The latest name to enter the “Who wants to buy Time Inc.” sweepstakes is American Media Inc. (AMI).
As AMI is the publisher of National Enquirer, Star, Radar Online and more, a AMI-Time Inc. workforce would likely be one hell of a weird space. Or, as the Post’s source put it, ““I think their [Time Inc. editors] heads will explode.”
The drama surrounding the Donald Trump dossier last night was more proof that BuzzFeed—no matter how hard it tries—can’t seem to get it right.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico and other news organizations all knew about the now-infamous document for months, but chose not to publish it. The reason? They couldn’t verify any of the details. Yet BuzzFeed went ahead and posted the dossier anyway.
BuzzFeed’s decision to post the document—while simultaneously acknowledging it couldn’t prove anything in it—is highly questionable and yet another hit on the company’s longing to be seen as a serious news outlet.
BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith seemed to know publishing the dossier was a bad idea, so he tweeted his “internal” note to staffers explaining the move. Smith’s main reason was transparency.
“Our presumption is to be transparent in our journalism and to share what we have with our readers,” wrote Smith. “We have always erred on the side of publishing. In this case, the document was in wide circulation at the highest levels of American government and media.”
That is true, the documents were widely-circulated. However, the details couldn’t be fact checked, so every other news outlet passed on publishing them. Last time we checked, a news organization is supposed to fact check then publish, not the other way around. If reporters just posted every single tip or document they received, what’s the point of a reporter?
We’re as anti-Trump as it gets, but what BuzzFeed did was wrong. If BuzzFeed’s editors really want the site to be taken seriously as a news outlet, they need to stop treating journalism ethics like a joke.
A couple Revolving Door items for you this morning, involving Quartz and Active Interest Media. Details are below.Quartz has named Zoe Schlanger an environmental reporter, based in New York. Schlanger previously worked for Newsweek as a senior reporter. AIM has promoted Andy Hawk to managing director of AIM’s Mountain Group. He will continue in his role as managing director for Warren Miller Entertainment.
It’s an interesting hybrid: senior justice writer for the New York Daily News and news commentator for Los Angeles-based The Young Turks.
TYT’s crowdfunded hiring of Shaun King was announced Dec. 28. The interview above, conducted by Francis Maxwell, was taped in New York immediately following the U.S. election and gives a good preview of the kind of matters King will be commenting on.
At the New York tabloid, King has been a lighting rod. In a year-end review of feedback received from readers, the paper summed it up this way:
With his proud advocacy for Black Lives Matter, King got juices flowing. Bill Nuzzo of Kissimmee, Fla. called it “mind-boggling that the Daily News found the funds to employ a racist hatemonger like Shaun King. His columns have done nothing but spew hatred and provide the cop-bashing crowd with more vitriol.”
Conversely, King’s column on his leaving the Democratic Party inspired Eileen Johnson of Manhattan to declare, “Once again [King] got it right, and beautifully articulated. The Daily News should be proud it has one fantastic journalist who is on the right side of history.”
This week, it is the turn of San Diego-based syndicated columnist Ruben Navarette to pick up on one of King’s strands:
And so it is that King recently chided Trump for being “the first president of the United States in 25 years to not have a graduate degree of any kind.” He also took note that [secretary of State pick Rex] Tillerson doesn’t have the same level of education as John Kerry. The current secretary of state has a law degree, and the CEO of Exxon Mobil never went to graduate school.
King also singled out Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for education secretary, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, his choice for energy secretary, as academic underachievers. So too Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for treasury secretary.
Check out King’s latest pieces for the Daily News here.
Lili Goksenin had a colorful run at Vogue magazine.
That’s her, above, in 2013, when she was an executive assistant to Anna Wintour, participating in a video series called “Jeanius.” And more recently, last year, having moved up to features associate, she wrote about getting a tattoo from famed artist Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy:
Getting a tattoo was kind of the best thing ever. Bang Bang, in addition to being a Very Cool Dude, is a professional and an artist, and working with him instantly calmed me. We sat in front of a huge monitor and designed the image—a jasmine in honor of my sister’s name—together. The actual needle part was pretty low on the pain scale, and the post-tat euphoria was real, people. I now understand the concept of tattoo addiction—five blocks away from the shop, I was contemplating going back for more.
Goksenin, ahead of the holidays, moved into the next phase of her professional life: digital editor of GQStyle.com. “Lili is a zippy and sharp writer who’s brimming with original story ideas, and she’s got a finely-tuned radar for not just high fashion but also style subcultures and interesting men of note,” said GQ editor in chief Will Welch in a statement. “She thinks differently from the rest of the men’s style universe, and that makes her ideal for what we’re developing with GQStyle.com–a whole new voice in the digital space.”
GQStyle.com launched in August. Read more of Goksenin’s Vogue coverage of “Bang Bang” here.
Popular Science has named Susan Murcko its features editor.
Murcko joins PopSci from Wired, where she served as a senior editor. She previously worked for Condé Nast Portfolio, Details and Rolling Stone.
“Susan is one of the best editors I’ve ever worked with,” said PopSci editor in chief Joe Brown, in a statement. “And I’ve yet to meet a colleague of hers who doesn’t feel the same. I am so excited to welcome her and her brain full of world-class ideas to our growing team.”
Murcko’s appointment is effective January 23.
It seems like a perfect alignment of media ingredients. Gail Simmons, star of Bravo’s Top Chef (pictured), profiled and interviewed by an outlet named WTOP.
From a FishbowlNY point of view, it’s even more delicious that the history of D.C.-area FM radio station WTOP tracks back to origins in Brooklyn in the 1920s. WTOP Living editor Rachel Nania gathered all kinds of fascinating tidbits from Simmons, a graduate of Montreal’s McGill University, for her recent piece. Including this observation about why the restaurant industry has been traditionally so male-dominated:
Simmons says it’s no surprise that the restaurant world was — and still is — predominantly male. It’s biological.
Restaurants are open evenings, weekends and holidays, making the job difficult for women who want to have a family.
“It’s very hard to nurse a baby and to work seven nights a week out of the house,” Simmons said. …
“Because the food industry now means so many different things, it has opened up so many avenues for women. And I think it will continue to do so,” said Simmons, 40.
Simmons also retraces in the article how she went from food writing to culinary school, and back again. She hosted a recent event in Washington honoring “Ten Women to Watch.” See who those equally talented folks are, here.
Photo via: bravotv.com
Madonna is Harper’s Bazaar’s latest cover star. In the accompanying profile, the 58-year-old singer/actress discussed everything from her new film, to sexism, to Donald Trump’s win.
Of the latter, Madonna compared it to heartbreak.
“I wake up every morning and it’s like when you break up with somebody who has really broken your heart. You wake up and for a second you’re just you, and then you go, ‘Oh, the person I love more than anything has just broken my heart, and I’m devastated and I’m broken and I have nothing. I’m lost.’ That’s how I feel every morning. I wake up and I go, ‘Wait a second. Donald Trump is the president. It’s not a bad dream. It really happened.’ It’s like being dumped by a lover and also being stuck in a nightmare.”
In his annual new year’s letter to staffers, Hearst president David Carey said the company plans to launch two new magazines this year: Airbnb Magazine and The Pioneer Woman.
Coming first is Airbnb, which is exactly what it sounds like: A magazine about all things Airbnb.
The Pioneer Woman is expected to debut in June. The magazine is a partnership between Hearst, Scripps and Food Network star Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman.
Freeform has ordered the pilot Issues—which is based on Hearst chief content officer Joanna Coles’ life—to series.
The show, created by Sarah Watson, will be renamed The Bold Type for its series run. Here’s Deadline’s synopsis:
The Bold Type provides a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of those responsible for the global women’s magazine Scarlet. The rising generation of Scarlet women lean on one another as they find their own voices in a sea of intimidating leaders. Together they explore sexuality, identity, love and fashion.
The Bold Type is expected to debut this summer.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) enjoyed a spike in donations following Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech.
According to Poynter, as of yesterday afternoon, CPJ received roughly 1,000 donations totaling more than $80,000. On a normal Sunday night, the organization receives only a handful.
Streep’s speech is getting a lot of press for blasting Donald Trump, but it appears the CPJ plug might have been the most impactful moment to come from it.
By the school’s estimate, a just-completed trek to New York by some 1,000 teachers and students at De Montfort University in Leicester, U.K. was the largest-ever international visit sponsored by a British university. We don’t doubt it.
— De Montfort Uni DMU (@dmuleicester) January 7, 2017
There were all sorts of parallel activities, based on the visitors’ areas of study. For example, a group of Journalism and Media students paid a visit to The New York Times printing facility:
For more than 80 years, the paper was printed in Times Square, until it moved to a purpose-built facility in Flushing, Queens. The print operation is fully automated and monitored by supervisors who can track the progress of each edition. Up to 80,000 papers an hour can be printed. …
The newspaper’s Sunday edition is famously huge – it holds the Guinness Book of Records for the largest single issue which was printed on September 14, 1987 weighing 12lbs and containing 1,612 pages.
How much money would you want in exchange for selling your soul to the devil? We have no idea, but John Carney does.
The Wall Street Journal writer has accepted a job with Breitbart News, a site that publishes bigoted, racist, neo-Nazi content and fake news. Carney had been with the Journal since 2014. He previously worked for CNBC and Business Insider.
According to Bloomberg, at Breitbart, Carney will lead a new finance and economics section.
If you thought Tronc was a bad name for a media company, Yahoo has some news for you. After its planned sale to Verizon is complete, the company will be renamed “Altaba.”
Why Altaba? According to The Washington Post, the name is a combination of “alternate” and Alibaba (the Chinese e-commerce company Yahoo still has a stake in). Doesn’t make it any better.
Other than the terrible new name, the big news is that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Yahoo cofounder David Filo, along with four other board members, will step down once the deal is complete.
But back to that name. Altaba. It’s just awful. But there can be only one Worst Media Company Name. So which is it? Please vote below.
Jared Kushner, the publisher of The Observer, has been tapped by his daddy-in-law Donald Trump to be a senior White House adviser. Rarely will you ever see such an overt case of nepotism. It’s almost refreshing.
As part of the new gig, Kushner will sell his stake in the Observer to a family trust (CEO Joseph Meyer will take over as publisher) and divest his holdings in 666 Fifth Avenue.
In return for doing that, The New York Times reports Kushner will “work on issues involving the Middle East and Israel; try to forge government partnerships with the private sector; and collaborate with Mr. Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, Wilbur L. Ross Jr., on matters involving free trade.”
Sounds great. There is literally no reason he should be doing any of that other than his daddy-in-law is about to be president, but sure. Might as well. Things can’t get much worse than they already are.
We’ll likely regret that last sentence.
Since we are at the height of film awards season, it seems appropriate to zero in on the following section of Ruth Huntman’s weekend conversation snippets in The Guardian this with actor, author and now 80-year-old expert raconteur Burt Reynolds:
I’ve always regretted posing naked for Cosmopolitan. People didn’t get that I had such a conceited look because I was sending myself up. It was just before Deliverance was released and it ruined the film’s Oscar chances.
Reynolds gave a slightly different explanation for the facial expression last year at SXSW, suggesting it was because he was “zonkered” from some guzzled vodka. Famously, the April 1972 Cosmopolitan issue assignment came to Reynolds when he guest hosted The Tonight Show, as he recounts in his fall 2015 book Enough About Me:
One night in early 1972, after Deliverance was in the can but before it was released, I was on The Tonight Show with Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan and author of the best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl. During a commercial break, she invited me to be the first male nude centerfold of the magazine. …
Although no one had ever shown a naked man in a magazine before, Helen believed women have the same “visual appetites” as men, who’d been looking at naked women in Playboy since 1953. She wanted the same prerogative for women. It would be a milestone in the sexual revolution, and she said I was the one man who could pull it off. I found out later she’d asked Paul Newman first, but he turned her down.
Deliverance was nominated for three Oscasrs (Best Picture, Director, Editing), winning none. 1972 was the year of The Godfather and Cabaret, so it’s unlikely more nominations for Deliverance would have led to wins. At the Golden Globes end, it didn’t win anything either, but did better with five total nominations, including a Best Actor – Drama one for Jon Voight and a nod for the movie’s famous song, “Dueling Banjos.”
Four and a half decades later, actors such as Casey Affleck and Hugh Grant can score Golden Globe nominations, despite matters of much deeper sexual controversy in their past. Reynolds’ centerfold appearance sparked the creation of Playgirl magazine and was followed by a similar Cosmopolitan spread in 1977 featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Photo via: Cosmopolitan
Time Inc. is celebrating some welcome good news. Newsstand sales of Entertainment Weekly in 2016 were up 4% compared to 2015.
Leading the way last year was the “Fall TV Preview” double issue, which ranks as the publication’s best-selling single issue in three years. There were two newsstand covers: one, distributed exclusively through Barnes & Noble, highlighted Supernatural, while the other cover featured various small screen stars.
Supernatural was chosen by means of an online poll for which around 2.5 million votes were received. It’s a golden age of television all they way around, these days.
A spokesperson for EW tells FishbowlNY the issue with previous larger newsstand sales was a 2013 “Summer Movie Preview.” EW subscribers received the Supernatural cover.
Bonnier has added Rick Straface and Scott Stewart to its sales department.
Straface joins as corporate advertising director; Stewart as account manager for the Lifestyle Group (Popular Science, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and Saveur).
Straface most recently worked for the Miller Publishing Group. Stewart joins from the Sports Illustrated Golf Group.