It’s funny sometimes where the formulation of a FishbowlNY item can lead.
In this case, it starts with Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Walter F. Naedele’s excellent obituary for Philip H. Joyce (pictured), a retired colleague who edited the paper’s opinion pages from 1971 to 1996. Joyce passed away this week at age 87 from injuries incurred after a fall at home.
Naedele’s tribute also notes that Joyce was a founding member and one-time president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers (NCEW). The organization was rechristened in 2012 as the Association of Opinion Journalists (AOJ).
Like many groups, the AOJ holds an annual conference. Check out this paragraph from a New York Times report about the 1981 NCEW meeting, framed by the wonderful bygone headline “Opinion Molders Cross Pens at Parley:”
Editorials on local issues provoke fewer letters to the editors than editorials on national affairs, the writers said. But one can always get letters, said Hap Kaywood of The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, by writing about cats. He added that he got his greatest response from an editorial about one-eyed drivers.
Wow. The revelation that half-cornea content surpassed op-eds about cats makes us wonder if today, BuzzFeed could rack up similar huge numbers with a 2016 video related to that topic.
In the meantime, RIP Mr. Joyce, who is warmly recalled in the obituary by several journalists who worked with him over the years. A viewing will be held Monday afternoon and funeral mass Tuesday morning for Joyce in his native Albany, N.Y.
Image via: McVeigh Funeral Home
With Entertainment Weekly senior writer Anthony Breznican in the passenger seat, Steven Spielberg wonderfully revisits the summer he continued sneaking on to the Universal Studios Hollywood lot as a teenager after his three-day visitor’s pass had expired. Spielberg was 16; it was the summer of 1963; and today, whizzing around that same expanse, the filmmaker at one point takes the reporter down a long road named Steven Spielberg Blvd.
Spielberg describes his first summer on the lot as a “master class in editing.” Unlike the film and TV shoots that he happened upon initially here and there, the editing bays were places where the 16-year-old could hang around and watch.
Now 69 and set to shepherd The BFG into movie theaters next week, Spielberg says he was embraced by a group of film and TV editors, none of whom blew the whistle on the young interloper after Spielberg told them he was there, unofficially, “to learn how to be a director.” In fact, he settled in so well with the edit-bay gang that they wound up pulling a couple practical jokes on the 16-year-old:
”Like the day they asked me to go down to an editing room and take out a 16 millimeter film bin and bring it to the main lobby…”
“There was some guy half-naked, behind the moviola… He was totally, stark-naked from the waist up and he was cutting on this thing. I say, ‘Excuse me,’ and I took the bin out of the room. The guy stands up and starts shouting at me, using a lot of inappropriate language. I immediately recognized him. It was Marlon Brando.”
“I ran out of the room without the bin and the editors were suppressing their laughter, because they didn’t want to be heard by Brando. But they were on the floor, they were rolling on desks. They were laughing so hard.”
Brando was working on a documentary about Tahiti. The encounter turned out to be the one and only time Spielberg “saw Brando in the flesh.”
Breznican has interviewed Spielberg numerous times, but we’re guessing this golf-cart jaunt ranks near the top. We also have to applaud his lede for the accompanying article:
Steven Spielberg is gonna need a boat.
Not a bigger boat. Same-sized boat, preferably.
You’ll have to read or watch to understand what Breznican is referring to here.
Alex Gale started his new job at Complex Media this Monday and shared the exciting career news with friends and colleagues Tuesday. We’re here to make it doubly official, on a summer Friday.
Gale came over to Complex Media from our sister publication Billboard, where he had been a senior editor since 2012. A Complex rep tells us they had been looking to fill the new executive editor position, with oversight of both the web and magazine sides, for quite some time.
In his first week, Gale did the top-edits for a feature about the NBA draft and another piece celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s also already involved in the next Complex magazine cover story, which arrives July 25.
Gale’s resume encompasses earlier stints at The Source, VIBE magazine and BET.com. He is also, since 2011 now, the bassist of “NYC’s illest hip-hop band” Dujeous. He also helps write and produce songs for the group.
It’s not often that we are able to pull up a directly connected and perfect themed music-video for a Revolving Door item. But on this first Friday afternoon of summer, all you need to do now is press play on the embed below and do a little dance for the new guy at Complex. Paying special attention of course to the wicked bass line.
Photo via: Twitter
To mark the official day of Tribune Publishing re-branding to tronc, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik filed a four-minute report to Monday’s Morning Edition. And, as is sometimes the case in these situations, Folkenflik went on later in the week via Twitter to add a dozen or so factoids that his on-air report did not have room for.
A couple of those tidbits relate to what looms as a critical component of the tronc-era Los Angeles Times – website LA.com. The restaurant, nightlife and events portal will place the paper in somewhat more direct competition with the likes of Laist and laweekly.com.
Folkenflik also shared heartening word of a tronc newsrooms staff salary raise, only to quickly learn from a Baltimore Sun staffer that the bump does not encompass all L.A. Times employees.
Tomorrow night at the Free State Festival in Lawrence, Kan., Jad Abumrad (pictured), co-host alongside Robert Krulwich of the popular public radio program Radiolab, will present his one-man show Gut Churn. The show is all about the challenges of the creative process.
Ahead of this local appearance, Abumrad spoke with Lawrence Journal-World columnist Joanna Hlavacek. It’s a wonderful interview. Among the highlights is Abumrad’s answer to the question, ‘You actually got your start not in journalism but as a film composer. How did you learn the ropes?’ Here’s part of his reply:
“I was volunteering at a radio station down the street from where I’m now sitting [at WNYC] called WBAI. The first day I show up, the news director, who’s about to have a sex change – and I didn’t know [about it] – has just suddenly disappeared, and suddenly I’m there and there’s no one to teach me, and somebody just hands me a recorder. They’re like, ‘Go out and record this protest at City Hall.’”
“So, I did this awful 12-minute piece of people rah-rah-ing about who the (expletive) knows what. But WBAI was so crazy at that moment that, literally, I walked in there and I was on the air not that day, maybe, but the next day. There was no barrier. I literally started figuring it out as I went. Basic stuff like, “How do I ask a question so that I get an answer I can use? And how do I create conversation between two different voices?”
Abumrad also has some good insight into what currently goes in to producing Radiolab’s on-air and podcast episodes. Read the full Q&A here.
Photo via: libertyhall.net
At the recent Global Editors Network (GEN) summit in Vienna, sessions included “How to Become The New York Times for Millenials” with Mic executive editor Corey Haik and “Media, Silicon Valley and Tech Utopia” featuring TNR contributing editor Evgeny Morosov.
There was also some GEN business to take care of. During a general assembly at the event, a new vice president was appointed and four new members added to the organization’s board: Maria Ressa, CEO and founder of Phillipines’ Rappler; Faisal Abbas, editor in chief of UAE’s Al Arabiya English; Matt Kelly, chief creative offcer at U.K.’s Archant Group; and Lara Setrakian (pictured), founder and editor in chief of News Deeply. From the post-conference release:
“I believe so much in what GEN is doing in the world of media innovation,” said Setrakian. “Joining the board is an honor and an opportunity. Personally, I am most excited about keeping this conversation, from the conference, going the other 362 days of the year. I’m bringing those ideas to the table and, most crucially, notions of how to execute it efficiently and in lean, startup style. I think it’s really valuable to have a combination of incumbent media practitioners and startups because everything looks different from the trenches.”
GEN was founded in 2011 and now features a 25-member board. Succeeding Harald Stanghelle from Norway’s Aftenposten as vp is Gerold Riedmann, editor in chief of Austrian newspaper Vorarlberger Nachrichten.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
News Deeply Tackles the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Reading about The Bainbridge Times, a monthly newspaper launched in May by a pair of charismatic Brooklyn siblings, it’s clear these media barons have their heads screwed on right.
While the enterprise overseen by editor in chief Rusty Fields, 17, and managing editor River Fields, 14, is most definitely grassroots, they found room on the masthead for a fact checker, Darren Fraser. A safety net many of today’s other outlets have dispensed with.
The duo recently told PIX 11 that after launching in print, they’ve realized it makes more sense to be digital-only. And, as they have shared with several other interviewers, they both plan to become neurosurgeons.
Perhaps visits to places like The New Yorker will help change their minds. The May 23 excursion was arranged by the magazine’s managing editor Emily Greenhouse, who lives a few blocks away from the Fields in Bed-Stuy and was impressed by the content of their debut issue. During the visit, Rusty and River also got to meet editor David Remnick.
“They were wonderfully precocious, so much more self-possessed than I was at that age,” Greenhouse tells FishbowlNY. “They left with a stack of books and issues to spare.”
The contents of the May issue are online and include a simple but powerful idea to showcase “Featured Residents.” There is also a nice profile of the editors’ grandmother. Read Issue 1 here.
Photo courtesy: The New Yorker
Every so often, now that Dutch-based online content curator Blendle is beta-testing its micropayments-driven service in the U.S., there is an English-language profile of co-founder Alexander Klöpping. And inevitably, somewhere in the piece, the words Netflix, Spotify and-or iTunes are mentioned.
But in today’s article on U.K. site Alphr, contributed by Sirena Bergman, there are also some discussion-worthy numbers. Part of Blendle’s pitch is that users can request a refund if they don’t like what they just paid to read. Klöpping says about 10% of customers take the site up on that guarantee, but that this level of flexibility is also something that helps attract new customers.
In terms of U.S. new customers, the initial traction has been impressive:
While Klöpping wouldn’t share specific numbers, he confirmed they’d had 10,000 sign-ups within the first week, and that they typically make money from one in every five users, so he is very optimistic about the expansion.
Klöpping started his first business at age 16. It was called The Gadget Company and sold electronic items online. He also went on to found the video lectures repository University of The Netherlands.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Micropayments App Blendle Begins U.S. Rollout
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have The Atlantic taking on V.
The Atlantic’s latest features an accurate depiction of how everyone in America feels about politics right now.
V, meanwhile, has the stars of The Neon Demon wearing makeup that makes them look like pretty birds. Cool?
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
Among this year’s quartet of Harrington Award winners, handed out by Northwestern University’s The Medill School to graduate students of distinction, was Andrew Fowler. He won for Videography/Broadcast.
Today, Fowler is profiled nicely in the St. Louis American by Chris King. The talented alum works as a video producer for Business Insider’s new vertical, Insider:
“It’s my job to find human interest stories, people that will go viral in some way,” Fowler said. “On a typical day I’m looking for stories, anything with a human interest angle, contacting people, and finding a way to get their footage or shoot footage if needed.”
Unusual for a first full-time staff position, he is a one-man shop for his stories.
Incidentally, community weekly the St. Louis American is where Fowler interned while both in high school and college. He tells King he was heartened by how much weight those stints held during the BI interview process.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Business Insider Launches Lifestyle Site ‘Insider’
The Long Lineage of Garry Marshall and The Medill School
Medill Journalism Student: ‘Clearly I Did Not Know the Proper Way to Aggregate’
Ian Phillips (pictured) has been with the Associated Press since 1994. During that time, he has worked in Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Prague and several other cities. He was also, from 2001 to 2004, based here in New York as lead editor for AP’s world services.
Most recently AP’s Middle East news director, Phillips will be in charge of a much larger international purview beginning July 1, as vice president for international news, based once again in New York. From the Kathleen Carroll memo:
Ian will be responsible for all of AP’s journalists in bureaus outside the United States – editors, reporters, photographers and video journalists.
We’ve been working this way for several years in places like Russia-CIS and Eastern Europe and at our regional hubs in London, Cairo, Mexico City and Bangkok. We know that it works well and that’s why we are putting it in place across the rest of the international AP this year.
Ian will oversee the regional operations headed by these talented leaders: Caro Kriel, news director for Europe; Ted Anthony, news director for Asia; Paul Haven, news director for Latin America. An interim news director for the Middle East will be named shortly. A vital partner will be Traci Carl, who has tackled her new role as head of international news operations with gusto.
Ian also will continue to work closely with Derl McCrudden, our gifted head of international video news.
Before AP, the British-born Phillips worked in Argentina for Reuters and The Buenos Aires Herald. In the same memo, Carroll also informed staff that John Daniszewski has been promoted to editor at large for Standards. He will be based in New York as well and starts July 1 as well. His family will join him later in the year:
Before he rejoined AP in 2006, John spent 20 years in the field as a reporter and editor in more than 70 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He has covered wars and political strife and interviewed dozens of world leaders.
He is active in the International Press Institute and, since 2013, has served on the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Photo courtesy: AP
While Hillary Clinton already has a long list of supportive celebrities—including George Clooney, Shonda Rhimes, John Legend and more—she is now stockpiling media executives.
Via Politico, below is a collection of media titans who have taken Clinton’s side.
Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive of IAC
Robert Johnson, founder of BET
Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET
David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr
Monica Lozano, former chairman and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Media
Candy Ergen, co-founder of Dish Network
Rob Marcus, former chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet
In late 2014 and early 2015, Shane Bauer worked as a prison guard at a private facility in Louisiana owned by Corrections Corporation of America. As Mother Jones editor in chief Clara Jeffery explains, this assignment was not arranged illicitly:
Bauer used his own name and Social Security number, and he noted his employment with the Foundation for National Progress, the publisher of Mother Jones. He did not lie. He spent four months as a guard at a CCA-run Louisiana prison, and then we spent 14 more months reporting and fact-checking.
We took these extraordinary steps because press access to prisons and jails has been vastly curtailed in recent decades, even as inmates have seen their ability to sue prisons – often the only way potential abuses would pop up on the radar of news organizations or advocates – dramatically reduced. There is no other way to know what truly happens inside but to go there.
Jeffery suggests that this kind of reporting has become increasingly rare, also, because of a fear of resulting litigation among media outlets. Bauer’s piece for the July/August issue, which is broken into five chapters, can be bookmarked and read here.
Upworthy has named Charlie Wilkie vice president of sales.
Wilkie most recently served as senior vp of Guardian Labs, Guardian News and Media’s branded content arm.
Wilkie had been with Guardian News since 2008. He previously worked for Austin Benn as divisional director.
Apparently the editors at Newsday, The New York Daily News and The New York Post all had the same thought when they learned Derrick “Mr. Glass” Rose was joining the Knicks.
These are all fine. Our only beef is with the Post. Veteran sports columnist Mike Vaccaro needs to put down his rose-colored glasses (hey-o!) and realize that Kristaps Porzingis already made the Knicks fun again. You disrespect KP, you disrespect yourself.[Image: Twitter/Tara McDonald]
The Baffler has named Chris Lehmann editor in chief. Lehmann most recently served as a senior editor.
Lehman previously worked for Bookforum and Yahoo. He is succeeding John Summers, who is stepping down to spend more time with his family.
“[Summers] informed the board of his intent to leave his position last fall,” a Baffler spokesperson told Politico, in a statement. “Having secured a reliable funding stream for the magazine, Mr. Summers took a family leave on May 18 of this year to begin his transition.”
Having missed my regular Wednesday dine and dish session last week, I was more than a little excited to get back to Michael’s today. Perhaps that’s because I was meeting one of my all-time favorite people, actress and author Kathryn Leigh Scott, for a long overdue catch-up session. It had been a few years since we last ‘Lunched.’ To a generation of fans who ran home from school a few (ahem) decades ago to watch the gothic soap Dark Shadows, Kathryn will forever be Maggie Evans, the ill-fated love of daytime television’s first vampire, Barnabas Collins. Next Monday marks the 5oth (!) anniversary of the show’s first (live) broadcast on WABC. “It’s also the 50th anniversary of the launch of my acting career,” said the absolutely ageless Kathryn, who will be heading up to Westchester this weekend to celebrate with the show’s faithful fans (yous truly among them) at the annual Dark Shadows Festival in Tarrytown, N.Y. The three-day event starts Friday and includes trips to Lyndhurst and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, locations in the cult-favorites House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows movies as well as panel discussions and lunch with many of the series stars. More on all this later.
Prolific Kathryn, who has somehow managed to write an impressive array of fiction and non-fiction books including The Bunny Years, a 25-year history of Playboy Clubs told through the women (including Kathryn and Gloria Steinem) who worked as Bunnies, which was optioned by Disney for a feature film and acquired by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer. Her three novels are all terrifically fun page-turners: Jinxed, Down and Out in Beverly Heels and Dark Passages, a sly take on her years on Dark Shadows with a female protagonist who must conceal the fact that she is a vampire while working as an actress on a gothic soap opera. Kathryn launched her own imprint, Pomegranate Press, Ltd. to publish books about the entertainment industry, biographies, textbooks and illustrated books. Nine of those books have chronicled the behind-the-scenes stories of Dark Shadows, most recently in Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood, which coincided with the release of Tim Burton’s feature film in 2012.
Today we got together to talk about Kathryn’s latest and most deeply personal book, Last Dance at the Savoy, published last month by Cumberland Press. In it, Kathryn tells the story of how she and her husband, Geoff Miller, the founding editor of Los Angeles Magazine, dealt with his battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a neurological disease for which there is no cure. Geoff died from PSP in April 2011. When I told Kathryn I hadn’t heard of the disease prior to her telling me about it, she wasn’t surprised. “So little is known about this prime of life disease but it affects some 20,000 Americans every year — a similar number to those battling Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).”
“When Geoff was first diagnosed I wanted someone to take my hand and walk me through everything that I knew was ahead,” she explained between bites of salad Nicoise. “But there was nothing out there.” Kathryn kept a journal on her laptop at the advice of Geoff’s doctor’s to track his reaction to “off label” medications and the progression of the disease. She had no intention of writing about Geoff’s illness and its life-changing consequences. After his death, Kathryn found keeping busy with acting (traveling to London to film cameos with the original cast for The Tim Burton-Johnny Depp Dark Shadows reboot) and her writing (her novel Dark Passages was about to be published) helped. “I needed that distraction. I felt very raw at the time.”
A year later, while rereading the diary she’d kept, Kathryn discovered she had chronicled the couples’ emotional journey as well as their medical odyssey. She knew writing such a deeply personal memoir would be like nothing else she’s ever done. “Getting the tone just right was very, very difficult,” she told me. “It was our own story and I wanted to tell that story, but I also wanted to write the book to tell other people you are not alone.” In order to go back to those very difficult days, she immersed herself in everything that brought those days back. “I wrote in his den at his desk which looked out at the garden — his view. I was very much in his world.”
The book, which was published on the fifth anniversary of Geoff’s death, is deeply moving, filled with gut-wrenching moments where Kathryn writes unflinchingly not only about Geoff’s physical and mental deterioration as his disease progressed, but her own pain at seeing the man she loved slip away. The narrative is interspersed with Kathryn’s journal entries and the book includes a resource guide on PSP (a percentage of the proceeds will benefit the CurePSP Foundation — Kathryn is a volunteer national spokesperson). The reference to the significance of the title left this reader very teary. “When I held him in my arms it was as if we were back dancing at the Savoy.” When I told her that I could see the book becoming a feature film, Kathryn said she hadn’t thought of that but since its publication, “A lot of people have been saying the same thing.” It certainly would be the role of a lifetime.
Speaking of acting, Kathryn is busier than ever these days with gigs that have included a recurring role on the ABC comedy The Goldbergs as George Segal’s girlfriend, Miriam. “I love working with him,” she told me. “He is at the top of his game. I really enjoy working with him. I hope they ask me back.” She also had a guest spot of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. “When I did Dark Shadows 50 years ago, special effects were so primitive, we had paper bats floating around. When I was on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD the prop man put these colored dots on my face and I asked, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘Special effects.’ Then when I saw the show, my face crumbled on television. I loved it!”
Perhaps her good friend Julian Fellowes, who is currently at work on Gilded Age, might want to consider Kathryn for a role in his upcoming series. “That would be a dream for me! Downton Abbey was appointment television for me. I never missed it and I love old New York,” said she. “I’d love that!” You’re welcome, Lord Fellowes.
When our coffee came, the conversation turned back to Dark Shadows, as Kathryn was about to head off to get ready for the opening day of the festival. “Dark Shadows was a huge catalyst in my life,” she said. “It gave me my first acting job and my first book with the launch of Pomegranate Press.” It also continues to be very much part of her present. At the festival she will be auctioning off items from her own personal collection of Dark Shadows memorabilia including her first and last show script, as well as one of the yellow cotton waitress uniforms she wore as Maggie Evans in the earliest days of the show. “Apron and saddle shoes included!” The proceeds will go to fund PSP research. There will also be another auction of show memorabilia conducted by the producers to benefit Lyndhurst, a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
As is the case whenever I’ve spent time with Kathryn, I marveled at her relentlessly upbeat attitude and energetic spirit. How does she do it? “I have no hobbies!” she told me laughingly. “My motto is: If not now, when? I almost never put off tomorrow what could be done today.” Good advice indeed.
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1.The New York Post’s Keith Kelly, Jon Friedman and Peter Costiglio
2. Agent Ed Victor
3. Andrew Stein
4. Allen & Co.’s Stan Shuman
5. Herb Siegel
6. Legendary songbird Judy Collins
7. Fashionistas Fern Mallis, Jaqui Lividini and FIT president Joyce Brown
8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia and Ron Mwangaguhunga. On our way out, Kathryn and I stopped by the table to say hello to the dynamic duo. While Ron and I bemoaned yet another surreal day filled with the rantings of Donald Trump and discussed the merits of Game of Thrones, David and Kathryn caught up after not having seen each other for a very long time. “I used to get Christmas cards from you!” exclaimed David when I reintroduced them. And fittingly, David told Kathryn that it was Geoff, during his tenure at Los Angles magazine, that gave David “my first writing break.” See, I told you, all roads lead to Michael’s.
9. Ed Adler
12. James Hester
14. Simon & Schuster’s Alice Mayhew
15. Tom Florio
16. Star Jones, Dr. Holly Phillips and another gal we didn’t recognize with a bedazzled iPhone
17. Jack Myers and his wife Rhonda
18. Cliff Sobel and Ambassador William vanden Heuvel
20. Robert Zimmerman (who I am ‘Lunching’ with next week) and Politico’s Annie Carni
21. Designer Dennis Basso and Quest’s Chris Meigher
23. Jonathan Estreich
25. Tom Goodman
27. Kathryn Leigh Scott and yours truly
Diane Clehane is a FishbowlNY contributor. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.
A week from today, a news editor will be wrapping up her first day of service at the New York offices of the Guardian. She is Fahima Haque (pictured), currently an associate editor with the New York Post and, previously, a weekend editor with AOL and a web producer for the Washington Post.
Haque is one of four changes announced by Guardian US editor Lee Glendinning. Also promoted at the paper, effective immediately, are:
Paul Owen becomes deputy head of news. Paul began his career as a news reporter at North West London Newspapers before joining the Guardian ten years ago. He worked initially on the politics desk, helping to develop live-blogging as blogs producer and then becoming web news editor before moving to NYC as live editor last year.
Raya Jalabi is confirmed as news editor. Raya joined the Guardian more than three years ago, and was most recently in a hybrid reporter-editor role. She was instrumental in coverage of international breaking news stories, including the attacks in Paris and Brussels, and will continue to assist with covering international news.
Finally, later this summer, Mark Oliver will return to New York to serve as special projects editor. He worked here in the summer of 2015 as a Guardian US news editor and has been with the paper in London since 2000.
Photo via: LinkedIn
A couple Revolving Door items for you today, involving New York Public Radio and Town & Country. Details are below.Hal Trencher has been named vp of sponsorship for New York Public Radio. He most recently served as chief revenue officer for Point Roll. He previously worked for Vevo, AOL and Yahoo. Adam Rathe has been named a senior editor at T&C. He previously served as Du Jour’s feature editor.