Notes

Monday media notes: a new format

katytur-marie-claire.jpgKaty Tur was a Los Angeles news reporter before going to London for NBC then over to the Donald Trump campaign beat. Photo in Marie Claire by Rebecca Greenfield.

Congratulations to Olympic champion Allyson Felix and all the other Los Angeles area athletes who competed in Rio. They include dozens of USC and UCLA-affiliated athletes, Venice lifeguard Azad al-Barazi, who swam for Syria, and Kate Grace, the Marlborough School graduate who ran for the U.S. in the 800 meters final. Her parents are former TV fitness host Kathy Smith and former LA blogger and media person Steve Grace... Lots of tears when the U.S. women's water polo team hung their gold medals around the neck of coach Adam Krikorian, the UCLA coach whose brother died suddenly just before the games.


Gawker out

Gawker.com shuts down today after 14 years. Univision acquired Gawker Media in bankruptcy after the company was hit with a big court judgment. "A victim of its own poisoned legacy," says NPR's David Folkenflik. The archives will stay online but no new material will be added. Univision is keeping the other sites... Hillary Clinton comes to LA for fundraisers Monday at the home of Magic and Cookie Johnson, followed by an event hosted by Haim and Cheryl Saban, Bob Iger and Willow Bay, Casey Wasserman and others. Tuesday there's another Clinton event at the home of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel... An LA Times/USC tracking poll shows Donald Trump closing the gap with Clinton, but CNN's Brian Stelter says in his latest Reliable Sources newsletter that "there are several reasons why CNN and other major news outlets don't typically cite the LAT poll, including the way the questions are worded."... "Ben-Hur" is the latest expensive flop for Paramount, Brooks Barnes says.


Media notes

Is Los Angeles Magazine (and Orange Coast in the OC) for sale? Jeff Smulyan, the CEO of Emmis Communications Corp., is trying again to take the company private. This time, news out of Indiana is that Emmis "will begin seeking buyers for the company's publishing division," and go forward mostly as a radio station company. Los Angeles did a Big Shots feature on Smulyan a couple of years ago. Editor-in-chief Mary Melton is also editorial director of the company... Sean Hannity Turns Adviser in the Service of Donald Trump, in the NYT... Four years after the death of its Los Angeles founder and namesake, the NYT tries to answer what is Breitbart News?... Live Streaming Services Are All the Rage, But Are There Too Many? The Wrap... Mother Jones editors on the money and time needed to do good investigative journalism... Why the NPR website is getting rid of comments.


The Troncosphere

Gannett last week reportedly sweetened its offer for Tronc, setting off a new flurry of speculation that something is happening. Story in the WSJ... Axed freelance cartoonist Ted Rall raised more than $75,000 on GoFundMe to pay a bond and keep his wrongful termination lawsuit against the LA Times in court... Big-time desk shifting is going on the editorial floors of the LA Times building. With fewer reporters and editors around, and corporate arm Tronc wanting some work space of its own, many second floor denizens have moved up to three. Those on three who had enjoyed their distance from the bosses are feeling the pull of gravity toward the main action at the 1st and Spring corner of the building. Not without some disruption and Facebook speculation that the move has been delayed pending more news out of Tronc... LAT social services reporter Garrett Therolf left the paper this month and now he can say where he's headed: The Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley and Common Sense News have jointly hired him and will partner to produce investigative stories that focus on children, education and poverty... Remember when the LAT hired Dexter Thomas last year to cover Black Twitter and got a lot of ink for how savvy it made the paper sound? His sponsor left in May and Thomas is now at Vice in Venice... Times reporters, editors and photographer Rob Gauthier give their final impressions of the Rio Olympics.


People are talking about...

You don't see this every day: At the start of his Sunday night interview with Mayor Eric Garcetti about LA's Olympics chances post-Rio, NBC4 reporter Robert Kovacik and the mayor shared a big warm on-camera hug... And you don't hear this every day: A segment on Saturday's KPCC "Off-Ramp" about a male porn star telling how he got in the business through his interest in being submissive and why overuse of Viagra and erection problems helped push him out. Host John Rabe warned listeners before the segment to turn down the radio if their were kiddies listening in the car, and I see it's not itemized in the show's rundown on the KPCC website... The LA Times was denied a review pass to the Guns 'N Roses concert last week because the band's reps didn't like recent coverage. So the paper bought a ticket and reviewed it anyway... Lots of local names among the finalists for Online News Association awards this year. Winners are announced Sept. 17 in Denver... The Los Angeles Public Library will give cardholders free digital access to the New York Times, but it's not a sure thing... Meanwhile the NYT is dropping the NYT Now app it unveiled to some hype two years ago...

Last week's NYT profile of Tronc's Michael Ferro included the news that the company paid $1.2 million for the web domain LA.com with high hopes it could be a valuable web vehicle — even though it's been around at least 10 years and is so valuable you have never heard of it. Sounds like the Tronclodytes will get it all wrong:

Tronc also purchased the domain name LA.com for $1.2 million, a regulatory filing shows. The site, according to an editorial plan reviewed by The New York Times, would “use social influencers as contributors” and “harness viral talent.” It would also publish profiles of celebrities and influencers, but “they must agree to push out via their social channels to be featured.”


A mock webpage for LA.com featured an image of a woman bending at the hip and sucking a red lollipop, overlaid with the words “Suck it.” An email sent on Feb. 29, reviewed by The Times, said that the site was going for a “stylish, young, fun vibe” and that “Michael has approved this image.” Two people who received the email confirmed its contents.

Mr. Culloton said Mr. Ferro did not approve the image. Plans for LA.com have been paused.


Media people doing stuff

NBC's Katy Tur talks about the realities of covering the Donald Trump campaign and leaving her London posting behind. It's a long way from her old KTLA beat... KTLA anchor Frank Buckley has launched a podcast featuring longer interviews. First up is his former Channel 5 co-anchor Michaela Pereira. It's on iTunes... Also going the podcast route is Lisa Napoli, who writes: "After a trusted former colleague who I'd gone to see about work told me I'd never get hired by his news organization because I was 'too old,' I started a podcast about aging called Gracefully... The Nick Ut pre-retirement tour continues with a big piece on him in the weekend LA Times. Ut retires next year from the AP Los Angeles bureau... Brooke Binkowski, formerly of KPCC, KNX and other radio outlets, talks about her current life as the managing editor of Snopes.com... Sam Quinones argues in a Sacramento Bee op-ed for lower potency before California legalizes marijuana: "The hyper-potent mutant strains that pass for marijuana today have little relation to naturally grown pot associated with Northern California hippie growers of the 1970s."... Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post (formerly of the LA Times) is writing a book on Nancy Reagan... Bill Christine, who covered horse racing for the Los Angeles Times for 25 years before leaving in 2006, has signed a contract with McFarland Publishing to write a book about George Cory and Douglass Cross, the one-hit wonders who wrote Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

Also this: There's an opening for advisor to the Occidental College student weekly newspaper... Los Angeles County is advertising for a new chief communications officer reporting to the CEO. Compensation is $156,177 to $236,386 a year. Job posting... And KPCC is looking for an Orange County reporter... Jack Kavanaugh, George Skelton and Dan Morain are among the Sacramento media people who rate spots in the Capitol Weekly Top 100... Steve Eddy, longtime cops reporter, copy editor and jazz columnist for the Register, died Aug. 13 at age 67, barely a month after being diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.


Sense of place

The old LA Herald Examiner figures prominently in a Jewish Journal piece by Joelle Keene remembering when she covered VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro... The LA Rams’ oldest living alumnus is 93-year-old Jim Hardy, and he shows no signs of slowing down... Warner Music Group is considering moving its west coast headquarters from Burbank to the Ford Factory development at 7th and Santa Fe in the Arts District. That's the building Buzzfeed looked at too... P-22 and LA's other mountains at VQR... Art and Cake is a new LA art blog with a focus on the contemporary art scene.


Miscellaneous notes

Northeastern University journalism pro Dan Kennedy says that journalists should not capitalize the "t" in Tronc: "Spelling tronc with an uppercase “T” is like cleaning up quotes. Don’t do it." We respectfully disagree... The LA Times features the Studio City yard, and landscape design company, of former CBS 2 producer and LA Times Calendar writer Andrew Epstein... Arts District Brewing Co. is airing a commercial featuring Crazy Gideon, whose discount stereo outlet used to occupy the same space in the Arts District. Los Angeles Magazine


Selected media tweets










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