It’s all over at Al Jazeera America. The network will shut down by April 30 after executives at the parent company deemed the business model unsustainable. “I know this will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future. The decision that has been made is in no way because AJAM has done anything but a great job,” CEO Al Anstey wrote in an all-staff note. “In recent months at every level, and in every department, we have been making progress and demonstrated improvements and seen positive change.” AJ+ will continue to solider on…
The dominoes continue to fall at the New York Daily News. The latest staff member to leave is Marianne Garvey, who edited the gossip section, Confidential. “I just decided it was time to go,” the former VH1 and InTouch staffer said. “For my own reasons, I wanted to look for something long term—not in the newspaper business—and I felt I couldn’t do that while I was still working there.”… Publishing and digital media company Catapult hires Jonathan Lee as senior editor… Maxim installs Gilles Bensimon as special creative advisor. He’ll shoot every cover… The National Journal loses Michael J. Mishak to the Center for Public Integrity. He’ll report on state politics and special interest groups… Read More…
Here’s a look at the posts that made the most buzz the past seven days.Chaos Continues at Maxim For Richard Dreyfuss, It’s a Wonderful Second Life David Bowie and The Golden Globes ASME Announces Best Covers of 2015 Finalists Mel Gibson is 60; Ricky Gervais is Ready
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Essence’s latest Black History Month issue features three different covers, each dedicated to a black woman who is shaping the future via what cover story writer Bené Viera described as Black Girl Magic:
It’s that shared connection between a group of women who have never met yet deeply understand the Black girl experience. That kinship is everything from having our hair pressed in the kitchen as little girls to having strangers reach in to touch our ‘fros as adults. It’s excelling and loving ourselves in a world that repeatedly tells us we aren’t good enough, aren’t pretty enough, aren’t smart enough. That triumph through it all is Black Girl Magic.
Essence’s cover stars (photos below) include Chi-raq’s Teyonah Parris, Black-ish’s Yara Shahidi and social activist Johnetta “Netta” Elzie.
One is to read the account of person who was first to the news – CNBC’s Chris Morris. The other is to enjoy this brief imagined letter to one of the magazine’s most famous, courtesy FishbowlNY:
Dear Penthouse Forum:
You are not going to believe this. But it actually happened to me recently, right here in Manhattan.
I was in this great, satisfying relationship with an all-around great woman, who I will call Print. We only saw each other once a month, but she always delivered.
Then this crazy friend of hers, who goes by the moniker Digital, all-of-a-sudden moves in as a roommate and keeps wanting to have a threesome. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m as up as the next guy for some bedroom antics.
But this girl was flat out crazy. Coming at me and Print 24-7, she diminished the quality of our thing and ultimately led my gal to just up and leave. Without warning. Beware of any woman named Digital.
Penthouse was purchased by FriendFinder Networks in 2004. As part of this move, Penthouse is consolidating all operations into its L.A. headquarters.
It’s going to be an especially fun time tonight at Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets home game against the Portland Trailblazers is doubling as “1990s Nickleodeon Night.”
In addition to limited-time special co-branded with Adidas, there will be all sorts of very cool throwback elements:
Former Nets player and 1994 NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson will be on hand for meet and greets and photo ops, alongside beloved Nickleodeon characters like Rugrats’ Tommy, Chuckie and Angelica.
In addition, Nickelodeon’s Jeff Sutphen, former host of Figure It Out, will serve as game co-host alongside the Nets’ in-game host Ally Love. Fans will also have the chance to participate in challenges inspired by Nick shows Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare and more.
And the best seats in the house? Tonight, those would be the ones on Nickleodeon’s Snick Orange Couch, which will be courtside for this special Jan. 15 celebration.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 14, 2016
Time Inc. has several candidates in mind to succeed Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin. Cowin, who served as the magazine’s editor for 21 years, stepped down this month.
The New York Post reports that potential new editors include former Epicurious editor Nilou Motamed, and Bon Appétit’s deputy editor and executive editor, Andrew Knowlton and Christine Muhlke, respectively.
According to the Post’s sources, Motamed is the frontrunner to succeed Cowin.
Perhaps the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) heard us. Minutes after we pondered who would replace Mary Berner as president, the organization announced that Linda Thomas Brooks was taking on the role.
As we previously noted, Thomas Brooks previously worked for GM’s ad agency GM MediaWorks and The Martin Agency.
“We believe Linda brings the exact skills and leadership we need, and look forward to her aggressively evangelizing and expanding these cutting-edge tools and solutions in the media and advertising marketplace,” said MPA chairman and Meredith CEO Stephen Lacy, in a statement.
Thomas Brooks’ appointment is effective immediately.
Laura M. Holson has a fantastic look at Mozart in the Jungle, this week’s surprise winner at the Golden Globes. Ahead of this weekend’s free stream by Amazon of the first two seasons of the series, her New York Times article is a perfect primer.
The show, about classical musicians in New York, is loosely based on an explosive 2005 memoir by Blair Tindall. In real life, it was a jungle of a different sort not long after the book came out:
Ms. Tindall, who inspired Ms. Hailey’s character, lives in Los Angeles and has had something of a colorful life outside the symphony hall. In 2007, her months-long marriage to Bill Nye, better known as the Science Guy, was declared invalid. (The megachurch pastor Rick Warren had performed the ceremony the year earlier in front of 400 people at an entertainment conference.) Not long after, Mr. Nye filed a restraining order against her, claiming he caught her trying to poison his rose garden while clad in black clothes and a hat. Ms. Tindall said in a telephone interview that she was stressed at the time and never intended to harm Mr. Nye.
Holson has a great line about the genealogy of the Amazon show. She hints that the shocking revelations of sex, drugs and O(boe)MG moments in the book well presaged a West Coast and Pacific Northwest stronghold:
Tindall burned so many bridges then, it seemed the only people willing to embrace her worked in Hollywood.[Jacket cover via: blairtindall.com]
The search for a new head of the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) continues. The MPA has been without a president since Mary Berner departed last September to join Cumulus Media.
According to The New York Post, one candidate has emerged as the clear frontrunner to succeed Berner: Linda Thomas Brooks.
Thomas Brooks is an ad exec who currently sits on the board of advisers of ColSpace Corporation, a digital marketing company. She previously served as president of Gear Digital and The Martin Agency’s Ingenuity Media.
The MPA is likely to make an announcement soon. Sources told the Post they want a new president in place before its annual media industry conference on February 1.
Management of The Huffington Post has voluntarily recognized Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) as the union representing its editorial staff.
HuffPost staffers voted to unionize in early December. At the time, HuffPost president and editor Arianna Huffington said “We fully support” the union effort. Those were not empty words.
“We look forward to a great relationship with our union as we work together to take The Huffington Post to new heights across the world,” Huffington said in a new statement.
“As digital media continues to transform the way information is shared and stories are told, it is essential that content creators have their concerns about the workplace—and about the work itself—be heard and addressed by management,” added WGAE executive director, Lowell Peterson. “The WGAE is very pleased to work closely with The Huffington Post’s dedicated and talented editorial staff at this historic moment.”
The Association of Magazine Media’s (MPA) annual American Media Conference just got a lot more interesting. First Lady Michelle Obama will be attending and participating in panel discussion led by More editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymour.
Mrs. Obama will be giving her take on “Media With Purpose,” a discussion on how media companies can raise awareness on critical societal issues.
The conference begins February 1 at the Grand Hyatt. Obama’s panel is February 2.
Other guests include Seth Meyers, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, Tim Armstrong, Essence editor-in chief Vanessa DeLuca and Time editor Nancy Gibbs.
For about an hour and a half tonight, a collection of folks in Southern California were marveling at the idea that a 62-year-old nurse in Pomona would complete her evening shift Wednesday night, even after being informed by her son that she was holding the winning Power Ball jackpot ticket sold in Chino Hills.
The news trail started with a New York Daily News item (“California Power Ball Winner Is a Nurse With 7 Kids”) and continued on the West Coast via ABC-TV Channel 7 (“Chino Hills Jackpot Winner Identified as Nurse…”). But here’s the real story, courtesy of the L.A. Times:
The daughter of the woman, who also works at the [Pomona healthcare] center, told The Times that she believed the reports were the result of a misunderstanding based on a photo of a ticket that was sent to her mother.
The family had not won the prize, she said. She asked that her name not be used because she didn’t want to draw more attention to her family.
“It’s too embarrassing,” she said.
The Daily News says it was a deliberate prank, pulled by the woman’s son. The paper’s item now reads “California Nurse Was Told She Won the Power Ball, But It Was a Prank,” while the ABC 7 item’s changed headline is “Pomona Nurse Is Not the Chino Hills Power Ball Winner.”
OMG! What a horrible prank!! Pretty sure I’d disown that son… https://t.co/sJuGVE0bL7
— Lisa Guerrero (@4lisaguerrero) January 15, 2016
The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) has announced the finalists for the 2016 Ellies. For the third straight year New York was the most-nominated magazine, with nine. New York Times Magazine was second, with seven nominations.
Below is the complete list of finalists. Congrats to all.
Magazine of the Year:
The Atlantic; The Hollywood Reporter; National Geographic; New York; The New Yorker
News, Sports and Entertainment:
Esquire; Fast Company; GQ; New York; The New York Times Magazine; The New Yorker; Newsweek
Service and Lifestyle:
Bon Appétit; Golf Digest; Harper’s Bazaar; Lucky Peach; Parents; Seventeen; T: The New York Times Style Magazine
Backpacker; Car and Driver; The Hollywood Reporter; Modern Farmer; San Francisco; Smithsonian; Tablet Magazine
Literature, Science and Politics:
Aperture; Foreign Affairs; Nautilus; The Oxford American; Poetry; Virginia Quarterly Review
Bon Appétit; GQ; New York; The Pitchfork Review; Wired
The California Sunday Magazine; National Geographic; New York; Vanity Fair; WSJ.
Single-Topic Issue:Bloomberg Businessweek for “Code: An Essay,” June 15-28 National Geographic for “The Climate Issue,” November The New York Times Magazine for “Walking New York,” April 26 San Francisco for “The Chinese-American City,” April Vice for “The Prison Issue,” October
Audubon; Bloomberg Businessweek; New York; Refinery29; Vogue
Multimedia:BBC News Magazine (US) for “The Hurricane Station,” by Rajini Vaidyanathan, August 24 at bbc.com/news/magazine New York for “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn,” at nymag.com and November 16-22 print issue The New York Times Magazine for “Desperate Crossing,” photography and video by Paolo Pellegrin, text by Scott Anderson, at nytimes.com and September 6 print issue Runner’s World for 40 Million Steps Around the World,” at runnersworld.com and April print issue Slate for “The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes,” by Andrew Kahn and Jamelle Bouie, June 25 at slate.com
VideoGQ for “Inside the Atlanta Strip Club That Runs Hip Hop,” by Lauren Greenfield, July 10 at gq.com The New York Times Magazine for “Walking New York,” by JR, Chris Milk and Zach Richter, April 23 at nytimes.com Pitchfork for “Vince Stapes—Over/Under,” July 1, “Rick Ross—Over/Under,” December 11, and “T-Pain—Over/Under,” September 29, at youtube.com Vice for “Red Right Hand: The Cleveland Strangler,” November 3at vice.com Vice News for “Selfie Soldiers: Russia’s Army Checks In to Ukraine,” June 16 at news.vice.com
Public InterestBuzzFeed News for “The New American Slavery,” July 24, and “All You Americans Are Fired,” December 1, by Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine, at buzzfeed.com Cosmopolitan for “Pregnant? Scared? Need Options? Too Bad,” August print issue, “Save the Mother, Save the Baby,” April 6 at cosmopolitan.com, and “I Felt Set Up,” December 17 at cosmopolitan.com, by Meaghan Winter The Huffington Post for “Dying To Be Free,” by Jason Cherkis, January 28 at huffingtonpost.com The Huffington Post Highline for “Welcome to Beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia,” by Mariah Blake, August 27 at highline.huffingtonpost.com The Intercept for “The Teflon Toxin,” August 11, “The Case Against DuPont,” August 17, and “How DuPont Slipped Past the EPA,” August 20, by Sharon Lerner at theintercept.com
Personal Service:Cooking Light for “The Healthy Cook’s Guide to Fat,” by Sidney Fry, MS, RD, and Robin Bashinsky, November Cosmopolitan for “Surf the New Wave: Cosmo’s Guide to the Modern Period,” by Laura Bell and Anna Maltby, November FamilyFun for “The Happy Family Playbook,” by Jennifer King Lindley, May Popular Mechanics for “How to Buy a Car,” July/August Wired for “All Work and All Play,” by Rashida Jones, July
Leisure Interests:Bon Appétit for “Cook Like a Pro,” April Eater for “The Eater Guide to Surviving Disney World,” August 26 at eater.com GQ for “What’s Blowing Up,” April Los Angeles for “Taco City,” July, and “Taco Week,” July 20, by Lesley Bargar Suter With Bill Esparza at lamag.com Sunset for “Welcome to Camp Sunset,” May
Magazine Section:Backpacker for “The Play List” Bon Appétit for “BA Kitchen” GQ for “Manual” New York for “The Culture Pages” Popular Mechanics for “How Your World Works”
Reporting:The Atlantic for “Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?” by Jeffrey Goldberg, April Matter for “Ghost Boat,” by Eric Reidy, October 7 at medium.com/matter Matter for “My Nurses Are Dead and I Don’t Know If I’m Already Infected,” by Joshua Hammer, January 12 at medium.com/matter Mother Jones for “The Fever [How the Government Put Tens of Thousands of People at Risk of a Deadly Disease],” by David Ferry, January/February The New York Times Magazine for “Purgatory [The Deported],” by Luke Mogelson, December 13 The New Yorker for “Where the Bodies Are Buried,” by Patrick Radden Keefe, March 16 Rolling Stone for “Yemen’s Hidden War,” by Matthieu Aikins, August 13
Feature Writing:Bicycling for “Spun,” by Steve Friedman, June Chicago for “Here We Are,” by Scott Blackwood, November ESPN The Magazine for “The Education of Alex Rodriguez,” by J.R. Moehringer, March 2 The Marshall Project in Partnership With ProPublica for “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” by Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller, December 16 at themarshallproject.org New York for “The Hustlers at Scores,” by Jessica Pressler, December 28, 2015-January 10, 2016 The New York Times Magazine for “The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield,” by Daniel Engber, October 25 The New Yorker for “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz, July 20
Feature PhotographyThe California Sunday Magazine for “In the Tenderloin,” photographs by Pieter Hugo, May 3 New York for “The Seven Ages of Woman,” portfolio by Rachel Feinstein, August 10-23 Politico for “Front Row at the Political Theater,” photographs by Mark Peterson, November/December Vanity Fair for “He Says Goodbye, She Says Hello,” by Buzz Bissinger, photographs by Annie Leibovitz, July W for “Best Performances,” by Lynn Hirschberg, photographs by Tim Walker, February
Essays and CriticismCondé Nast Traveler for “Postcard From East Africa,” by Jonathan Franzen, September Esquire for “The Friend,” by Matthew Teague, May GQ for “The Accident,” by Michael Paterniti, March Matter for “Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours,” by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil, June 29 at medium.com/matter Poetry for “How It Feels,” by Jenny Zhang, July/August
Columns and CommentaryESPN The Magazine for three “The Truth” columns by Howard Bryant: “Down for the Count,” July 20, “The King Has Spoken,” September 14, and “The Power of Sight,” October 12 Harper’s Magazine for three “Easy Chair” columns by Rebecca Solnit: “Abolish High School,” April, “In the Shadow of the Storm,” August, and “The Mother of All Questions,” October The Intercept for three “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Prison” columns by Barrett Brown: “Stop Sending Me Jonathan Franzen Novels,” October 6, “A Visit to the Sweat Lodge,” July 16, and “Santa Muerte, Full of Grace,” August 24 The New York Times Magazine for three “On Photography” columns by Teju Cole: “A True Picture of Black Skin,” February 22, “Shadows in São Paulo,” August 23, and “The Shadow Remains,” October 18 Poetry for three “Poetry Magazine Podcasts”: “Cast Poems in the River and Tell Them You Remember,” April 1, “Cranberry Cranberry Cranberry,” July 1, and “Things No Longer There,” September 1
FictionHarper’s Magazine for “Interesting Facts,” by Adam Johnson, June The New Yorker for “Who Will Greet You at Home,” by Lesley Nneka Arimah, October 26 Zoetrope: All-Story for “The Grozny Tourist Bureau,” by Anthony Marra, Fall
When Lew Harris in 2014 exited TheWrap, where he had been managing editor, he planned to stay retired. After a long string of professional success at movies.com, E! Entertainment Television, Los Angeles magazine and several other media perches, he took up photography and exhibited some of his work at a gallery in Palm Springs launched by former E! colleague Ted Casablanca (a.k.a. Bruce Bibby). Then GoodEveryDay.com came along.
“The site is sort of the dream child of a Beverly Hills realtor, Mark Wollman,” Harris tells FishbowlNY via telephone. “The idea has been germinating with him since 2002. He’s always felt that there’s too much negative news and there needs to be a site that is dedicated to positive news.”
“We hooked up, and we agreed that there are already some sites that do positive news, like Upworthy and HelloGiggles,” he adds. “We did not want to replicate that. We wanted to have a site that was really news that had a little bit of personality and tone to it, and didn’t pat itself on the back. The idea is to have a little bit of fun with it. You’re not going to feel like you’re in some do-good site.”
GoodEveryDay will launch at the beginning of March, with an initial mix that will include curated content. Working at an office in Sherman Oaks alongside Harris is managing editor Diane Garrett, his former colleague at TheWrap, and a small team of writers. The group will also try to find the silver linings when a major negative news event occurs.
“One thing we talk about is when the Paris terrorist attacks happened,” says Harris. “Think of all those stories about Parisians opening their homes to strangers. That’s a positive way to get to that story. We want to be current.”
Harris is stepping into a purview tackled most notably locally by GOOD and Participant Media’s Take Part. On the heels of a year dominated by waves of international bad news and in the midst of a highly negative U.S. presidential election campaign.
“We’ll have some of the viral videos,” Harris admits. “But my thought is really, I want to do it with news. I want to not just have somebody see and engage with a cute video. Click and then come to the site and then, you know, move on to the next cute video. I want people to come to the site and look around, and say, ‘This is something I want to visit every day.'”
Wollman is aligned with Hylton & Highland, one of the preeminent real estate firms on L.A.’s westside. The company most recently made news with a certain $200 million residential listing in Holmby Hills.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have Bloomberg Businessweek taking on Time.
Businessweek’s latest addresses the terribleness that is United. “Come Fly The Less Awful Skies” does not have a good ring to it.
Time, as other magazines have done, went full David Bowie. Rest in power, Mr. Stardust.
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment or do both.
Elizabeth LaBan (pictured) has a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University, was once an NBC page here in New York and has worked as a reporter for several newspapers. Based in Philadelphia, she is also a mother of two and the wife of a restaurant critic. So the title of her new novel makes perfect sense. It’s called The Restaurant Critic’s Wife.
However, in a recent Q&A with the outlet for which her husband Craig LaBan works, the author stressed that the fictional critic is very different from her so significant real one. Her husband, who maintains professional anonymity, read several of those drafts and asked for just one specific tweak:
“There’s a moment in the book, and I haven’t told anyone else this, where Sam is reviewing restaurants at the Shore. The kids are little, and he brings macaroni and cheese around to see whether the restaurants will make it and be careful with it. Because if they aren’t careful with that, what else aren’t they being careful about?”
“In the book, in an old version, I had him say, ‘Maybe it will win me a James Beard Award.’
But Craig said, “That makes me sound awful.” I softened it. That was the one thing. It wasn’t a deal-breaker.