Stand-Alone Food Section Faces Demise in Bay Area (NYT)
In the food-obsessed Bay Area, the San Francisco Chronicle’s food section has been as much of a city institution as the cable car, and to many San Franciscans, more useful. Over the years it has won many awards and developed a dedicated following. Now, the Chronicle, owned by the Hearst Corporation, is planning to eliminate its stand-alone food section and integrate it into a single lifestyle section — tentatively titled “Artisan” — with material from other parts of the newspaper, including the home section, according to employees who have been told of the plans. The publisher of the Chronicle, Jeffrey Johnson, did not return calls seeking comment. However, the managing editor, Audrey Cooper, posted a response online saying that the Chronicle was actually increasing its investment in food and wine coverage. San Francisco Chronicle It’s impossible to separate food, restaurants and the culture of farm-to-table living from the San Francisco experience. For decades, these issues have formed a pillar of the San Francisco Chronicle‘s news coverage. It’s a Chronicle tradition and, most importantly, good journalism. We wouldn’t be San Francisco without it. That’s why the newsroom has been studying several ways to build on the foundation created by our award-winning staff. We’re disappointed by recent inaccurate reports in The New York Times, which has attempted to compete with us in this arena. SF Station A bi-coastal food fight is brewing between the San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times after the Times published a report with anonymous sources that claims the Chronicle will merge its standalone food section with other sections in the paper. It’s another sign of the newspaper industry’s slow, painful death — or could it be a power play by the Times, looking to gain leverage in the San Francisco market? NY Observer Although the Hearst Corporation-owned newspaper has downsized in recent years, the food section, a Bay Area institution, has been spared the ravages of the media industry. Not only was the food and wine section located in a separate building with a test kitchen and an “extensive wine cellar,” but the newspaper had a garden and honey-producing bees on the rooftop that were used in the test recipes. But during a meeting this month, Chronicle president Joanne Bradford said that the section was just not “sustainable.”
Snapchat Spurned $3 Billion Acquisition Offer From Facebook (WSJ / Digits)
Snapchat, a rapidly growing messaging service, recently spurned an all-cash acquisition offer from Facebook for close to $3 billion or more, according to people briefed on the matter. The offer, and rebuff, came as Snapchat is being wooed by other investors and potential acquirers. Chinese e-commerce giant Tencent Holdings had offered to lead an investment that would value two-year-old Snapchat at $4 billion. Fortune At first blush, it seems ridiculous. A pre-revenue company founded less than three years ago turns down a deal that would value it at three times what either Instagram or Tumblr got. Or at up to three times what Zuckerberg originally agreed to take from Yahoo!, before Yahoo! mistakenly got cold feet. But there is some precedent. Groupon, for example, famously shunned a $6 billion offer from Google. And, as we recently learned from Nick Bilton, it seems that everyone from Zuckerberg to Al Gore has tried to purchase Twitter over the years. Inside Facebook Facebook had tried to emulate Snapchat with an iPhone app that pretty much flopped — Poke. More younger users flocked to Snapchat because many of these people don’t want messages to last longer than a few seconds, keeping messaging truly private. Where Facebook wants to connect the world, Snapchat’s use is best fit for intimate, private one-on-one conversations. ValleyWag So, Snapchat turned down $3 billion in real money from Facebook because of the possibility of more billions in largely imaginary money — that’s walking away from about three Tumblrs or around four Instagrams. Salon Facebook buying Snapchat makes no sense. Snapchat’s attraction is based in large part on the fact that it is an alternative to Facebook. If Facebook bought Snapchat, there would be no point to Snapchat.
Six Lose Their Jobs at Time Out New York to ‘Leverage Global Deficiencies’ (Capital New York)
Time Out was rocked by layoffs this week, with 10 jobs eliminated throughout the North American division of the international franchise of weekly culture-listings magazines, Capital has learned. Six of those layoffs affected employees at Time Out New York Tuesday, according to sources. Among the staff members lost, according to a source with knowledge of the cuts, are film editor David Fear; assistant music editor Sophie Harris; senior designer Bryan Mayes; and the office caretaker, who had apparently worked at Time Out New York since the magazine started publishing in 1995.
Former Rolling Stone Editor Eric Bates Joins Omidyar-Greenwald Venture (HuffPost / The Backstory)
Eric Bates, the former executive editor of Rolling Stone, is joining the new media organization being launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and journalist Glenn Greenwald. According to a post from Omidyar about NewCo — what the project is currently being called — Bates “will be instrumental in helping us define our editorial strategy for a general-interest audience as well as the editing infrastructure we will need to support our independent journalists.
Questions About 60 Minutes Benghazi Story Go Beyond Dylan Davies Interview, CBS Conducting ‘Journalistic Review’ (McClatchyDC)
When 60 Minutes apologized for featuring in its report on Benghazi a security contractor whose story turned out to be a lie, it said it had been “misled.” But a close examination of the controversial piece by McClatchy shows that there are other problems with the report, whose broadcast renewed debate about one of the most contentious events in recent U.S. diplomatic history. In an email Wednesday, CBS declined to respond to questions about the accuracy and origin of some of the other aspects of the report. But it said that it was undertaking “a journalistic review that is ongoing” — the network’s first acknowledgement that concerns about the report may go deeper than just the discredited interview with security supervisor Dylan Davies.
Nick Denton Is Not Buying Business Insider, But He Admits He Thought About It (GigaOM)
The idea of Nick Denton’s Gawker network merging or acquiring Henry Blodget’s Business Insider site came up recently after the two were seen having breakfast at Balthazar restaurant in New York, where both are based, and a source told Capital New York that the topic of discussion was a potential merger or collaboration. Those rumors got re-inflated on Wednesday when a Business Insider writer said that the two would be announcing a merger on stage at the company’s Ignition conference. When reached for comment via Gchat, however, Denton — who is always game for an IM conversation, which he says he prefers to traditional interviews — said that there was no truth to the rumors, and that he and Blodget had simply met for breakfast at Balthazar to have a chat.
Al Jazeera America at Three Months: Pundit Free, ‘Experts When Needed’ (TVNewser)
Al Jazeera America turns the ripe old age of three months next week. So Tuesday, TVNewser visited the channel’s midtown Manhattan studio and got a status update from network president Kate O’Brian. Despite low rating to start — fewer than 25,000 total viewers at any given time, according to The New York Times — O’Brian sees preliminary success.
Hey, What About Politico’s ‘Brain Drain’? (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Politico on Tuesday warned of a “brain drain” at The New York Times: “In the past nine months, at least a dozen top reporters and editors have made for the exits.” The perils of doing media coverage for Politico! The New York Times has a newsroom head count exceeding 1,100 folks, according to spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. Let’s assume that “at least a dozen” means 20. Basic math then tells us The New York Times has lost 1.8 percent of its “top” reporters and editors. Now for Politico.
NY Post Asks Court to Reconsider Dismissing Sandra Guzman’s Suit (Capital New York)
Here’s the latest development in the legal saga of Sandra Guzman versus the New York Post: Attorneys for the tabloid asked a U.S. District Court Tuesday to reconsider tossing out their motion to dismiss Guzman’s lawsuit against the paper. In a case that has dogged editor-in-chief Col Allan for the past several years, Guzman, a former editor, alleges that she was harassed and fired for speaking out against a cartoon printed in the tabloid that was widely perceived as being racist.
Dan Rather: CBS ‘Trying to Airbrush Me Out of Their History’ (TVNewser)
Dan Rather to CBS: Get over it. Despite the scorched earth he left behind, Rather insists he’s baffled as to why his alma mater of 44 years did not invite him to participate in its 50th anniversary coverage of the Kennedy assassination. “Was I surprised? Let the record show I paused,” says Rather, 82, who as a young CBS reporter covering JFK’s visit to Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, broke the news that the president was dead. “Yes, I was surprised.”
Can Vice Build YouTube’s First Huge News Channel? (TheWrap)
There is a glaring hole online for news video. Vice wants to fill it — but it won’t be easy. YouTube wants to be in the news business. The world’s most popular video site has identified news as an “emerging” area internally, believing teens and tweens will come to YouTube for all the latest. But there’s no dominant purveyor on the massive video upload site yet. Vice hopes to change all that.
The Hollywood Reporter Breaks Out New Style Vertical (Folio:)
The Hollywood Reporter has been aggressively expanding its product portfolio over the last eight months. The group launched tech and indie channels in the spring, along with a contextual ecommerce program aimed at its consumer audience. In July, Dan Strauss was brought on as GM of digital to continue development. Now, THR is blowing out its style coverage into its own (albeit, related) brand, Pret-a-Reporter. FishbowlNY Hollywood trade watchers, some of whom are counting the days until a Deadline-Variety merger announcement, should pay particular attention to another aspect of this THR effort.
Promotions Seen at Meredith Corp. (WWD / Memo Pad)
Meredith Corp. unveiled a trio of promotions Wednesday on the corporate side of its business. Christine Guilfoyle has been promoted to senior vice president and publisher of Better Homes and Gardens and group publisher of Meredith’s women’s group. The former vice president and group publisher of EveryDay with Rachael Ray, Guilfoyle will also oversee advertising for Family Circle and Ladies’ Home Journal. She will report to Jim Carr, executive vice president and president of Better Homes and Gardens.
Why Journalists Are Becoming Entrepreneurs (LinkedIn / Jessica Lessin)
After spending my entire professional career at The Wall Street Journal, I left the paper in July to start a new technology news publication for professionals who want deep insights and reporting about the industry they can’t get from the barrage of daily tech headlines. Leaving the comfort of a big brand is not about salaries. It’s not about some vague sense of “building stuff.” It’s not about beanbags in the office (although we do have a purple one we inherited from the previous tenant). It’s about taking control of your own destiny.
Your ‘Exclusive’ Interview Isn’t (Reuters / Jack Shafer)
The journalistic lexicon abounds with terms designed to keep reporters’ and editors’ egos as plump, firm and purple as a ripe eggplant. If a dowdy news account needs dressing up, they rush to wardrobe to wrap it in the “special report” designation. Or if a journalist seeks to embellish his reputation, he refers to himself as a “prize-winning reporter” in his biographical note, suppressing the observation that the reporter without a prize is likely the one who has neglected to enter contests.
ebben_zall Twitter for conversation, Facebook for the newsfeeed
JasonLWebb Have to vote for Twitter.
lncbrand I prefer Twitter because engagement can be measured easier.