Tim Stevens, who just resigned as editor-in-chief of AOL’s Engadget to join CNET, did a Reddit AMA on Tuesday. From the transcript:
Q: Does AOL give their employees a discount on dial-up?
A: It’s supposedly free, but after about an hour of trying to find out how one day I gave up. Nobody inside the company could tell me how to create the account. (I needed dial-up one weekend when I was far from any real connectivity.)
Stevens is asked about the January brouhaha over CNET parent CBS interfering with the tech news/reviews site’s coverage. His response:
I had many, many conversations with folks at CNET about the mindset of CBS, about the fallout from the happenings at CES in January, and about whether they are able to say what they want. Nobody raised any concerns and through these conversations my concerns were put to rest.
I am not someone who will react positively if asked to revise my copy to meet some corporate dictate, whether it be due to legal concerns or advertising concerns or anything else. I hope you believe that, and I know the folks at CNET know and believe that. They’re smart, reasonable people, so it’s reasonable to believe they wouldn’t have hired me if they thought they’d be asking me to do such things. Again, I have no concerns on that front, and I’m making it a personal mission to make sure that you (and everyone else) has no concerns as well.
* I am Tim Stevens, former Engadget editor-in-chief now joining CNET (reddit.com)
Earlier from The New Yorker:
“The dirty little secret,” a former AOL executive says, “is that seventy-five per cent of the people who subscribe to AOL’s dial-up service don’t need it.” (newyorker.com)
I’m surprised my email to Brian.Lewis@FoxNews.com didn’t bounce. (Brian, you know there’s not a chance that your ex-colleague Irena Briganti is going to return my calls or emails!)
UPDATE: “There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time,” says Lewis. “I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.”
* Was Lewis fired for leaking to Gabe Sherman, author of a soon-to-be-published book on Fox News? (politico.com)
* Fox News stars rally to defend Roger Ailes against fired PR man Brian Lewis (theatlanticwire.com)
That’s Associated Press reporter Michael Felberbaum on the left. His Twitter profile says one of his beats is “craft beer.”
* U.S. Sen. Mark Warner had at least two beers today during a 10 a.m. brewery visit (styleweekly.com)
Attention beer writers and broadcasters! The entry deadline for the North American Guild of Beer Writers annual contest is next Monday. Details are here.
Groklaw founder Pamela Jones tells readers:
I can’t stay online personally without losing my humanness, now that I know that ensuring privacy online is impossible. I find myself unable to write. I’ve always been a private person. …I’m sorry I can’t overcome these feelings, but I yam what I yam, and I tried, but I can’t.
* Forced exposure (groklaw.net)
From LA Weekly’s investigation of reporter Michael Hastings’ death:
There’s a sign tacked to the tree where Hastings crashed that night, reading, “This was not an accident.” Taken down several times, it always gets put back up. Another sign says, “Didn’t have to know you to know the truth of what happened.”
The 33-year-old journalist told colleagues the day before he died that he was being investigated by the FBI and that he was onto a “big story.”
* Michael Hastings’ dangerous mind (laweekly.com)
Anyone know who created this? Chris Faile thought it was something I put together, but I can’t take credit for it. (Send me an email if you made the chart.)
UPDATE: Former Greensboro News & Record editor John Robinson created it. “I put it on my newspaper blog, which has since rotted as the paper changed its CMSs a few times,” he writes in an email.
* Read Robinson’s blog post about the chart (johnlrobinson.com)
* BuzzFeed editor: People do read negative or critical stories, but they’re less likely to share them on social media. (time.com)
* TorrentFreak website is threatened with shutdown over posting of Comcast documents. (boingboing.net) | (torrentfreak.com)
* Matt Zoller Seitz: “I think this period of TV criticism is incredibly exciting, because it’s so new and young and open to experimentation.” (vulture.com)
* Fox News confirms the firing of its longtime PR man Brian Lewis. (nytimes.com) | Lewis was the only Fox staffer who went on the record for my 2012 piece on the Fox PR machine.
* Former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein hears his old paper took in $500,000 before knocking down its paywall. (theguardian.com)
* Paul Farhi: Al Jazeera America “faces what might be called a perception issue but should be called a prejudice issue.” (washingtonpost.com) | Lloyd Grove: “The pace was slow, the production values were plodding and predictable.” (thedailybeast.com)
* For his next investigative project, James Fallows is going to take “the classic American road trip, conducted by air.” (skift.com)
* From a Bloomberg report: “Journalists no longer have access to Bloomberg’s anonymous chat rooms.” (bloomberg.com)
* A hyperlocal news site can work – if the editor/publisher’s willing to put in ridiculously long hours. (usatoday.com)
* “Patch is down, not out,” says a fan of the websites. (linkedin.com)
LAS VEGAS NEWSPAPER FIGHT: Las Vegas Sun editor and publisher Brian Greenspun has sued the Las Vegas Review-Journal over its attempt to end the papers’ 24-year-old Joint Operating Agreement — a move that “could effectively end the print edition of the of the Las Vegas Sun,” notes the R-J.
The Sun reports:
In a deal reached in recent weeks between [Review-Journal owner] Stephens Media and three of the four Greenspun siblings, the family would agree to terminate the JOA agreement — unburdening Stephens from printing and distributing the Sun — in exchange for Stephens giving the family ownership of the URL lasvegas.com.
Brian Greenspun’s lawyer says: “The Review-Journal is attempting to eliminate the Las Vegas Sun’s alternative editorial voice — not just in print, but also on the Internet.”
* Sun publisher sues to block R-J from gaining newspaper monopoly (lasvegassun.com)
* Sun publisher sues, alleges his family conspired with Review-Journal (reviewjournal.com)