It's Fix-It Time At the New York Times

cityfile · 07/24/09 01:06PM

• How's the New York Times Co. planning to lift itself out of the financial mess it's been in? Times Co. chief Janet Robinson says more cuts are on the way and the company is planning to sell off more assets. Also, there's some sort of paid membership model in the works, apparently. [WSJ, Gawker]
• Related: The paper says it will sell its stake in the Red Sox by January. [BG]
• What you missed at Walter Cronkite's funeral yesterday. [NYT, WaPo]
• Best-selling author E. Lynn Harris has died. He was 54. [NYT]
More magazine is teaming up with Candace Bushnell on a new Web series starring 90210's Jennie Garth and Talia Balsam from Mad Men. [MW]
• After a ten-year run, today is Paula Froelich's last day at Page Six. [NYM]

'Times' Earnings, The Tabloids & Twitter

cityfile · 07/23/09 12:19PM

BusinessWeek's Jon Fine reports that New York owner Bruce Wasserstein may be in the running to break out a dollar bill and buy BusinessWeek. [BW]
• ESPN banned New York Post employees from appearing on the network yesterday after the paper ran (blurry) pics of a nude Erin Andrews. [AP]
• Will will happen with McKinsey consultants now infiltrating Condé Nast? How should you behave if you work there? Some answers and tips. [NYM, Gawker]
Martha Stewart loves Twitter, doesn't particularly care for Facebook. [TDB]
• Kate Major, the Jon Gosselin-loving, publicity-seeking reporter for publicity-seeking Star magazine, has resigned from the junky tabloid. [Star]
• Ad revenue fell precipitously, but the New York Times Co. reported second-quarter profits of $39.1 million, up from $21.1 million a year ago. [NYT]
• Related: Is the Times Co. planning to hang on to the Boston Globe? [E&P]
• America's most trusted newscaster? That would be Jon Stewart. [Time]

Min's Departure, McKinsey's Arrival, Rather's CBS Suit

cityfile · 07/22/09 12:23PM

• Why did Janice Min leave Us? It was about money, reports WWD, which explains that given the economy, Jann Wenner wasn't prepared to offer her the $2 million a year she's been collecting. Min is denying it. [WWD, NYDN]
Dan Rather’s $70 million lawsuit against CBS is back on track. [NYT, WSJ]
• McKinsey has been retained by Condé Nast to do the sort of "rethinking" and "realigning" that the consulting firm gets paid enormous sums to do. And while it isn't the first time McKinsey has been in the building—they were hired by Condé in 2001—this time employees are totally freaking out. [NYO]
• One title that is doing well: Food Network Magazine, apparently. [CNY]
• ESPN's Erin Andrews was secretly videotaped in the nude while staying at a hotel. Now an ESPN employee is said to have been behind it. [NYDN, AP]

Janice Min Leaves Us Weekly, The Trouble at Conde

cityfile · 07/21/09 11:28AM

Janice Min isn't renewing her contract as editor-in-chief of Jann Wenner's Us Weekly. Her No. 2, Michael Steele, will become acting editor in chief. [NYT]
• Condé Nast announced yesterday that it had retained the management consulting firm McKinsey to "develop new perspectives." They sure have their work cut out for them. Condé revealed today that its monthly mags witnessed a 37 percent drop in advertising in September. [Gawker, AdAge, NYO]
• More pain at Condé may be on the way: "Significant cost cuts, including more layoffs and the closing of more magazines" are coming, says Keith Kelly. [NYP]
• Yet more Condé news: The company is closing down Men.Style.com so it can focus on the soon-to-be relaunched websites of GQ and Details. [AdAge]
• The Boston Globe's largest union voted yesterday to approve the new contract that had been proposed by the New York Times Co. [NYT, E&P]
• This can't be a good sign about the state of affairs at CNN: Time Warner Cable is moving it from channel 10 to 78 and replacing it with FX. [MCN]

Resurrections, Meltdowns & Frenemies

cityfile · 05/20/09 12:02PM

Portfolio isn't over and done with, after all: An affiliate of Condé Nast—based in Charlotte, weirdly—plans to revive the magazine's website. [NYO]
• Josh Marshall has accepted Maureen Dowd's apology for swiping some of his copy; and Dowd's new column today is Marshall-free, thankfully. [TPM, NYT]
• Upfronts 2009: What the CW and CBS have in store for the fall. [THR, THR]
• Is Jann Wenner looking to poach Condé Nast honcho David Carey? [NYM]
Times executive editor Bill Keller says Google is the paper's "frenemy." [NYO]
• CNBC's Jeff Macke had a meltdown on the air yesterday. [Gawker]

Amazon's Scandal, MSNBC's New Show & More Layoffs

cityfile · 04/13/09 11:32AM

• Amazon.com is in the hot seat for stripping gay and lesbian books of their sales rankings, something the bookseller is now calling a "glitch." [EW, WSJ]
• MSNBC is reportedly in the process of developing a weekend political show to be moderated by chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd. [NYO]
• More bad news for barely-living BlackBook: its longtime fashion director is out. And Jann Wenner's marketing chief is leaving Wenner Media. [WWD]
• Alpha Media has laid off a handful of employees at Maxim, including deputy editor Chris Wilson and editor-at-large Steve Garbarino. [NYO]
• Magazines are looking to raise subscription rates to save themselves. [NYT]

Jann Wenner Firing People At Drop of a Hat

Ryan Tate · 01/08/09 10:59PM

Can Wenner Media go three weeks without another spurt of layoffs? Probably not, judging by its recent history. The latest seemingly whimsical cuts came earlier today.

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 01/07/09 07:04AM

If Katie Couric seems a little less cheerful around CBS headquarters this morning, that's probably because America's sweetheart is turning 52 today. Others celebrating: Magazine mogul Jann Wenner is 63. Nicolas Cage is turning 45. CSI: Miami's David Caruso is 53. Kenny Loggins is 61. And Dustin Diamond, better known as Screech from Saved by the Bell, will turn 32 today.

New Mag for Conde, Cash Crunch at the Times

cityfile · 12/09/08 10:55AM

♦ What recession? Condé Nast is launching a new magazine in the UK. [WWD]
♦ More on the fallout from the Tribune Co. bankruptcy. [NYT]
♦ Yesterday the New York Times revealed plans to mortgage its office building; now it says it's in talks with lenders about upcoming debt payments. [AP]
Jann Wenner has hired a new chief digital officer. [AdAge]
♦ Is the advertising world sexist? Maybe! [HuffPo]
♦ Jay Leno may earn $40-50 million a year for his new gig on NBC. [MP]
♦ NBC still has some Super Bowl ads available, if you're interested. [AdAge]

Fresh Rolling Stone Layoffs Pave Way For Clueless Web Strategy

Ryan Tate · 12/08/08 10:43PM

Rolling Stone just laid off several more staff, including Online Editor Kyle Anderson, a tipster informs us. Other casualties include another editor, an assistant and a fact-checker. The cuts come one month after Wenner Media shed online, marketing and advertising staff, plus the entire offices in San Francisco and Detroit. They pave the way, we're guessing, for CEO Jann Wenner's exciting new RollingStone.com revamp, for which he's just hired a "Chief Digital Officer" from — wait for it — Reader's Digest, that bastion of online innovation. Steve Schwartz's stodgy pedigree should fit in well with Rolling Stone's steady slide deeper into irrelevance, and with old-man Wenner's vision of the internet as the place where that process can continue, only faster:

How 'Pansexual' Neal Boulton Pranked His Way To Celebrity

Ryan Tate · 12/05/08 06:18AM

Neal Boulton is reportedly orgasmic. The editor of a magazine for gays and a website for bis signed a book deal (with an agent) and claims to be drowning in reality show offers following a profile in Page Six Magazine. Everyone wants to screw and/or sign the sexual libtertine, supposedly, because of his oh-so-exciting and freewheeling life. But all indications are that his most famous antics were manufactured in the press. Take his alleged macking with Rolling Stone Jann Wenner, for example, Boulton's claim to "pansexual" fame.

Wednesday Party Report

cityfile · 12/03/08 12:48PM

The New York iteration of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrated its opening last night with a party in the new SoHo space. Attendees like Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and Theodora Richards (left) mingled with Taylor Momsen, Molly Sims, Matthew Modine, Ciara, David Foote, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Liz Lange, and Ryan Locke, listened to performances by Debbie Harry and Dave Mason, and inked their names on a plywood wall. [Paper, Wireimage, PMc, GoaG]

The Friday Party Report

cityfile · 11/21/08 01:37PM

Gucci celebrated the launch of its Tattoo Heart Collection on Wednesday, a line of products that benefits UNICEF. Rihanna, who is the new face of the campaign, was joined Gucci creative director Frida Giannini at a snowflake lighting ceremony at the Grand Army Plaza, which was followed by an event at Gucci's flagship and dinner at the Plaza's Oak Room. Guests included Madonna, Penn Badgley, Blake Lively, Adrian Grenier, Monet Mazur, Timbaland, Mary J. Blige, Erin Wasson, Becki Newton and Chris Diamantopoulos, Kelly Rutherford, Patricia Field, Charlotte Ronson, Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, Jessica Joffe, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Mamie Gummer, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Bethenny Frankel, Anja Rubik, Hal Rubenstein, Magnus Berger, Joe Zee, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and Maggie Betts. [Style.com, NYO, PMc, Wireimage]

Death Of A Nethead

Mark Ebner · 10/09/08 10:51AM

In 1999, Rolling Stone assigned Hollywood reporter Mark Ebner to the story of Philip Gale, an MIT prodigy born into Scientology who killed himself on the birthday of the cult's founder. The organization sent Rolling Stone a damning dossier on Ebner and the story was spiked. Ebner says he was told by his assigning editor that Rolling Stone owner Jann Wenner was close to John Travolta, one of the sect's most prominent Hollywood supporters. Since then, the Church of Scientology has softened in its response to critics; and internet outlets have proven less easily browbeaten. So here—after the jump— is Ebner's original piece, Death of a Nethead.

Posh's Kitchen Position, Dunst's 'Depression'

cityfile · 09/11/08 06:09AM
  • Gordon Ramsay says he's partnering with Victoria Beckham to open a restaurant in LA. Yes, a restaurant. Whether she'll actually taste any of the food served there is anybody's guess. [P6]

Us Weekly's Fashion Spinoff An Onion Article Come True

Ryan Tate · 09/09/08 07:08AM

It was a little over three years ago that the Onion lampooned the idea of a highbrow quarterly spinoff of Us Weekly. Now, thanks to the American cult of celebrity, this "joke" has finally come true! The celebrity gossip rag is expanding, via an unnamed new publication, into the slightly more highbrow topic of celebrity fashion, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning. Us owner Jann Wenner is chasing the success of People's StyleWatch, which now publishes 10 times per year and circulates more widely than Vogue. Given the "fashion" choices of many celebrities, that's insane. It's also a singular accomplishment: Time Inc.'s In Style and American Media's Star both launched failed fashion spinoffs. Maybe Wenner thinks he can do better. Or maybe he's just trying to jack up the price he'll fetch when the magazine overlord finally sells off (as long rumored) the Us portion of his empire. Notes the Journal: