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Newsroom Roil Is Tina's Beast of Burden (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Adweek ^ | May 23, 2011 | Lucia Moses

Posted on 05/23/2011 5:20:23 PM PDT by abb

When word spread that the legendary Tina Brown was going to take over as editor of Newsweek, merging it with her news and aggregation site The Daily Beast, it did wonders for morale at the moribund magazine. “Initially, a lot of us were really excited,” says one recently departed editor. “The attitude was, Tina Brown was coming in to save Newsweek.” But now, three months into her reign, current and former staffers describe a newsroom in a constant state of turmoil, uncertainty, and confusion.

On the eve of Newsweek’s relaunch in March, Brown sought to distance herself from past extravagances, most notably the famously star-studded Talk launch of 1999. But old habits die hard. “She literally will order up double what she needs, so the cutting-room floor is getting very cluttered,” says one recently departed Web staffer. “She has no idea of the ripple effect of the process.”

It’s not just disaffected Newsweek vets doing the grumbling, either. The novelist Tobias Wolff was asked to write a story for the magazine. But Brown published a similar piece by Jonathan Chait instead and offered to run Wolff’s online. “I wouldn’t have worked so long and hard on something” for it to run only on The Daily Beast, says Wolff.

Brown, who was on vacation and unavailable to comment, is apparently somewhat self-aware. In one exchange overheard by a current staffer, she recently blew into the office and casually remarked, “Oh, I’m causing all sorts of trouble. I’m changing all the features in the last hour!” This is classic Tina. But while she might have gotten away with her high-flying style at The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, she’s now operating with much less financial leeway. Before he died in April, owner Sidney Harman is said to have told people he could only afford to spend $40 million on Newsweek over three years.

Merging two newsrooms with distinct cultures hasn’t made things any easier. Staffers complain that it’s still unclear who is in charge of what. Brown’s managing editor, Brekke Fletcher, quit in May after five months. Her job—among other things—was trying to meet Brown’s constantly changing story demands, people familiar with the situation say. “You could see her running ragged,” says one current staffer. Fletcher didn’t respond to requests for comment. But media pundit Howard Kurtz, whom she recently hired as Washington bureau chief, got on the phone to defend her, calling Brown a “high-energy editor” whose nonstop pace can be “dizzying” but who brings a “dynamism” to the newsroom. “I think Tina has a realistic sense of how to turn this ship around with the resources she has,” he says. CEO Stephen Colvin tells Adweek that “after just two months, advertisers are returning to Newsweek, subscription renewals are up, newsstand sales are up, and traffic on our two-year-old website—The Daily Beast—is at record levels.”

Indeed, two months after Brown unveiled her new Newsweek, even her detractors admit that the magazine is a better-looking, more invigorated read. “I haven’t counted her out,” said one editor who, despite the sentiment, no longer works for her.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; dbm; magazines; newsweek; simonschama
Of interest to our group.
1 posted on 05/23/2011 5:20:28 PM PDT by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; 1cewolf; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 05/23/2011 5:23:26 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

I have a friend who was a full time writer at The New Yorker when Tina took over and began her disastrous career in publishing. He was kicked out, presumably for not kowtowing low enough to her—and not being liberal enough, although he was pretty liberal from my perspective.

She is truly horrible. I actually feel sorry for the folks at Newsweak. Well, almost.


3 posted on 05/23/2011 5:26:47 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: abb

CrapWeek is still in business?/


4 posted on 05/23/2011 5:27:21 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: abb

“I wouldn’t have worked so long and hard on something” for it to run only on The Daily Beast, says Wolff.

‘only’ on the lowly and dreaded Internet, he means.

This is the arrogant, foolish and ultimately stubborn attitude of the dinosaur media, rather than going to where the eyes of the readers are, they firmly stand their ground as the comet approaches.


5 posted on 05/23/2011 5:27:49 PM PDT by dk88 (Keep your laws off my body)
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To: abb

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304066504576339561993954754.html
Tina Brown Recruits Simon Schama to Write for Newsweek, Daily Beast

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705373155/Mormon-Media-Observer-The-future-of-journalism.html
Mormon Media Observer: The future of journalism


6 posted on 05/23/2011 5:31:01 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

Just scrape some copy from the old Pravda and Der Stürmer. Throw in some cave drawings from Lascaux, France. And print the pages on airplane glue. Newsweak readers won’t notice the difference.


7 posted on 05/23/2011 5:31:48 PM PDT by sergeantdave (The democrat party is a seditious organization that must be outlawed)
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To: abb
Dessicated menopausal Brit-born strumpet. Of no significance to the human race.
8 posted on 05/23/2011 5:33:29 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: abb
Photobucket
9 posted on 05/23/2011 5:38:21 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: abb
Photobucket
10 posted on 05/23/2011 5:39:24 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

http://www.buzzmachine.com/2011/05/23/a-hippocratic-oath-for-the-internet/
A Hippocratic oath for the internet

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576339403447469250.html
France Puts Internet on G-8’s Agenda


11 posted on 05/23/2011 5:41:04 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb
...the legendary Tina Brown ...

To whom? What kinda of AH thinks Tina Brown is a legend?
12 posted on 05/23/2011 5:52:16 PM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough.)
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To: abb

Ha! It’s amazing anyone would think that Tina Brown would save their publication! Incredible!


13 posted on 05/23/2011 6:48:28 PM PDT by PaleoBob
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To: abb
this piece of pure uncut propaganda would of made Herr Goebbels plush.
14 posted on 05/23/2011 7:38:06 PM PDT by ncalburt (NO MORE WIMPS need to apply to fight the Soros Funded Puppet !)
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To: abb

Newsweak is still dying? Absolutely Fabulous


15 posted on 05/24/2011 4:36:00 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: abb

I find this alarming. There is too much trust for progressives out there. From your first link:

=============There have been many attempts to craft bills of rights for the net, from the Association for Progressive Communications, to a group of Chinese intellectuals, to the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, to the Brazillian Internet Steering Committee, to the Facebook users who wrote a set of social rights. There is much good thinking there.=============

Particularly the first two. The URL for the second group no longer exists, but it does say “human rights” in the URL. I looked into the second group; APC. Who funds them?

http://www.apc.org/en/about/funders

(Open Society Institute)George Soros, the far left Ford foundation, and a bunch of feminist and humanist groups.

Now, they’re all talking about human rights and freedom, and a host of other things. But one thing that’s become incredibly clear is that progressives use words differently than others do.

By far the biggest example is “democracy”. And the most recent example of all this is egypt. What you and I think of when it comes to “democracy” is nothing like what we’re getting in Egypt, and if you’ll note, there isn’t exactly a huge movement of progressives screaming bloody murder over what’s happening over there. They don’t mind it, because it’s leading into a big government structure.

The same thing is largely to be said about the phrase “human rights”. I regard that phrase to be as dangerous as “social justice”.

I’m more inclined to support individual rights, which no real progressive would ever support. They’d likely be alarmed at such a proposition.


16 posted on 05/24/2011 7:37:29 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing ( Net Neutrality - What's the biggest threat to the leftist media's old order?)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

I’ve read Jeff Jarvis for several years now. He is a screeching liberal and was a Hillary booster in 2008.

However, he does “get” the internet and often opposes the dinosaurs (NYT, Networks, LATimes, etc) etc when they say the ‘net shouldn’t be “allowed” to disseminate news. He understands the power of it and sees the huge impact it has had and will have in the future.

Unfortunately, he still has that liberal mindset that if only the right policies are tried, government could be a benign servant.


17 posted on 05/24/2011 7:53:36 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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