Tracie Powell

‘Today’ show’s executive producer takes responsibility for Ann Curry’s departure

The New York TimesThe Hollywood ReporterRadar Online The New York PostThe New York Daily News
It’s been three months since Ann Curry was forced to leave NBC’s “Today” show, but the network is still dealing with the fallout.

The show’s executive producer, Jim Bell, appears to be on a mission to repair damage done to the show and its current host, Matt Lauer, after Curry’s messy departure. In recent days, Bell has granted interviews with The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter, and Curry has been the main topic of conversation.

In the interviews, Bell continues to defend the decision to replace Curry with Savannah Guthrie, and he repeatedly denies rumors that Lauer had made firing Curry a condition of his contract renewal.

“It was definitely not Matt’s call,” Bell told the Times’ Bill Carter. “He is the host and does not have management responsibility. It was not his call. That was my call.”

The interviews may be in response to reports that the “Today” show has constituently lost viewers since Curry’s departure. Radar Online also reported over the weekend that Lauer’s popularity has taken a hit, and The New York Daily News reported Monday that Lauer may soon have to take a pay cut to his $25 million salary due to the ratings drop. (more...)
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Survey: Local news stations ignoring ‘toxic mix of money, politics & media’ leading up to election

Free Press | Bloomberg | NPR | CU News Corps | PBS Newshour
A Free Press report released this week says that “perhaps the most important story of the 2012 presidential election is the toxic mix of money, politics and media that is shaping so much of the discourse in the months before the general election. Yet that’s not a story you’ll find on the local news."

In the report, called "Left In the Dark," Free Press and volunteers examined the political files of CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox News affiliates in Charlotte, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Tampa -- all located in key swing states -- and found that while many TV stations are covering local and national races, they are ignoring the ever-expanding role money and the media are playing in these contests.

It’s a longstanding problem that has only worsened in 2012. Wealthy donors,  corporations, lobbyists and politicians are aligning with powerful media companies against a public seeking to engage more fully in democracy. The scarcity of honest information about the misleading political ads invading our airwaves has knocked viewers and voters for a loss.

Condé Nast appoints its first black editor-in-chief

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For the first time in its 103-year-history, Condé Nast has named a black editor to head one of its magazines.

Keija Minor is now editor-in-chief of Brides, the world’s largest weddings magazine. She succeeds Anne Fulenwider who left Brides earlier this month to become editor-in-chief of Marie Claire. Minor had been executive editor of Brides since November 2011, and was acting editor-in-chief after Fulenwider left. Before Brides, Minor was editor-in-chief of Uptown Magazine, a luxury title targeting African Americans. She was also editor-in-chief of Gotham. (more...)

Frank Rich gets a shout-out at the Emmys as ProPublica character debuts on Treme

In the movies, the relationship between Hollywood and journalism is often portrayed as acrimonious. In reality the two couldn’t be cozier.

The real-life relationship between journalists and entertainers was on full-display Sunday night when Julia Louis-Dreyfus -- who won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for her portrayal of a foul-mouthed, female vice president of the United States in HBO’s "Veep" -- gave a shout-out to New York magazine’s writer at large (and former New York Times columnist) Frank Rich in her acceptance speech. That outpouring reveals the very close, and often profitable, relationship between the news and entertainment industries.

The relationship has been particularly fruitful for HBO and journalists, in part because of the connection between the network’s new CEO, Richard Plepler, and heavy hitters in Washington and New York media circles, according to a New York Times story published last week. (more...)

New Comedy Central ads: ‘You can trust us’ for political coverage

“The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” are back, after being on hiatus following coverage of both national political conventions. In the next few weeks, viewers can look forward to seeing more unadulterated political coverage of the presidential election, including … Read more


Mug-shot websites move beyond journalism to mainstream profiteers

After failing to find a news job in North Carolina, former crime reporter Greg Rickabaugh launched The Jail Report, a weekly newspaper with companion websites, including and The publications feature crime news, analysis and features on repeat … Read more

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New Yahoo News editor-in-chief: ‘I’m always looking for a great story’

Last month, Hillary Frey became editor-in-chief of Yahoo News.

In a telephone interview, Frey told Poynter her primary goal is to showcase original content produced by Yahoo’s team of reporters, editors and videographers, as well as forge a clear … Read more


Gawker essay experiment brings weekend audience, attention to new writers

Before last weekend many people had never heard of Kiese Laymon — until his essay, “How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance,” appeared on Gawker’s home page and went viral in a matter of … Read more


Factors to consider when choosing a journalism association

Knight-Ridder Newspapers hired me straight out of college. Paying my membership fees to professional journalism associations and covering costs to annual conventions was a perk in the company’s recruiting package. But Knight-Ridder is no longer with us, and it’s been … Read more


UT official who reviewed Post story didn’t allow that when she was a reporter

Tara Doolittle, one of the University of Texas press officers who recently reviewed a Washington Post story prior to publication, is a former reporter for The Austin American-Statesman. So did she ever allow sources to do what she did?

"The answer has always been no, whether I was the reporter or the editor,” Doolittle said, noting that she spent 10 years as an editor.

Doolittle, who became director of media outreach for UT in November, was a reporter when I worked at the Statesman.

Gary Susswein, director of media relations at UT, went through de Vise’s article "with a heavy red pen,” according to the Texas Observer. He, too, worked at the Statesman, serving for some time as metro editor. (He's on vacation this week.)

Doolittle said Post reporter Daniel de Vise told UT media representatives that sharing his story drafts was part of his normal process, and his editors knew about it. The Post has since tightened its policy on allowing sources to review stories, saying editors will grant permission to do so "extremely rarely."

Aside from saying de Vise’s offer was unusual, Doolittle declined to comment on another reporter’s methods. Given the opportunity to review a story again, she’d take it. “I’m not a reporter anymore.”

RelatedWashington Post reporter sent drafts to sources (Texas Observer) | What are the arguments for, against sending stories to sources before publication? (Poynter)