It’s a long way from Nolensville, Tennessee to Los Angeles, California. But as Dave Paulson, an entertainment and music reporter for The Tennessean breezily reminds, that’s the captivating trajectory attached to Meghan Trainor’s gargantuan hit song \"All About That Bass,\" competing Sunday in the Grammy categories of Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
Here’s how Paulson delightfully starts out his article:
If you ever visit Kevin Kadish‘s recording studio, you’ll be greeted by his neighbors, but they won’t say much. They’re cows.
The producer and songwriter lives and works out of his country home — built in 1880 — on a backroad in Nolensville, and he’s surrounded on three sides by a 100-acre Angus farm. He converted the stand-alone garage into a full-fledged studio and soundproofed it to stop any “moos” from getting into the mix.
Kadish recalls how Trainor, when she first visited the studio, spied \"All Bass, No Treble\" on his laptop running list of potential song titles and put together the killer ditty, with a little chorus help from the producer, in a matter of a few moo-minutes. The parody video tributes to Trainer’s pastel number have reached all the way back to the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pduszh4ADTU" target="_"Nashville Public Library.
Read the rest of Paulson’s article here.
At an event last night at The New School, New York Times columnist David Carr moderated a panel on podcasting’s resurgence. The discussion featured Sarah Koenig, whose wildly popular “Serial” podcast, exploring the true story of a 1999 murder of an 18-year-old student in Baltimore, has to date reached 65 million total downloads.
Alongside Koenig were Alex Blumberg, creator of the podcast “StartUp” on Gimlet Media and founder of NPR’s “Planet Money”; Alix Spiegel, co-host of NPR’s new series “Invisibilia”; and Benjamen Walker, a founding member of Public Radio Exchange’s Radiotopia and host of the podcast “Theory of Everything.”
All of the guests, except Walker, were current (Koenig) or former producers of public radio program “This American Life,” hosted by the formidable Ira Glass. Primarily, panelists discussed what the podcast boom might mean for the future of public radio.
Koenig, who admitted to being a podcast virgin before “Serial,” said she was “shocked” by the response to the series and soon realized the platform was “an intimate experience” unlike that of “This American Life.” Since “Serial” took off, she said she frequently gets phone calls and actual snail mail from listeners who “assume we’re friends.”
Spiegel added there were “opportunities for depth” that existed with podcasts versus public radio. “You can do a three-hour story [via a podcast],” she said. “It’s like a blank slate.”
A former reporter for ABC News and The New York Times, Koenig compared the process of creating “Serial” to investigative reporting. For example, she described how her team attempted to recreate events documented in police reports from the 1999 murder investigation in order to prove their plausibility.
The flexibility of the medium was described as another appeal. Said Blumberg: “Anybody can listen anywhere at any time. It creates freedom.”
When Carr asked what the “secret sauce” was to a compelling narrative, Koenig said she learned “there has to be something at stake, tension” and “an element of surprise.” Blumberg said his two building blocks were incorporating anecdotes and “moments of authentic emotion.”
The discussion can be viewed in its entirety here.
First off, let’s start with the way Lucky Group president Gillian Gorman Round framed the layoffs this week at Lucky magazine to New York Post media reporter Keith J. Kelly. His sources say around 15 were let go; Round puts the number at under ten:
\"We were just doing some readjusting on the editorial side.\" Gorman Round said.
And when Kelly asked if Lucky magazine, spun off from Condé Nast last summer, is profitable, Gorman Round beat a-gorman-round the bush:
She declined to say if the venture was profitable, before adding, “We are very financially robust.”
Read the rest of Kelly’s report here. It includes some nasty allegations about how the affected employees’ accumulated time of service prior to the 2014 spin-off was treated.[Slide image via: luckymag.com]
Crain’s New York reporter Cara S. Trager was unable to get Observer Media Group executives to comment. But according to her very reputable other sources (two Observer staffers, advertisers), the Winter 2014 issue of Yue magazine is the publication’s 13th unlucky final one.
From her report:
Yue was a joint venture between the Observer Media Group, whose holdings include the pink-sheet New York Observer, and China Happenings, a company that bills itself as a multimedia and consulting agency focusing on the lifestyle and culture of contemporary China. Chiu-Ti Jansen, who launched China Happenings, served as Yue‘s publisher and editor.
… According to a 2012 Women’s Wear Daily story, Yuereportedly had a controlled circulation of 35,000, including 8,500 copies that were mailed to Chinese residents in New York whose incomes surpassed $250,000. Other copies were dispatched to hotels, restaurants and business and cultural venues that attract Chinese travelers.
Launched in the fall of 2011, the bilingual publication’s cover subjects have included Elementary star Lucy Liu, Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang and male model Zhao Lei.[Image via: yuemagazine.com]
GalleyCat: Oprah Winfrey is creating an adaptation of Natalie Baszile’s book, Queen Sugar. It’s a good day to be Baszile.
TVNewser: Now several pilots are giving different versions of that infamous Brian Williams helicopter flight. We choose to believe the one not being paid off by Williams.
TVSpy: A news helicopter that was following a police car chase also caught a fight outside a mattress store. File this under “Only in LA.”
Time Inc. restructures its communications division. Jaison Blair, currently vice president of investor relations, is the new senior vice president of investor relations and corporate communications. Time, Fortune and Money communications vice president Daniel Kile moves up to senior vice president of brand communications. Executive vice president of corporate communications Teri Everett and Nancy Valentino, senior vice president of communications and brand development, are out. Meanwhile, Matt Bean — last seen as editor-in-chief of Entertainment Weekly, a job he didn’t really want, where he lasted just a year — moves to senior vice president of editorial innovation, a fancy title for head of native advertising…
So long, farewell to The Dish. Andrew Sullivan’s team will stop publishing the site, announcing the news about a week after the head man said he was done writing for his creation. “The simple truth is: all three co-owners of the site, me, Patrick Appel and Chris Bodenner, have come to the conclusion that the practical, financial and editorial challenges of continuing on are simply too great for us to bear as we are, let alone without me,” he wrote in a post about the news… The Huffington Post installs Gabriel Arana as senior media editor. He had been a guest editor at The Nation… Twitter data editor Simon Rogers adds a job as Vox contributing editor to his slate… Read More
In the background of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover is a glimpse of Tennessee luxury resort Blackberry Farm. The idyllic locale has previously been plugged into covers of Garden and Gun, Bon Appetit and American Spa. But this is a whole new level of exposure [pun intended].
Outlets in The Volunteer State are celebrating this angle, as well they should. Here at FishbowlNY, we were tickled by some less obvious juxtapositions involving cover model Hannah Davis and her meadow background. Think of Davis as a Tennessee BFFF (Blackberry Farm Friend Forever).
1) The dress code for Blackberry Farm’s award-winning restaurant The Barn would stop the cover girl at the door. Jackets for men, equivalent dress for women.
2) The editors of SI may have overlooked a slightly better cover opportunity. One that could have helped assuage critics who complain that the cover is too racy. Per recent visitor and journalist Kristin Luna, there is a Puppy Bar on the premises, one that Davis could have sourced for some extra cover help. From Luna’s travel post:
That’s right, you read that correctly: You can drive right up and borrow a pup. OK, so technically it’s a kennel, but whatever; at any point during your stay, you can phone up the trainer and ask to go cuddle some truffle dogs! I know, right?
3) On the heels of this foxiest of Time Inc. honors (save perhaps for 2014 Sexiest Man Chris Hemsworth riding a Blackberry stallion), the resort is this weekend hosting one of its annual fox hunts. But don’t worry, these events usually end with the hunters scaring a fox back into a hole.
4) Heterosexual male reaction to the Swimsuit Edition cover on Twitter was, in many instances, a moment that required these users to remind themselves to breathe. In April, rising Southern stars Need To Breathe will be performing at Blackberry Farm.
5) Finally, the genealogy of this spectacular Tennessee getaway is rooted in a 1939 visit by Chicago’s Florida Lasier. After she “snagged her silk stockings on a wild blackberry bramble,” the Smoky Mountain foothills area was christened. Perhaps, in honor of Davis’s jaunt across the meadow last summer, a patch that meadow can be named in her honor. We have a thoughts in that regard; sadly, none of them can be repeated here.[Photos via: Facebook]
Here’s a look at the posts that made the most buzz the past seven days.Instagram is Hiring Journalists A Gronk-Sized Goof SI Swimsuit Issue Features its First Plus-Size Model The 2015 National Magazine Award Winners Why Hollywood is Freaking Out Over a Redesigned More
Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign up for the daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.
This week, Newsday is hiring an editorial writer, while CafeMom needs a copy editor. Knock Twice is seeking a senior writer/editor, and Horsesmouth is on the hunt for an assistant editor. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.Editorial Writer Newsday (New York, NY) Copy Editor CafeMom (New York, NY) Senior Writer/Editor Knock Twice (New York, NY) Assistant Editor Horsesmouth (New York, NY) Writer/Communications Consultant Family Foundation (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.
Refinery29, known mostly for its fashion coverage, is expanding. The site, founded by Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries in 2005, has added a food vertical. It will be led by Elettra Wiedemann, who has been named executive food editor.
Wiedemann — daughter of Isabella Rossellini — seems to be the perfect person for the role. She is a former model and the founder of Impatient Foodie. She has also contributed to Teen Vogue, Cherry Bombe and more.
“We’ve seen great interest from our readers around food-related content, and Elettra’s point of view and background in the culinary arts complement Refinery29 perfectly,” said Refinery29 editor-in-chief Christene Barberich, in an announcement. “I’m very excited about having her on the team and building out this category that fuels so much of our everyday lives.”
Brian Williams — who repeatedly lied about being shot down in a helicopter in Iraq — has been given a solid nickname. Courtesy of The New York Post, from now on, please refer to Williams as Lyin’ Brian. It’s a great way to repay him for his bravery in the face of the truth.
Halbfinger will also have the help of deputy Washington bureau chief Paul Volpe and national security editor Bill Hamilton.
“David will have strong partners on the campaign: he will work closely with Paul Volpe, our deputy, who brings dazzling creativity and smarts to our report across all platforms, and Bill Hamilton, our political enterprise editor, who is among the most talented and thoughtful architects of long-form stories anywhere,” wrote the Times’ Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan, in a memo.
After a couple leaks to The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed has decided to crack down on staffers who are tipping journalists. An unintentionally hilarious memo titled “Transparency and Trust” describes leaking as a lack of “personal ethics” and states that staffers could get fired if they’re caught:
Anonymously tipping a reporter to something a colleague says in a meeting isn’t a violation of business or journalistic ethics. It’s an issue of personal ethics. It makes it harder for us to trust one another. That said, the one thing that’s worse for culture than leaks is obsessing about the leakers, so we won’t be launching a plumbing operation to find the holes. But breaching confidences is something we take seriously, and the sort of thing you can get fired for.
Once you stop laughing at the irony of BuzzFeed criticizing ethics, check out this line near the end of the note: “And by the way, if you’re reading this blog post and work at a company with lots of secrets, do go ahead and send them to email@example.com at your convenience.”
If that’s a joke, then was the entire memo and bullshit about “personal ethics” a joke, too? Disparaging staffers’ character, threatening to fire them, and then… Funny time! Certainly an odd place for humor. If that line wasn’t a joke, BuzzFeed thinks anyone who leaks info is trash, unless they happen to work somewhere other than BuzzFeed. Sounds about right.
A couple Revolving Door items this morning, involving The Huffington Post and Saveur. Details are below.Gabriel Arana is joining Huff Post as senior media editor. Arana was most recently a guest editor of The Nation. He previously served as a contributing writer for Salon. He starts February 9. Saveur has named Sophie Brickman a senior editor. Brickman most recently served as a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times and more. This is a homecoming for Brickman, as she previously worked for Saveur from 2012 to 2014. She also starts February 9.
On Wednesday night, InStyle proudly previewed their March 2015 cover featuring Kerry Washington. The star also separately shared the cover on Instagram.
On Thursday, the magazine leadership were in a slightly different place, feeling that they needed to respond to a flurry of social media criticism that the cover had been Photoshopped to make Washington look \"whiter:\"
We have heard from those who have spoken out about our newsstand cover photograph, concerned that Kerry’s skin tone was lightened. While we did not digitally lighten Kerry’s skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern. We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt. We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable. We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward.
On the plus side, the March 2015 In Style cover is no nearly as scary as the one Washington did for Lucky’s December 2013/January 2014 issue.
Amy Pascal to Step Down From Top Sony Post (THR)
Amid the fallout of the Sony hacking crisis, Amy Pascal will step down from her post as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment. PRNewser We’ve read enough well-spun corporate statements to know that this is the beginning of the end for Pascal, though she will still get production credits on the coming Ghostbusters reboot and future Amazing Spider-Man movies. Variety She will remain at the studio as part of a new producing deal. Pascal will stay in place through May, at which point she will take the reins at her new venture. No decision has been made on her replacement, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation, but there is a deep bench on the Sony lot. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Pascal had served as co-chair alongside CEO Michael Lynton since 2006. The cyber attack, by the hacking group Guardians of Peace, exposed Pascal’s private emails, as well as the personal information and social security numbers of staff, film budgets and financial figures. A threat from the hackers also led several theaters to cancel showings of Sony’s The Interview. WSJ As recently as November, Pascal was negotiating with Sony to extend her contract, which expires in March, according to emails stolen by the hackers and released online. However, she was damaged more than other executives by leaked emails, which revealed she was struggling to find a new direction for the studio’s Spider-Man franchise, second-guessing many of her own decisions, and facetiously speculated about whether President Obama prefers movies starring black actors.
Brian Williams’ Apology Draws Mixed Reviews From Mission Vets (Stars And Stripes)
Apologies by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams for a false claim of being on a helicopter forced down by Iraqi rocket fire in 2003 satisfied some soldiers who were there but left a few insisting that details were still misrepresented. Williams admitted on air that he was not on the Chinook that was struck by enemy fire, saying he was \"instead on a following aircraft\" and writing a Facebook apology to soldiers saying \"I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG.\" FishbowlNY According to David Luke, a retired soldier from Texas who was a flight engineer with a company of the helicopters under the 159th Aviation Regiment, the Williams formation of three Chinooks was headed back to Kuwait, flying at one point over a white Iraqi pick-up truck. Another company of Chinooks, he says, flew past in the opposite direction towards Baghdad and were subsequently fired on by the men in that pick-up. WSJ It remains to be seen if there will be a backlash against Williams from NBC viewers. But Williams has been lambasted by other media professionals and former journalists. NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp., had no comment on Williams’ actions and wouldn’t say what steps, if any, it might take as a result of them. TVNewser Among high-profile journalists, few have declared themselves solidly in favor of Williams continuing in his role as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News.
ISIS Video Brings Huge Traffic to FoxNews.com (TVNewser)
Fox News executives didn’t know how many people would actually want to see the unedited — and horrific — video released by ISIS that seems to show a captured Jordanian pilot being burned to death. Mediaite The 22.5-minute video has accounted for a total of 10 percent of all streams since it was posted on the Fox News site Tuesday. Fox executive John Moody said earlier this week they decided this video was important to show viewers the reality of ISIS brutality. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple The raw video from the Islamic State plus the news package featuring Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge accounted for about 50 percent of the video streams on FoxNews.com Wednesday, when the site delivered 7.7 million streams. That’s about double the normal volume. All of these figures stem from Omniture metrics provided by Fox News. HuffPost Fox News’ Howard Kurtz told Megyn Kelly Thursday night that he does not stand with the network in their choice. Just the day before, Special Report host Bret Baier chose to air still images from the video during his program. Kurtz said that posting the video in full only helps to “spread the fear” of ISIS.
Time Inc. Restructures Communications Team (FishbowlNY)
Time Inc. just announced a restructuring of its communications team, and as always when you have the \"r word,\" people are out of jobs. According to a memo, executive VP, corporate communications Teri Everett will be leaving, as well as Time Inc. veteran Nancy Valentino, who served as senior VP, communications and brand development. Everett had joined Time Inc. in 2012; Valentino in 2003. PRNewser The company will be \"eliminating the role of EVP, corporate communications.\" In place of the two ousted executives, former VP of investor relations Jaison Blair will assume the role of \"SVP in charge of corporate communications.\" Poynter / MediaWire Susan Parkes, senior vice president of marketing, will oversee \"communications efforts for People and Entertainment Weekly.\"
Disney Names Thomas Staggs Chief Operating Officer (THR)
Disney on Thursday named Thomas Staggs its new COO, a move that makes him the top candidate to replace CEO Robert Iger when he retires in mid-2018. Disney had been operating without a COO since 2005 when Iger was promoted from that role to chief executive, replacing Michael Eisner. WSJ Thomas Staggs has run the company’s parks and resorts unit since 2010 following a 12-year run as Disney’s chief financial officer. All of the company’s operating divisions, including movies, television, consumer products and parks, now will report to him as well as to Iger. Variety Disney sources emphasized that Staggs’ promotion to COO does not give him a lock on inheriting the top job from Iger. His strategic vision and leadership skills will be closely evaluated by the Disney board during the next three years. \"By no means is this a guarantee,\" said a source close to the situation.
Books, Digital Real Estate Assets Lift News Corp. Results (Reuters)
News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins, reported quarterly revenue and a profit just above analysts’ consensus forecast as its book publishing and real estate businesses offset dwindling print revenue. THR News Corp., which was spun off from Fox’s entertainment assets in 2013, reported $142 million in net income compared to $150 million in the same quarter of the prior year. That means it had earnings of 24 cents per share compared to 26 cents per share in fiscal 2014. WSJ Revenue rose 2 percent to $2.28 billion, limited by $72 million in foreign exchange losses related to declines in the Australian dollar. Results were also impacted by a higher effective tax rate and lower interest income.
Changes at People, EW (FishbowlNY)
The dust has settled around People and Entertainment Weekly. A few days ago, we reported that Matt Bean was out as editor of EW and Henry Goldblatt would succeed him. Now, Bean has been named senior VP, editorial innovation, a new role at Time Inc. \"In this position, he will develop new editorial products and content verticals that leverage emerging audiences and technology,\" wrote Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, in a memo announcing the changes. New York Post Goldblatt moved to People as deputy editor a year ago when Jess Cagle was promoted from EW editor to editorial director of People. But Cagle has always had oversight over EW as group editorial director.
Twitter Q4 Earnings: 288 Million Monthly Active Users, $479 Million Revenue, $0.12 EPS (SocialTimes)
Twitter’s fourth quarter earnings for 2014 are out and the all-important monthly active users (MAU) number is, once again, soft. Twitter reported 288 million MAUs for Q4 2014, up just 4 million on Q3’s 284 million, which was well below analyst expectations (which ranged between 287 to 292 million for the period). THR The social media company reported revenue of $479 million, a 97 percent increase over the same period last year, and earnings of 20 cents per share, minus some expenses. That beat analyst expectations of $453 million in revenue and adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share.
Lionsgate’s Quarterly Earnings Showcase TV Production Growth (THR)
The popularity of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 helped Lionsgate narrowly beat quarterly earnings expectations, with the company reporting on Thursday that it earned 65 cents per share, one cent above analysts’ expectations. Revenue, though, was down 11 percent to $751.3 million. Variety Lionsgate reported earnings above Wall Street forecasts with $98.2 million, or 70 cents a share, for its third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, up 11 percent from the year-ago quarter. The stock was down about 2 percent in afterhours trading, sliding 56 cents to $28.74.
Reuters Adds Two to Top News Team (FishbowlNY)
Reuters has added two staffers to its top news team in the Americas. Sue Horton joins as top news editor of the West Coast. Horton was most recently the LA Times’ op-ed editor. Stuart Grudgings has been named a foreign policy and health contributor. He most recently served as Reuters’ Malaysia bureau.
Harper Lee Is Thrilled About New Book (GalleyCat)
Author Harper Lee is \"happy as hell\" about the publication of her second novel. HarperCollins issued a statement from the author’s attorney which shared Lee’s response to her upcoming book Go Set A Watchman.
Studios Call for MPAA Overhaul, Adding New Members (Variety)
Hollywood studios are considering plans to bring new members into the MPAA along with other changes to revamp the organization, which is supported largely by hefty dues from its six major-studio member companies, studio and lobbying sources confirmed on Thursday.
Bruce Gersh Joins ITV Studios America as Head of Digital (Deadline)
ITV Studios America has tapped industry vet Bruce Gersh for the newly created position of EVP & head of digital, strategy and branded entertainment. Gersh will focus on maximizing opportunities for brand expansions and revenue streams for ITV’s content based in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters.
Sony Stock Jumps 12 Percent on Strong Results (THR)
Sony Corp. stock jumped 12 percent Thursday in Tokyo after its strong quarterly earnings beat expectations with operating income of $1.45 billion (￥178 billion) announced on Wednesday, with troubled Sony Pictures even staying in the black. The stock ended the day at ￥3,101.5 ($26.42) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and is now up 95 percent over the last 12 months.
Huffington Post Hires Media Editor (Talking Biz News)
Huffington Post Media Group has hired Gabriel Arana as its senior media editor, starting Feb. 9. He will oversee the Huffington Post’s Media section.