Jim VandeHei Named President, CEO of Politico And Capital New York (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Politico co-founder and executive editor Jim VandeHei will take over as president and CEO of Politico and Capital New York, Allbritton Communications Company chairman and CEO Robert Allbritton announced in a memo Sunday evening. The move follows Fred Ryan’s decision last month to step down as CEO and president of Politico and president and COO of ACC. NYT In a telephone interview, VandeHei, who until the move held the title of Politico executive editor, said, “I really want to dedicate my energy and whatever talents I have to figuring out a profitable future for journalism.” His longtime colleague John F. Harris will remain Politico’s editor-in-chief. USA Today Politico launched in 2007. Harris and VandeHei initially proposed the idea for a website aimed at national politics to their bosses at The Washington Post, and when they demurred, Allbritton decided to back the venture. Politico rapidly became a major new-media success, attracting a large audience and becoming a go-to place for inside Washington news. It became known for its speed and aggressiveness, determined to outdo its rivals — “win the morning” in Politico-speak — and drive the capital conversation. HuffPost / The Backstory Allbritton’s decision in May to sell the company’s TV stations in order to focus on Politico and make new media investments marked a generational shift for the family-owned media company. In July, it was reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group agreed to pay nearly $1 billion for the stations, with the sale expected to close next year.
Scientific American Apologizes for Deleting Blogger’s Post on Being Called A ‘Whore’ (Jezebel)
Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D., has blogged for Scientific American for more than two years. Her blog, called “The Urban Scientist,” focuses on “sharing science to general audiences, particularly under-served groups, via outdoor programming and social media.” When she took to her blog to write about a sexist email she’d received, it was quietly deleted. Following an uproar on Twitter and the blogosphere, SciAm has offered an apology and an explanation — but is it enough? Wired / SuperBug According to Dr. Lee, the only notice she received that her post was considered inappropriate was its vanishing from the blog site. SciAm did not communicate with her about it other than by tweet. And SciAm said nothing about the uncalled-for abuse of one of its bloggers by one of its partnership representatives. Scientific American / @SA SciAm editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina: “We know that there are real and important issues regarding the treatment of women in science and women of color in science, both historically and currently, and are dismayed at the far too frequent cases in which women face prejudice and suffer inappropriate treatment as they strive for equality and respect. We recently removed a blog post by Dr. Danielle Lee that alleged a personal experience of this nature.” BoingBoing Unconvincing, especially given the lack of any apparent communication from Dr. Lee’s interlocutor. “We are investigating what links we currently have with Biology-Online” seems somewhat ill-omened, too. tressiemc When Dr. Lee decided that she could not afford to write for Biology Online for free at that point in time, she did so within a context of many of academia’s most pressing and vexing problems. If she is a whore for doing that then so are many of us doing the work we believe in without the assumed authority of being white and male.
BuzzFeed’s Copyranter Fired for Not Being ‘BuzzFeed-y Enough’ (NY Observer)
Mark Duffy aka Mark Copyranter was fired from BuzzFeed for not being “BuzzFeed-y Enough,” he announced in a Facebook post Friday morning. Duffy, who spent 20 years as a copywriter, took his much-loved blog over to BuzzFeed in April 2012. TheWrap “Got fired from BuzzFeed this week (my content wasn’t “BuzzFeedy” enough). Already freelancing, I want a full-time gig,” Duffy said in a tweet Friday. FishbowlNY Duffy’s posts seem plenty BuzzFeed worthy to us. But hey, we’re not in charge over there, so maybe something was amiss.
Bill Weir Leaving ABC News, Dan Harris Named Nightline Co-Anchor (TVNewser)
Nightline anchor Bill Weir is leaving ABC News for “another opportunity in the news business,” president Ben Sherwood announced Friday morning. Effective immediately, he will be replaced on Nightline by Dan Harris. Weir has worked at ABC since 2004, when he helped launch the weekend edition of Good Morning America. Harris replaced Weir on weekend GMA when Weir moved to Nightline in 2010. TVNewser Weir is joining CNN, TVNewser has learned. He is the latest ABC talent to make the move to CNN. Anchors John Berman and Jake Tapper joined last year, Chris Cuomo came aboard earlier this year, and correspondent Jim Scuitto joined in September. Weir will have the title of chief innovation correspondent. He joins in November.
New York Times Says UK Tried to Get It to Hand Over Snowden Documents (The Guardian)
The editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson, has confirmed that senior British officials attempted to persuade her to hand over secret documents leaked by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Giving the newspaper’s first official comments on the incident, Abramson said that she was approached by the UK embassy in Washington after it was announced that the Times was collaborating with The Guardian to explore some of the files disclosed by Snowden. Among the files are several relating to the activities of GCHQ, the agency responsible for signals interception in the UK.
Waywire, Cory Booker’s Attempt to Build A Web Video Startup, Sells to Magnify (AllThingsD)
Waywire, the video startup best known for its association with politician Cory Booker, is being sold to Magnify, a Web video distributor. People familiar with the transaction say that Magnify, which helps websites manage, curate and distribute video, is buying Waywire primarily with equity. It’s unlikely that the deal placed a high value on Waywire, which had previously raised $1.75 million, but, in any case, Booker won’t profit from the deal.
Netflix Pursues Cable-TV Deals (WSJ)
Netflix Inc. is in talks with several U.S. pay-television providers including Comcast Corp. and Suddenlink Communications to make its online video service available as an app on their set-top boxes, people familiar with the matter say. A deal would mark the online video service’s first such tie-up with a U.S. cable provider and would come after a similar agreement it recently announced with U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. The talks are in early stages and no deal is imminent, the people cautioned.
Philadelphia Newspaper’s Owners at War (NYT)
When a group of wealthy, politically connected local businessmen bought The Philadelphia Inquirer in April 2012, there were concerns that they would use its influence to further their own interests, ruining what was left of a once remarkable American newspaper.
BuzzFeed’s Brazen, Nutty, Growth Plan (WSJ)
Jonah Peretti, the founder of BuzzFeed, disclosed in a recent letter to investors that its traffic tripled over the past year, hitting 85 million visitors in August. Soon — thanks to our collective inability to resist such sugary listicles as “36 Things You Never Realized Everyone Else Does Too” — Peretti says, BuzzFeed will be one of the largest sites on the Web. Until recently, though, BuzzFeed’s towering traffic ambitions were held in check by a simple fact of global demographics. Everything BuzzFeed publishes is in English — and at the rate it’s growing, BuzzFeed may be running out of new English speakers to colonize.
Upworthy’s Viral Content With A Liberal Bent Is Taking Off (NYT)
There is conventional wisdom about what kind of material will go viral on the Internet: celebrity slide shows, lists like 10 tips for losing belly fat, and quirky kitten antics. Then there is the path of Upworthy.com, whose goal is to make more serious content as fun to share as a “video of some idiot surfing off his roof.” Surfing idiots are tough to beat, of course, but Upworthy has shown that by selecting emotional material and then promoting it with catchy, pretested headlines, it can fulfill its mission: to direct Internet audiences to what it deems socially worthwhile subjects.
Quartz: How Viable Is Its Business Model? (The Guardian / Monday Note)
The Quartz business model is simple: It’s free and therefore entirely ad supported. Why? Doesn’t qz.com target a business readership that shouldn’t mind spending $9 a month? “It was part of the original equation: mobile first, and free, embracing the open Web,” explains publisher Jay Lauf, whom I met in Paris a couple of weeks ago.
The End of The Library (TechCrunch)
A simple link. That’s all it took to unleash a hailstorm of angry emails, messages, tweets, and comments. Why? I dared wonder if libraries will continue to exist in the future. I mean, it’s not that crazy a notion, right? (If you’re a librarian, you’re not allowed to answer that.)
Canadian Gov’t to Push Cable Providers to Unbundle Channels (Reuters)
The Canadian government will soon require cable and satellite television providers to make it easier for customers to buy only the channels they want rather than pay for bundles, the country’s industry minister said on Sunday.
Why News Organizations Shouldn’t Write Off Tablet Magazines (Poynter)
Jon Lund in GigaOM recently declared tablet magazines a failure. That’s true in the sense that they haven’t substantially impacted overall magazine circulation. Using Alliance of Audited Media numbers, Lund lists the percentages that “digital replica” paid subscriptions, such as for tablets, contribute to the total circulation for 25 magazines. They ranged from a high of 38 percent of total circulation (Game Informer Magazine, a noted outlier) to 2 percent (People magazine). Like Lund, I’d discourage any new publication from focusing solely on tablet apps, stored deep inside iPad folders or in the dreaded Newsstand, far from the dynamic reach of social media and the Web.
On The Beat With New York’s Crime Photographer (BBC / First Person)
For at least one group of hardened professionals in New York City, near record-low crime figures are distinctly bad for business. At almost every major crime scene in the city, the press photographers trail right behind the police cars and ambulances — or even beat them there. Marc Hermann, now in his early 30s, worked as a staff crime photographer for the New York Daily News for years. He began wondering what it would be like to see how past crime scenes from New York’s streets have changed.
brianmoran I tell my kids to do what they love to do. If they love content, I’d advise them to go into the info. business
BreadofPleasure Print, sorry kiddo No, but Media Yep.
Barre02 The Free Press must survive at any cost. So yes if my child had the pen power. I would support.
BrittMauriss Yes, if only to learn traditional journalism ethics that can be applied online. News blogs are sorely lacking.