Media people

Media notes: Nikki Finke going to Harvard, local Ellies and more

nikki-finke-399.jpgThe Nieman Foundation on Tuesday announced the new class of Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows at Harvard — and Hollywood's Nikki Finke is on the list. Finke is one of 11 fellows who will "spend time at Harvard University to work on an innovative project designed to advance journalism."

The others selected include a London-based mobile editor for the BBC World Service, the digital editor for Sweden’s largest TV network, a senior manager at the American Press Institute, the director of ad product at the New York Times and the founder of Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts.

“We’ve been so encouraged by the quality and breadth of applicants for our visiting fellowships,” said Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski. “This group of fellows brings exciting questions and ideas to Harvard and we look forward to helping them advance their work on behalf of journalism.”

The blurb on Finke:

Nikki Finke, senior editorial contributor for Penske Business Media, will explore best practices in the reporting of breaking news and analysis in a 24/7 media environment, a field she influenced as founder and editor-in-chief of

She just recently got back together with Penske, the company she parted non-amicably with after Jay Penske acquired Deadline. Finke also runs Hollywood Dementia, a website that publishes fiction about Hollywood. Before creating Deadline, Finke had been an entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere.

From the Nieman site: "Nieman created the visiting fellowship program in 2012 to invite individuals with promising journalism research proposals to take advantage of the many resources at Harvard University and the Nieman Foundation. In 2015, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a $223,000 grant to support the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships. Those eligible to apply include publishers, programmers, designers, media analysts, academics, journalists and others interested in enhancing quality, building new business models, or designing programs to improve journalism."

Midweek media notes

• At the National Magazine Awards on Tuesday, Mother Jones was named magazine of the year and also won an Ellie for reporting. California Sunday won for design and excellence in photography, Pacific Standard for feature photography by Francesco Zizola and GOOD for personal service. NYT, Ellies website

• Condé Nast has been eyeing the for-sale Hollywood Reporter, Dylan Byers reports for CNN Money. "Several months ago, Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg and artistic director Anna Wintour entered into negotiations to buy The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard from Eldridge Industries, several sources familiar with the negotiations told CNNMoney...Negotiations came to a standstill in December after Condé Nast balked at Eldridge's asking price -- but sources disagree as to whether or not the negotiations are over."

• CBS2 anchor Paul Magers is on "personal leave" from the station and hasn't tweeted since January 20. His agent and KCBS say he will return in a few weeks.

• Marc Spitz, the rock journalist and the music and film columnist for Salon, died over the weekend at age 47. Managing editor Erin Keane, does the sad duty. "In his writing, Marc was generous with his praise and charming in his takedowns, and he was an unfailingly idiosyncratic librarian of details. He maintained a romance with music even as he interrogated his own place in the industry, and most importantly to me as a fan, he wasn’t afraid to be sentimental."

• Jenni Rivera‘s estate has sued Univision claiming that the network is wrongfully using confidential information for its new series about the late singer, who died in a 2012 plane crash in Mexico.

• The Los Angeles Times is adding another food festival to the local calendar. Food Bowl will be "an annual month-long festival celebrating the city's dynamic and influential food scene, taking place throughout the month of May."

• Theatre critic Charles Isherwood has left the New York Times after 12 years and reportedly will be replaced.

• Wall Street Journal deputy editor Rebecca Blumenstein is jumping to a senior position at the New York Times.

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