Staff Out of Time: Cutbacks Begin at Top, Dozens More to Come (NY Post / Media Ink)
The cutbacks began Tuesday as expected at Time Inc. and they took a heavy toll among some of the top-echelon executives as the magazine publisher abolished its three-cluster system centered around brands and put everything into one pot. One source said that while the number of cuts did not hit 500 on Tuesday, that was only because a lot of the pink slips will rain down over the next several weeks or months as the reorganized company makes moves to be spun off from Time Warner. FishbowlNY Time Inc. employs about 7,800 people. Should the 500 number be correct, it will be about the same as the massive cuts implemented by Laura Lang — the publishing house’s former CEO — about a year ago. Ad Age / Media News Tuesday’s layoffs mark the second downsizing at Time Inc. in a year. But the latest round of cuts comes as Time Inc. prepares to spin off from parent Time Warner into its own public company and are seen as a way to make the company more attractive to Wall Street. WWD / Memo Pad On Thursday, CEO Joe Ripp will meet with senior leadership to discuss “priorities” for the next several months, and he will conduct “town hall meetings” with current employees. On a slightly brighter note, the company said it promoted Mark Ford to executive vice president of advertising sales, where he will report to Ripp and oversee Time Inc.’s branded solutions division.
Andy Carvin, Pioneer in Using Twitter for Real-Time Journalism, Joins Omidyar’s First Look Media (GigaOM)
First Look Media — the new media entity that eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is building and has promised to fund to the tune of at least $250 million — is still in its formative stages, but one thing it is focused on is opening up the practice of journalism. To that end, the company has hired Andy Carvin, the former NPR editor whose work in using Twitter for real-time journalism transformed how many people experienced breaking news events such as the “Arab Spring.” Poynter / MediaWire Carvin, who took a buyout from NPR, will join the Omidyar-backed venture part-time until he finishes his research at the Tow Center, GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram writes. The Washington Post / Style Carvin gained notice for an innovative form of journalism as unrest swept the Middle East in late 2010 and 2011. His tweets — sometimes more than 1,000 a day — linked to news, photos and video of news emerging from the region. He took a buyout from NPR in December.
NBCNews.com Readies Its Reboot (Capital New York)
NBC News rolled out its new website Tuesday night with a new emphasis on images, video and social sharing. “We wanted to get our site going before Sochi, because we are hoping for an influx of traffic and interest in it,” said NBC News president Deborah Turness Tuesday morning in reference to the coming Winter Olympics. She called the site the “foundation stone” of her vision for the unit. TVNewser At an unveiling Tuesday morning at 30 Rock, Turness says the new site is about “tearing down the walls that traditionally have divided TV and digital.”
The Tyranny And Lethargy of The New York Times‘ Editorial Page (NY Observer)
It’s well known among the small world of people who pay attention to such things that the liberal-leaning reporters at The Wall Street Journal resent the conservative-leaning editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. What’s less well known — and about to break into the open, threatening the very fabric of the institution — is how deeply the liberal-leaning reporters at The New York Times resent the liberal-leaning editorial page of The New York Times. Gawker Who’s to blame? Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal and… Tom Friedman. Of course. Capital New York The New York Times is hitting back at the Observer‘s latest cover story, an exhaustive takedown of the paper of record’s opinion pages and the man who oversees them, Rosenthal. In an email to Capital, Times executive editor Jill Abramson called the article “the crazy rant of someone with an agenda, certainly not the view of the newsroom of The New York Times.”
Journalists at Sochi Are Live-Tweeting Their Hilarious And Gross Hotel Experiences (The Washington Post / WorldViews)
Amid continued debate over whether or not Sochi is prepared to host the 2014 Olympics, which begins Thursday, reporters from around the world are starting to check into local hotels — to their apparent grief. Some journalists arriving in Sochi are describing appalling conditions in the housing there, where only six of nine media hotels are ready for guests. Hotels are still under construction. Water, if it’s running, isn’t drinkable. One German photographer told the AP over the weekend that his hotel still had stray dogs and construction workers wandering in and out of rooms.
Upworthy Editor: CNN’s ‘Casual’ Rape Tweet Is ‘Appalling’ (Mediaite)
CNN is getting negative attention once again Tuesday for sending out a tweet that teases its nearly 12 million followers into guessing which state has the “highest rate of rape in the country.” Imitating the headline stylings of Upworthy and other viral content sites, CNN tweeted, “It may surprise you.” Now, Upworthy editor-at-large Adam Mordecai has spoken out against the approach, accusing CNN of doing it wrong. ThinkProgress “Everyone keeps copying us as though every piece of content can or should be treated equally,” Mordecai told ThinkProgress. “The curiosity gap is just a tool, and one that should be used strategically and tastefully.”
BuzzFeed Style Guide (BuzzFeed)
BuzzFeed publishes news and entertainment in the language of the Web, and in our work we rely on a style guide to govern everything from hard-hitting journalism to fun quizzes. We value consistency and accuracy across those formats and categories. (For instance, knowing how to treat numbers is important, but so is correctly spelling “fangirl.”) Our perspective reflects that of the Internet at large, which is why we hope other sites and organizations across the Web will find these guidelines useful. Poynter / Regret The Error How do you correct a listicle? If you’re Shani Hilton, this is the kind of thing you have to think about. Her official title at BuzzFeed is deputy editor-in-chief, but internally she’s also known as Keeper of The Standards. She is their Gandalf of style, standards and corrections. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple The part that prompted an appreciative pause from the Erik Wemple Blog, however, was this: BuzzFeed uses the serial comma: e.g., “We picked up cyan, magenta, yellow, and black balloons for the party.” Contrast that approach with the AP style guide’s stingy approach to commas. In a simple series like the one above, the AP would likely drop the last comma, like so: “We picked up cyan, magenta, yellow and black balloons for the party.” The Post also disdains the serial comma; for years, the Erik Wemple Blog’s drafts have been brutally stripped of this key punctuation mark by a team of ruthless editors following “style.”
Discovery Channel Enters Late-Night Talk-Show Game (Capital New York)
A new late-night talk show is set to premiere next month, in what might seem an unlikely place: the Discovery Channel. Discovery is launching Discovery After Dark (that’s a working title) on Sunday, March 16 at 10:15 p.m., following the season premiere of the survival reality show Naked And Afraid. Subsequent episodes will air during the 10 p.m. hour on Sunday nights.
Vanity Fair Editor Explains ‘Epic Takedown’ of Gwyneth Paltrow (LA Times / Ministry of Gossip)
The saga between behemoths Gwyneth Paltrow and Vanity Fair seems to have come to an anticlimactic close. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter addressed long-running rumors that the magazine would blast the Oscar-winning actress — an article he said some expected to be an “epic takedown” of sorts — in his Editor’s Letter for VF‘s 20th Hollywood issue.
Guardian Hires Matt Sullivan as U.S. Opinion Editor (Capital New York)
Matt Sullivan is leaving The New York Times to become opinion editor for the Guardian‘s American digital news operation, replacing a staffer who in turn left for the Times. In his new role, Sullivan, 29, will corral contributors for the British broadsheet’s online U.S. opinion section, Comment Is Free, as well as managing its stable of columnists.
CNN Beats Fox… at Donating Food (FishbowlDC)
CNN may be chronically behind in the ratings, but at least in one area, they’ve managed to best Fox News and every other D.C. media organization for that matter: collecting food for the homeless. Since 2012, Washington media outlets have been participating in an event known as the annual “Feeding Frenzy,” where they compete amongst each other to see who can collect the most food and canned goods to donate to local hunger charity So Others Might Eat (SOME).
Glenn Greenwald, Fellow Snowden Reporters Expected to Win Top Journalism Award (BuzzFeed / Business)
Four reporters who were the first to report on Edward Snowden’s leaked National Security Agency files will win a George Polk award for their work, a source familiar with the plans to award the prestigious prize later this month told BuzzFeed. The massive leak by the former contractor has divided America’s political class, with some calling Snowden a traitor and the reporters accomplices. But top media institutions have generally rallied around the reporting, and the George Polk Award — expected to be given to Glenn Greenwald; filmmaker Laura Poitras; the Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill; and the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman — reflects the broad support among journalists for reporting the revelations about the scale of American domestic and international surveillance.
The Wrestler: Remembering The Fights That Philip Seymour Hoffman Won (Medium / David Carr)
One of my favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performances did not happen on-or-off Broadway or on a big screen. At the Independent Spirit Awards in 2008 — a party on the beach meant to celebrate indie excellence the day before the Oscars — Hoffman was there to receive the best male lead award for his role in The Savages, a quiet film that unfolds into something spectacular. FishbowlNY Carr, who knows more about wrestling and addiction than a lot of journalists, goes on to offer a touching POV on Hoffman’s robust trajectory. He writes that the actor “got in the ring with his addiction and battled it for two decades successfully, doing amazing film work for years and doing the hard stuff to keep ambitious theater alive in New York.”
Why Jason Kilar’s Rumored ‘Hulu for Magazines’ Startup Probably Isn’t Going to Work (GigaOM)
According to a recent report at Re/code, former Hulu founder and CEO Jason Kilar — who left the streaming online-video company a year ago — has been pitching publishers on a service he is trying to build that would offer magazine and even newspaper content via a Hulu-style model. The venture, currently known as The Fremont Project, would come complete with a TV-style “windowing” approach, in which some content would be exclusive to users of the service for a period of time before being released through the usual channels. The idea of a Hulu or Netflix for magazines and newspaper content is a pretty popular one — so popular that Next Issue Media, which offers bundled access to a stable of mainstream magazines, has been called both of those things. But the idea actually pre-dates either of those companies: before they came along, the same concept was described as “iTunes for news” or “iTunes for magazines,” and plenty of people have tried and failed to build one.
Paywalls Are Not A Cure-All: Evidence From Gannett (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The invaluable Rick Edmonds has a useful analysis of Gannett’s latest earnings and comes away with some disquieting findings. To sum that up: Gannett did get a boost in circulation revenue by putting up paywalls at its newspapers. But that’s tapped out: Gannett has already made about as much as it will from its paywalls, at least as currently structured. When you announce a paywall, you get a one-time boost from people who are willing to pay. But it plateaus. And maybe some of those subscribers eventually drop off. It’s not a growth model that does anything like replace the ongoing decline in print advertising revenue — which continues to decline somewhere in the high single digits every year.
delwilliams But that would have been the obvious choice. The hero gets the girl. Yawn
PraconB Yes, She should have married Harry. But who am I to say how the story goes…I’m only a loyal reader.
CinHamilton I don’t think so. I wonder if she changed her mind about them after JKR saw the screen version. H and H had chemistry on screen