This modestly-priced Windows graphics application for natural media painting, video, animation, 3D and visual effects has been updated with new functionailty geared to video artists.
It’s been a long while since we covered the topic of literary huckster JT LeRoy. But no doubt the theatrical debut later this month of Marjorie Sturm‘s documentary The Cult of JT LeRoy will renew interest in the exploits of this one-time Brooklyn-based faux sensation.
As the Bay Area-based Sturm tells the San Francisco Chronicle, she turned the tables on JT-slash-Laura-Albert a few years ago in our fair city to gain some critical more recent footage:
Albert cut off contact with Sturm in 2003, but Cult manages to include fresh footage filmed during her 2010 New York City bookstore appearance. Sturm acquired the video through a bit of fakery that Albert herself might appreciate. She explains, \"I had my friend in New York shoot Laura by pretending to be a fan.\"
The documentary will screen March 13-19 at the Roxie Theatre in San Francisco, the same city where it recently won SF IndieFest’s prize for Best Documentary Feature. This all follows The Cult of JT LeRoy‘s official premiere last fall at DOC NYC.
FishbowlDC: Rand Paul demands that you respect his clapping.
LostRemote: Here’s the scoop on Carly Rae Jepsen’s new single “I Really Like You.” You’re not really going to click that link, are you?
TVNewser: This is good news — CBS will sponsor the Newseum \"Reporting Vietnam\" exhibit in honor of Bob Simon.
Jim Boggess, the proprietor Jimbo’s Deli in Flemingdon, New Jersey, has stirred up a fascinating freedom-of-speech debate.
After he posted a sign suggesting that March should be celebrated as “White History Month,” a neighbor complained to him and then the police. The cops have investigated and decided the sign is not a hate crime. From Rick Epstein‘s article in the Hunterdon County Democrat:
A neighbor and former customer, Bhakti Curtis, who is bi-racial, said the sign is “mocking Black History Month,” especially the way the T was crossed in “WHITE.” The cross piece was not right at the top, it was lower down, in a style used by the Ku Klux Klan and other white-power groups, Curtis said. That cross piece of the T has since been broadened to make it a more traditional, if top-heavy, capital T.
… Another critic of the sign is John Puckett, owner of the Main Street Bagel Co. a couple doors away. He said the sign is “an embarrassment” to Flemington “and makes us look like a town full of inbreds.”
Click over to the item to see a photo of Bhakti CurtisBoggess standing next to his sign. Then, if you have time, read some of the comments below.
[Image: CLS Design/Shutterstock.com]
The New York Post is gambling that this “smartphone” trend is going to stick with the launch of Internet Action Force, a comedy site with a mobile-friendly lean.
IAF features short, original videos that glean their subjects from social media trends. One focuses on Hillary Clinton’s email fiasco. Another takes issue with the recently released third season of House of Cards. Each video is funny — or at least, attempts to be — and custom built for viewing on a phone.
John DeVore has been tapped as IAF’s editor-in-chief. DeVore is the former managing editor of Conan O’Brien’s TeamCoco.com, so IAF has some potential. Hopefully enough people tune-in to give the site a chance at success.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round features Cosmo taking on Architectural Digest.
Cosmo’s latest features Hillary Duff’s triumphant return. Please don’t ask us where Duff went that we should be so happy she’s back. We have no idea.
Meanwhile, AD features Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka doing their best to act like Harris’ Oscars performance never happened.
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
Scott Dadich / Photo: Joe Pugliese
If anyone knows how to revamp a digital magazine with substance and style and with an eye on innovation, it’s Scott Dadich. Wired’s editor-in-chief, who served as the pub’s award-winning creative director from 2006 to 2010, led the development of Wired’s trendsetting iPad app, launched just a month after the device itself was introduced. Within a month, downloads of the app reached nearly 100,000. It’s no wonder he was subsequently bumped up to vice president of editorial platforms and design for Condé Nast, a tenure during which he made more app magic, including with The New Yorker’s tablet edition (it debuted at #4 on the iTunes Top Grossing apps list in 2011).
This new Wired is a more comfortable browsing and reading experience, its stories primed for sharing with friends and colleagues. But none of that razzle-dazzle matters if you can’t get our pages to load. So we made a significant investment in decluttering and streamlining our code.
Here, Dadich answers five questions on the redesign and what’s next for the print mag:
FBNY: The new site looks great! What are the key improvements?
Dadich: This is a total reimagining and total relaunch of the site. It’s new from a technological standpoint, it’s new from a design standpoint, from an editorial standpoint. We’ve reclassified some of the site taxonomy and we really built the whole thing from scratch over the course of the past two years. It’s got brand new APIs that are going to let us share our content across the full scope of the Web. But it’s also very much about the storytelling itself, the quality of the writing, the layouts, the typographic fidelity, the new responsive layout that’s designed to look great on your smartphone. We actually designed it with the smartphone in mind first and then made sure it looked great on desktops and laptops as well.[For the mobile design] it’s about a terrific reading experience. Wired has some bespoke typefaces we’ve built over the past few years. So making sure it was really clean, and open, and readable, was a big part of it, but the other side is speed and performance. We stripped out about half of the server calls that our pages were making. In some cases that means the actual page load time is almost 16 times faster, optimized for mobile browsing, and making sure that it’s a quick and streamlined experience.
FBNY: As someone who led the digital magazine development for Condé Nast, what are your thoughts on the importance of app development? Is this still as vital for Wired — and magazines in general — as it was in the past?
Dadich: A great number of our readers of the monthly editions still engage with us on iPads and other tablets. The app ecosystem is certainly important for us. However, the Web, in terms of scale, and the ability for us to deliver our stories across any browser, across any device is a bit more important for us these days. That’s not to say that apps have gone away. In fact with the relaunch we’ve actually built in a new number of APIs that are going to make it easier for us to adapt to the changing dynamics of app ecosystems and of mobile operating systems. As new platforms emerge, as new technologies emerge, we’re going to be able to adapt and meet those readers on whatever device they’re going to choose.
FBNY: Is a redesign of the print magazine next?
Dadich: We actually are going to be debuting a new front-of-the-book section in the April edition. The goal was to optimize the storytelling platform for the mix of subject matter we wanted to cover. Every day on the site, across science and design and business and security and technology, we publish a host of stories and some of those have appeared in the magazine, some of them will appear in the magazine, but what we try to do is optimize the right stories for the right platform, at the right shape, and editing, and art, and headline treatments. The new front of book for the magazine is structured with that in mind. It’s about great long-form reads, really compelling packaging exercises. Wired has always been great at infographics and visual design, so we will tailor the experience based on the needs of the medium. In this case, print wants a slightly different thing than the website wants, but all the editors and designers are engaged on working across the platforms currently.
FBNY: You’ve had some high-profile guest editors of the magazine, such as Christopher Nolan. Any plans to continue this?
Dadich: We are looking right now. Part of my job is to be out and about and meet with people. I’ve had a number of interesting conversations with a couple of folks who would be really exciting guest editors. We haven’t settled on who will be the next guest editor, but I continue to hear from people about guest-edited issues that we’ve published in the past. The Chris Nolan issues was one of my favorites, but I have loved issues like the Jim Cameron issue, the J.J. Abrams issue, so we’re thinking about what that’s going to mean — the Bill Gates issue even more recently. It was cool to see Chris and his team rewarded with the Oscar for best visual effects, which we got to tell the inside story of how those guys created the effects for Interstellar.
FBNY: Lastly, what are the elements of a phenomenal magazine cover? You had a pretty awesome one for your first sex issue.
Dadich: I’m lucky that I can call [award-winning art director] George Lois a friend of mine and a mentor. He has coached me over the course of my career on the important components of a great cover. I think for me that ends up being a mix of a powerful idea packaged in a beautiful, or compelling, or provocative piece of graphic design, and tapping into a national conversation, igniting further conversation. We think about that from the standpoint of what the magazine needs to do, what it’s obligated to do, in context of looking at the scope of a year, and the scope of the seasons, and the scope of the news cycles. It’s a delicate balance between all of those different factors, but we try to, on one hand, provoke and enlighten, and on the other, create a package that someone is proud to have on their coffee table.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
A couple Revolving Door items for you this morning, involving Field & Stream and More. Details are below.Will Brantley has joined Field & Stream as hunting editor. Brantley has been a contributor to the magazine for several years. He most recently served as editor of realtree.com. More has named Didi Gluck deputy editor, beauty. Gluck most recently served as beauty director of Real Simple. She reports to More’s editor-in-chief Lesley Jane Seymour and begins March 16.
These kinds of lists should always be taken with a grain of snow-degrading salt. Nonetheless, we would like to congratulate each and every one of Grand Marais, Minnesota’s 1,351 residents on their community being voted by Budget Travel Web clickers to be America’s \"Coolest Small Town.\"
At bringmethenews.com, Rich Kupachella, founder and CEO of this Minnesota news hub, puts the honor in context:
Budget Travel plans to do an online feature on Grand Marais and a write-up on the winning town in an upcoming issue of its bi-monthly tablet edition of the magazine.
No Minnesota town made Budget Travel’s 2014 list of \"Coolest Small Towns.\" The only other Minnesota town ever to be named a finalist in the contest was Ely in 2010.
It’s been a pretty good run of late for MN tourist destinations. Last year, Duluth won Outside magazine’s fun 64-community NCAA-like bracket.
With March Madness just around the corner, Politico senior staff writer Michael Kruse has delightfully dialed it back to Steph Curry’s run with Davidson in the NCAA tournament seven years ago. The then-hint of Curry’s current NBA stature runs throughout the Bleacher Report piece and among the embedded links is a very prescient article by Kruse, authored for Charlotte magazine in the fall of 2007.
What can you say about Curry that hasn’t already been said? Well, probably not too much. But when you’ve been front-seat watching him as long as Kruse has, you certainly can recall a broader set of highlights:
In a game in Davidson on November 25, 2008, Loyola of Maryland used two guys to guard Curry wherever he went on the court. So Curry went to the corner. It was his idea. He just stood there. The rest of his team played four-on-three for the whole game.
Curry, who had hit for 44 earlier in the year against an Oklahoma team led by Blake Griffin and was averaging 35 a game, that night scored zero points. Barr hit six wide-open threes. Davidson won by 30. It stands in retrospect as a bizarre footnote in Curry’s college statistics. But at the time, for his teammates, it was an affirmation.
Kruse’s article covers everything from Curry’s impact on the bottom line of endorsement partner Under Armour to his religious faith, as seen through the eyes of a Reverend who graduated from Davidson in the mid-1970s.
Seventeen is joining forces with HarperCollins’ Harlequin Teen division to publish a series of books.
As part of the deal, Harlequin Teen will publish four Seventeen-branded novels about “multi-dimensional and empowered fictional female characters.” The first entry will hit bookstore shelves next year.
“We’re excited to expand on this rich heritage by partnering with Harlequin Teen, because they share our commitment to strong writing, showcasing complex and charismatic female characters, and exploring all aspects of what it means to be a teenager today,” said Seventeen’s editor, Michelle Tan, in an announcement. “Our readers are going to love these books, relate to them and hopefully, be inspired by them too.”
Justin Bieber is Men’s Health’s latest cover star. Here he is in a completely not-photoshopped pose.
We can’t think of a more fitting cover star for Men’s Health than a 21-year-old brat who is beloved by seventh grade girls and produces awful music. What a great choice.
John Catsimatidis, the man behind the Gristedes grocery stores, has emerged as a frontrunner to buy The New York Daily News. This is interesting considering the fact that in 2001, Catsimatidis boycotted the paper after it declared Gristedes one of the city’s dirtiest supermarkets.
As anyone who has shopped in a Gristedes knows, the stores aren’t exactly beacons of cleanliness. However, Catsimatidis was outraged. He pulled the Daily News from his chain and called for editors to be fired. Catsimatidis put so much pressure on the tabloid that it caved and ran a pro-grocery store advertorial.
Richard Pienciak, the Daily News’ city editor during the boycott — yes, Catsimatidis wanted him fired — is among those worried about what will happen if Catsimatidis ends up buying the paper.
“Given the way Mr. Catsimatidis behaved back in 2001, when we had documented evidence — namely state inspection reports — I am concerned for my former colleagues who remain at the Daily News and all the other journalists there,” Pienciak told The New York Post.
To this day, Catsimatidis stands by his boycott. “We got very upset about a reporter that printed lies about one of our supermarkets,” he explained.
We look forward to the Catsimatidis owned Daily News coverage of Gristedes, the greatest business in New York.
The New York Times has made several changes to its media desk in the wake of buyouts and David Carr’s death.
The moves include Bill Brink upped to media editor; Connor Ennis moved to deputy media editor; John Koblin shifted to TV reporter; Sydney Ember to the advertising and marketing beat; and Sarah Lyall will add media reporting to her other duties.
Brink had most recently served as deputy media editor. Ennis moves to the media desk from the BizDay weekend edition. Koblin was previously a Styles section reporter. Ember was most recently penning the DealBook morning newsletter. Lyall covers a variety of beats for the Times, including sports and culture.
In the memo announcing the moves, business editor Dean Murphy and deputy business editor Peter Lattman did not mention a new media columnist to replace Carr. Perhaps because those are big shoes to fill.
Founded in 2007 in Los Angeles by Emrah Kovacoglu (pictured) and featuring a New York office, the Total Beauty Network attracts 3.5 million monthly unique visitors and also includes beautyriot.com, which allows users to engage in a wide variety of virtual makeovers. All properties are being migrated into Evolve’s TotallyHer Beauty and Style side, alongside existing site The Fashion Spot, while Total Beauty Network’s staff of 22 have already begun the process of transitioning to Evolve’s LA and New York offices. And on the acquisitions front, Evolve is far from done.
\"We have two other acquisitions that are in active negotiation right now,\" Evolve Media president and co-founder Brian Fitzgerald tells FishbowlNY via telephone, \"and I’d say there are three others that I can think of, off the top of my head, that we are in active consideration on.\"
\"The bigger story here I think is that independent publishing has gotten extremely difficult,\" he continues. \"In this evolving marketplace, scale has really become a paramount factor. A lot of content businesses were funded by VC firms with an eye towards truly being able to stand alone, and they just can’t. So we recognize a fantastic buy-side opportunity that exists right now. Most independent publishing companies just don’t have the requisite infrastructure to play in today’s sponsorship and programmatic marketplace.\"
Fitzgterald (pictured, left) says Evolve did not take a serious look at Livingly Media, the umbrella group for Zimbio, StyleBistro and Lonny that was sold to auFeminin. Mainly because he sees the content business moving away from business models that are heavily reliant on SEO and social traffic.
Less than a quarter of Evolve Media’s traffic comes from social networks, with Facebook and Pinterest being the main drivers within that frame. It’s a relatively low percentage when compared to many of the large Internet content publishers.
\"On average, across the entire portfolio, we have 36% direct navigational traffic,\" Fitzgerald says. \"That means 36% of people coming to our site are putting in the URL directly into their browser. Another five to nine percent are putting the URL or site name in a search engine. When you add that together, you’re looking at 45% brand equity. For me, that’s the only kind of content that has longevity.\"[Photos courtesy: Evolve Media]
Andrew Lack Steps Down From Government Agency, Signaling NBC News Return (THR / The Live Feed)
Andrew Lack on Wednesday announced that he will step down as director and CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the government agency he has headed only since January. Deadline NBCUniversal was wrapping up talks Tuesday to bring back Lack as news chief in hopes of restoring the division’s stature. Variety He is expected to take the reins of a unit that comprises NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC, according to people familiar with the matter. Pat Fili-Krushel, a veteran media-industry executive who has held top roles at Time Warner and Walt Disney and is currently chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, is expected to take another role within the company. NBC News president Deborah Turness is widely expected to stay in her current role, according to one of these people. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In addition to signaling a Brian Williams comeback, some sources said, a Lack chairmanship would shore up support for Matt Lauer at NBC’s Today show and could even lead to Katie Couric’s return to NBC News. (Couric, now at Yahoo! News, was at NBC from 1989 to 2006.) Poynter / MediaWire Lack joined the Broadcasting Board of Governors from his position as chairman of Bloomberg Media Group. Before joining Bloomberg, Lack was chief executive officer of Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. and chief operating officer and president of NBC Universal, Inc., according to his Bloomberg executive profile.
HBO in Talks With Apple to Be Launch Partner for Coming Web Service ‘HBO Now’ (IBTimes)
HBO is in talks with Apple to make Apple TV one of the launch partners for its highly anticipated streaming service when it debuts next month. HBO and streaming partner Major League Baseball Advanced Media are working to have the standalone service, called \"HBO Now,\" ready to launch in April in conjunction with the premiere of the fifth season of Game of Thrones, according to sources familiar with their plans. Mashable The HBO Now moniker would differ from HBO Go, the company’s current online streaming service that requires users have a cable and HBO subscription. THR HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced plans for an online streaming service in October last year and said the company was planning a 2015 launch. HBO has tested a similar service in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark with initial success, he said at the time. HBO declined to address the details in the report. “We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so,” a statement from the company read. Variety The pricing of the service is widely expected to be $15 per month.
Tribune Publishing Company Sees Q4 Profit Fall Short (HuffPost / AP)
Tribune Publishing Co. on Wednesday reported net income of $15.5 million in its fourth quarter. On a per-share basis, the Chicago-based company said it had net income of 60 cents. The newspaper publisher posted revenue of $457.5 million in the period. Capital New York Tribune faces an uphill battle to turn around advertising revenues, which were down 10.4 percent, to $266 million out of $457 million in total revenues, during the fourth quarter of 2014, Tribune’s second as a standalone publishing company. The fourth quarter results, released Wednesday, also showed net income fall to $15 million from $33 million during the same three-month period a year earlier. Digital advertising revenue increased a modest 4 percent during the full year. Chief executive Jack Griffin on Wednesday cited “accretive acquisitions” as one of several key pillars in Tribune’s efforts to become what he called a “fully diversified media and marketing company.” Poynter / MediaWire Scripps, in its next-to-last quarter before the spin was buoyed by strong political advertising and retransmission revenues at its TV stations. But revenues in the newspaper division were down 7.9 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Advertising and marketing service revenue was down 9.7 percent and national advertising by nearly half for the quarter.
Instagram Launches Carousel Ads (SocialTimes)
Similar to Facebook’s multi-product ads, advertisers can now showcase multiple photos at once in a sponsored Instagram post. Adweek At the end of the carousel, users have options to click on additional content or visit a website to learn more. Until now, brands have mostly used the app as billboard space to flash ads as users scroll by. The carousel allows for sequential storytelling, developing a narrative over the course of multiple images. The carousel will only be offered on sponsored posts, not to everyday users or non-paying brands. Mashable Instagram is introducing the new format on a limited basis. The ads will show up in users’ feeds “in coming weeks,” the company said. A rep declined to say which advertisers are using the new format.
ITV 2014 Earnings Rise, Production Arm Continues to Grow (THR)
U.K. TV giant ITV on Wednesday reported improved financials for the full year 2014. The company, which airs hit drama Downton Abbey and such shows as The X Factor on its flagship network, reported higher results for its TV production business and its strongest full-year advertising growth in years, as it had predicted it would. Deadline Pre-tax profit was up 23 percent to £712 million ($1.09 billion), beating analyst estimates. There was a 6 percent hike in net advertising revenue to £1.63 billion and expectation is that the trend will continue with an 11 percent jump in the first quarter of 2015. The production division, ITV Studios, saw 9 percent revenue growth to £933 million and a 22 percent increase in profits to £162 million. Variety ITV’s five-year \"transformation plan,\" which was put in place in August 2010 and renewed in July 2014, established several strategic priorities. These were to maximize audience and revenue share from its free-to-air broadcast and VOD business; to grow its international content business and to build a global pay and distribution business.
BBC Rape Documentary Causes Uproar in India (Deadline)
India’s Daughter, a hard-hitting BBC documentary about the brutal gang rape of a young woman in India that generated global headlines in 2012, is causing a storm of controversy in India. THR The film has been banned from Indian screens by local authorities. The documentary — due for airing on Sunday, International Women’s Day, on Britain’s BBC Four and channels in seven other countries, including India’s NDTV — is about the fatal gang-rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus in 2012. NYT India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, told Parliament on Wednesday that the Indian government would \"not allow any organization to leverage such an incident and use it for commercial purpose.\" The documentary features an interview with Mukesh Singh, now on death row for his role in the crime, who tried to justify the brutal attack by saying \"a decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night.\" Excerpts from the interview were released on Tuesday as part of an advance publicity campaign.
Former White House Staffer Michael D. Gottlieb Joins National Journal (FishbowlDC)
Michael D. Gottlieb is joining National Journal, a division of Atlantic media, as executive director of the Policy Brands Roundtable, announced NJ Group CEO Tim Hartman Wednesday morning. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Gottlieb, who has worked for every branch of federal government and is a captain in the U.S. Air Force, is married to former NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro, now the network’s international correspondent. He starts with National Journal in April.
AMC, IFC, EPIX Go Live on Sling TV (GigaOM)
Don Draper, meet Sling TV: The recently launched $20-per-month online TV subscription service started to carry AMC and IFC Wednesday with no change in price, which means that Sling TV subscribers can now tune in live for episodes of shows like The Walking Dead and Mad Men. Deadline Meanwhile, subscribers willing to pay an additional $5 a month can watch programming from Sling’s new \"Hollywood Extra\" add-on pack which consists of EPIX, EPIX 2, EPIX 3, EPIX Drive-In and Sundance TV.
Robots Are About to Write Your Sports Coverage (HuffPost)
The Associated Press is once again teaming up with technology company Automated Insights to bring its “robot” journalism to NCAA college sports, AI announced Wednesday. IBTimes Division I baseball games will be first, followed by recaps of Division I women’s basketball, Division II and III football, and Division II and III men’s basketball over the course of the next 20 months.
CNN Digital Team Announces Promotions (TVNewser)
CNN Digital editorial director Manuel Perez has announced eight promotions among his staff on the news desk and enterprise teams. This comes after Carl Lavin was promoted to editorial director, news and homepage programming just last week.
People en Español Names Online Exec Editor (FishbowlNY)
People en Español has tapped Charo Henriquez as executive editor of peopleenespanol.com. Henriquez comes to the magazine from GFR Media, a media company in Puerto Rico.
Fuse Network Expands Beyond Music in 2015 (THR / The Live Feed)
Music cable network Fuse is rebranding this fall. The network will expand beyond music in an effort to draw in a more diverse audience, it was announced Wednesday by parent company Fuse Media, Inc.
Providence Journal Denies Accusations of Plagiarism (Poynter / MediaWire)
The Providence Journal has denied allegations made by a local news site that it cribbed language from area TV station WPRI, saying the paper has a news partnership that allows it to share content with the station.
AP Considering Legal Action for Clinton Docs (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The Associated Press is considering legal action for extremely long delays on its Freedom of Information Act requests for records related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the Department of State.
Jeff Lucas Promoted to Run Viacom Ad Sales Amid Company Shake-up (WSJ / CMO Today)
The executive shake-up at Viacom continues: the media company has tapped advertising executive Jeff Lucas to lead a consolidated ad sales unit, people familiar with the matter say.