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Daily Archives: May 20, 2013

On Friday afternoon, AOL president Tim Armstrong announced that Patch was restructuring and laying off some employees. (Bloomberg reports 40 people were let go.) CEO Jon Brod is returning to AOL Ventures and COO Steve Kalin is moving up to chief executive, Armstrong said.

The changes were discussed during an all-company conference call that started at 6 p.m. ET Friday (when most media reporters were already in bars or headed home).

I asked one of my Patch sources to brief Romenesko readers on the call. Here’s his report:

1. Jon Brod started to tell everyone he was “sleeping easy” about his transfer out of the CEO position. He seemed to catch himself as he said this (perhaps realizing how out of touch it would sound from an executive after layoffs)patch and awkwardly interjected “while, you know, you never sleep easy with lay-offs… I have been sleeping easy about my move” out of Patch. Note I am paraphrasing from memory so these aren’t exact quotes, but everyone on the call heard it and it was poorly received. Like, oh, phew, at least the CEO is okay.

2. They said, as they do every quarter, that we are going to begin “really emphasizing local content.” When someone asked how that would work, given the doubling of all of our workloads, they told us it would be through “localizing” what is essentially SEO-spam/advertiser-bait: articles like “What will be your next car?” or “What do you pay for lawn service?” “Where can I get a mammogram in PATCH TOWN?” They even added our readers were “greatly interested” in these kinds of articles. Not sure how they determined that, but we all doubt this very much./CONTINUES Read More

walshWashington Post copy editor Bill Walsh writes in an email:

“So here I am on the eve of my book launch, hoping I’ll get a little exposure, when a silly 18-second video clip from my bike-helmet cam goes bigger than anything I’ll ever write will.”

Here’s the YouTube clip (more than 700,000 views so far), and coverage from City Paper, DCist, and Right This Minute.

* Earlier: LinkedIn says it shouldn’t have rejected Bill Walsh’s ad (jimromenesko.com)


Here’s Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner’s memo about his son‘s promotion.

From: Jann Wenner
Date: Monday, May 20, 2013 2:52 PM
Subject: Gus Wenner

Gus Wenner (from his Facebook page)

Gus Wenner (from his Facebook page)

Dear all:

[Wenner Media chief digital officer] David Kang and I are very pleased — and I am very proud — to announce that Gus Wenner, after leading the re-launch re-design effort for our website, will now continue by heading up the overall operations of RollingStone.com.

Jann

* Here’s Hamilton Nolan’s take on “this amazing media story” (gawker.com)

“Wanted to share an LAT headline that gave me a good laugh just now,” writes Romenesko reader Stephanie Chan. I’m told it’s Joe Serna‘s work, “but I might add that readers liked it so much we later solicited headline suggestions from @lanow on Twitter.”

* Big rig carrying fruit crashes on 210 Freeway, creates jam (latimes.com)

* Fox News: “We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter” (foxnews.com)
* Steven Aftergood calls the Rosen case “a startling expansion of the Obama Administration’s war on leaks” (fas.org)

New York and Vanity Fair contributing editor Vanessa Grigoriadis discusses her early days at New York Magazine and how the publication has changed:

I come from this old New York magazine – very influenced by Spy – where we were just having a jolly good time in that office,vny and we were trying to make stories that made other people in the office laugh. Like, we just thought it was funny. We were just trying to make stories that were amusing and funny. It wasn’t about, blow this person up, or not blow this person up. It was more just about what’s the best story that can be told.

Now New York magazine is a much more sophisticated product. It’s a lot less — I mean, I hate to use the words text-oriented, but the actual print magazine is really a design product in some ways. It’s truly the most well-designed, most beautiful general interest magazine, I think. It’s hip and it’s cool, and the stories are supposed to reflect well on that brand. Whereas back in the day, New York magazine was kind of a Tina Brown-esque thing where there was a lot of really grabby headlines and in-your-face reporting and some bad taste.

* Longform podcast: Vanessa Grigoriadis (longform.org)

Michael Musto, who was laid off from the Village Voice last week, tells HuffPost Live: “This outpouring [of support] is amazing. I feel like I’m reading my own obituary while still alive. … I went from tears of horror to absolutely being buoyed by the joy of everyone I’ve ever written about, or who has read my column, coming out to support me.” He adds: “I can’t wait to start my new outlet, which I’ll announce soon.”
musto
HuffPost Live: “I don’t think anybody’s worried about you. I think people are worried about the paper. I mean, what’s the mood like there?”

Michael Musto: “It’s a little dour, but I love the people that work there, so I’m rooting for them. No ill will; besides I’m working on my exit package, so… I love you guys!”

HuffPost Live: “How do they approach someone who’s been working there for 29 years? How do they even broach that conversation?”

Michael Musto: “You just get an email saying come and meet the owner in the conference room and you just go. But there was advance buzz on this happening and already people were calling and emailing. I knew that there was a bright future for me. …The second this was announced people started knocking my door down, so I’m feeling very optimistic. …I can’t wait to start my new outlet, which I’ll announce soon. …I want to be employed, not an icon, and that’s what I’m going to be. So I’m still going to be making waves and challenging people.”

On Monday morning, fired Voice restaurant critic Robert Sietsema tweeted: “My friend and colleague Tejal Rao just resigned from the Voice. I for one will miss reading her in the Voice on a regular basis.”

Nick Pinto tweets: “I just gave notice to the Village Voice that I’ll be resigning after my forthcoming feature.”

* Michael Musto says the mood at the Voice is “dour” (huffingtonpost.com) | Longer video

Earlier:
* The Voice is now advertising for a full-time staff writer. (journalismjobs.com) | The Voice is looking for food bloggers and writers, too. (journalismjobs.com)


“This may be the greatest thing NPR has ever done,” tweets @Azmat Zahra.
previously

* NPR’s guide to the running gags on “Arrested Development” (npr.org)


Thank you for that pledge!
* Yahoo’s CEO promises not to screw…. up Tumblr. (allthingsd.com) | (wsj.com)
* “We won’t let you down,” says Tumblr founder David Karp. (staff.tumblr.com)
* Report: David Koch canceled a large donation to public TV because of the “Park Avenue” documentary. (newyorker.com)
* Digital pay model was “the most important and most successful business decision made by The New York Times in many years,” says Times CEO. (paidcontent.org)
* Patriots owner Robert Kraft shrugs off reports that he’s interested in the Boston Globe. (bostonherald.com) | Earlier: Kraft Group eyes the Globe.(myfoxboston.com)
* Boston Magazine scolds Boston Herald for failing to point out its errors. (bostonmagazine.com)
* Associated Press CEO says the Obama administration’s seizure of AP’s phone records was “unconstitutional.” (nytimes.com)
* A peek into a Department of Justice leak probe targeting Fox News D.C. correspondent James Rosen. (washingtonpost.com)
* Jay Rosen on ABC News’ Bengazi problem. (“Jon Karl got played. But he refuses to admit it.”) (pressthink.org)
* Ed Sherman: There will never be another Rudy Martzke in the sports media business. (shermanreport.com)
* Shield law quandary: Who isn’t a journalist these days? (mydesert.com)
* Alaska Tea Party’s Joe Miller is ordered to pay Alaska Dispatch $85,000 in legal fees. (alaskadispatch.com)
* Michael Wolff’s tribute to “misunderstood” Barbara Walters: (usatoday.com)
* Diversity and other matters discussed at the City and Regional Magazine Association annual meeting. (jacklimpert.com)
* More than $94,000 has been raised so far in the public campaign to buy Tribune’s newspapers. (Goal is $660 million.) (indiegogo.com) | Gawker has raised r $63,000-plus of the $200,000 it needs to buy the Rob Ford crack tape. (gawker.com)
* Charlie Rose will host a Friday night prime-time PBS show. (nytimes.com)