In Cabal of Powerful Elites, Newspaper Sees Valid Alternative to Traditional Democratic Institutions

Alex Pareene · 12/29/15 04:02PM

“Think of it as The Establishment 2.0,” says the New York Times, of the “Working Team of the Itasca Project,” a group of “14 men and women who oversee some of the biggest companies, philanthropies and other institutions in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding area,” and who meet weekly “to quietly shape the region’s economic agenda.” Or think of it another way, if you want. Like... as a cabal?

Dirty Tricks at the Harvard Republican Club

Hamilton Nolan · 11/19/10 10:04AM

The Harvard Republican Club is mired in an election-fixing scandal of a deviousness not seen since the heyday of ACORN. The charge: a sinister plot by one candidate to lure voters away from the polls. The bait: McKinsey. Ooooo, Mckinsey!

Cuts at Condé, Weinstein Layoffs & Another 'BW' Bidder

cityfile · 09/23/09 02:17PM

• Condé Nast editors and publishers may be forced to cut their budgets by as much as 25% now that the consultants reviewing operations are completing their tour of duty. Not surprisingly, "significant layoffs" are expected. [NYO]
• More trouble for Harvey: The Weinstein Co. says it plans to cut 35 additional positions at the film company over the next month or so. [THR]
• A new bidder for beleaguered BusinessWeek appears to have emerged in ex-BMG chief Strauss Zelnick and former WSJ publisher Gordon Crovitz. [BW]
WSJ, the glossy owned by the Wall Street Journal, is expanding [WWD]
• The CW is planning a reality show about what it's like to be a Virgin flight attendant in search of "good times, great parties, adventure and love." [Wrap]
• Mark Consuelos (or Mr. Kelly Ripa) has been given the boot by Oprah. [NYP]
• The Observer is moving from the Flatiron district to a Jared Kushner-owned building in Midtown: "If I'm paying rent, I'd rather pay it to myself." [NYO]
• Eight out of ten Americans say they would oppose any plan to spend tax dollars to bail out failing newspapers. You're shocked by that, we're sure. [E&P]

Condé Cuts, Leno's Debut & Falling Ratings

cityfile · 09/14/09 01:30PM

• The bad news for Condé Nast now that McKinsey has finished up its summer-long review: Editors and publishers at the company may be asked to trim their budgets by as much as 25 percent. The good news, according to one Condé insider: "This doesn't mean Anna Wintour is going to start taking the bus," nor is the company going to get all cheap "like Hachette." [Crain's]
• Jay Leno's new show debuts tonight on NBC. Will it be a success? A massive failure? Only time will tell, but the stakes "couldn't be higher." [LAT]
• Oprah's ratings are down. And Barack Obama is to blame, apparently. [AP]
• Ratings are down for Project Runway, too. Barack is not to blame. [WWD]
• According to a poll of newspaper publishers, 51 percent think they can successfully get their readers to pay for content online. Optimistic! [PC]
• As if newspapers and magazines don't have enough to worry about these days, a new survey finds that the percentage of people who think journalists are increasingly "inaccurate and biased" is on the rise. [AP]

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]

Don Hewitt Dies; Condé Nast Under the Microscope

cityfile · 08/19/09 01:53PM

• Don Hewitt, the man who invented 60 Minutes, is dead at 86. [CBS, NYT]
• Those McKinsey consultants at Condé Nast have commenced their work. The first order of business: a review of Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler. [NYO]
• Related: Anna Wintour is "said to have told" Condé boss Si Newhouse that "she would welcome McKinsey to her offices." So welcome, guys! [WWD]
• Nine companies are said to be eyeing BusinessWeek, the struggling title owned by McGraw-Hill. The front-runner, according to the Post's Keith Kelly: financier Bruce Wasserstein, who also owns New York magazine. [NYP]
• Is Fox News going to fire Glenn Beck given all his insane comments and all the advertisers who have since abandoned the show? Alas, no. [DailyFinance]

A Peace Pact For Cable News, The Bidders in Boston

cityfile · 07/31/09 01:28PM

• Détente? The feuding between Fox News and MSNBC has grown so fierce that News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch and GE's Jeff Immelt met up recently "to figure out how to defuse tensions between the two channels." [LAT]
• The Boston Globe reports that two groups of investors have submitted preliminary bids to buy the newspaper from the New York Times Co. [AP]
• Breathe easy: Oprah has not been harmed. The suspicious package outside Winfrey's Harpo Studios this morning turned out to be harmless. [AP]
• All that idiocy on Lou Dobbs' part over the past couple of weeks hasn't done much to boost his ratings on CNN. His numbers continue to fall. [NYO]
• Those McKinsey consultants are paying off! Editors at Condé Nast were told yesterday they'll no longer be reimbursed for newspapers. [Daily Intel]

Time Warner's Loss, IAC's Gain & The McKinsey Mystery

cityfile · 07/29/09 01:16PM

• Time Warner sucked wind in the second quarter as profits fell 34%. Newly-independent Time Warner Cable, however, posted a profit. [AP, Reuters]
• McKinsey has set up shop at Condé Nast. What it is the consulting firm's actually doing (or recommending), however, remains a mystery. [NYO]
Barry Diller's IAC posted a modest profit for the second quarter, but reported that revenues at the media conglomerate were down modestly, too. [AP]
• Michael Milken is backing some sort of new business website. Exciting! [NYT]
• Even more exciting: Sarah Palin is thinking about hosting a radio show. [HP]