There are a number of ways a media figure or celebrity can object to press coverage. These include telephoning the author or broadcaster, emailing or going straight to one of the journalist’s superiors.
On Monday, Bill Simmons chose the more immediate avenue of Twitter and Variety’s senior TV editor Brian Steiberg was somewhat non-plussed. At issue for the Grantland and The Ringer maestro is the latter portion of this paragraph in Steiberg’s write-up about ESPN’s The Undefeated:
Despite the fact that the bulk of its revenue comes from advertising and affiliate fees, ESPN has been pushing more aggressively into digital-content realms. The company also operates FiveThirtyEight, the stats-and-politics site led by Nate Silver, and had gained a lot of notice for Grantland, a sports and culture site led by Bill Simmons. The two parted ways last year after their relationship had appeared in public to become more contentious. Grantland has since been shuttered, with Simmons importing a number of its former staffers to work on a new site, The Ringer. Other former editorial personnel are now holding forth at MTV’s revived MTV News.
If you scroll down to the comments section for Steiberg’s Variety item, there is no hint of the outcry. However, on Twitter, it’s a different story, with Steiberg answering some of the Simmons faithful as late as an hour ago, press time. We’re not taking sides here; it may have been a case of Simmons overreacting, Steiberg operating within the compressed confines of Internet deadlines, or both.
Speaking of The Undefeated, although the official site launch date is in May, content is starting to trickle in. If you are at all a Kobe Bryant fan, the Ramona Shelburne interview piece posted today is a must-Mamba read.
The one-page handwritten document, dated April 12 and shared exclusively this week by Radar Online, is from Dennis Davern, captain of the ship one tragically fateful Thanksgiving 1981 weekend in Santa Catalina and co-author of the 2009 book that helped re-open the investigation into Natalie Wood‘s death.
One of the big issues for Davern and co-author Marti Rulli is Wagner’s refusal to fully cooperate with the re-opened investigation. From Davern’s letter:
At first, he [Robert Wagner] convinced me it was best to keep quiet to spare Natalie’s daughter, but now Natalie’s daughter, Natasha is claiming we’re all part of a conspiracy. She publicly rejects her Aunt Lana Wood’s pleas for justice. The true conspiracy is with the Wagner family. They treat Natalie’s re-opened case as if it doesn’t exist.
Radar has been all over the Wood story lately, publishing a letter from Lana to Christopher Walken and, via sister publication The Enquirer, a secretly filmed video confrontation in Palm Springs between Lana and Robert Wagner.
Davern’s letter coincides with last week’s People magazine cover story, which featured comments from both Robert and Natasha. “We were all so shattered by the loss [of Natalie], and we were hanging on to each other,” he recalled to the magazine.
Via email, Rulli tells FishbowlNY: “Dennis appreciates the new detectives on the case tremendously, and knows the obstacles they face are due to higher-ups. Dennis feels vindicated thoroughly by cooperating and passing their polygraph, plus having recreated the crime scene in Hawaii aboard Splendour with the detectives in 2012. Dennis and I feel a grand jury is in order – get Wagner talking as he has a lot to answer for.”
View the Davern letter here.
GQ’s annual ranking of the Most Stylish Men Alive comes with five cover stars: Ryan Reynolds, Future, Drake, Lucky Blue Smith and Tom Hardy.
Here’s a GQ breakdown of each dude’s style, followed by the five covers:
He always twists the classics just enough to keep them interesting.
Future wears his geezer hats like a hipster, turning them into streetwear.
For a certain type of rich guy, luxury means comfort. It means clothes that fit loose, so as not to constrict the swag. Clothes that look appropriate for watching, or even playing, sports. Dressing this way is a power move. It says: I can get in anywhere without so much as a collared shirt, because I am me. Drake plays this look to the hilt.
While most fashion models toil as anonymous walking coat hangers, boy wonder Lucky Blue Smith has become insta-famous on Instagram for his innate style: Levi’s jackets, mall-rat hoodies, and platinum hair.
He’s a total rake who wrings every drop of mojo out of a three-piece Gucci suit.
In Part 1 of a two-part series with Wesleyan University’s student newspaper the Argus, Politico underwriter and Class of 1992 graduate Robert Allbritton shares some interesting observations about the current state of journalism.
He explains how the pursuit of Web traffic goals for big sites never stops. Allbritton also says that Politico earns half its revenues from high-end subscribers (political and policy professionals, via a dozen and a half specialized publications) and that this plugs into a broader and more important journalism fact:
“The reality of it is the 1 percent of readers pays for the other 99 percent of journalism that is out there. You’re putting out articles that do have an impact on the country and on the world. That kind of progressive tax system of journalism works. Where I’ve seen a lot of other theories say, we will do a non-profit where people will pay ten cents to read an article and I say, ‘Are you kidding me? No one’s going to do that.’ If you’re looking for a charity, you’re only as good as your last round of donations.”
“That’s not a way to have professional careers created. It’s so fundamentally unstable. And that’s what I keep preaching to our guys. ‘Look, we want to do good journalism, but it’s gotta be sustainable. There’s gotta be a business behind it where this is a return, or otherwise, Why are people doing this?'”
Allbritton admits the Politico model of targeting the thousands of readers who matter most makes it a little tougher to hire journalists. Why? Because they have to buy into the idea of their work not necessarily being widely available. Part 2 of Wesleyan Argus features editor Aaron Stagoff-Belfort’s conversation with Allbritton will publish Friday.
Image courtesy: Politico
YP Holdings, the digital ad company formerly known as Yellowpages.com, has thrown its hat into the ring of potential Yahoo buyers.
According to Bloomberg, YP is working with Goldman Sachs to explore a variety of options, including merging with Yahoo, acquiring smaller companies or selling itself.
If YP ends up beating out frontrunner Verizon, Bloomberg points out that the deal could be mutually beneficial:
YP could use its large sales force to bolster Yahoo’s advertising revenue, which is based in national programmatic, or algorithm-based, buying. Yahoo, which has more than 1 billion monthly active users, could strengthen YP’s brand, which has become more obscure as the print edition of the Yellow Pages has lost relevance.
TheSkimm, a newsletter launched in 2012 by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, has expanded into the app world.
Available on iPhones, theSkimm app has one central feature: Skimm Ahead. Skimm Ahead incorporates important, upcoming events into a calendar on the app or into the iPhone calendar. The service is free for 30 days, but after that will will cost $2.99 per month.
“If the daily Skimm [the newsletter] is about what already happened,” Zakin told The Wall Street Journal, “this [Skimm Ahead] is about what will happen.”
Another day, another Observer staffer leaving the paper because it endorsed Donald Trump.
In an op-ed for The Guardian, Observer restarant critic Joshua David Stein wrote “To stand with Trump is to stand with hate; what I ate, and what I thought about it, is small beer compared with that.”
Stein had worked as the Observer’s restaurant critic since 2013. He is the second Observer staffer to leave in protest.
National political reporter Ross Barkan also left the Observer shortly after the paper published its Trump editorial. While he didn’t make a big show of it like Stein did, Barkan said the endorsement was a factor in his decision to leave.
One year after the Pulitzer Prizes opened up some categories to magazines, The New Yorker became the first title to earn the honor. And, of course, being The New Yorker, it did so with pizazz — the magazine won two Pulitzers.
New Yorker staffers Emily Nussbaum and Kathryn Schulz won Pulitzers for Criticism and Feature Writing, respectively.
In a memo to staffers, New Yorker editor David Remnick wrote, “This year’s results are simply astounding — and a source of immense pride.”
“This is a day of celebration at The New Yorker, first and foremost for these writers, who are so deserving,” continued Remnick. “And I know they join me in celebrating, as well, everyone here who has worked with them on their pieces and on this Thing of Ours.”
Melissa Harris-Perry has joined Elle as an editor at large for Elle.com.
Harris-Perry previously worked for MSNBC. She left the network after a public dispute over editorial control of her show, ‘Melissa Harris-Perry.’
“Melissa Harris-Perry’s voice is vital and necessary to the cultural conversation and we are thrilled to provide her with a platform to continue speaking out about issues that matter to, and directly affect, women,” said Elle.com site director Leah Chernikoff, in a statement. “Her thoughtful, incisive takes on subjects from politics, to parenting, to yes, fashion are a natural fit for Elle.com’s readership.”
Harris-Perry is a professor at Wake Forest University. She will not be working full-time for Elle.com.
Verizon and Hearst are teaming up yet again. The two companies have entered into an agreement to buy Complex Media. The buyers will split Complex ownership 50/50. Complex CEO and co-founder Rich Antoniello is staying on with Complex.
Complex was founded in 2002 by Marc Ecko. It has been profitable since 2010.
“The decision to acquire Complex is certainly a continuation of our media strategy, which is focused on disruption that is occurring in digital media and content distribution, and involves building a portfolio of the emerging digital brands of the future for the millennial and Gen-Z audience,” said Brian Angiolet, Verizon’s senior vp of consumer product and marketing.
Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst entertainment and syndication, added that Complex “will turn up the volume on our growing portfolio with Verizon, complementing the audiences targeted with our other channel investments.”
This is just the latest Verizon and Hearst pairing. In March, Verizon and Hearst announced a joint video venture called Verizon Hearst Media Partners. The two companies also recently announced investments in AwesomenessTV.
The Verizon, Hearst purchase of Complex is expected to close sometime within the next two months.
The Mac-only application and Adobe Photoshop plugin claims to provide "the world's most diverse collection of presets" for creating Black-and-White photo effects.
The list of Pulitzer winners for Breaking News Coverage is now officially book-ended by the Los Angeles Times. The paper won in 1998 for its reporting of a bank robbery and subsequent police shootout in North Hollywood. This afternoon, the Times was crowned in the category for its coverage of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks.
The Breaking News Reporting Pulitzer dates back to 1953 but has been previously awarded under four different, successive prize names: Local Reporting, Edition Time; Local General or Spot News Reporting; General News Reporting; Spot News Reporting.
With today’s win, the L.A. Times stands as the most frequent winner in this category’s latest iteration with three prizes. The Tribune paper was also cited in 2004 for its coverage of Southern California wildfires (and was a finalist as well in 2015 and 2001). Two-time winners in the Breaking News Reporting category are The Seattle Times and the Denver Post.
Speaking of two-time winners, in the rest of today’s Pulitzer field, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Tampa Bay Times and the Boston Globe earned that Pulitzer distinction for 2016. Full list of winners here.
When does a $59 million media acquisition fly completely under the radar? When that acquisition is completely made up.
Still, we’ll give the folks at The Batty Post credit for playful inventiveness. Both the recent item about being acquired by Shanghai-headquartered East Asia Tribune and the site’s About section are fully committed to mirth. From the latter:
The Battys decided [in 1918] it was time to introduce their only child, Eliza Batty, into the family business, and she was the first finance correspondent for the paper, based in New York City.
Eliza was interviewing the boss of the New York Stock Exchange on a Tuesday in October 1929 when her notepad accidentally hit a lever in the control room, triggering all the stocks to be sold short.
It gets Batty-er; here’s the last paragraph from the About section:
In 1984, Eliza Batty and Cuthbert Flake Jr. were tragically killed in a canning accident at the Batty Bay Tuna Works. The exact details of the incident have never been released, although there was a great special on seafood that year at the Batty Bay Grocery Store. [Son] Frank took over as Chief Editor following the tragic demise of his parents and retains that position to this day.
Why and how did we come to this site, which by the way uses a “B” logo that looks very much like the one favored by the Boston Globe? It’s because of a recent three-part series on the Tribune, supposedly authored by the bravest undercover journalist to ever visit Pyongyang.
A discussion started on Quora in response to that Pyongyang series. There’s some good sleuthing shared there about the listed Shanghai address, and more. Another clue, at the Batty end, as to the nature of these operations is the fact that several of the individuals mentioned in the About section have names than when abbreviated to initials, spell out things like KNOB and FIB.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Three Strikes and This Fake News Site Is Out
The memo circulating today from Josh Tyrangiel confirms the Vice duties of Ravi Somaiya and reveals five other major hires.
— Jason Mojica (@elmodernisto) April 18, 2016
At the center of that memo, there is also a crucial internal shift:
Jason Mojica, founding editor-in-chief of Vice News, is moving on to the nightly show full time as the head of our international coverage. Jason’s Vice resume is legendary — he’s been responsible for some of our most important pieces, from Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea to “The Islamic State” — and we’re thrilled he’s going to put his instincts for ferreting out great stories to work on the show. He’ll be managing our global presence and be getting out in the field upon occasion as well.
Taking Mojica’s place, beginning May 2, will be Ryan McCarthy, an editor on The New York Times national desk. Other hires are: Dan Fletcher, most recently with the journalism crowdfunding platform Beacon; Fusion’s Javier Guzman; NBC Nightly News producer Christine Vallice; and Serial Season 2 co-producer Jessica Weisberg.
Politico Media’s Peter Sterne has the full Tyrangiel memo. Read it here.
Atlantic Media has named Alissa Rubin the winner of its Michael Kelly Award. Rubin won for her New York Times series on the treatment of women in Afghanistan.
The annual $25,000 Michael Kelly Award honors journalists whose work demonstrates “the fearless pursuit and expression of truth.”
“Rubin’s work displays the same kind of persistence and passion for truth that marked Michael Kelly’s career,” said Atlantic Media’s judges, in a statement. “In a year with an unusually large number of exceptional entries, her stories stood above the rest.”
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Huffington Post co-founder and editor Arianna Huffington said she thinks Verizon buying Yahoo is a good thing.
Please note, if you haven’t already, that Verizon owns HuffPost. So Huffington is naturally going to say whatever they’ve decided to do is a brilliant idea.
“I think it’s a very smart move because the world is changing, and it’s really the innovator’s dilemma that if you don’t change fast enough because you’re a big successful company, as Verizon is, then it’s too late to change,” said Huffington.
Big, successful company Verizon is considered the frontrunner to acquire Yahoo.