The sadistic crew at Blendtec has struck again by proving that a brand new iPad is no match for its blender. If you're sick of hearing/talking/reading about Apple's new tablet, this clip will make you smile.
• It's been a dark day at the New York Times: Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Janet Robinson announced a five percent salary reduction for all editors and said 100 employees on the business side would be laid off. [Gawker, NYO, NYT]
• Blender has been shuttered; April will be the mag's last issue. [AdAge]
• The Washington Post is offering buyouts again. And if enough people don't take 'em, the paper says a round of layoffs will follow. [Politico]
• Richard Beckman is out as Condé Nast's marketing chief; he'll be heading up the company's Fairchild Fashion Group instead. [WSJ, Crains]
• It's getting a little stormy over at the Weather Channel! [NYP]
• Rod Blagojevich may have some sort of reality show in the works. [CST]
• ABC News has settled a lawsuit filed against Diane Sawyer. [NYP]
• Barry Diller is the proud new owner of SportsPickle.com. [PaidContent]
• The most newspaper-friendly city in America? Rochester! [E&P]
Kent Brownridge's acquisition of the Felix Dennis lad titles is finally complete. As mentioned before, Stuff will be folded into Maxim. No word yet on layoffs or whether they're shopping Maxim editor Jimmy Jellinek's job, but the press release, which you can find below, does indicate that stuffmagazine.com "will continue to be a digital destination," presumably because there are enough people who are still willing to jerk off to it.
Well, you've heard today from those who swear that each and every letter you read in a magazine has come directly from a reader (albeit one more than likely serving time on the orders of the state). Now, let's take a look at the other, more believable side. After the jump, voluminous evidence that certain publications—some of which you even read—play fast and loose with their letter section.
After nearly a year of refusing to comment on "rumors" that it had anything to do with abominations such as Maxim, Stuff and Blender, Dennis Publishing has confirmed the worst-kept secret in publishing: The company does indeed publish those titles, and, as such, is partially responsible for the complete collapse of literacy and standards over the last fifteen years. It is not clear why the company decided to issue its statement and apology at this time—although they are looking to unload all this shit as soon as possible.
In an ill-advised publicity stunt and/or world record attempt, Blender editor Russ Heller spent last Friday imprisoned in a Plexiglas cell at the NoHo Best Buy, listening to Starship's "We Built This City" on repeat for 24 hours. Blender had picked the track as the worst song of all time, which apparently led to some unresolved feelings of guilt over maybe liking Grace Slick just a little bit. Enjoy the clip above from staff video hatcheteer Richard Blakeley, where a placid Heller blogs the experience while sipping Red Bull; weirder still is a spectator who seems far more amused than the situation warrants, at least until security escorts him away from the freakshow.
• Time Inc. to launch SI Edge, fitness mag that won't offer abs tips. Retorts Zinczenko: "[W]e promise not to point out that he's naming his magazine after a shaving cream." [NYP]
• Hey, remember the big USA Today expose on how the phone companies were colluding with the government to create a big database of all sorts of domestic phone-call records? Yeah, well, the paper's still convinced about the database, but it's not so sure anymore the telcos played along. [USAT]
• Was Pemberton's Spin too much like Blender? Plus, a Detailser leaves to become — wha? — a morning-show DJ. In Oregon. [WWD]
So just to recap the last 24 hours in magland: AMI shuttered three titles and moved one back to Florida while replacing its EIC, Hachette closed ELLEgirl as a print pub, and we got word that Time Inc. is prepping for yet another round of layoffs. Could there be yet another nail in the coffin of the magazine business this week? Of course there could. Keith Kelly reports today that even one of the few mag execs who seems to be having fun — one with new(ish) products and happy balance sheets — is trying to get out of the game:
Felix Dennis, publisher of Maxim, Stuff and Blender, is in the news in the UK because he's buying 50,000 acres of Warwickshire, on which he plans to plant the Forest of Dennis. He's a Gawker hero...
· Because he's restoring the English oak forest but insults environmentalists: "You can collect all the plastic bottle caps you want as long as you give me the money so we can get off this death trap, find somewhere else and have tremendous fun screwing that up as well."
· Because he's one of the great magazine entrepreneurs, creating entirely new categories, such as the lad's magazine, but he has no time for creativity: "It s got bugger all to do with ideas."
· Because, in an era of cross-media synergy, he hates television and pities the people who watch it: "you look in their eyes and it s like dead fish. They re lying in their everyday graves."
· Because he's worth an estimated $500m, but is busily trying to spend it all before he dies.
· Because he's 55, Rupert Murdoch's getting on, and we need some media moguls with outsized personalities in reserve.
· And, above all, because he couldn't care less. Too much sex in his magazines? "You can never get enough of it. Never. After a third of a lifetime analysing this, I can absolutely assure you that s true."
An audience with Felix Dennis, publishing maverick, poet, bon viveur and philosopher [Times of London]