Howard Kurtz’s Fox News Show Media Buzz to Challenge CNN Head-On (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
For those who formerly tuned in on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. to watch Howard Kurtz discuss the media on CNN, there’s good news: He’ll be doing essentially the same thing at the same hour in his new post at Fox News. The head-to-head scheduling is a tough break for those 17 Americans who have an appetite for two hours of media-crit-related cable talk-show fare. TVNewser Fox News says it is scheduling the show in that timeslot for logistical purposes, rather than for competitive ones. Kurtz wants to do the show live and from Washington, D.C. The show it’s replacing, Fox News Watch, tapes on Friday and airs on Saturday. The one-hour show will also feature Lauren Ashburn — a regular on Kurtz’s Reliable Sources. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The show will also feature “Bing Pulse, provided by Bing technology, which will display real-time reactions to the different segments throughout the show,” according to the release. Variety Since Kurtz’s departure, CNN has used a series of fill-in hosts on Reliable Sources, including New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, former Portfolio editor Joanne Lipman and Tampa Bay Times media critic Eric Deggans.
NY Times Drops The F-Bomb (TheWrap / MediaAlley)
The F-bomb appeared Sunday in the stately New York Times — and one blogger whose e-hand was once slapped by the paper’s senior standards editor for using an acronym with the letter “F” in it is not happy. The word made its appearance on page 86 of Sunday’s style-oriented T Magazine. The full version of the F-word appears plain as day in a quote of the first line of Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens. Mother Jones / Mixed Media But it’s not the first time the paper has used “f*ck” or one of its variants. The Times‘ anti-profanity editorial policy is, often absurd, leading to the awkward censorship of band names, book titles, and, at least once, the vice president of the United States. But it only applies to nonfiction. A quick search through the paper’s archives reveals dozens of instances of F-bombs casually inserted in fiction excerpts. Most of the time those are online-only features that supplement print reviews, but occasionally the word makes its way into the paper itself. The Atlantic Wire Times public editor Margaret Sullivan has acknowledged the f-word, retweeting a story about it on Twitter. When asked what that meant she responded, “Neither an endorsement nor a panic attack. More of a shrug.”That line only appears in the print edition of the T magazine, which perhaps has different standards than the newspaper. And, notably, the online version of that article features zero f-bombs.
Miley’s Moves Seduce 10 Million Viewers for The VMAs, Up 47 Percent in The Demo (Adweek)
Sneer all you want at Miley Cyrus’ crotch-thrusting antics with Robin Thicke — the VMAs were outrageous enough to nab 10.1 million total viewers and a 7.8 rating among people 12-34 (the network’s target demo). It’s especially good news considering the heavily sponsored program’s dismal performance in 2012, though it has a ways to go before it reaches the record-breaking heights of the year before. THR According to Twitter, the “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” medley with Cyrus and Thicke garnered 306,100 tweets per minute during the East Coast airing of the show. To compare, last year’s VMAs had a peak of 98,307 tweets per minute, whereas the presidential election night last year saw a tweets per minute peak of 327,452. Rolling Stone MTV ruffled quite a few feathers with the 2013 edition of the VMAs, which elicited a host of sarcastic fan tweets and a hilarious freeze-frame of Will Smith’s family gazing in horror at Lady Gaga. But the network is also facing more serious criticism from the Parents Television Council, a non-profit organization that battles explicit TV programming. Oddly, the father of chief offender Miley Cyrus, singer-songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus, serves on the council’s advisory board. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer “I wouldn’t make a joke of it, actually,” Mika Brzezinski said on Morning Joe Monday, stacking some papers seriously. “That was really, really disturbing. That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed, clearly has confidence issues, probably an eating disorder, and I don’t think anybody should have put her onstage. That was disgusting and embarrassing.”
To Protect Its Empire, ESPN Stays on Offense (NYT)
ESPN likes to call itself the Worldwide Leader in Sports, and by most every measure it is in a league of its own. The network produced 35,000 hours of programming in 2012, including at least half of all live athletic events televised in the United States. It is a prodigious cash machine, regularly generating nearly half of the operating profit of Disney, its parent company. So it may be hard to imagine that the sports media conglomerate has arrived at one of the most precarious moments in its nearly 34-year life. CJR / The Audit When it comes to conflicts, no news organization has them to quite the degree that ESPN has. Its newsrooms conflicts with the National Football League and major college football, to name just two of the institutions it tasks itself with covering, are so immense and so central as to be in a different category.
The Monkey Cage Is Moving to The Washington Post (The Monkey Cage)
We are very pleased to announce that The Monkey Cage is going to become part of The Washington Post. After five-plus years of writing and growing as an independent blog, we think that the Post offers a tremendous opportunity both to increase and broaden our audience and to improve our content. We think that it will be a great place to continue the blog’s mission of publicizing political science research and providing informed commentary on politics and current events. Nieman Journalism Lab The Monkey Cage is a group blog of political scientists; I think of it as being similar in style to the economist bloggers whose profile have risen over the past five years or so — connecting academic work to events of the day, in a tone that mixes journalism, expertise, and the academy. It’s a good match for The Washington Post, I think. TheWrap / MediaAlley The five-year-old blog isn’t exactly Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, though many of its contributors have contributed to Silver’s blog in the past. “What we will do — and what the Post wants us to do — is what we have been doing: talking about new and interesting political science research and drawing on that research to provide informed commentary on current events,” Monkey Cage blogger John Sides told TheWrap.
Baltimore Sun Home Page Takeover Turns Back Online Advertising’s Clock (Ad Age / Adages)
In a nod to Web ads’ roots — or else a total disregard for their evolution — the Baltimore Sun‘s home page on Monday featured an ad from Maryland merchant Jarvis Appliance that overtook the site with an aesthetic seemingly borrowed from PennySaver. Jarvis Appliance’s ad, which expanded automatically from a banner when visitors arrived at The Baltimore Sun on Monday and initially filled the margins as well, could be described as visually arresting, but not for the same reasons as an ad running on Vox Media’s The Verge or GQ‘s iPad edition. It eschews current trends toward clean design and dominant imagery in favor of an old-school predilection for text — in as many fonts and sizes as possible.
‘This Guy F*cked Me’: Why Roger Ailes Fired Top Fox News Exec (Gawker)
Why did Fox News president Roger Ailes fire his top lieutenant? The sudden ousting of PR chief Brian Lewis, who had pioneered the channel’s aggressive public relations strategy since its founding in 1996, inspired plenty of speculation and spin — some of it from the network’s on-air talent — about Lewis’ reputation at the channel, Fox’s vague claims of “financial irregularities,” and what the channel called “multiple, material and significant breaches of [Lewis’] employment contract.” But it was suspicions about Lewis’ relationship with writer Gabriel Sherman that sent boss Roger Ailes over the edge, an insider source at 21st Century Fox confirmed.
Penske Mogul’s Brawl With Hollywood Blogger Nikki Finke Bubbles Over in LA Confidential-Like Tale (NY Post)
IndyCar enthusiast and media mogul Jay Penske is facing a hairpin turn. The 34-year-old entrepreneur is set to meet with the board of his Penske Media Corp in the next several days as his troublesome business relationship with Nikki Finke, the star blogger for Penske’s Deadline.com, is about to come to a head, the Post has learned. Finke, who is said to be bristling under Penske’s management of the website, feels the terms of her employment contract have been broken and is eyeing a Sept. 3 exit, according to a letter a lawyer for the star journalist delivered to Penske late last week, sources said. FishbowlNY A Deadline without Finke could pave the way for the site being folded into PMC’s new, emboldened variety.com. Perhaps even as that trade publication’s designated breaking news arm. On the other hand, since one source tells Post reporter Claire Atkinson the Finke-Penske situation is “tenuous as usual,” this could all just go away as it did after Sharon Waxman published a report earlier this summer that the journalist had been fired by Penske.
Al Jazeera America: Think NPR With Pictures (And A Little Baggage) (CJR / The United States Project)
Al Jazeera joined the American TV lineup last week with minimal damage to the republic. There was no sign of bin Laden, no call for jihad, and no ranting about the evils of the American empire — just a workmanlike recounting of the day’s events, interspersed with testimonials from fresh-scrubbed young reporters, most recently employed by local TV stations, telling us how much they love America and apple pie. OK, I exaggerate. But the Al Jazeera network, created and funded by the government of the Arab emirate of Qatar, has been battling for years to access the US market. Most cable and satellite distributors wouldn’t touch them, in large measure for fear of a political backlash against carrying a channel once framed by the Bush administration as terrorist television.
Kevin Spacey’s MacTaggart Lecture Prompts Defense of Traditional TV (The Guardian)
At the same time as Kevin Spacey was telling TV executives to embrace online or die at the annual industry gathering in Edinburgh, a combined audience of 12 million viewers was settling down at home to watch ITV’s Emmerdale and EastEnders on BBC1. Those millions of soap fans could be forgiven for thinking the technological revolution espoused by the Hollywood star had passed them by (when in fact, it is just beginning). There was no shortage of warmth in Edinburgh for Spacey’s sentiments. Gawker “If you are watching a film on your television, is it no longer a film because you’re not watching it in the theater?” Spacey asked his audience. “If you watch a TV show on your iPad is it no longer a TV show? The device and length are irrelevant.”
Twenty-Four Hour Party People (New Yorker)
When the news broke — “CLEVELAND KIDNAPPING VICTIMS FREE” — Rachel Maddow wasn’t sure she had much to add. It was the kind of story that cable news loves: Three women had been abducted and held hostage for years, until a garrulous local man named Charles Ramsey helped kick down the door of the house where they were kept. Maddow is a cable-news star: the defining voice of MSNBC, which makes her, surely, the most influential liberal pundit in the country. But The Rachel Maddow Show, which airs every weeknight at 9 p.m. ET, is known for even-tempered political discussion, not for screaming headlines. “I don’t know what to do about the Cleveland thing,” Maddow said. HuffPost MSNBC’s Chris Hayes conceded that his ratings have been “bad” in an interview with the New Yorker published on Monday. For his part, Hayes was blunt — “obviously, the numbers are bad right now” — but he cautioned against making any drastic changes based on what worked on any given evening.
Writing About Magazines With Blinders on (Talking New Media)
It is difficult to know whether those who write about the magazine industry are lazy or just living with blinders on, but each time a circulation or ad page report is issued by a reporting firm a slew of articles appears which tries to divine an entire industry by one set of numbers. The truth is that, thanks to digital media, the magazine industry is today much more than just AAM-audited titles or those whose ad pages are counted each month.
Slate Launches Outward, A New LGBTQ Blog (Slate / Outward)
In recent years, against an increasingly lively backdrop of progress and pushback around LGBTQ people’s place in society, Slate has been publishing more and more stories about gay life and culture, including widely discussed series on gay bars, camp, and the first gay wedding on a military base. We’re proud of the unique, provocative contributions our gay and straight writers have made to the “LGBTQ conversation” thus far, but now — as DOMA is dismantled, gender reimagined in the DSM, and the fate of “gay culture” worried over in an age of increasing equality — we feel compelled to say more.
Meredith Vieira Launching YouTube Channel LIVES (HuffPost)
Meredith Vieira is launching a new YouTube channel called LIVES. She announced the venture on Twitter and in an inaugural YouTube video on Monday. LIVES, which launches on Sept. 9, will feature women sharing their experiences and sounding off on current issues. “Through a channel like this, we can connect so many women of all generations, all colors, sizes and shapes to share stories,” Vieira tweeted.
Seven Questions for Vintage Magazine Founder Ivy Baer Sherman (UnBeige)
Technically, Vintage Magazine is — you guessed it — a magazine, but the term fails to convey the visual and tactile pleasures contained within its covers, which for the fourth (“Quatrième”) issue are a multi-flap affair designed to evoke the look and feel of vintage linoleum.
TJRaphael Oprah, Christiane Amanpour, Rachel Maddow, Diane Sawyer. Not on TV, Howard Stern is one of the greatest interviewers.