Never mind that Mark Ebner has a tattoo on his left arm that suggests Popeye would be a more logical comics muse.
The West Coast journalist, back home in Rhode Island, spoke with Channel 12’s Will Gilbert, During the conversation, he colorfully recalled one of his earliest professional inspirations:
“I used to watch the Superman show in black and white, growing up as a kid in Providence. I didn’t really go for the guy in the tights and the cape, flying around. I was fascinated with this Clark Kent persona, the news guy, the ink man.”
Ebner also referenced the “Superman building-not Superman building” in downtown Providence. Although the co-creator of Superman was inspired by a Toronto skyscraper, and the one in the TV series mentioned by Ebner was Los Angeles City Hall, there were rumors in the 1950s that the structure at 111 Westminster Street was tapped for The Daily Planet. The building is still referred to today in some circles as the Superman building.
In case you missed it, Ebner wrote a piece last year for The Daily Beast about his early reporting on the transgressions of Bill Cosby. We’re talking 2007.
In the mid-week edition of Kevin Roderick’s always informative compilation of LAObserved media notes, there was this factoid:
Monday’s print Los Angeles Times had just 32 pages, which a long-time watcher of the page count (a former editor) called the all-time low. There were few ads in the entire paper…
It’s not just Los Angeles of course that is dealing with this phenomenon. Across the country, the gradual demise of newsprint lingers in the summer air. For example, here is what 75-year-old Martha Stewart told Ad Age in an interview published the day after the Aug. 29 L.A. Times edition:
“A year ago I told someone it would be very hard for me to give up my daily New York Times. Because I really love reading my New York Times in the car. I now get up at 5 o’clock to read my New York Times online. Maybe it has do with politics and what’s going on, and maybe it’s why I can’t wait for the news in the car. But it certainly is a different world.”
Tronc suitor Gannett well understands where it is all going. Last month, they completed their acquisition of ReachLocal, a digital marketing services company that is expected to add hundreds of millions of dollars to 2017 digital revenues. And, in statements connected to the release of their 2016 second quarter earnings, Gannett cited as one of the risk factors ‘an accelerated decline in general print readership and/or advertiser patterns as a result of competitive alternative media or other factors.’
Barbara Friedmann’s 14-year run at Elle Decor has come to an end. Friedmann first joined the magazine in 2002.
Friedmann has served as Elle Decor’s vp and publisher since 2008. She previously served as the title’s vp of marketing. Prior to joining Hearst, Friedmann worked for Hachette Filipacchi Media, U.S.
A Hearst spokesperson said of Friedmann’s departure, “We thank Barbara for her commitment to making Elle Decor the powerhouse brand it is today.”
Kate Kelly Smith, senior vp, publishing director of Hearst’s Design Group will assume business oversight for the magazine.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have Cosmopolitan taking on Bloomberg Pursuits.
Cosmo’s latest features Kourtney Kardashian discussing her “hot single life.” Now there’s content you just won’t find anywhere else.
Pursuits, meanwhile, has Ewan McGregor wearing an outfit that dammit, we want. You win magazine creative team and advertisers, you win!
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Goop has hired BJ Jacobs and Erin Cotter as director of audience development and vp of beauty, respectively.
Jacobs most recently digital product lead for Royal Caribbean Cruises. He previously worked for The New York Times from 2010 to 2013.
Cotter previously worked for Esteé Lauder and Bumble and Bumble.
L.A. Times music writer Randy Lewis had some fun with the circumstances of a special radio station contest event held Wednesday on the West Coast. It was all designed to showcase Sting’s first pop-rock studio album in more than a decade, titled 57th & 9th, in honor of the intersection he passes on his way to and from his New York music studio. Per Lewis:
Sting in Northridge? Although the music business continues to be a puzzle for many in terms of how to make a living these days, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hold its share of intriguing surprises.
Thus, one of the biggest rock stars in the annals of rock — Sting — materialized Wednesday at Cal State Northridge’s Valley Performing Arts Center, at noon no less (“Good evening!” he said after sauntering on stage, and quickly correcting himself, “Or good morning, I guess”), for a midday preview of new music before a tiny but boisterous crowd of about 300.
Separately, EW’s Madison Vain spoke with the 64-year-old Sting and got some good background on the creative process for the LP:
I do a lot of my thinking on the move and it’s an inspiring city to be in. Pedestrians, the traffic, the noise, the architecture — the scale of New York is very stimulating for the mind. The walks [to and from the studio] are very much a part of the process.
The album comes out Nov. 11.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Sting, Peter Gabriel and London’s Royal College of Art
The Evolution of Sting and Trudie Styler’s Il Palagio
The Huffington Post’s 16th international edition—HuffPost Mexico—has officially launched. The Spanish-language site is published in conjunction with Mexico City-based Grupo Imagen Multimedia.
Given Donald Trump’s trip to Mexico, the launch of HuffPost Mexico is quite timely.
As HuffPost global editorial director Howard Fineman explained in a post about the new site, quality reporting is extremely important; especially now.
“Reporters, videographers, photographers, researchers and the rest of the media can’t forge peace, abolish injustice or elevate wise leaders,” wrote Fineman. “But good journalism explodes stereotypes, dispels destructive myths and gives us all access to accurate representations of our fellow humans — not as their enemies, rulers, propagandists or demagogues depict them.”
The New York Times is cutting off its coverage of local art galleries, restaurants and theaters. The move is designed cut costs and reduce the number of freelance writers the Times uses.
Kurt Wenzel, one Times freelancer who reviewed restaurants, noted how this decision will impact local businesses.
“This is, in my opinion, the real shame of ending this part of the Metro section (beyond the livelihood of writers),” Wenzel wrote in an email to Deadline. “The fact that there is now much less oversight of local culture and entertainment. Local communities are the biggest losers, since a new theater run or restaurant won’t get the opportunity to reach the sophisticated audience that the Times attracts.”
Google has hired Kate Lanphear to oversee its new search product for fashion week.
According to WWD, the new product “includes a searchable calendar of shows, a feed of relevant stories and social media posts from featured designers and influencers.”
Lanphear previously served as editor of Maxim. Lanphear stepped down from that post late last year.
In addition to her role at Google, Lanphear is serving as a contributing editor for The Editorialist.
Among the passengers on Wednesday’s first U.S. commercial flight to Cuba in half a century: Michael Weissenstein, the Havana bureau chief for Associated Press. As he explains in his piece, the experience marked a big difference from the way he previously got back and forth from the island, via charter:
The electronic ticket cost $98.90 and took less than three minutes to buy on JetBlue’s website. For an extra $35, I hauled back 100 pounds of goods that are nearly unobtainable in Cuba: porcelain kitchen tiles, ice cube trays, a designer dress for my fiancee.
Who knew that ice cube trays were hard to come by in the launchpad of the Cuba Libre cocktail?
For air travel trivia buffs: the flight number was 387. The plane taxied away from Fort Lauderdale’s gate F10 and departed at 9:50 a.m. ET. The plane arrived in Santa Clara, Cuba at 11:05 a.m., eight minutes later than the scheduled arrival time.
Weissenstein has been working from Havana since August of 2014, departing the island about three times a year for vacation purposes.
Photo via: Twitter
Amy Cosper, editor in chief of Entrepreneur, is leaving the magazine. Cosper served as the magazine’s editor since 2007.
Cosper also served as vp of Entrepreneur Media. She first joined the company in 1995.
Cosper tweeted that her post-Entrepreneur plans included “writing books, speaking, documentaries and a very long motorcycle ride.”
The day after Super Bowl XLV, Feb. 7, 2011, The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta described AOL’s deal to acquire The Huffington Post as “Tim Armstrong’s Hail Mary Pass.” That description was comically recalled Tuesday night by Arianna Huffington as she bid her official farewell to staff at a party hosted at Catch’s rooftop. Huffington is moving on to Thrive, while her game-changing content company now belongs to Verizon.
“If I knew more about football, I would complete the [New Yorker] metaphor in some inspiring way,” joked Huffington. “But I know enough to know that whatever kind of pass it was, it worked. Appropriately, the deal was signed on Super Bowl Sunday, actually at the Super Bowl. It’s the only part of a Super Bowl I’ve ever paid attention to.”
“And now here we are celebrating a new chapter, both for me and for The Huffington Post, just as football season starts again,” she continued. “Sadly, I am as clueless about football now as I was then, but I am very up on how many hours a night Tom Brady sleeps and how that helps improve his stats – though I have no idea what those stats mean.”
“Tim believed in our global expansion from Day One. In fact, he and I announced it days after the acquisition when we were in London. And now HuffPost is set to launch HuffPost Mexico in two days [Thursday], building a bridge between our two countries at a time when Donald Trump wants to build a wall. So thank you Tim for proving right the prediction I made on the day of the acquisition, that HuffPost was stepping off a train and getting on a supersonic jet.”
Photo by: Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
This guide shows you how to take your concept from idea to proper publication, step by step. It covers all the nuts and bolts of indie magazine publishing, from budgeting and distribution to design and print.
It’s a risky move. Be that as it may, Variety Silicon Valley correspondent Janko Roettgers has the scoop this week on GoPro’s decision to try and reverse the course of several money-losing fiscal quarters by turning itself into a media company.
Roettgers paid a visit to the office of company CEO Nick Woodman, who teased some of the 32 (!) short-form series the company plans to roll out in late 2016 and 2017:
GoPro plans to launch 32 short-form shows late this year and early in 2017. Some of the titles in production include the travel show Beyond Places, the music format Off the Record and the family-themed This Is Gonna Be Fun and Kids Save the World. GoPro also teamed up with Real Madrid for a series on the legendary soccer club, and there’s one about New York motorcycle cops in training.
The shows are being produced by the company’s entertainment unit, which, until earlier this year, was headed by former CBS Corp. executive Zander Lurie. But Lurie left in January to become CEO of SurveyMonkey, and the division is now being led by Ocean MacAdams, who at various points has held programming posts at MTV, Warner Music and the Madison Square Garden Co.
There’s little doubt some of this content is going to be compelling. But can it be monetized? Then again, at the Emmys this year, one of the nominees is the GoPro-streamed Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Vox Media wants to expand internationally, and so the company has tapped Jonathan Hunt as vp of international.
Hunt joined Vox in 2104 as vp of global marketing and communications. He previously worked for Vice.
“Jonathan joined us exactly two years ago to create and scale our marketing partnerships and communications,” wrote Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff, in a memo to staffers. “He and his team have done a great job doing just that. His knowledge of our company and his past international business development experience will serve us well in this new role.”
“We will be sharing more details—such as where, when, and how we’ll expand into new markets—over time,” continued Bankoff. “Jonathan’s first order of business will be working closely with stakeholders throughout the company to determine our international priorities, opportunities and strategies moving forward.”
Hunt will report to Vox Media president Marty Moe.
The initial rate negotiated last fall between Tel Aviv-based freelancer Yardena Schwartz and Vice for a story about a Palestinian uprising and that event’s connection to the holy site Temple Mount was $500. However, following a personal emergency that disappeared her Vice editor for a week and undermined the topicality of the submitted item, she was offered a kill fee of just $75.
As Schwartz explains in a piece posted today on CJR, she had spent three full days working on the article. Since the decision to kill the piece had nothing to do with proper editorial considerations, she turned to her Alma Mater:
I typed up a quick email detailing what had happened and sent it to the Columbia Journalism School international alumni listserve. The subject line was, ‘Warning for freelancers re: Vice.’ Within minutes, my inbox was flooded with emails from other journalists who had suffered similar misfortunes with Vice. Most of the stories were worse than my own.
Not all of the journalists referred to in this story were approached this way. After hearing only negative anecdotes from former employees and freelancers, I tried to find people who had something positive to share about their experience with Vice. I put a call out on Facebook and within my network of other journalists… Out of 25 people I spoke to, emailed with, or interacted with through Facebook, three said they had a positive experience freelancing for Vice.
For the piece, Vice separately put Schwartz in touch with three freelancers who it promised would have positive things to say about their experiences. Her article quotes two of these individuals, but here’s the catch: both journalists are based in the U.S.
Whereas pretty much all of the attributed scenarios cited by Schwartz, besides her own, are international. Two journalists in Paris; one in Morocco; another, unnamed, in Europe; and a bunch of grievances in Canada. As she writes near the top of her CJR report, Vice’s A/P department was recently reconfigured with a new invoicing system and the engagement of an outside payroll processing company.
Let’s hope Vice gets it together moving forward on the international freelancers front. Because there appears to be little doubt that Vice’s rapid growth left a lot of lot of those folks holding the bag.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Vice Contributor Recalls Low Point of Iran Undercover Mission