The rumors that former Fox exec Richard Battista would soon be named president of People and Entertainment Weekly were true. Time Inc. has made it official, tapping Battista as executive VP of Time Inc. and president of both magazines.
“Rich’s proven success in building large-scale businesses across multi-media platforms makes him the perfect choice to lead the powerful People and Entertainment Weekly,” write Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, in a note to staff. “I couldn’t be more excited to have someone of Rich’s caliber champion new ideas and opportunities that will continue to keep these brands top of mind for consumers and business partners alike, and also prime them for future growth and success.”
In the same memo, Ripp announced that Karen Kovacs has been promoted to group publisher of People and EW.
You can read Ripp’s full letter below.
I am very pleased to name Rich Battista, a veteran entertainment and media executive, Executive Vice President of Time Inc. and President of People and Entertainment Weekly. Rich, CEO of Mandalay Sports Media (MSM) and a former Fox and News Corp. executive, will assume his new role on April 6. A Boston native, Rich will move back to the East coast from Los Angeles and be based in our New York headquarters. He will report to me.
Rich will have full operational oversight of growing the core businesses of People and Entertainment Weekly in addition to extending their print and digital businesses into a number of media platforms. Rich’s proven success in building large-scale businesses across multi-media platforms makes him the perfect choice to lead the powerful People and Entertainment Weekly. I couldn’t be more excited to have someone of Rich’s caliber champion new ideas and opportunities that will continue to keep these brands top of mind for consumers and business partners alike, and also prime them for future growth and success.
Rich is excited to join our company and oversee such exceptional brands. He has been a major consumer of both titles for many years and has great passion for the entertainment space. In Rich’s words, “exciting times lie ahead as we continue to expand and evolve People and EW into truly multi-media businesses.\"
It is also with great pleasure that I announce Karen Kovacs’ promotion to Group Publisher of People and Entertainment Weekly. Karen is a 22-year veteran of Time Inc. and a driving force behind the success of the People brand. She continues to lead People’s integrated sales and marketing teams. Amidst constant shifts and changes in the digital world, Karen is relied upon for her vast knowledge of the digital and social media landscape, working side by side with both print and digital editors to collaborate on integrated packages for the brand. She was the driving force behind People’s digital launch and a key architect of its tremendous multimedia expansion including People Now. She was instrumental in launching the People Magazine Awards, a two-hour TV special honoring the cultural forces of the year. During her tenure, People has continued to maintain its No. 1 position in advertising pages and revenue since 2008. Last year, FOLIO: inducted her as an industry leader naming Karen one of the Top Women in Media.
Karen, Editorial Director Jess Cagle, and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy Susan Parkes will report to Rich. Entertainment Weekly Publisher Melissa Mattiace will report to Karen, while EW Editor Henry Goldblatt and Digital Editorial Director Will Lee will continue to report to Jess.
With Rich’s arrival and Karen’s promotion, People and EW are poised for continued growth and future success. Please join me in welcoming Rich to the Time Inc. family and congratulating Karen on her new role.
The Supreme Court is deciding, yet again, on the Affordable Care Act’s future in a decision that is expected to come out in early July. But while we wait on SCOTUS to weigh in, as it stands now, health insurance is still mandatory for everyone, including you intrepid freelancers.
If the process of finding a health insurance provider has you overwhelmed, let us help you sort through your options.
Have you, for example, considered getting health care through a professional group?[In addition to the Freelancers Union,] other professional groups to look into for group insurance rates include AAPR, and alumni and church associations. If you’re running a small business, it would be wise to check with your local chamber of commerce or the Small Business Service Bureau. In addition, the National Association for the Self-Employed offers insurance plans.
For more advice, read: Health Insurance Options for Freelancers
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.
Vogue style editor-at-large Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis is a princess and an idiot. You cannot blame her for the former, but you can blame her for the latter.
While covering Paris’ fashion week, Princess TNT (yes, seriously) posted a photo of a homeless man reading Vogue with the caption “Paris is full of surprises…. and @voguemagazine readers even in unexpected corners!”
Hahahaha! Poor people are so silly. Look at that guy, acting like he can read. Maybe next he’ll do a little dance for everyone to enjoy!
Obviously people who saw Von Thurn und Taxis’ picture were appalled, so she deleted it and then apologized in a different post.
“I wanted to extend my sincerest apologies for the offense my post has caused. Yours truly Elisabeth.” Sure sounds sincere to us. She seems nice.
Jimmy Kimmel calls it \"the greatest local news story of all time.” And ahead of the late night talk show host’s annual St. Patrick’s Day recall of a 2006 report by Brian Johnson for Mobile, Alabama NBC affiliate WPMI-TV, Press-Reporter journo Emily Hill hit Le Cren Street with a photographer to see if anyone remembered the infamous sightings of a “leprechaun” sitting in a tree.
The good news for Kimmel is that thanks to today’s story, he may have a new way to celebrate his favorite local news clip. He can invite to the program Shun Thomas, the man who started it all:
Thomas said he told his brother, cousin and friend who were with him to look at the tree. One by one they saw the image [of the leprechaun] as well.
… This event occurred every evening for about a week before news stations began showing up, as the discovery snowballed. “For me, it became frustrating because of the reports. It was more like, the people of Crichton discovered this and it became a joke when it wasn’t at all,” Thomas said.
“No one ever came, like you did today, saying ‘I want to get to the bottom of this.'”
The sketch above, drawn by Thomas’ sister, was purchased for $1,100 by New York resident Tye Miksis. Bet you he could flip it to Kimmel for a nice profit.
FiveThirtyEight has named David Firestone its new managing editor. Firestone was previously with The New York Times for more than two decades.
During his stint with the Times Firestone filled a variety of roles, including reporter, deputy editor for the national and metro desks, and member of the editorial board.
“David received glowing testimonials from his former colleagues at the Times,” wrote Nate Silver, FiveThiryEight’s editor, in an announcement. “In some cases, his skills complement our mission — David has been instrumental in making the Times’ newsroom more data-driven, for instance. In others, his experience will help in areas where we’re trying to improve: marshaling resources for high-impact projects, combining statistical analysis with other types of reporting, and creating a sense of mission around the news each day.”
The New York Times has named Randy Archibold deputy sports editor. Archibold had served as the Times’ bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean since 2010.
Prior to being named bureau chief, Archibold was a national correspondent based in Los Angeles. He has been with the Times since 1998.
Before joining the Times, Archibold worked for the LA Times for five years.
According to a new study on news networks, Americans either love Fox News or they hate it. There’s not much middle ground. The report, by Quinnipac University, found that Fox News was rated the most trusted and the least trusted TV news source.
The survey asked 1,286 registered voters across the nation about the trustworthiness of network and cable news networks. When asked “Do you trust the journalistic coverage provided by Fox News a great deal, somewhat, not so much, or not at all?” 20 percent answered “a great deal.”
That was good for the largest percentage among the other networks, which included NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS and MSNBC. However, 26 percent also answered “not at all” for Fox News’ coverage, also the highest among all news sources.
We imagine the Fox News team is pleased with this dichotomy. It’s better to be loved and hated than to be ignored.
The New York Times has officially launched a primary Instagram account. Available at @NYTimes, the account kicks things off with photographers interpreting a theme of “beginnings.”
The first entry is by Bryan Denton, who is covering the beginning and end of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leon. You know, something light and fun!
According to an announcement, other featured photographers include Todd Heisler (@heislerphoto) and Doug Mills (@nytmills) in the Unites States, Newsha Tavakolian (@newshatavakolian) in Iran, Daniel Berehulak (@danielberehulak) in India, Adam Ferguson (@adamfergusonphoto) in Thailand, and Sim Chi Yin (@chiyin_sim) in China.
Andy Lack Named Chairman of NBC News, MSNBC (TVNewser)
Andy Lack is returning to NBC as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. Current News Group chairman Pat Fili-Krushel will move upstairs at 30 Rock to work alongside NBCU CEO Steve Burke, who brought her to the network in 2011. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Fili-Krushel was made chairman of the NBC News Group in 2012, overseeing NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. Lack, who was president of NBC News from 1993 to 2001 and created MSNBC in 1996, will only oversee those channels. CNBC president Mark Hoffman will report directly to Burke. Capital New York Lack, who also briefly served as NBC’s president from 2001-2003, subsequently left to take over Sony’s U.S. music business, and later to lead Bloomberg Media. After leaving Bloomberg last year, he joined the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a U.S.-backed agency which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio and TV Marti. The BBG announced his departure Wednesday. HuffPost Lack rejoins NBC News during a period of scandal and uncertainty. In February, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was suspended for six months after Stars And Stripes outed the anchor for fabricating details about his experience as a reporter during the Iraq War. As the network mulled Williams’ fate, Lack reportedly convinced Burke to leave open the possibility of the anchor’s return. New York Post / Page Six Katie Couric is reportedly angling for a return to NBC after the network announced that Lack, who helped make her a star at Today, is back in charge. Couric, the co-host of Today from 1991 to 2006, could make a return to the Peacock Network because of her continuing close friendship with Lack. Adweek Lack, as many have noted, took over the network the first time amid a much more damaging and disturbing scandal than the one currently plaguing Williams and his producers — the newsmagazine program Dateline faked footage of a car engulfed in flames for an investigative report on manufacturing defects at General Motors.
Fox News Channel Signs MLK’s Niece, Dr. Alveda King (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel has signed Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to a contributor role. King will be featured across FNC’s programming, offering social and cultural commentary. Mediaite Network chairman Roger Ailes added: \"Alveda has brilliantly carried the legacy of the King family to the next generation and has been a source of inspiration for many Americans. Her passion and mission for social change will be a valuable contribution to our network.\" King has made appearances on Fox News before. HuffPost King is a prominent anti-abortion activist and serves as director of African-American outreach at Priests for Life. She has also courted controversy by speaking out against LGBT rights, proclaiming in 1998 that “God hates homosexuality” and comparing gay marriage to genocide in a 2010 speech. THR Serving just one term in Georgia’s House of Representatives (between 1979 and 1981), King comes to the network with a résumé that includes status as a senior fellow at Howard Center for Family, and she belongs to the National Black Pro-Life Coalition (NBPC), the Coalition of African American Pastors and the Judeo-Christian Coalition for Constitutional Restoration. She’s received multiple awards for her activism and authored several books, including 2014 title King Rules: 10 Truths for You, Your Family, And Our Nation to Prosper.
Taxpayer Subsidy Allows Time Inc. to Slash Jobs (WNYC)
Time Inc., the publisher of Time, Sports Illustrated, People and many other magazines, is planning a move from Midtown to downtown Manhattan, with the help of public subsidies. The terms of the deal allow Time to cut close to one third of its jobs, with no penalty. Last year, Time was reported to be looking for a smaller headquarters in New Jersey. New York State responded by awarding the publisher a package of grants and tax breaks worth $10 million to stay in New York. Mediaite In return, Time would invest $150 million in a lower Manhattan revitalization program, thanks to, according to a spokesman, an \"attractive lease\" in a building where \"its main headquarters will be located for many years to come.\" But the terms of the project, revealed in documents obtained by WNYC, allow Time to slash its workforce to 2,000 employees, and according to its filing, Time currently employs 2,917 people. New York Post The 2,000 employee level \"doesn’t mean we plan to cut that many,\" said a spokesman. \"It is designed to be the floor to give us flexibility. The alternative was to take all those jobs and move them all to New Jersey.\"
Tribune Media Posts Higher Fourth-Quarter Financials, Unveils Dividend (THR)
Tribune Media, the entertainment company that was created by last year’s split of the Tribune Co., on Friday reported higher fourth-quarter financials and unveiled a $650 million special dividend and plans for a regular quarterly dividend. Variety The company said Friday it would declare a special cash dividend of $6.73 per share next month for a total of $650 million, most of which will go to private equity firms that converted the company’s debt to equity after Tribune emerged from bankruptcy. Tribune also said it expects to pay a regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share starting with the second quarter of this year. WSJ Tribune Media posted upbeat revenue guidance for the year, as higher advertising revenue and retransmission fees helped its earnings more than double in the December quarter. For the full year, the company expects revenue between $2 billion and $2.03 billion, above the $1.87 billion that analysts had called for.
DC And Marvel, Beware: Valiant Is to Make Films (NYT)
DC’s Justice League and Marvel’s Avengers are going to have to make room for even more heroes coming to the big screen. The independent comic book publisher Valiant Entertainment and the Beijing-based DMG Entertainment announced on Sunday a nine-figure investment and partnership for feature-film financing as well as publishing, television and licensing opportunities. THR / Heat Vision As a result of that investment, Valiant and DMG will develop both movies for release in the U.S. and China, as well as new projects specifically for the Asian market, including “Chinese-language publishing, animation and theme parks, as well as toys and apparel.” Variety Valiant was formed 25 years ago by comic book creators including former Marvel editor-in chief Jim Shooter and Iron Man artist Bob Layton, and has sold more than 81 million comics.
Laurel Pinson Named Glamour Digital Editorial Director (FishbowlNY)
Laurel Pinson has been named Glamour’s digital editorial director. Pinson comes to the magazine from Stylecaster, where she served as editor-in-chief. WWD / Memo Pad Pinson, who will start her new gig on March 30, will report to Anne Sachs, executive digital director, and will oversee all editorial and social media content for glamour.com. Pinson fills the role left vacant by Sachs, after the site’s former executive digital director, Mike Hofman, moved to Condé Nast sister pub GQ to head up digital there.
Former Fox Exec ‘Front Runner’ to Be President of People, EW (New York Post / Media Ink)
Former Fox and News Corp. executive Richard Battista is said to be the front runner to be named to the newly created position of president of the People and Entertainment Weekly Group at Time Inc. FishbowlNY Battista is currently the CEO of Mandalay Sports Media, a role he has held since 2013. He previously spent 18 years at Fox and News Corp., and from 2008 to 2010 he served as president of National Cable Networks. In that role, Battista oversaw such popular networks as FX and National Geographic.
Brooklyn-Based Digital Magazine Bklynr Folds After Two Years (Capital New York)
After 44 issues, the Brooklyn digital magazine Bklynr announced on Thursday that the publication was shutting down. In an email to staff and contributors, founding editors Thomas Rhiel and Raphael Pope-Sussman announced the end of Bklynr’s run, citing time constraints as an issue. Both men have full-time jobs outside of the magazine. FishbowlNY The publication is closing things down with one final (larger) issue set for later this month. The only silver lining for the magazine’s contributors and part-time editors is that the decision is not primarily motivated by finances.
Netflix Negotiates 2015 Spain Launch (Variety)
Adding another major territory to its European rollout agenda, Netflix looks to be negotiating for a second-half bow in Spain in either late summer or fall. Per one source, Netflix has already closed deals with Hollywood major studios for Spanish rights with a start date for product of Sept. 1.
CBS’ Lara Logan Home, Recovering (TVNewser)
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was hospitalized two weeks ago with internal bleeding, but she is home and doing OK. Sources say that she is expected to eventually return to work once her condition improves.
Meryl Streep, Freida Pinto to Present U.S. Premiere of Banned Indian Rape Documentary (THR)
Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto will present the U.S. premiere of India’s Daughter by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, which has been banned from telecast in India.
NYT Reporter Eric Lichtblau Joins Paper’s 2016 Team (HuffPost)
Eric Lichtblau, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times, is joining the paper’s 2016 election team to cover money and politics, according to a staff memo circulated on Friday.
Pivot Promotes Exec Jennie Morris (Variety)
Pivot has promoted exec Jennie Morris to executive vice president of acquisitions, research and network operations, the network’s general manager Kent Rees announced Friday.
Chris Matthews Says He Will Be ‘Transparent And Fair’ if Wife Kathleen Runs for Congress (HuffPost)
Chris Matthews assured viewers that he would continue to remain balanced despite wife Kathleen Matthews’ plans to run for Congress. “It’s important in my position here for me to be as transparent as possible,” he said on Hardball.
China’s Wanda Showcases Planned Qingdao Studio in LA (THR)
Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda presented its planned Wanda Qingdao Studios facility, which is due to open in April 2017, and will be the world’s largest film and television studio, spreading across 494 acres.
Graphis will once again feature top international work from the previous year in its Advertising Annual, with entries available for online viewing.
show currently running at the Arludik gallery in Paris features the work of the French artist known simply as Mr Garcin, who specializes in creating collages from cut up comic books.
The set-up: \"Am I Normal? A Systematic Review and Construction of Nomograms for Flaccid and Erect Penis Length and Circumference in Up to 15,521 Men,” a study published in the March edition of British medical journal BJU International.
The punchline: “36 inches,” a flaccid cue-card misread by Colin Jost on Weekend Update, generating one of this season’s funnier Weekend Update moments. Taking over a joke set to be read by Michael Che, Jost read 3.6 inches as 36. \"A guy can dream!\" he said after correcting himself.
Thanks to the misread, Colin Jost was quickly trending on Twitter. It followed some other fun interaction between Jost and Che about Dr. Ben Carson, and suggests they should do more of this the rest of the 2014-15 way.
Gonna really mess Colin Jost up tomorrow when he sets his clock ahead 36 hours.
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) March 8, 2015
Felt like one of the better Weekend Updates of the season and not just b/c Colin Jost’s wonderful 36-inch slip was hilarious #SNL
— Jonathon Dornbush (@jmdornbush) March 8, 2015
— kfleminem (@kfleminem) March 8, 2015
This week, SheFinds is hiring a vice president of digital sales, while The Mid needs a writer/curator. Baruch College is seeking a web content writer, and Asphalt Green is on the hunt for a digital marketing manager. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.Vice President, Digital Sales SheFinds (New York, NY) Writer/Curator The Mid (New York, NY) Web Content Writer Baruch College (New York, NY) Digital Marketing Manager Asphalt Green (New York, NY) Photo Editor Niche Media Holdings (New York, NY)
Find more great NY jobs on the Mediabistro job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented media pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.
When Mary Hart capped her 2011 retirement from Entertainment Tonight with a fun \"Top Ten List\" on The Late Show, she ended by telling Dave: \"I’ll see you at The Yellowstone Club.\" Letterman has owned a ranch in Montana since 1999 and is known to frequent that nearby exclusive enclave.
This weekend, LA Times celebrity real estate columnist Mary Beale is re-headlining something she first reported for the paper late last month: the record-setting purchase by Hart and husband Burt Sugarman of a Sierra Towers condominium in West Hollywood for $8 million, and plans to sell their LA Live downtown condo.
The real estate trail trodden by Hart since retiring is worthy of the celebrities she covered for so many years. In 2013, the couple sold their Trousdale estate to an Arab sheik. And per a recent Wall Street Journal report, much has been going on at the aforementioned Yellowstone Club since Hart touched on it with Letterman in the spring of 2011:
In 2013, the couple listed their 160-acre Elk Horn ranch in the club for $26.5 million, later reducing its price to $21 million. Now the couple has listed a roughly 7,850-square-foot house for $7.9 million. The five-bedroom house is on a roughly 2½-acre lot with mountain views and a pond. The house also has a game room and home theater.
Sugarman said he and Ms. Hart first bought property in the club in the early 2000s, and have added additional parcels over the years… They are also building two spec homes within the club, with plans to put them on the market when they’re completed.
Late Friday night, Lisa Bonchek Adams’ long and very public battle with breast cancer came to an end. She died peacefully at her Connecticut home at 9:45 p.m. She was 45.
The comments flowing into the blog where Adams connected with people far and wide are full of sadness, yes, but also lots of love and admiration. They are a testament to her feisty and generous spirit. Here is part of one comment left by NPR blogger and College of William and Mary anthropology professor Barbara J. King:
You know how very many people Lisa has touched with her amazing mind and heart, and I just want you to know how much of a difference she made to me also. The very night (May 9, 2013) of my diagnosis with a rare form of uterine cancer (papillary serous carcinoma), I reached out to Lisa because we had some time before begun chatting via Twitter.
Within hours Lisa was there for me – someone she had never met – giving me her thoughts, some asked-for advice and a great deal of vicarious strength. We kept in touch through my treatment and during Lisa’s continuing treatments, although much less so lately. When I wrote about cancer at my NPR blog Lisa’s voice was the strongest and smartest of all.
Over these years – before and after my finding out that I had cancer also – I read not only about Lisa’s disease, her way of meeting it head-on, her straight-on approach to speaking with the media or medical students or whomever was ready to listen – but about all of you, in what Lisa wanted to share with the wider world.
I send you all my condolences and also my joy at all the love in your family. Lisa’s impact on all of us will live on for a very long time.
RIP.[Image via: lisabadams.com]
TVNewser: Lack back! Andrew Lack is returning to NBC as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC.
SocialTimes: Red carpet season was good for publishers’ social media audience. More proof that everyone loves talking about rich strangers.
TVSpy: An Iowa-based news network’s site was caught reposting an item from another network. If you’re going to copy and paste, be a little smarter about the paste.