Perhaps the best thing about the illustrious newspaper career of William Forrest “Blackie” Sherrod, which began in 1946 at the Texas Telegram and went on to encompass the Fort Worth Press, Dallas Times Herald and Dallas Morning News, is that it came to an end before the full implosion of the print media world. Sherrod, retired since 2003, passed away today at age 96.
From an op-ed in the Morning News:
By the time The Dallas Morning News hired him in 1985, he had long been the gold standard for Texas sportswriting. He would write sports columns for another decade before cutting back to his popular “Scattershooting” column on Sundays and a weekly piece for the editorial pages… No writer would be so imitated over the decades or inspire more careers in this business.
“He was different from the other guys,” said Roger Staubach, the former Cowboys quarterback. “You’d sit down and know you’re gonna read Blackie’s column. He definitely had a following.”
Golfer Don January called him “the best writer I ever read.” The late University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal, with whom Sherrod wrote one of the only two books he ever finished, once said he always enjoyed being interviewed by him.
“He’s different and clever,” Royal said. “I was never bored, talking to him or reading him.”
Carroll moved from the U.S. to Toronto after working in theater production and found his greatest success as a CBC-TV series actor. More recently, he had moved to Huntsville, Ontario to be near his daughter. From Edmiston’s piece:
Carroll fell in with the town’s fledgling community radio station.
In 2010, he signed on just to do the afternoon show, but soon became a driving force — taking on other shows and helping Hunters Bay Radio grow from an online operation in the basement of a house into a 60-person FM radio station covering much of Ontario’s Muskoka cottage country.
Carroll, who battled cancer, was listening to Hunters Bay Radio during his final moments at a local hospice. The sequence of on-air events that sent him off is both sad and perfect. There’s a nice video tribute in the Post piece, as well. Carroll was 60. RIP.
H/T: Rick Wharton
Naples Daily News columnist Brent Batten is fully cognisant of the tongue-in-cheek flavoring of Cindy Adams’ Apri 25 column about a recent visit to his coastal city. Still, he feels that even within those margins, her accuracy is a little too far off the scenic West Coast of the Sunshine State.
Batten definitely has fun taking Adams’s reporting to task:
Her premise includes more errors than a Donald Trump campaign tweet, less research than Bernie Sanders’ economic policy and at least as many contradictions as Hillary Clinton’s email cover story.
Adams says she spent her time in Naples at the palatial home of Judge Judy Scheindlin, which by the way isn’t in Naples (Adams makes the common visitor mistake of equating Naples proper to urban Collier County, which is vastly larger). Apparently, the Scheindlins are poor hosts because they didn’t take their guest to see much of the surrounding town.
The poverty line in Naples is not four homes, Batten clarifies. And if a local resident dropped a $100 bill, they would most certainly pick up. Batten also somewhat hilariously wedges in a mention of the first-ever U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, taking place in Naples April 26 through May 1.
H/T: Marty Chase
The New York Times Company has named David Rubin senior vp and head of brand. Rubin most recently served as Pinterest’s head of global brand marketing.
Prior to his time at Pinterest, Rubin was Unilever’s marketing vice president for hair care brands.
“The New York Times brand is a mighty, meaningful and sometimes-overlooked asset that will play a huge role in our success, and David Rubin is exactly the right person to lead our whole enterprise to think about and act on our brand in ways that help us grow,” said Times Company CRO Meredith Kopit Levien, in a statement.
Next week, The GroundTruth Project will host a free journalism security workshop at International House in New York to coincide with World Press Freedom Day May 3. The event will be led by Global Journalist Security founder Frank Smyth and Columbia University professor Judith Matloff.
During a keynote speech last night at Kimball Union Academy, a private boarding school in New Hampshire where the late Steven Sotloff (Class of 2002) got his first taste for journalism, GroundTruth founder and executive director Charles M. Sennott explained how the experiences of Sotloff and another New Hampshire native felled in the line of dangerous fact-finding, James Foley, helped shape his organization’s mission. From a report in the Valley News:
Foley had good training and was a mature reporter, Sennott said, “But did he have sufficient resources — financial — to do the work he did?”
He expanded on the question in an interview after the talk, saying the rates freelancers were being paid to cover conflicts “were not fair.”
“It’s not only not fair,” he said, “it in some cases could end up putting them in harm’s way, without the resources to get out of it. I think Jim Foley was going to go to Syria no matter what; he was going to work as a freelancer.”
All the same, Sennott said, “some of the places he worked and freelanced with — and I won’t say who those are — but some of them paid him $35 a photo.” Those concerns sparked the foundation of his new enterprise, The GroundTruth Project, a non-profit news organization, he said, dedicated to Foley, Sotloff and “the many others” who have died while chasing stories.
Sennott’s talk came Wednesday night ahead of a Global Fair being held today at Kimball in Sotloff’s honor. The GroundTruth founder and GlobalPost co-founder also recalled how he first met the late Sotloff in Egypt in 2013 while filming a PBS Frontline documentary.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have Variety taking on Politico Magazine.
Variety features an illustration of Donald Trump getting primped by the media. Trump’s hair has never looked better.
Politico’s annual Media Issue also features Trump and—more disturbingly—someone taking a photo using an iPad.
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
There was a lot of fun coverage earlier this month marking the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of All The President’s Men, which hit screens April 9, 1976. Tonight, some folks on the West Coast will get to attend a belated birthday party in Hollywood as the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival is set to open with a gala screening of the film and Q&A moderated by Ben Mankiewicz featuring Carl Bernstein as well as Spotlight director Tom McCarthy and his co-writer Josh Singer.
The shot in question begins with a tight overhead of The Washington Post’s Watergate reporters, Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford), as they painstakingly thumb through thousands of the library’s circulation file cards.
The vantage point “progresses from floor/desk-level to the rotunda of the library,” Bernstein tells me. “The shot, and the scene itself, as the overwhelming number of card-files are brought to the reporters — they got a bit more than they bargained for in all their cleverness — brilliantly illustrates both the monumental and granular challenges of real reporting, as well as the context of what is going on at the time in our own [Woodward and Bernstein’s] situation at that juncture.”
Contrast that with the way the #panamapapers came together this past year: via terrabytes of digital data and with chosen media organizations around the world able to more quickly and efficiently dive into a paper trail.
In the Post piece, Cavna goes on to more thoroughly examine the favorite shots of Woodward and Bernstein, as well as other film highlights. He notes that the filmmakers were initially refused permission to shoot in the Library of Congress, but got in thanks to some help from then-MPAA chief Jack Valenti.
Since Woodward’s favorite shot(s) involve Ben Bradlee (played by Jason Robards), we’d be remiss in not also linking to the sketches posted by Cavna in 2014 as a tribute to the legendary editor. Check those out here.
Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE) has named Maria Valero vp, business affairs. Valero joins CNE from the Amazon company Audible, where she served as vp of business affairs and content.
Prior to her time at Audible, Valero was vp, business and legal affairs for Sony Music Entertainment’s Global Digital Business Group.
“Maria is a digital content expert,” said CNE executive vp and general manager Joy Marcus, in a statement. “Her experience will be invaluable as we continue to grow CNÉ’s distribution strategy and bring our award-winning digital video content to all screens.”
Saveur has named Leslie Pariseau special projects editor, a new role at the magazine.
Pariseau is the founding editor and former deputy editor of the drinking culture publication Punch. Her work has appeared in New York, Vanity Fair, GQ, The New York Times, Esquire and more.
Pariseau will report to Saveur editor in chief Adam Sachs. Her appointment is effective May 2.
Crain Communications is taking its brand national. The company—which owns business sites in New York, Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit—is launching sites in the top 35 markets.
The new sites will feature curated newsletters, and local and national news.
Sean Flanagan is publisher of the new brands, with editorial oversight by Robert Elder.
Below is the complete list of the new Crain’s properties.
The New York Times—via a partnership with Google—is about to make virtual reality fans out of its readers. The Times is sending 300,000 Google Cardboard viewers to its “most loyal digital subscribers” next month.
The distribution will be timed with the release of the new Times film Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart, which takes viewers on a virtual trip to Pluto.
The film was narrated by Times science reporter Dennis Overbye and produced by Jonathan Corum, Graham Roberts, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas and Evan Grothjan, all from the Times’ graphics desk.
Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart will publish May 19 in the NYT VR app.
Comcast just got a lot bigger. Its NBCUniversal division has agreed to acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. The animation company was previously valued at $2.3 billion.
When the deal closes at the end of the year, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media and a consultant to NBCUniversal.
“Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world’s most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential,” said Katzenberg, in a statement.
A couple Revolving Door items for you this morning, involving Sony Pictures Television and Quartz. Details are below.Sheraton Kalouria has been promoted to president and chief marketing officer for Sony Pictures Television. He previously served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for SPT, since 2011. Quartz has named Brian Dell creative director, client services. He previously worked as a partner and director of GMD Studios.
The May/June issue of Politico magazine has a fun set of pieces about Donald Trump. One, by Campbell Brown, examines the culpability of cable news channels in building up the Trump celebrity brand. Another, by Page Six and Newsday vet Susan Mulcahy, looks back at what it was like to cover Trump in the 1980s.
An interesting bit of hindsight from Mulcahy involves Trump’s dealings with a huge piece of Manhattan real estate. She writes that the events now feel like a telling prelude to The Donald’s political bickering:
Lincoln West was the largest piece of undeveloped land in Manhattan when Trump took it over in the mid-1980s. The property, which stretched from 59th to 72nd streets, for a time had been known as Television City, when it looked as though NBC would be the anchor tenant in an enormous new complex. To entice the TV network, which had been making rumblings about moving from Rockefeller Center to New Jersey, Trump needed to offer below-market rents, and for that he required tax abatements. He didn’t get them.
Trump and Mayor Ed Koch engaged in a public shouting match that offered a preview of the Trump now running for president. Calling Koch a “moron” and “a horrible manager,” Trump said the mayor should resign. Koch countered by labeling Trump “greedy, greedy, greedy” and saying that if Trump was “squealing like a stuck pig, I must have done something right.”
Mulcahy also recalls how Trump stonewalled her and Richard Johnson about the Lincoln West deal during a face-to-face encounter one day, promising to give the Post the scoop but spoon-feeding it instead to The the New York Times. In the late 1980s, Trump was on the front page of the Post eight days in a row thanks to Marla Maples. Politico has a fun gallery of Post-Trump covers through the years, cheekily headlined “Shameless Mogul Found in Breathless Tabs!“
Where else but Michael’s could you expect to find the patron saint of the St. Tropez suntan George Hamilton, Patty Hearst-Shaw and Lady Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanotta dining and dishing among the media mob? It’s a good thing that my date, Pauline Brown, the former CEO of LVMH North America, who exchanged the board room for a classroom at Harvard Business School, was so interesting. Our far-ranging conversation ran the gamut from the lessons she learned in her first semester as an HBS professor to her take on why the Apple Watch was a marketing misfire. “Unlike prior Apple launches, it offered no element of surprise” she told me. “They spent a fortune building anticipation but [it] failed to live up to expectations. Instead of being delighted [about the watch], customers were embarrassed.”
When LAK PR CEO Lisa Linden suggested we get together, I knew we’d have plenty to talk about. Pauline’s CV reads like a ‘How to Succeed in Business’ primer. Prior to joining HBS this year, she had a very successful track record in the luxury market, most recently at LVMH, (comprised of Moët, Hennessy and Louis Vuitton), where she was responsible for 70 brands including fashion, fragrance, cosmetics, watches and jewelry, as well as wines and spirits and selective retailing. She also sat on the board of L Capital, a private equity fund backed by LVMH, was a managing director at the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, and held senior positions at Avon and The Estée Lauder Companies.
Pauline arrived at noon on the dot looking every inch the luxury maven. She was, of course, impeccably dressed, enveloped in a camel Rochas coat and carrying a similarly hued Marc Jacobs handbag. My mother always told me you can tell a lot about a woman by the way she accessorizes — and Pauline’s carefully curated accouterments from Hermès, Dior, Urban Zen and a dazzling Fred ring with a huge removable stone — spoke volumes. This is a woman who knows about the power of aesthetics.
Clearly Pauline could have scored another top spot within the fashion industry, which has been engaged in an accelerated game of C-Suite musical chairs in recent years. Why swap corporate life for academia? “At this stage of my life, it’s more desirable to be a thought leader than an operational leader. I don’t know too many corporate chieftains who are genuinely happy,” she told me. “People think the more powerful you are, the more empowered you are. I found the higher up you go, the more imprisoned you become. It’s hard to be on top in big companies.” And then there’s the gender bias. “The [corporate] structure is not kind to women. Women’s identities and possibilities have evolved dramatically in the last two generations, whereas corporate structures are still stuck in the 1950s model of operation.”
The idea for the Aesthetics course was “spontaneous,” said Pauline. When she and HBS’ Frances Frei first began talking about the kind of course Pauline could teach, Ms. Frei encouraged Pauline to “go deep” in designing the type of class that would best leverage her experience.
“I wanted to find a way to redefine marketing practices for a new generation of consumers and an entirely new marketplace.”
As a professor at HBS, Pauline commutes between Boston and Manhasset, N.Y., where she and her husband, Marshall Brown live with their two children. Fresh off her last class of her first semester, she has already committed to teaching The Business of Aesthetics “into 2017 and possibly beyond.” Due to high demand, the school has added a second section of the course for next year’s MBA students.
Using materials from a wide variety of resources, including an article from Wired about Disney’s Imagineering labs, which served as basis of exploring “the happiness halo” (More on that later) as well chapters from two books, The Substance of Style and The Experience Economy, Pauline was thrilled by her students’ level of “engagement and openness to a new curriculum.” Students also studied “iconic leadership models” including Steve Jobs, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz (“He went away for eight years and the business was tanking. Now he’s back and the business is back on track.”) Pauline also required student to watch the online TED talk, Designing for Trust, which explored how the visual elements of a brand, most notably a logo, is essential in developing consumer confidence.
I thought it might be interesting to have Pauline give me a crash course in millennial marketing, so I asked her to weigh in on what she thought about a random array of high-profile brands. We already know her thoughts on the Apple Watch. But Pauline thinks Google Glass has also been a dismal failure, which even the geekiest techs have abandoned. “There was a lack of aesthetic empathy.” Why has such a utilitarian product like Fitbit garnered cache among such a crowded field? “They’ve never pretended to be more than a fitness device.” What about upstart Nespresso, whose commercials with Sofia Vergara grate on the nerves? “They can’t sustain [interest.] They’re owned by Nestle which is not an experiential company.”
The companies that earn top marks from Pauline for experiential excellence: Ritz Carlton (“They do it well”) and Disney, which is “gifted in creating happiness” which, noted Pauline is achieved by the consumer in equal parts by the actual experience and the anticipation and memory of it. Makes sense.
Inevitably, the conversation turned to millennials. Pauline had a front row seat thanks to her students, who shared their very high aspirations. “There’s a lot more individualism. Nobody wants to work for Goldman Sachs,” she told me between bites of roast chicken. “The idealization of starting their own thing is off the charts.” We all agreed that despite Gen Y’s tech savvy, the proliferation of startups, blogs and lower salaries have made it much more difficult to break through — let alone rise to the top — than it was 10 years ago. “They’re confident but they have a lot of anxiety.” Exactly what are they afraid of? “The future and being able to stay on top of everything,” said Pauline as we said our goodbyes. “The quest for perfection is killing them.”
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Felicia Taylor with a table full of gal pals we didn’t get to meet
2. Music man Lyor Cohen
3. Producer Terry Allen Kramer and actor-turned-reality star George Hamilton
4. Mitch Kanner
5. William Lauder
6. Fashionista Fern Mallis celebrating her belated birthday with her manager Heidi Kim, Paula Friedman and designer-turned-cake couturier Charlotte Neuville, who is now baking custom creations for her brand, The Fashion Chef. If her chocolate cake for Fern tasted as good as it looked.
7. The Wall Street Journal’s Anthony Cenname
8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia and Sandra Lee
9. Estee Lauder’s Alexandra Trower
10. HollywoodLife.com’s and former Chanel’s former chairman Arie Kopelman. Just asking but could Arie’s son, Will Kopelman, have come up in conversation with clever Bonnie, since he’s just spilt from Drew Barrymore? Probably not but ….
11. Deborah Norville and producer Meryl Poster
12. Oh to have a seat at this table: Sharon Bush (mother of Lauren Bush Lauren), Patty Hearst and her sister Anne Hearst (who, I must add, is the first person I’ve ever seen at Michael’s drinking a beer) and — wait for it — Cynthia Germanotta, mother of Lady Gaga. On the way out, Pauline introduced me to Cynthia who seemed to be channeling her daughter with her platinum hair extensions. She was absolutely lovely and dressed impeccably. Just thought you’d like to know.
14. Maureen Reidy
15. Jonathan Wald and Michael Braun
16. 48 Hours Mystery’s Erin Moriarty
17. The Daily Beast Lloyd Grove and Rose Hartman
18. Randy Jones
20. Frederica Friedman
21. Patrick Murphy and Diane Soloway
23. Gerry Byrne (Happy Birthday!) and his daughter Megan Byrne
27. Pauline Brown, Lisa Linden and yours truly
Faces in the crowd: Jay McInerney chatting with proprietor Michael McCarty, producer Beverly Camhe in the lounge and the ‘Bar-ettes’ Kira Semler and Vi Huse toasting spring at the bar.
Diane Clehane is a FishbowlNY contributor. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.