Andrew Beaujon

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Andrew Beaujon reports on the media for Poynter Online. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture. He lives in Alexandria, Va., with his family. His email is abeaujon@poynter.org, his phone number is 703-594-1103, and he tweets @abeaujon.


USA Today gets a lot of traffic from Google News

Adam Sherk | Gigaom

USA Today received more than a hundred million visits from Google News between January and November of this year, Adam Sherk mhelpdesk
reports. That’s almost a third of all news search traffic to the site, he figures.

Here’s his Top 10:

sherk-google-news

I’ve asked publishers in the Top 5 if they have any strategy for getting their stuff into Google News. “The only strategy is being on top of breaking news,” USA Today spokesperson Steve Kidera said. The New York Times said it wasn’t ready to discuss whether it had a Google News strategy. It’s “organic traffic,” Reuters spokesperson Heather Carpenter said. I’ll add others’ comments when I get them.

Anecdotally, Poynter has seen really good traffic when, for whatever reason, one of our posts got snagged in Google News’ net. Mathew Ingram wrote just last week about Google News, calling it “The biggest missed opportunity in media right now.” That missed opportunity is Google’s, he argues, saying the search giant doesn’t do much with it. But Sherk’s numbers suggest publishers might want to give this somewhat unbeloved platform some attention if they’re not already doing so. Read more

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Guy Vidra: ‘change does not mean discarding your principles’

The New Republic

In a letter to New Republic readers, CEO Guy Vidra talks about his vision for the publication. Vidra and New Republic owner Chris Hughes removed Franklin Foer as editor of the publication last week, and many staffers resigned in protest.

Before a press tour Monday, Vidra and Hughes had mostly expressed their plan for the publication with jargon like “vertically integrated digital media company.”

In his post, Vidra notes he “started my career in journalism” and says “I firmly believe that those who say that this publication was only ever meant to reach a small audience are wrong.” He praises the magazine’s past accomplishments, including its “an unparalleled back of the book,” and promises to provide “depth.”

But: “we will begin to tell our stories more effectively in other ways,” he writes.

When we spend the time and energy to do a longform piece, we will create formats for our readers to engage with that information outside of print. We will use data to let readers immerse themselves in that story. We will use imagery and video to evoke a reaction as visceral as only those mediums can bring.

TNR will “add to our masthead and bring on a great and diverse set of writers and editors,” Vidra writes. It will also “invest in product managers, engineers, designers, data visualization and multimedia editors.” And:

We will build a platform that lets us create unique and compelling experiences on our web site and on mobile platforms, as well as the means to reach audiences outside our walls.

Related: My interview with Vidra Monday Read more

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Glenn Greenwald will live-blog the torture report

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. U.S. Senate will release torture report today

    Glenn Greenwald will live-blog. (The Intercept) | Former intelligence machers launch a website to respond to criticism. (Foreign Policy)

  2. Chris and Guy's press tour

    New Republic owner Chris Hughes and CEO Guy Vidra went on a press blitz Monday. Vidra told me remaining staffers at the in-turmoil publication were enthusiastic about its new direction after a Q&A on Friday. (Poynter) | He told Joe Nocera Vox was something like what he wanted to build under the New Republic brand. Nocera then gets browsing. "After we spoke, I went to the Vox website. I scrolled down until I saw a headline that stopped me cold. 'Everybody farts,' it read. 'But here are 9 surprising facts about flatulence you may not know.' Goodbye, New Republic." (NYT) | Another blast: I just read the word "farts" in The New York Times. | A little more on what happened last Thursday, per Vidra. (Politico) | Hughes: "we can't remain a small print magazine for Washington." (Mashable) "The days when you could just appeal to a small, frankly, white, male elite are over." (NPR) "It is frustrating to me personally that there was a perception we would listicalize the place." (The Guardian)

  3. More on Rolling Stone's botched UVA rape story

    MailOnline says it has interviewed the father of Jackie, around whom Rolling Stone built the story. (MailOnline) | Emily Clark writes a letter to the editor saying she was Jackie's roommate and her story is not a hoax. (Cavalier Daily) | Margaret Sullivan: "I hope that the magazine will thoroughly investigate what happened, publish that investigation and tell its readers how, precisely, editors will make sure it never happens again." (NYT) | RS Managing Editor Will Dana once gave a speech saying "I want to do stuff that’s biased," meaning journalism with a point of view. (WP)

  4. Iran let Jason Rezaian phone home

    The imprisoned Washington Post reporter surprised his mother on Thanksgiving with a phone call "in which he told her the authorities had instructed him to say he had been treated well." (NYT)

  5. Reported.ly introduces itself

    First Look Media's social media newsroom thing said hello with a statement of values, including "Humility," "Transparency" and a pretty interesting paragraph under the subhead "We’re a newsroom, not a newswire." (Reported.ly)

  6. News orgs, Apple battle over Steve Jobs footage

    AP, Bloomberg News and CNN have asked a court to release footage of a 2011 deposition by the Apple founder. A transcript is available but Apple seeks to block the video release. (CNET)

  7. Some magazines eligible for Pulitzers

    They have to publish at least weekly. Broadcast orgs are still ineligible. (Poynter) | "Pulitzer rules still outdated & arbitrary. HIgh caliber writing/reporting should be eligible regardless of platform." (@PeterHambyCNN) | "It just got even harder to win a Pulitzer in investigative reporting and feature writing." (@michaelkruse)

  8. I got Rupert Murdoch

    A quiz tied to MediaGuardian's top-100-people list thing lets you figure out which media mogul you are. (The Guardian)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The turtles are coming. Awesome, jellyman. (Courtesy the Newseum)

    courier-mail12092014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Daniel Norselli is now president and publisher of the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader and The Baxter Bulletin. Previously, he was senior digital sales director for the Democrat and Chronicle Media Group. (Gannett) | Katie Hawkins-Gaar will be Poynter's digital innovation faculty member. She is editor of CNN’s iReport. (Poynter) | Jenna Wortham is now a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. Previously, she was a columnist on the business desk. (New York Times) | Jessica Lustig will be deputy editor at The New York Times Magazine. Previously, she was a staff editor there. (Poynter) | Ethan Bronner will be managing editor for international government at Bloomberg News. Previously, he was deputy national editor at The New York Times. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: The Newseum is looking for a special projects associate. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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TNR doesn’t want to be BuzzFeed. But maybe Vox

The first thing I asked New Republic CEO Guy Vidra to do was to explain his vision for the company in plain English. “It is unfortunate that our vision for the company has not been articulated clearly enough, and I take full responsibility,” he said.

He also says it “is just not right” that he was looking to boot New Republic Editor Franklin Foer from the moment he started at the company. Foer lost his job last week in a messy coup followed by many staffers resigning from the company.

His plan? “We need to succeed in digital,” Vidra said. “What that means in reality is to take technology, to take experimentation in digital, and to leverage all of that in the service of great journalism.”

That could take the form of expanded presentations of longform stories, for instance. “This publication has primarily focused on print,” he said, emphasizing that the printed magazine is “not going away.”

But he foresees digital- and print-focused editorial people collaborating with one another as well as with engineers and people in other departments when figuring out how they want to tell stories. Richer presentations borne of such confabbing “are things that this institution has not experimented with.”

Some of what he wants “has not been figured out yet,” Vidra allows.

In a meeting on Friday Vidra told staffers The New Republic would not become BuzzFeed. He expanded on those remarks: “What BuzzFeed has accomplished is incredibly impressive, and I think it’s important that we as folks who work in the media industry look at why they’ve been successful and try to understand it.”

BuzzFeed is “doing real work,” he said. “That’s absolutely laudable and they should be proud. I think there’s incredible work that they’ve done. We are different.”

Vox is a company Vidra very much admires. I mentioned that it, like BuzzFeed, has a robust product department. The New Republic will work a lot on product, too, he said.

Vidra and New Republic owner Chris Hughes eventually took questions from employees in a meeting Friday, after initially saying they wouldn’t. Most questions were about strategy and people “seeking to understand more about where we were going and to have more clarity.”

The staffers who remain at the publication are “eager to embrace” his vision, he said, and as that “very difficult and sad day” ended, “I think there was a lot of enthusiasm in the room for where we are going.” (One employee still there told me “people definitely felt better about things” after the talk.)

The publication’s D.C. office will not become a backwater, he said: “It has always been critical and it will continue to be critical. Politics, policy: These are the things that are at the heart of the brand.”

I asked him what he’d learned from his time at The New Republic so far. He said he didn’t articulate his vision well when he started at the company, either — he told employees “‘let’s break shit’ and ‘we’re a tech company now,’” Jonathan Chait reports.

“I think that the primary thing is that that I made some assumptions that people would know why I came to The New Republic and would understand that I have a deep passion and respect for the institution, the work, the people,” he said.

He chalks up his buzz-speak to “enthusiasm” and said, “I said some things that were, unfortunately, misinterpreted. I wish I could change that because there is nothing I want more than to continue the tradition of the things that make this place special and find a larger audience for it, increase its influence and take it into the next century.”

New editor Gabriel Snyder is a proven commodity, he said, “and I have every confidence that we will grow and we will be absolutely successful.” Read more

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Rolling Stone’s lawyers were OK with UVA rape story

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. How Rolling Stone blew the UVA rape story

    Managing Editor Will Dana says "he, other editors and fact-checkers felt that Jackie was credible, and the magazine’s lawyers had no problems with it, so the magazine ran it." (NYT) | The magazine amended its original apology to take blame for the mistakes it originally attributed to its source, Jackie. Compare the notes. (Diff Checker) | Erik Wemple: "Fire the Rolling Stone editors who worked on this story." (WP) | Matt Taibbi: "People also need to understand that the mistake here did not involve the fact-checking department." (@mtaibbi) | Rolling Stone succumbed to confirmation bias, Judith Shulevitz argues: "Erdely and her editors were all in the grip of a myth. ... they had never subjected their beliefs to the test of falsifiability." (CJR) | Jay Rosen: "Watch out, journalists. You need story. We need truth." (PressThink) | Author Sabrina Rubin Erdely "deflected questions about her reporting by engaging in a bit of misdirection." (WP) | Erdely is "one of the most thorough reporters I've ever worked with," Hearst's Eliot Kaplan tells Samantha Melamed. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  2. Why the Luke Somers raid failed

    As Special Operations forces approached the Yemeni compound where he was held, "A noise, maybe a dog bark, alerted the militants to the raiders." (WSJ) | Somers' stepmother, Penny Bearman, said his family is "quite angry because if there had not been a rescue attempt he would still be alive." (The Guardian) | Mike Gudgell: "I understand why Somers was there." (ABC News) | President Obama: "Luke was a photojournalist who sought through his images to convey the lives of Yemenis to the outside world. He came to Yemen in peace and was held against his will and threatened by a despicable terrorist organization." (White House) | Related: Committee to Protect Journalists head Joel Simon on how the U.S. should change its hostage policy. (CJR)

  3. Russia to BuzzFeed: We may ban you

    Communications agency Roskomnadzor objected to a post that included a video from a spokesperson for Chechen rebels. (BuzzFeed) | "As of Sunday evening, BuzzFeed's website is still available in Russia." (The Moscow Times)

  4. Iran charged Jason Rezaian

    No specifics about charges against the Washington Post journalist. "The proceedings appear to dash any hope that Rezaian could be freed in the near future." (WP) | Secretary of State John Kerry: "We call on the Iranian government to drop any and all charges against Jason and release him immediately." (NBC News) | Rezaian's lawyer: "I don’t know what happened.” (NYT)

  5. 'The Newsroom''s awful campus rape episode

    Emily Nussbaum: "on a show dedicated to fantasy journalism," creator Aaron Sorkin's "stand-in doesn’t lobby for more incisive coverage of sexual violence or for a responsible way to tell graphic stories without getting off on the horrible details or for innovative investigations that could pressure a corrupt, ass-covering system to do better. Instead, he argues that the idealistic thing to do is not to believe" a victim's story. (The New Yorker)

  6. How The New Republic plans to claw back

    Owner Chris Hughes: "Either walk away mourning a certain death or set to work building its future." (WP) | It canceled its December print issue. The next issue, out in February, will be new editor Gabriel Snyder's first. (Politico) | "Latest tally is that 58 out of 87 names on the editorial masthead at TNR are gone. Full story on what really happened coming this week…" (@RyanLizza) | "The question now is whether this is all just a particularly tempestuous transition for a magazine with a long history of nasty intellectual infighting, or something more." (NYT) | In a meeting with employees Friday, Hughes "was saying that the healthiest thing for TNR is for it to become profitable," a New Republic source said. (WP)

  7. How Adnan Syed’s family listens to 'Serial'

    His mom likes the part in the beginning where he says his name. "'So sweet,' Shamim says. 'I listen to that again and again and again.'" (The Guardian)

  8. Jonathan Yardley says goodbye

    The longtime Washington Post book critic retires. "I promise to make one last attempt to read 'Ulysses.'" (WP)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    A Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona series from the Arizona Republic, Sunday and Monday fronts. (Courtesy the Newseum)

    azrepublic-12072014

    azrepublic-12082014
     

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Dan Steinberg will be sports columnist at The Washington Post. He founded the D.C. Sports Bog there. (Washington Post) | Ann Marie Lipinski is now a member of Poynter's board of trustees. She is the curator of the Nieman Foundation. Rob King will be chairman of Poynter's National Advisory Board. He is a senior vice president at ESPN. (Poynter) | Xana Antunes is now editor of new initiatives at Quartz. Previously, she was editor and vice president of CNBC Digital. (Capital) | Jill Waage is now executive editor at Better Homes and Gardens. Previously, she was editorial director for home there. (Email) | Mark Neerman is now news director at KSNV in Las Vegas, Nevada. Previously, he was news director at WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky. Megan Harris is now news director for WFAA in Dallas. Previously, she was an executive producer there. Steve Richards is now news director for WRGB in Schenectady, New York. Previously, he was news director for WHEC in Rochester, New York. Scott Warren is now nightside executive producer at WFLD in Chicago. Previously he was an executive producer at the Weather Channel. Chris Hanson is now assistant news director of digital at KTRK in Houston. Previously, he was assistant news director there. Mark Farrell is now an executive producer at WFTV in Orlando, Florida. He previously worked at WTLV in Jacksonville. Jessica Neidhard is now nightside executive producer at WDTN in Dayton, Ohio. She was a producer there. Ken Freedman is now general manager at WCMH in Columbus, Ohio. He's general manager for KWQC in Davenport, Iowa. Paul Briggs is now general manager for WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee. Previously, he was general sales manager for WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ron Romines is now general manager at WTEN in Albany, New York. Previously, he was general sales manager there. Steve Lavin will be general manager for WBAY in Green Bay. He's the station manager there. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day: Gimlet Media is looking for a producer/reporter. Get your résumés in! (Gimlet Media) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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Rolling Stone says its trust in source for UVA story ‘was misplaced’

Rolling Stone | The Washington Post

Rolling Stone says “there now appear to be discrepancies” in the account of a rape at the center of its blockbuster story about rapes at the University of Virginia.

The magazine has “come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced,” Managing Editor Will Dana writes. “We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account.”

Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house  at the University of Virginia. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The piece’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not contact the men that main character Jackie said raped her. “I’m satisfied that these guys exist and are real,” Sean Woods, who edited the story, told Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi. “We knew who they were.”

A spokesperson for Rolling Stone says Woods will remain with the magazine.

T. Rees Shapiro reports that the fraternity where Jackie said the rape happened did not host a party on the night in question. The Post also rereported Jackie’s claims, and says she “revealed to friends for the first time the full name of her alleged attacker, a name she had never disclosed to anyone.” Shapiro continues:

But after looking into that person’s background, the group that had been among her closest supporters quickly began to raise suspicions about her account. The friends determined that the student that Jackie had named was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and that other details about his background did not match up with information Jackie had disclosed earlier about her perpetrator.

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USA Today kills weekend magazine

Dec. 28 will be the last issue of USA Weekend, USA Today President and Publisher Larry Kramer tells employees. (Memo below.)

Gannett, which owns USA Today, began distributing a “butterfly edition” of USA Today to its local papers in 2013. Reader research led USA Today to conclude the weekend product “provides our readers and affiliates with a superior product,” Kramer writes, and with the closure, “many of you will say farewell to great colleagues.”

Here’s Gannett’s statement:

USA WEEKEND Magazine will end publication effective December 28. Over the past year, USA TODAY has developed a weekend Life product for local publications, which has been well received by millions of readers nationwide due to its timely entertainment and lifestyle news coverage. We look forward to offering our existing USA WEEKEND affiliates the opportunity to bring this exciting product to their readers.​

Kramer’s note to staff:

Dear Colleagues:

After careful consideration, we have decided to close USA WEEKEND Magazine. The December 28 issue of USA WEEKEND Magazine will be its last.

Over the past year, we’ve talked often about the success of our partnership with U.S. Community Publishing in the 35 markets where USA TODAY is included in their daily news products. After evaluating the research, many of our readers have told us that they enjoy the addition of the USA TODAY content into their local publications, and they have especially enjoyed the expanded weekend Life content, given its timely entertainment and lifestyle news. With the success of our weekend Life offering, we believe it provides our readers and affiliates with a superior product to USA WEEKEND Magazine. Over the next few weeks, we will be working with USA WEEKEND affiliates to discuss the weekend Life product.

With the closure of USA WEEKEND, many of you will say farewell to great colleagues. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of those individuals – they will be missed.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or to your manager.

Sincerely,

Larry Kramer

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‘Dark social’ is mostly Facebook

Good morning. The weekend awaits. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. “Dark social” = Facebook

    For years, publishers couldn't identify the source of a hunk of their traffic. Chartbeat this week "flipped a switch on its real-time dashboard to place that traffic in its proper bucket"; “We saw mobile Facebook traffic increase by about 40% on sites with big Facebook presences,” its chief data scientist, Josh Schwartz, said. (Marketing Land) | "The only question is how much Facebook traffic you’re not counting," Alexis Madrigal writes. (Fusion) | "Dark social comprises only a small percent of overall desktop traffic, but commands a fairly significant chunk of mobile traffic." (Chartbeat) | "That kind of dependence on a single site raises all kinds of issues." (Gigaom)

  2. J-school student arrested in NYC Garner protests

    City University of New York grad student Desiree Mathurin reported on a protest at the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday night and got popped with 82 others. She "said she was taking pictures of an officer arresting someone when she was told to move." (Student Press Law Center) | She says she has a court date Jan. 1. (@Dez_SM) | It's the media's fault, Pt. 23,742: A "lot of media is not educating everyone as to what the law is, and what the duties of a police officer are," Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins tells Tamron Hall. (WP)

  3. The New Republic changes editors, and garments are rent

    Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier left the publication yesterday. Gabriel Snyder will be the new boss. Owner Chris Hughes and CEO Guy Vidra envision a “vertically integrated digital media company," and the publication's center of gravity will shift to New York. (Politico) (Poynter) (Gawker) (HuffPost) (NYT) | "Several members of The New Republic’s staff are now planning to show up at the magazine’s offices on Friday and resign." (Politico) | Foer "was placed in the humiliating position of having to phone Hughes to get confirmation after Gawker.com posted an item at 2:35 p.m. reporting the rumor that Bloomberg Media editor Gabriel Snyder, himself a onetime Gawker editor, had been hired as Foer’s replacement." (The Daily Beast) | Jonathan Chait: "Frank Foer isn’t leaving TNR because he wasn’t a good enough editor. He’s leaving because Chris Hughes is not a good enough owner." (New York) | Andrew Sullivan: "I’m heart-broken today about what can only be called the corporate manslaughter of my alma mater." (The Daily Dish) | Erik Wemple: "According to three sources, the Hughes regime realized in mid-2013 that it couldn’t sustain a great print magazine and a great web project at the same time." (WP) | Marin Cogan: "This likely means the end of The New Republic as we've known it for the last 100 years." (New York) | Ezra Klein: "It's a bit early, I think, to write The New Republic's eulogy." (Vox) | "What will Chris Hughes do next? Perhaps the publication might even become interesting. Scream!" (Gawker)

  4. 'Newsroom of the Future' hits The Journal News

    11 people lost their jobs in restructuring at the Gannett-owned paper, which covers Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties in New York. (Capital)

  5. RIP Bryan Burwell

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist died Thursday. He was 59. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) | Bernie Miklasz: "Burwell didn't care about your status, or where you ranked on the ladder of journalism. If you shared a press box with Burwell, you were his equal." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) | Bud Selig: "Bryan's passion and professionalism were evident throughout his long and distinguished sports media career." (ESPN) | "It's going to be too quiet out there without Bryan's voice." (Michael Wilbon's Facebook) |

  6. Why Say Media is bailing on content

    It's selling its publications and pitching its free CMS, Tempest, as a “It Just Works” solution to publishers, Ryan Lawler reports. The more that adopt it, the more money Say will make by selling remnant ad space. CEO Matt Sanchez "says there are more than 12,000 digital magazines out there in the world today. If it captures just a small portion of those, it could have a big business ahead of it." (TechCrunch)

  7. Torii Hunter calls reporter a 'prick'

    (St. Paul, Minnesota) Pioneer Press reporter Mike Berardino asked Hunter at a press conference about his views on gay marriage. "Hey Mike is kind of a prick huh?" Hunter said, and used the term four more times to describe Berardino. (Deadspin) | "Hunter, 39, became agitated at the line of questioning." (Pioneer Press) | "So thankful to have such supportive bosses and colleagues at the @PioneerPress. Blessed again to work with true professionals." (@MikeBerardino)

  8. BBC will broadcast 'Serial'

    The hit podcast will go terrestrial in the U.K. starting Sunday. (The Guardian)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    "Grand Fury" in Boston. (Courtesy the Newseum.)
    boston-herald-12052014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Gabriel Snyder will be editor at The New Republic. He's digital advisor at Bloomberg L.P. (Poynter) | James Shanahan will be dean at Indiana University's Media School. He's currently an associate dean at Boston University. (Poynter) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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Washington Post reporter’s recorder fails at a really bad time

The Washington Post

Joe Heim’s first question to Valerie Jarrett in a Q&A describes a reporter’s nightmare: “What do you think of a reporter who interviews you for 25 minutes, then later finds out his recorder stopped working and asks you to do the interview again?”

Heim, an assignment editor for The Washington Post’s Sunday magazine, told Poynter in a phone call he did the interview a few weeks ago in the Old Executive Office Building. He used his iPhone’s Voice Memos app to record the interview, as he’s done for previous Q&As. He’s not sure why the phone stopped recording; the only thing he suspects is that some sort of alert interrupted his record of the interview.

Check it out, Jarrett uses two phones. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Check it out, Jarrett uses two phones. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

After the interview, Jarrett left with her spokesperson, Rachel Racusen, and Heim looked at his phone, which indicated he’d recorded two minutes and two seconds of the interview. “I described it as a wave of heat rushes through my body,” Heim said. He checked the phone again, thinking the recording might be rattling around in there somehow. After a minute or two, “I knew I was pretty much screwed,” he said.

When Racusen returned, Heim ‘fessed up. She offered to try to find a time they could redo the interview over the phone and landed him a slot later that evening. Heim did that interview using a cassette recorder, and he took notes as well.

Jarrett, he said, “was very gracious about the whole thing.” (She told him his honesty was “extremely refreshing” and that he could have “just tried to bluff your way through it and pretend that it didn’t happen.”) He would have understood if she didn’t give him another bite at the apple.

Heim said he doesn’t normally like taking notes during Q&As because they get in the way of establishing a rapport with subjects. But going forward, he said, “I will probably double up on the equipment.” The last time he did that was when he interviewed Bruce Springsteen. “So maybe I’ll have to treat everyone like Springsteen from now on.” Read more

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Franklin Foer leaves The New Republic

New Republic Editor Franklin Foer told staffers in an email Thursday that he is leaving the publication. Gabriel Snyder will be the new editor, New Republic CEO Guy Vidra tells staffers in a memo. (An earlier version of this post said the publication would move to New York. Please see correction below.) It will also cut print frequency. His memo follows, too.

Snyder “reflects the ‘straddle generation’ of journalists and editors who remain deeply rooted in the qualities of traditional journalism…but also understands what it takes to create content that will travel across all platforms,” Vidra writes. The publication will be reimagined as a “vertically integrated digital media company,” and “we will also be making some changes to staff structure.”

Given this digital focus, it shouldn’t be a problem that Ryan Lizza asked to be taken off the masthead via Twitter.

Comrades,

The New Republic has been one of the great loves of my life–a set of ideas, a history, a collection of people I revere. I grew up here, made my best friends here, and learned so many profound lessons about the world in the process.

Part of the joy has been the struggle: We’ve fought to preserve an institution that was perpetually imperiled. It’s been hairy at moments, no doubt, but also exhilarating and immense fun. I’ve had an especially wonderful time these past two and half years. We’ve published essays and journalism that have actually, in moments, changed the world, or at least people’s opinions about the world.

I’ve always had a hard time imagining leaving here. That moment, however, has arrived. Chris and Guy have significant plans for this place. And their plans and my own vision for TNR meaningfully diverge. I’ve decided this is the right time for me to finish a book that is several years overdue and to work on a few other projects. I will miss everyone here immensely.

Much love, Frank

Vidra’s memo:

To All Staff,

I want to share some news about forthcoming changes at The New Republic.
As you’ve heard, Frank Foer is leaving the company. We are excited to announce that Gabriel Snyder will assume the role of Editor-in-Chief. In addition, Leon Wieseltier will be moving on.

In his time here, Frank has led a meaningful expansion of our team, has done a terrific job advancing the mission of our storied institution, and has continued to insert The New Republic’s voice into the national discourse. We wish him nothing but the best and are very grateful for all he’s done.

As we move forward under Gabriel’s leadership, we are re-imagining The New Republic as a vertically integrated digital media company. Gabriel is ideally suited to bridge traditional journalism and digital media. He is committed – as am I – to The New Republic’s mission of impact, influence and persuasion, but understands that fulfilling that mission in today’s media landscape requires new forms. He truly reflects the “straddle generation” of journalists and editors who remain deeply rooted in the qualities of traditional journalism – having worked with brands such as the New York Observer and The Atlantic – but also understands what it takes to create content that will travel across all platforms. We believe he is the right person to help us to maintain the core DNA of The New Republic, while propelling us forward to the 21st century.

Leon has made an unsurpassed contribution to The New Republic over the last 30 years, and the qualities that he represents are the beating heart of this brand. He is quite frankly an institution unto himself whose indelible mark on this place will never go away.

As we restructure The New Republic, we will be making significant investments in creating a more effective and efficient newsroom as well as improved products across all platforms. This will require a recalibration of our resources in order to deliver the best product possible. In order to do so, we’ve made the decision to reduce the frequency of our print publication from 20 to 10 issues a year and will be making improvements to the magazine itself.

Given the frequency reduction, we will also be making some changes to staff structure. This is not a decision we make lightly, but we believe this restructuring is critical to the long-term success of the company. We will be holding an all-hands meeting tomorrow to help answer any questions or concerns you may have.

And lastly – as some of you may know – we will be moving to a newly re-designed, expanded office in New York’s Union Square. New York was the original home of The New Republic, and we’re thrilled to further expand our presence here.

These are exciting times for our company which will demand change. We are committed to the roots of this magazine – an experiment in opinion to help address the challenges of our time. We can only do this together.

Guy

Gawker’s J.K. Trotter earlier reported a rumor that Gabriel Snyder would take over. Dylan Byers reports (and TNR staffers confirm to me) that literary editor Leon Wieseltier has also resigned.

Foer became editor of The New Republic in early 2012, after Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes bought the magazine.

Snyder currently works for Bloomberg Media, and was previously the editor of the Atlantic Wire (later the now-shuttered The Wire) and Gawker.

Correction: This post originally said The New Republic would move all operations to New York; in a subsequent email to employees, Vidra said he wanted to “clarify something from my earlier note. While I discussed our move to a new, expanded office in New York, by no means does that mean that we are shuttering DC, nor are we asking employees to relocate.” Read more

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