business media and the digital space. It’s the ideal partner to help us bring Business Insider’s style of business news coverage – compelling, real-time and social – to the Netherlands.”
“BI is the perfect fit for our business portfolio and will help further strengthen our leading position among this segment,” added Z24 Media publisher and editor Arend van den Berg.
The new BI site is expected to launch this fall.
According to The Wall Street Journal, The Outline will publish 15 to 20 pieces of content a day that will focus on power, culture and “the future.” Initial hires at the site include Aaron Edwards, formally of BuzzFeed News; Adrianne Jeffries, most recently a managing editor at Vice; and Amanda Hale, previously with Talking Points Memo.
Topolsky wants The Outline to act more like a tech company and less like a media venture. He is billing it as the opposite of digital media brands today, which often need to tout big numbers to gain advertiser dollars. That, of course, is easier said than done.
Topolsky has raised $5 million in funding, led by RRE Ventures. Now the hard part begins.
Vice Media has acquired a majority stake in the beauty and fashion agency Starworks Group (SWG). Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
SWG represents a variety of celebrity stylists. Recent projects include marketing for clients like Ivy Park, H&M and Calvin Klein.
“The fashion industry contains incredible creativity, but in many ways is stuck in the past,” said Vice co-president Andrew Creighton, in a statement. “We’ve long admired James [Grant, SWG CEO and co-founder] and his team at SWG’s passion and vision to create a new business platform that represents today‘s consumer. Together, we’ll bring that vision to life through insights, data, innovation and the best content in the world.”
Timothy G. Anderson’s biography Lonesome Dreamer: The Life of John G. Neihardt took shape over several decades.
The author, now retired but until last year a professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, met Neihardt at a book signing in 1972 when he was a student at the same school. But it was while on vacation many years later that things really started to spark. From Jeff Korbelik’s great piece this weekend in the Lincoln Journal Star:
Anderson and his wife, Nancy, took a trip to Sweden in 1995. They stayed at a friend’s house who was away at the time. Unable to sleep one night, Anderson looked through his friend’s library for something to read. Only two books were in English, a Willa Cather novel Anderson had given his friend and Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks, a book Anderson hadn’t read since college.
“So I reread Black Elk Speaks in Sweden, and I remember telling Nancy at breakfast one morning ‘I think I’m going to look into this guy.’”
When he returned to New York, he called his parents back in his home state, sharing stories about Sweden and his idea to research Neihardt. His mother, “being typical of small-town Nebraska,” where everybody knows everybody, said “You know his daughter [Hilda] lives in Tekamah, you should call her.”
And so he did.
Before teaching, Anderson worked at The New York Times and Newsday. He eventually wrote a Master’s thesis on Neihardt when he went back to school, and tells Korbelik he initially thought his efforts might produce a magazine feature article.
The aforementioned Black Elk Speaks is a 1932 book that recounts the life of an Oglala Lakota tribe medicine man. Anderson’s biography is out today.
Back cover image courtesy: Bison Books
With Patricia Sauthoff completing her PhD studies and moving from the U.K. to India to start a teaching fellowship, website Mediagazer had a part-time editor position to fill. For many journalists, the site is their go-to equivalent of The Drudge Report, checked constantly throughout the day to ascertain the latest media-industry breaking news.
Stepping into Sauthoff’s slot is New York-based writer Matthew Kassel. He started officially on Wednesday and is editing the page alongside Lyra McKee and Andria Krewson.
“I trained for about a week,” Kassel tells FishbowlNY, “as the CMS has its own internal logic and takes a minute to figure out. My shift is variable, but it looks like, for the moment at least, it’ll be Mondays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (and then intermittently throughout the evening depending on what news pops up) and Thursdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.”
“It’s been going well so far,” he adds. “I’m used to having my byline attached to things – and I’m still freelancing a lot – but there is something refreshing about being behind the scenes. I used to send my own stories to Mediagazer when I worked at the New York Observer (I got laid off in February, just before it seemed like a good career move to quit the place), and I never knew who saw the links. So it’s interesting to be on the other end. I feel kind of like a voyeur.”
Ha ha. Speaking of long, hard stares, we couldn’t help but wonder what the story is with Kassel’s great Twitter avatar (pictured above). “My mom drew it last October,” Kassel exaplins. “She’s a very talented artist with a whimsical eye, and she often turns people into rabbits when she’s sketching on the subway or wherever else. I like to think of my profile photo as one of those clubby New Yorker avatars that staff writers and contributors get, except mine’s cooler because I’m an animal, and I’m the only one who has it.”
For revenue, the Mediagazer family of sites, crowned by Techmeme, relies on sponsored posts and job ads.
Michael Cieply recently took The New York Times buyout and now resides at the house that Nikki Finke built. Meanwhile, his former colleague and frequent collaborator Brooks Barnes, who has covered the Hollywood beat for the paper since 2007, has this weekend shared an item with a headline that is almost impossible not to click: “Meet the New Owner of the Playboy Mansion.”
Unfortunately, Barnes was unable to secure an interview with the titular J. Daren Metropoulos (pictured), other members of the Metropoulos family or Hugh Hefner. But he did chat with some peripheral players, one of whom, a dean of the L.A. west side luxury real estate scene, offered up an intriguing factoid:
Two real estate agents who worked on the Playboy Mansion sale, which includes a stipulation that Mr. Hefner, 90, and his wife, Crystal Harris, 30, can continue to live in the mansion until his death, did not respond to queries, although a third agent involved, Jeff Hyland, added an interesting tidbit: The Metropouloses had tried to buy the Playboy Mansion six years earlier and failed.
“The offer then was for about $75 million,” Mr. Hyland said.
The purchase price this summer was $105 million. Another fun aspect of the article is that it allows Barnes to revisit a daytime tour of the Mansion that he was given in 2012. The Charing Cross Rd. home was built in 1927 and acquired by Hefner in the early 1970s:
It was gross. The famous grotto pools, linked in 2011 to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, reminded me of one of those fetid animal enclosures at a low-rent marine exhibit. Don’t get me started on the bathroom off the mansion’s main hall. There is a separate house that contains arcade games and has bedrooms with carpeting I could only describe as crispy.
Barnes’ article is on the front of Sunday’s Styles section with a slightly different headline: “New Playboy for a Mansion With a Past.”
Photo via: metropoulos.com
If you had to take a guess, how many states would you say Patch is currently covering? The answer is a solid 50%.
Granted, the revamped hyperlocal network is doing it with a small editorial staff of around 65. Which means for example that a staffer like Tim Darnell is responsible for all Atlanta Patch sites as well as some covering parts of the Georgia counties of DeKalb and Cobb. But help is on the way.
Atlanta is one of just over a dozen markets for which Patch is looking to hire more journalists. Others include Cleveland, Dallas, Miami and Santa Cruz.
In the job ad, Patch points to a recent Wall Street Journal article. What’s interesting about the Feb. 2, 2016 piece by Jack Marshall is that it reminds how a lot less coverage has been coming Patch’s way now that the news is good. Back in the days when Patch was struggling under full AOL ownership, it was a favorite target of some media critics. (AOL still owns a large minority stake.)
A glance at Patch these days highlights certain other components, including the arraying of the same content across different sites. But all in all, Hale Global is to be commended. Two and a half years after the mass layoffs, the site has survived, at a time when another similar operation, with similar traffic – examiner.com – just folded.
At the beginning of the summer, Patch Media chairman Charles Hale sent staff a state-of-hyperlocal-union summary. His note revealed that editor in chief Warren St. John had been promoted to executive editor-CEO and also included this perspective:
Thanks to the talent and passion of everyone at Patch, we’ve grown our audience in the last 12 months from 14M UVs to 20M-23M, depending on the month. We’ve done this the hard – some would say, the real – way: organically, without a single bought page view. Two-thirds of our monthly users are return users – an impressive statement about our users’ loyalty and a marked contrast from viral publishers who seem to get so much attention these days. Those loyal users also contribute to our remarkably stable and consistent traffic pattern, one that is less susceptible to the vicissitudes of virality and that in turn allows us to plan more confidently for the future.
If you’ve never heard of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, you’re in for a treat. Because of this Ghanaian’s great success across Africa as a crusading journalist, exposing corruption at the highest judicial and government levels, he must wear a disguise on-camera and at other public gatherings to maintain professional integrity.
Anas was in Worcester, Mass. July 25 to deliver the keynote address at the African Youth Excellence Awards. The interview was conducted during that visit, by website Sahara Reports. When asked what advice he had for up-and-coming journalists, Anas answered from a vantage point that shares zero common ground with aggregating:
“We should be daring. But anytime that we decide to take those risks, we should be sure that we have the necessary backups that to ensure that we live to be able to tell the news story, tomorrow. No story is worth human lives.”
“It will come at a great pain, and at a great risk. But at the end of the day, there mus be indelible marks, both on our heads and on our skin, to show the sacrifices that we have made. And at the end of the day, there must be smiles on the faces of those we have saved.”
Last year, Montreal-based filmmaker Ryan Millins made a documentary about Anas, titled Chameleon.
Hearst, which already owns the Houston Chronicle, has struck a deal that may turn out to be a model of how to profitably expand and consolidate newspaper operations within a major metropolitan area. Acquired for an undisclosed sum from 103 Star Communications are 23 community weeklies and one daily, the Conroe Courier.
In a note to Courier readers, editor Andrew DuBois and Houston Chronicle editor Nancy Barnes outline the immediate impact of the ownership change:
The Courier will be published as an edition of the Houston Chronicle, which will allow the Courier to draw on a deeper well of resources, while keeping its focus squarely on Conroe and the surrounding communities…
We have merged some of the Houston Chronicle reporting staff that has been covering Montgomery County with The Courier staff, but the editorial leadership will remain the same to ensure that we continue to deliver on The Courier’s unique local mission. We remain dedicated to ensuring timely delivery of The Courier.
With regards to the 23 weeklies, which include the Dayton News, the Magnolia Potpourri and the Sugar Land Sun, Barnes sees great synergy there as well:
“We’ve long recognized how important our burgeoning suburbs are to our readers,” Barnes said. “Many of these communities – Katy, The Woodlands, Pearland – would be home to their own daily newspapers in another era. With this acquisition, we hope to leverage the strong content the Houston Community Newspapers publications are already delivering to our diverse suburbs to provide all of our readers with a richer community report.”
The acquired properties, collectively known as the Houston Community Newspapers & Media Group, can be found onine via the centralized website yourhoustonnews.com. Although there is no explicit mention today of plans to bundle the 23 weeklies with Chronicle on the print side, that would seem to make sense. The Courier, interestingly enough, was founded in 1896 as a weekly.
Photo via: chron.com
Vox Media promotes Melissa Bell to publisher. She had been vice president for growth and is a co-founder of Vox.com. “We thought about the publisher title, and in different industries and at different times, it’s meant different things,” said Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff. “Melissa’s job is going to be focused on continuing to grow our brands.” Bell fills a position that had been open for more than two and a half years, and some see the move as a sign that Vox Media wants to become a more traditional publishing company…
The Guardian will lose more than 250 staffers as the publication looks to cut costs. Reporters Shiv Malikand Ed Vulliamy and mobile editor Subhajit Banerjee are among those taking the buyout. Meanwhile, former Timesman and Guardian’s current executive editor for digital, Aron Pilhofer, moves on to work at Temple University as a journalism professor… Sara Silver moves to Reuters Breakingviews, where she’ll be a columnist… Former Esquire editor David Granger joins David Kuhn‘s Kuhn Projects as literary agent… And there are changes at BerlinRosen and more…
The CBS series Madam Secretary returns Oct. 2 for a third season. And when it does, the debut episode will bear the directorial stamp of the world’s eighth media wonder, Morgan Freeman.
The above photo of Freeman on set was shared early Thursday on the actor’s official Facebook page. We hope that after any July 28 production obligations, the 79-year-old maestro was able to watch and listen to himself narrate the coronation of the first female nominee for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The mountain of trending Twitter reaction to Freeman’s masterful narration of the 12-minute film put together by Shonda Rhimes included suggestions that the actor serve in a Clinton administration as Chief Narrator or perhaps White House press secretary. Another interesting element of Freeman surging to the top of the U.S. Twitter trending topics list last night is that he bumped “North Korea.” The Hermit Kingdom was trending Thursday because of an interview by AP Pyongyang correspondent Eric Talmadge with a DPRK representative, who suggested that the placement of Kim Jong-un on the sanctioned individuals list amounts to a declaration of war by the U.S.
If we were manning The Onion, our headline today would involve Jong-un agreeing to downgrade all threats and embrace Korean unification, in exchange for the promise of a biographical film narrated by Freeman.
Here’s a look at the posts that made the most buzz the past seven days.Time Inc. Announces New Editorial Structure 50 NY Times Staffers Accept Buyouts Paul Simon Fails to Bridge the Art Garfunkel Gap Refinery29 Names Partnerships Exec More Than 20 Women Have Accused Roger Ailes of Sexual Harassment
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TV Guide has named Jim Halterman West Coast bureau chief and Christine Petrillo vp, brand partnerships.
Halterman most recently served as an editor for Xfinity.com and TVFanatic.com. Previously he worked for Variety, Mashable and more.
Petrillo most recently served as iHeartMedia’s director of branded entertainment sales.
“Jim not only brings a deep enthusiasm for TV with him to the magazine, but he brings it with him wherever he goes,” said TV Guide president Paul Turcotte, in a statement. “As a longstanding and respected member of the television journalism community, we know we can look to Jim to be an energetic and informed presence for us on the west coast. Christine’s incredible track record and decades of experience will help us generate creative and meaningful partnerships with brands wanting to reach the engaged TV Guide Magazine reader.”
Mike Federle, COO and recently-appointed president of Forbes Media, talked to Folio about a wide range of subjects. Federle opened up about the challenges Forbes faces, the power of print and more. Below are some highlights, but the entire piece is worth a read.
On the difficulties facing Forbes:
The challenge is that nothing is ever done, right? The moment we feel like ‘oh boy, we’re in a great spot,’ something changes, whether it’s ad blocking that becomes an issue or viewability…Distribution models of content are creating new issues and concerns for us that we have to address.
On the power of print:
The print product remains the front door to our brand. Especially when you start looking at all the licensed products around the world — with the exception of France — it always starts with the print product. It’s what people identify Forbes with. To be on the cover of Forbes still is an iconic measure of success.
On Forbes’ dedication to expansion:
Every time we launch a new licensed product—and we now have 36 around the world, in 36 different countries—we kind of plant our flag in a new market and we create opportunities for other businesses to grow around that.
At a victory rally in Philadelphia in April following the Pennsylvania primary, Hillary Clinton responded to Donald Trump‘s accusation that she was playing the woman’s card with the emphatic remark, “If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in!” At one point during her DNC acceptance speech Thursday night, Clinton delivered that exact same remark and this morning, the punchline is the front-page headline chosen by a number of newspapers.
At the time Clinton originally fired back at Trump, Huffington Post women’s editor Alanna Vagianos praised Clinton not just for the remark but also for the candidate’s cheeky publishing of a woman’s card in the form of a credit card. The image, posted for a time at womancard.org, showed a piece of plastic good starting 1/17.
A convention cycle that began with echoes of Michelle Obama via Melania Trump ends with Hillary Clinton sampling Hillary Clinton. It might have been more powerful if Clinton had prefaced her sourcing of this remark with a recollection of when Trump challenged her in the spring, and how her commitment to these issues remains the same.
Images via: newseum.org