cityfile · 11/09/09 02:38PM

• Another magazine has gone under: Hachette announced today that it's closing Metropolitan Home to "focus its resources" on Elle Décor. [AdAge]
New York's profile of star Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin reveals he's one of the paper's highest-paid staffers and is beloved by the titans of Wall Street, but is not quite as popular with some of his Times colleagues. [NYM]
• Circulation is down—and losses are up—at the New York Post. [NYT]
• GE and Comcast have agreed on a valuation for NBC, which brings the parties one step closer to handing over control of the network to Comcast. [Reuters]
• Condé Nast may be trimming expenses and cutting jobs here at home, but the mag giant is busy expanding its presence in China. [NYP]
Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming to basic cable. TV Land and TV Guide have picked up reruns of the show and will begin airing them next year. [LAT]
• Google has acquired the mobile ad company AdMob for $750 million. [NYT]
• Last night's Mad Men scored AMC its highest-rated finale ever, although considering it's AMC we're talking about, that isn't saying much. [B&C]
A Christmas Carol was No. 1 at the weekend box office, although its $31 million gross was weak given it cost $200 million to produce. Meanwhile, Precious' $1.8 million take on 18 screens set a limited-release record. [LAT]

The Cronkite Memorial, Another Times Kidnapping

cityfile · 09/09/09 02:18PM

• A long list of media luminaries and politicians, including President Obama and former president Clinton, turned out for this afternoon for a memorial service at Avery Fisher Hall in honor of Walter Cronkite. [WP, NYT, LAT]
• Stephen Farrell, a New York Times reporter taken hostage by militants in Afghanistan, was freed early this morning following a raid by British commandos; his Afghan interpreter, however, was killed. [NYT, E&P]
• The McKinsey consultants who have been reviewing operations at Condé Nast are finishing up their work and will be submitting their findings shortly. So what changes are in store for the magazine conglomerate? No one knows for sure, but further budget cuts and a closure or two are entirely likely. [NYO]
• McGraw-Hill, the parent company of BusinessWeek, reports that 93 different buyers have expressed an interest in acquiring the struggling magazine. [BN]

The Return of Imus, Hachette To Sell Elle?

cityfile · 08/10/09 12:49PM

• Two years after he was booted from MSNBC and CBS Radio for making racist comments, Fox Business is now in talks to team up with Don Imus. [LAT]
• Is Hachette selling Elle? The company seems to be hedging. [AdAge]
• Magazine publishers are allowing advertisers to slap their ads just about any place they want these days. They're also planning to keep printing those annoying subscription cards until the end of time. [NYT, AdAge]
• ABC is planning a big programming push for the fall with seven new series set to debut, which is roughly double what NBC and CBS have planned. [USAT]
• CNBC's ratings are down big, in case you haven't heard. [Guardian]
G.I. Joe was No. 1 at the box office this weekend, grossing an estimated $56 million. Julie and Julia came in second place with $20.1 million. [Variety]

Elle Probably Not Changing Hands, Probably Not Infected With Swine Flu

cityfile · 07/29/09 10:07AM

The Post's Keith Kelly reported today that Elle's parent company has been in discussions to turn over a stake in the magazine to Hearst. Could to be true? For what it's worth, a Hachette spokeswoman tells the Observer there's "no truth" to the report. And while we were hoping that Joe Zee might be able to shed some light on the situation, he seems to be preoccupied with whether or not he has swine flu. Only time will tell if a deal for Elle is in the works. In the meantime, though, feel free to a little prayer for Zee. Catching swine flu five weeks before Fashion Week? That could be tragic. [NYP, NYO]

Heidi Klum Edits, Colbert Heads to the Battlefield

cityfile · 06/05/09 01:20PM

Heidi Klum can now add "magazine editor" to her resume. She assembled a 140-page spread for German Vogue called "Heidi by Vogue." [NYDN]
Stephen Colbert will be broadcasting from Baghdad next week. [AP]
• Silvio Berlusconi is vowing to sue the Spanish newspaper El Pais for publishing pics of topless women and a naked man at his vacation home. [AFP]
• Were you aware Conan O'Brien debuted this week? Hard to miss, huh? [NYT]
• Bonnier Corp. paid $3-5 million to purchase five magazines from Hachette, including Popular Photography, Flying, and American Photo. [NYP]

Conan's Debut, Salinger's Suit, Paris's New Show

cityfile · 06/02/09 11:13AM

• Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show debuted last night. The reviews were mixed, although he did very well in the ratings, not surprisingly. [Variety, THR]
• Playboy Enterprises named Scott Flanders as its CEO yesterday. [NYP]
• Lawyers for author J.D. Salinger have filed suit against an author who is publishing a book billed as a sequel to The Catcher in the Rye. [NYT]
• Five magazines—Popular Photography, Flying, Boating, Sound & Vision and American Photo—have been sold to Bonnier Corp. by Hachette. [Crain's]
• Paris Hilton and producer Michael Hirschorn have teamed up to bring a version of Paris Hilton's My New BFF to Dubai. Yes, Dubai. No joke. [Variety]

Hachette Fights For Its Right to Make Bathroom Mats

cityfile · 04/20/09 10:13AM

This is a tough time for the magazine business, so it's only to be expected that publishers will do whatever is necessary to defend their dying brands. You may have never picked up a copy of Metropolitan Home (or even heard of the title), but Hachette wasn't thrilled to find out that a company has been producing lighting fixtures under the "Metropolitan Home" name, especially since part of Hachette's plan to save the title consists of launching a line of home decor products under the same name.

Magazine Melt Down

cityfile · 04/15/09 11:39AM

• More bad news for the magazine biz: Ad pages fell 26 percent during the first quarter, although you probably guessed that when you used last month's issue of any number of Condé Nast magazines to floss your teeth. [NYT]
Steve Brill plans to save journalism! Or die trying, at least. [NYT]
• Sam Zell now says his acquisition of the parent company of the Chicago Tribune in 2007 was "a mistake." And a rather expensive one at that. [CT]
• Is NBC's long ratings slump over? Jeff Zucker sure is hoping so! [LAT]
20/20's Bob Brown has been dismissed after 30 years at the network. Insult to injury: He was told he could freelance for the network if he wants. [P6]

More Work, Less Pay & No Free Newspapers

cityfile · 04/14/09 12:28PM

• Hachette is cutting salaries and asking staff to work overtime. Fun! [Gawker]
• Amazon is blaming an "embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error" for the dropping the sales rankings of thousands of gay and lesbian books. [AFP]
• Bravo has picked up four new shows, including one produced by Sarah Jessica Parker and another by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. [THR, THR]
• NBC's Boston affiliate, WHDH, has backed down from its threat to skip Jay Leno's new 10pm show when it debuts this fall. [B&C]
• Marriott will no longer automatically provide guests with a free copy of USA Today or the Journal. You're gonna have to ask for it from now on. [E&P]

Fire Sale at Hachette

cityfile · 03/24/09 10:49AM

• Hachette is looking to sell a big bunch of magazines, including Road & Track, Car & Driver, American Photo, Boating, Cycle World, Sound & Vision, and Flying. Package deals available; financing not so much. [AdAge, MW]
Dick Parsons will step down from the Time Warner board in May. [Crains]
• Time Warner is buying a stake in Ron Lauder's European TV company. [PC]
• Discovery chief David Zaslav is "cable's fastest rising star," according to Forbes. Also: You're welcome to call him "Zazz" if you'd like. [Forbes]
• More on the media tour that Eliot Spitzer has been on recently. [NYO]
• It seems the Obama administration is looking at ways to avoid the "filter of the mainstream media." That sounds familiar, doesn't it? [Politico]
• Further proof that CNBC sucks, assuming you need some. [MediaMatters]
• Barry Meyer and Alan Horn will spend two more years at Warner Bros. [THR]
• George Lopez has a new talk show on TBS. Contain your excitement. [NYT]

The Times, Jon Stewart & The Gossip Girl Spin-Off

cityfile · 03/06/09 11:23AM

• Got an idea for how Arthur Sulzberger Jr. might be able to rescue the struggling New York Times? He now says he'll "consider anything." [NYO]
• Hachette plans to leave Midtown for cheaper space near Wall Street. [NYP]
• Josh Schwartz is finishing the pilot for an as-yet-untitled Gossip Girl spin-off that will be tied into GG's season finale on May 11. [NYO]
• Depressing: The story of the 55-year-old former TV Guide editor who is now an unpaid intern—yes, unpaid intern—at wowOwow.com. [LAT]
• Why did Jon Stewart go off on Rick Santelli? An unnamed "on-air host" claims Stewart is "bizarrely obsessed with" with the CNBC reporter. [Dealbreaker]
• Speaking of Stewart, Slate's The Big Money would like you remind you that Jon Stewart is not actually a journalist. Yea, thanks for that. [TBM]

Box Office Gets a Boost, Redstone Catches a Break

cityfile · 03/02/09 11:58AM

• The recession hasn't been all that bad as far as Hollywood is concerned: Ticket sales this year are up 17.5% and attendance is up 16%. [NYT]
• Viacom and CBS chieftain Sumner Redstone will have until the end of next year to sell off assets in order to repay his enormous pile of debt. [WSJ]
• Hearst is looking to charge readers for online access to its newspapers. [WSJ]
• Univision has laid off 300 people, or 6 percent of its workforce. [AP]
• Hachette is planning to reorganize its collection of women's titles. [WSJ]
• The recession has forced food mags to focus on cheap dining options. [NYT]
• Sarah Silverman's Comedy Central show hasn't been renewed yet and now the show's executive producers have threatened to quit the network. [THR]
Madea Goes to Jail was No. 1 at the box office again this weekend. [NYDN]
• Another Bernie Madoff-related book is in the works. [NYP]

Reorg at HarperCollins, Burkle on the Brink

cityfile · 02/10/09 12:05PM

• HarperCollins announced layoffs and a major reorg today. [NYO, Gawker]
• No one wants to take the editor job at OK! [Page Six]
• Ron Burkle's magazine distribution company is suing a bunch of publishing companies for trying to drive it out of business. We should be so lucky. [NYP]
• Michael Kinsley explains why micropayments won't save newspapers. [NYT]
Time's Walter Isaacson, however, argued the opposite position last night when he appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. [NYO, TDS]
• Hachette is dropping out of the Magazine Publishers of America. [AdAge]
• Live Nation and Ticketmaster have announced plans to merge. [NYT]
• CBS scored big ratings on Sunday thanks to the Grammys. [AdAge]
• A day in the life of Fox News anchor Shepard Smith. [Esquire]

Hearst, Hachette Chiefs Resign

cityfile · 06/18/08 12:02PM

Not an ideal day to be the CEO of a major magazine publishing company. First Hachette Filipacchi, the parent of mags like Elle and Car & Driver, announced that Jack Kliger was stepping down as CEO and moving to the chairman position effective Sept. 1. (Alain Lemarchand of Hachette's Paris-based parent Lagardere will take over as CEO.) Hours later, Hearst CEO Victor Ganzi, an 18-year veteran of the company, announced he was stepping down after having "policy differences" with the company's board. (Ex-CEO Frank Bennack Jr. will step in as chief in the interim.) We're guessing Victor's mom won't be feeling too sorry for her son this afternoon. Ganzi has the rare distinction of having dragged his 84-year-old mom to court last year.

Kliger's Rat Overlords

Nick Denton · 01/08/08 03:59PM

We wish Jack Kliger happiness in his forthcoming marriage. Because the Hachette boss' job certainly isn't much fun. The magazine group's titles, such as Elle, are mostly also-rans; and the 60-year-old publishing veteran is both starved of funds by the company's French owners, and second-guessed by agents of head office. "I'd heard the French were rats," he's known to complain. "But now I know." This might be the opportunity for the magazine exec to spend more time with the family.