On the heels of Bob Simon‘s freak Wednesday night car accident, that’s the first, natural reaction. But sadly, the New York Times has confirmed the loss of another journalism giant:
Carr, who wrote about media as it intersects with business, culture and government in his Media Equation column for the New York Times, died at the office on Thursday. He was 58.
For the past 25 years, Mr. Carr wrote about media. He joined the Times in 2002 as a business reporter covering the magazine publishing industry. His column appeared in the Monday business section and focused on media issues, including print, digital, film, radio and television.
RIP.[Photo credit: Earl Wilson/New York Times]
The other movie opening this weekend, The Rewrite, is about a struggling Hollywood screenwriter (Hugh Grant) who is gradually seduced by the charms of SUNY’s Binghamton University. Just as was the case, once upon a time, for writer-director Marc Lawrence, who graduated in 1981 with a degree in English.
When Lawrence spoke last year to fellow alum Mark Mendelsohn (Class of 1985) for a feature in Binghamton University Magazine, he explained that it was no stretch for Grant to get to that hate-love relationship starting point:
“I tried to make the movie mirror my own experience there. When you first see it – at least for me – it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting with the color drained out. And at the end of those four years it was The Wizard of Oz. The color was completely there, and that’s how I felt about it, too.”
Still, Lawrence belly laughs as he recalls picking up his leading actor at Greater Binghamton Airport. “Hugh gets to Binghamton and he starts to drive. We shot him driving on Route 17, we shot him driving through town, driving past the Red Robin [Diner], and it’s just kinda great.”
“He didn’t have to do much acting,” he says, slipping into an effete British accent: “Oh, my lord!”
Ha ha. The pair were back on campus this past Sunday for a special screening of The Rewrite. At one point during the Q&A, Grant was asked to name his favorite Binghamton locale:
“Well, it’s hard to choose,” Grant said to laughter and applause. “I think, in the end, it might be the Red Robin.”
The same place that hangs, in poster form, on one of the walls of Lawrence’s Upper West Side abode.
[Production still courtesy: Image Entertainment]
GalleyCat: Someone launched a website that creates random erotic fiction text to prove that Fifty Shades of Grey is garbage. “Pleasure lancing directly to my groin” is one of our favorite lines so far.
TVNewser: A look back at some of Bob Simon’s best work.
SocialTimes: Here’s an infographic on why content doesn’t connect with millennials. Reason #1) It isn’t a cat gif.
That’s because during a 2012 60 Minutes report, correspondent Simon spoke with the mayor of Tel Aviv. And during a portion of the excerpted conversations, Ron Huldai suggested to Simon that the risk-climate equivalent in the reporter’s hometown of New York City involved not missiles but potential car accidents.
Haaretz reporter Allison Kaplan Sommer has paid Simon a great compliment in her revisit of his report about her home country. She writes:
But the Simon piece I remember best is one in which he captured the Israeli character and life in the Middle East in a more complete and nuanced way than any foreign journalist I’ve seen – and with a historic view and outsider’s perspective that even gave him an edge over the local media.
It has been confirmed that Simon was not wearing a seat belt in the back of the Town Car he was being chauffeured in last night. However, that is the case with most passengers in these circumstances. RIP.
Interestingly, we interviewed The Lucky Group president Gillian Gorman Round before the news of a round of layoffs — about 15 in total — was reported, initially by the Post’s Keith Kelly, and further analyzed by Chavie Lieber at Racked. (As a recap, Condé Nast sold Lucky to Beachmint last fall and the now-independent brand calls itself The Lucky Group.)
Among the recent revelations were that the former employees, some of whom had worked for Condé Nast for up to 16 years, may have been handed their walking papers conveniently after severance package agreements had lapsed on Feb. 1 and were offered only two weeks’ pay. Gorman Round declined to address the claims when FishbowlNY reached out for comment this week.
She did, however, comment on rumors that the print magazine would be folded, which have persisted since editor-in-chief Eva Chen took the helm from Brandon Holley in June 2013. Gorman Round told us via a publicist that “Print will continue to exist! Women love and trust Lucky; it’s their shopping companion.”
As for a statement on the layoffs themselves, she had this to say:
We are evolving our business to meet the needs of the original promise of Lucky: truly shoppable content. In addition to the print magazine Lucky has launched LuckyShops.com that fulfills this original promise by integrating content and commerce in a beautifully seamless way. We have made changes to the team to accommodate this addition to our brand.
Its new ecommerce platform, which went live on Feb. 9 and is an extension of the popular promotional pages in the print mag, is precisely what Gorman Round discussed with us. Here, she fills us in on that and more.
FBNY: Tell me how the Lucky brand has changed since branching off from Condé Nast.
Gillian Gorman Round: Well, we became an independent company with Condé Nast as majority investors on the 1st of September, and to our consumers, they haven’t seen any real difference yet. Obviously, Eva and her team are continuing to create the most marvelous print products.
There’s been no change in the core mission of Lucky, which has always been the media brand about shopping. We have always, since our launch 14 years ago, focused purely on informing and helping and educating the really affluent and dynamic consumer with products in fashion, beauty and accessory space. So that hasn’t changed at all.
The big change that people will see is when we [went] live with our new, fully integrated content-to-commerce digital platform. And for us on a working basis, everything has changed. We’ve moved offices, we’ve hired new teams, we’ve integrated teams, we’ve been working behind the scenes on the development of the new Web platform.
FBNY: Give me the rundown on LuckyShops.com.
Gorman Round: This is a place for a fashion-and-beauty-obsessed woman to be entertained, to discover new products, to read stories from our fantastic editors on what’s new, what’s hot, what’s great, new products, new brands, new styles, new designers — just great content all around. And that content will lead directly to product and they’ll be able to shop [for it].
What I love about this is the experience can be different things to different people, and that’s really important when it comes to engaging, maintaining and growing an audience. Some of our audience will just simply want to be entertained. They’ll come to us via social channels, they’ll come to us via email channels and they’ll just engage in fantastic content — which could be anything from the hottest dress on the SAG red carpet through to great new tips and tricks from the beauty world — and they won’t enter the commerce world at all. But if they want to, if they want to take that next step on, they can. So the journey is a very simple one, but it all starts with the content from the editors.
FBNY: Who are those editors behind the platform?
Gorman Round: We have a dedicated digital editorial team. Obviously the cadence of content to the digital platform is very different from print. You know, these guys will be responsible for putting out over 40 to 45 fresh pieces of exclusive content every day to LuckyShops.com. But there will be overlap with the print editors too. It’s absolutely one team, and we’ve hired many new and talented individuals to join our digital team, and actually, they’re very excited to work with some of the great and venerable names we have on our print team, just as our print team are excited to work with digital.
FBNY: What is an average day like for you?
Gorman Round: There is absolutely no such thing in my life as an average day. I have responsibility for all the revenue across the company, whether that is advertising revenue from print or digital or ecommerce revenue. I also have responsibility for all marketing, all branding, all audience growth and development and a few other bits. So an average might see me doing everything between meeting with clients and selling with the sales team through to working with our creative solutions team on a brand event, through to working with our audience development team on what the email strategy looks like, as well as managing the P&L and liaising constantly with our Santa Monica office, where our tech team is. So it’s really a combination and a balance of all of those things, but it means that it is incredibly varied. The grass doesn’t grow under your feet because you’re simply not in one place long enough for that to happen.
FBNY: Finally, what’s your favorite part of New York?
Gorman Round: It’s such a cliché, but it’s Central Park in the spring with my kids. When you’re not in your snow boots anymore, but you’re not worried about dehydrating either, you get those magical two weeks where the evenings are getting longer and it’s just fantastic. You’re in this most wonderful park, but look up at every angle, and it’s so urban. The skyline is majestic, so you have this amazing juxtaposition between the park and the city, and that’s what I love about it.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You probably haven’t heard the news yet, but Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show. Once you get over the initial shock, you’ll likely move on to pondering who will replace Stewart as host of the show.
Well, lucky for you, FishbowlNY has compiled a list of potential successors. It includes every single person alive. Seriously. Are you alive? If so, you could be a candidate. Below are just a few of the other people the media has mentioned as The Daily Show’s likely new leader:Jessica Williams Aasif Mandvi John Oliver Cameron Esposito Ricky Gervais Chris Addison Michael Che Chris Rock Amy Schumer Jason Jones Sarah Silverman Colin Jost Amy Poehler B.J. Novak Samantha Bee Joel McHale Seth MacFarlane Tina Fey Aisha Tyler Wanda Sykes Al Madrigal John Hodgman Colin Quinn W. Kamau Bell
(Image: Carrie Nelson/Shutterstock)
One of ESPN The Magazine senior writer Sam Alipour’s final questions for the New York Knick, while sharing a therapeutic wine bath at Tribeca’s Aire Ancient Baths, was: \"Is this the strangest interview you’ve ever done?\"
And like a great many final scores this 2014-15 NBA season at Madison Square Garden, it’s not even close. Indeed, Amar’e Stoudemire replied, the setting was \"by far\" the strangest interview he’s done.
Alipour’s article takes the form of a time-stamped diary. We urge you top check out the full chronicle. But here is just a whiff of the journalistic bouquet:
7:53: Hey, since we’re getting deep: Was his increasingly faux-furry wardrobe inspired by the costumes in Coming to America? “I’m definitely not going after the Eddie Murphy look,” he assures me. “It’s extremely cold here in New York and it does require fur sometimes.”
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.