Layoffs at OC Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise (LA Times / Money & Co.)
Significant layoffs hit the newsrooms Thursday at the Orange County Register and Riverside Press-Enterprise, a troubling sign for the Aaron Kushner-owned publications. Exact numbers have not been released at the Register, although the cuts there are reported to number roughly 35 people. The paper’s editor, Ken Brusic, and most other top editorial managers have departed, according to multiple sources in the newsroom who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak. LA Times The elimination of 71 employees, many of them seasoned journalists, marks a sharp reversal by Kushner, who controls Freedom Communications Inc., which owns both papers. The former greeting card executive had spent much of the last 18 months growing his publications, acquiring additional news outlets and hiring more than 100 reporters and editors in the process. LA Observed It’s all about restructuring for the future, including the Register‘s upcoming invasion of Los Angeles County, Kushner says. The “content team,” as he puts it, is now 172 people larger than when he arrived, Kushner writes. Donna Wares, previously announced as editor-in-charge of the LA Register, will become managing editor. Poynter / MediaWire Rob Curley is the new editor of the Register. He replaces Brusic, who the Register says is “stepping down as part of a reorganization of the newspaper’s newsroom.”
Time Warner Sells Manhattan Headquarters; CNN, Other Nets, Will Be on The Move (TVNewser)
It’s now a done deal. Time Warner has sold its iconic Manhattan building at Columbus Circle and is already preparing a move 30 blocks south to the as yet undeveloped Hudson Yards neighborhood. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes sent an email to staff Thursday afternoon letting them know about the move, which is still years away. NYT The company will move its headquarters to a new, 80-story skyscraper on the Far West Side of Manhattan, ensuring the development of a vast neighborhood made up of office towers, residential buildings, a shopping mall and a park, all built over a 13-acre railyard. At the same time, Time Warner announced it was selling its existing headquarters, about 1.1 million square feet, in what is known as the Time Warner Center, for $1.3 billion to a partnership of two sovereign wealth funds and the Related Companies. Bloomberg The new skyscraper, 30 Hudson Yards, was designed by the architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and is slated to be the fourth-tallest building in New York, at 1,227 feet (374 meters), Time Warner said. CNNMoney “By consolidating our space to Hudson Yards, New York’s next great neighborhood, we will be able to reallocate substantial savings to our primary business of creating and sharing great storytelling in television, film, and journalism with audiences around the world,” Bewkes said in a statement.
Farhad Manjoo Heads to New York Times After 4 Months at Wall Street Journal to Replace David Pogue (Re/code)
The New York Times has found a replacement for David Pogue, its high-profile tech reviewer: Sources say the Times is filling his old slot with Farhad Manjoo, the Wall Street Journal columnist who recently joined that paper. Manjoo joined the Journal last September, after a five-year stint at Slate. Pogue left the Times in November for Yahoo!, where he launched a new consumer tech site this month. NYT At the Times, Manjoo will write the “State of The Art” technology column that reviews new software and devices. “State of The Art” will push beyond traditional reviews and examine the tech industry more broadly and the role technology plays in society, said Times business editor Dean Murphy in a memo sent to staff late Thursday.
Condé Nast Ad Pages Flat in Q1 (Capital New York)
Condé Nast Media Group president Lou Cona said ad pages were flat across the company’s magazines in its first quarter in a memo to staffers sent Thursday. Though pages were up in January and March, a “flagging” February contributed to the results, Cona said in the note obtained by Capital. He added that the numbers reflected the “volatility of the broader global economy.” WWD / Memo Pad The year is looking a little bit brighter for many of Condé Nast’s glossy titles, according to an internal memo released Thursday. Although the company reported a flat first quarter in advertising pages, the results were lifted by stronger January and March numbers, which were blunted by a “flagging February.”
Exclusive: Yahoo!’s Editor-in-Chief Jai Singh Departs Company (Re/code)
According to sources close to the situation, Yahoo!’s editor-in-chief Jai Singh has quit the company, a major departure which comes in the wake of changes made to its media unit after the firing of COO Henrique De Castro Wednesday. Capital New York The exit Thursday of Singh from the post of editor-in-chief helped flesh out CEO Marissa Mayer’s priorities for the company going into 2014. Singh joined the company from The Huffington Post in 2011, and his tenure predates Mayer’s 2012 hire. The company has been reshaping its editorial roster as of late, and has recently hired former New York Times staffers David Pogue and Matt Bai, as well as former CBS anchor Katie Couric.
Ronan Farrow’s New MSNBC Show Tentatively Titled The Ronan Show (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Ronan Farrow’s new MSNBC show, which is expected to launch later this month, has tentatively been titled The Ronan Show. Job postings on sites like Mediabistro describe open positions for segment, video and field producers for a show called The Ronan Show, described as a “new show on MSNBC Dayside with host Ronan Farrow.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media MSNBC has hired veteran news producer Kathy O’Hearn to serve as executive producer on Farrow’s new MSNBC program, sources familiar with her plans told Politico on Thursday. O’Hearn, a former executive producer at CNN, ABC News and CNBC, previously served as senior vice president at The Daily Beast.
After Tina Brown’s Exit, Daily Beast Brings in Editing Help (NYT)
The Daily Beast has hired Noah Shachtman, a former editor at Foreign Policy and Wired, as its new executive editor and has formally elevated John Avlon to editor-in-chief, according to a memo Avlon wrote to the website’s staff on Thursday. Shachtman “is perhaps best known as co-founder and editor of Wired’s Danger Room blog, which won the 2012 National Magazine Award for reporting in digital media,” Avlon wrote.
KSDK Blamed for Scare at Area High School (TVSpy)
An unidentified reporter for St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK is being blamed for the lockdown of a Missouri high school while reportedly investigating the school’s security. A Kirkwood School District official posted what happened on the district’s Facebook page: “KHS is on lockdown. We do not believe there is any imminent danger. Here is what I know. An(sic) man came in and stated that he wanted to talk to security. He gave his name and cell number. When the secretary left to get the SRO, the person left the office and will not answer his phone. This initiated the lockdown.”
We’re Offering $10,000 for Unretouched Images of Lena Dunham in Vogue (Jezebel)
Vogue just released its February issue starring none other than Lena Dunham. The images are, all in all, quite nice. She’s well-styled and looks fantastic. As if Vogue would have it any other way. Dunham is a woman who trumpets body positivity, who’s unabashedly feminist, who has said that her naked body is “a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive” and “if you are not into me, that’s your problem.” Her body is real. She is real. And for as lovely as the Vogue pictures are, they’re probably not terribly real. So Jezebel is offering $10,000 for pre-Photoshop images from Lena’s Vogue shoot. FishbowlNY This isn’t about Vogue. It’s about Jezebel. It’s about using a bullsh*t cause to cover up an extremely juvenile idea. The fake cause: “Showing the public what Vogue really does!” The real idea: “Hey, we’d get a ton of hits if we post unaltered pics of Dunham!”
Sports Illustrated Gets New Publisher in Brendan Ripp (Ad Age / Media News)
Time Inc. has named Brendan Ripp publisher of Sports Illustrated and its website SI.com, the company said Thursday. He succeeds Frank Wall, who is leaving Time Inc. for a job with Turner Sports. A 14-year veteran of Time Inc., Ripp was most recently VP-sales and marketing at Fortune magazine. Prior to that he was publisher of Money and previously served as publisher of Time. A successor for Ripp at Fortune is expected to be named soon, the company said. Ripp is also the son of Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, who took the company’s helm in September to help steer it through a spinoff from parent Time Warner. FishbowlNY “Brendan has a long and accomplished history with the News & Sports Group, where he has held a number of leadership positions at each of our brands over the past 14 years,” wrote Todd Larsen, Time Inc.’s executive VP/group president News and Sports, in a memo to staffers.
Vimeo Turns to Kickstarter, Indiegogo to Find, Fund Movies (GigaOM)
Vimeo announced an interesting twist on original content licensing Thursday morning: The IAC-owned video site will scour crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo for movies to license, and then offer creators free pro accounts as well as some money to promote their films. In exchange, filmmakers agree to put the movies on Vimeo On Demand, the site’s paid distribution platform.
E-Reading Is Rising, But It’s Not Replacing Print: Pew Research (GalleyCat)
Twenty-eight percent of adults in the U.S. had read an eBook by 2013, up from 23 percent in 2012, according to a new report from Pew Research. The research also revealed that about seven in 10 Americans reported reading a book in print, which was up four percentage points from 2012. In addition, 14 percent of American adults reported that they had listened to an audiobook in 2013.
‘This Used to Be A Newsroom’ — The Scene at The Cleveland Plain Dealer (CJR / The United States Project)
As a major reorganization of the Cleveland Plain Dealer takes shape, veteran reporters are adjusting to “backpack journalism,” the division of staff into two companies, a looming move to a new office, and demands to post stories more quickly. At the same time, they are memorializing their old newsroom in striking images that are circulating on social media and in email chains.
Why An Article on Lisa Bonchek Adams Was Removed From The Guardian Website (The Guardian / Comment Is Free)
I don’t think it is wrong to frame a question about how those with incurable illnesses use social media, but The Guardian was wrong in the way it went about it. I have written to Adams to suggest we put up a fresh piece dealing with all her issues when she is able to engage with us, and to offer to publish a response entirely from her point of view. However, it is only right that this should be in her own time and that she should be allowed to get on with her treatment without any pressures. Therefore I do not anticipate that I will have fully resolved all issues for some time, and I think that we should not restore Keller’s original article to our website until I can do so.
The Newsonomics of Forbes’ Real Performance And Price Potential (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The bidding for Forbes is now moving into round two, with a sale expected within a month. A surprising set of largely non-U.S. buyers is flipping through the pages of a memorandum prepared by Deutsche Bank, which Forbes has tasked with shopping the property. A careful reading of that 62-page confidential document reveals a lot about the company’s much-heralded forays into new businesses. It also provides hard numbers that could only be guessed at in the press when Forbes’ owners (the Forbes family with a 55 percent stake and Elevation Partners with the remainder) put the company on the market in November.
Raeshika Jones 15 minutes, if I’m lucky.