ESPN

Connor Schell, Bill Simmons

ESPN ‘frees’ Bill Simmons, but will he seek more freedom elsewhere?

mediawiremorningIt’s Wednesday. That means you get 10 media stories.

  1. Freed Simmons: ESPN’s Bill Simmons returns to the network today after his three-week suspension “for calling N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell a ‘liar’ during a podcast, and then effectively daring ESPN to punish him.” His contract expires next fall, Jonathan Mahler and Richard Sandomir report. Will he leave? (New York Times) | Deadspin would take him. (Deadspin) | Previously: At the time of the suspension, Kelly McBride wrote, “when your biggest star declares himself above his newsroom’s standards, the boss has to respond.” (Poynter)
  2. Oops — ABC News didn’t beat NBC after all: Two weeks ago, Nielsen reported that ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped “NBC Nightly News” for the first time in 260 weeks. But it turns out NBC actually kept its streak alive thanks to revised ratings after Nielsen discovered inaccuracies, Bill Carter reports. (New York Times)
  3. How Time is getting all that traffic: “Time, together with sister site Money, published at least five different pieces” on the day the cable channel FXX began its marathon of “The Simpsons.” Joseph Lichterman takes a deep look at how Time is engaging its audience — and how it has more than doubled its unique visitors in a year.
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Rainbow Room Reopening

N.Y. publishers mull more layoffs

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. More layoffs may come at New York publishers: “Industry executives are spending the month of October in closed-door meetings as they look for ways to tighten their belts even more.” (WWD) | Related: Time Inc. management “wants the ability to send 160 editorial jobs overseas,” Newspaper Guild of New York President Bill O’Meara says. (Capital) | Meta related: New owner Jay Penske‘s plan for WWD. (Capital) | Related sad trombone: “The joy we get from throwing magazines away seems like a bad sign for their future,” Laura Hazard Owen writes. (Gigaom)
  2. NBC News crew quarantined: They worked with freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo in Liberia and “Officials said the order was issued late Friday after the crew members violated an agreement to voluntarily confine themselves.” No one’s shown any signs of the disease.
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Star Tribune runs ad bashing transgender kids

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. News Corp buys online real estate business: Move, Inc., owns Realtor.com, Move.com and ListHub. News Corp will “turbo-charge traffic growth” to Move’s properties, and it will “benefit from the high-quality geographic data generated by real estate searches,” CEO Robert Thomson says. (BusinessWire) | Last year Move “reported $600,000 in profit atop $227 million in revenue.” (NYT)
  2. Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an ad bashing transgender kids: The Minnesota Child Protection League ran a full-page ad Sunday in an attempt to influence the Minnesota State High School League, which may “approve a new policy that would allow transgender students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity.” Strib VP Steve Yaeger tells Aaron Rupar: “The ad in question met all the requirements of our ad policy.” (Minneapolis City Pages) | Earlier this year the Strib took some heat for how it reported on a transgender person.
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Ben Bradlee

Ben Bradlee is receiving hospice care

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ESPN asks dudes to address domestic violence: A two-hour pregame show preceding Monday Night Football will feature, among other things, a panel discussion featuring 11 men, Ben Collins reports. “When the show has updates from the field—brief reports about injuries and the upcoming game—they’ll cut to female sideline reporters, Lisa Salters and, on some weeks, Suzy Kolber. ¶ These people are not allowed at the table.” (Esquire) | UPDATE, 12:39 P.M.: ESPN says no such panel is planned. (Deadspin)
  2. Ben Bradlee is getting hospice care: The former Washington Post editor has dementia, his wife, Sally Quinn, said in a C-SPAN interview broadcast Sunday. (Politico) | “[O]ver time, his condition became more difficult to manage.” (WP)
  3. Reporting is dangerous: Indian journalist Rajdeep Sardesai was harassed outside Madison Square Garden Sunday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke.
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Bill Simmons: Diva or fall guy?

mediawiremorningGood morning. Almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ESPN ombo: “Is anybody watching the baby?” Bill Simmons‘ “energy and creativity…can also morph into tunnel vision and self-absorption,” ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte writes. “What makes him always think something’s right just because he thinks it is?” (ESPN) | Josh Levin: “When Simmons said ‘I dare you,’ he was talking like a made man—someone who, on account of his popularity, reputation, and well-placed allies, could break the rules that ordinary people have to follow.” (Slate) | “Simmons was on solid ground when he called Goodell’s response ‘fucking bullshit.’ … But calling him a liar went over a line, because it draws a conclusion that we cannot draw.” (Poynter) | “At some point, ESPN’s commentators should also get to call one of the more powerful men in their industry a liar.” (The New Yorker)
  2. Moving day at The Indianapolis Star: “You can follow along with our move on social media at the hashtag #starevolving,” Cori Faklaris writes.
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bs_report_300

Bill Simmons’ ESPN suspension and the challenges of editing star talent

Whether you think Bill Simmons is the latest sacrificial lamb at ESPN, or that his suspension is really theater in the vein of professional wrestling, there are important issues behind the suspension that we could all pay some attention to.

  • Too much content, too little editing: From podcasts to blogs to social media posts, there is a fair amount of content that goes straight to the audience with very little editing. With small changes (see word choice, below) to his rant, Simmons could have stayed within the boundaries of ESPN’s acceptable journalistic standards. In broadcast, that’s the producer’s role. In writing it’s the editor’s role. There is editing and production that takes place. But do those people do their work with an ear toward editorial standards? It’s hard to say if that’s even possible with a marquee talent like Simmons (see Stars, below.) But they could and they should.
  • Word choice: Simmons was on solid ground when he called Goodell’s response “fucking bullshit.” Suggesting the football commissioner take a lie detector test was clever.
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The ‘One-Page Magazine’ is toast

mediawiremorningGood morning from Chicago, where the Poynter dot org crew is attending the 2014 Online News Association Conference. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ESPN benches Bill Simmons: The talking head and Grantland boss said on a podcast that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was a “liar” and “has no integrity whatsoever.” ESPN has removed the podcast. (NYT) | Richard Deitsch: “ESPN management is looking to become more decisive with suspensions when its employees go off the rails.” (SI)
  2. Forbes zaps contributor after stupid article: Bill Frezza‘s article “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat To Fraternities” “was removed from Forbes.com almost immediately after he published it,” a Forbes spox tells Philip Caulfield. “Mr. Frezza is no longer a contributor to Forbes.com.” Frezza: “I stand by every word I wrote.” (NYDN) | Jessica Roy: “Only when we tackle the menace of drunk girls, who are absolutely getting themselves drunk while the sober brothers lock themselves in their rooms and study, can the fraternity system be restored to its rightful glory.” (NY Mag)
  3. NPR kills Robert Krulwich’s blog: “I can’t pretend.
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Spin loses another editor-in-chief

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Craig Marks is no longer EIC of Spin: Marks tells Poynter via email he’s out. He was the publication’s fourth editor in two years. Stephen Blackwell, SpinMedia’s fourth CEO in the same amount of time, told me Monday that he had “high hopes” for the publication, and that it would add more editing talent soon. (Poynter) | A quick phone call with Marks: “It was a mutual and amicable decision that I would leave,” he said. “With the new CEO and the new regime it felt like the right time to part ways. I would like to pursue other interests including trying to finally get a bead on my next book.” Marks, who was executive editor at the magazine in the ’90s (I worked with him then for a spell then, in my first media job), took the job in June and says the split was not performance-related.
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Career Beat: Yahoo names editors for 2 verticals

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Kate Lanphear is now editor-in-chief of Maxim. Previously, she was style editor at T Magazine. (WWD)
  • Kerry Diamond is now editor-in-chief of Yahoo Food. She is the co-founder and editorial director of Cherry Bombe. Kristen Baldwin is editor-in-chief of Yahoo TV. Previously, she was deputy editor at Entertainment Weekly. (Email)
  • Alice Gabriner will be international photo editor for Time magazine. She was a senior photo editor at National Geographic. Mandy Oaklander will be a staff writer for Time magazine. Previously, she was a senior writer for Prevention.com. Jack Linshi is a breaking news reporter and homepage editor at Time magazine. He was a weekend arts and living editor at the Yale Daily News. Lily Rothman will be an archive editor at Time magazine. Previously, she was a reporter there. Reno Ong will be an audience engagement editor at Time magazine.
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foley-2

James Foley family’s new fund will ‘honor what he stood for’

mediawiremorningGood morning. We’re nearly there. Here are 10 media stories, plus a fact that made me sigh and quietly review my life choices: The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ready to Die” came out 20 years ago Saturday.

  1. Foley, Tice parents speak: “I really feel that our country let Jim down,” James Foley‘s mother Diane Foley tells Anderson Cooper. She says her son “was sacrificed because of just a lack of coordination, lack of communication, lack of prioritization.” (CNN) | Earlier this week, Austin Tice‘s parents told Clarissa Ward, “If an American citizen is held hostage overseas, you are discouraged and disparaged if you even consider paying a reward for a precious human child, because you don’t know where that reward money’s gonna go. …You know, we’re just a mom and dad. We just want our child back, and we wanna do whatever it takes.” (CBS News) | A message from the Foley family Twitter account: “please follow our new Twitter account @JamesFoleyFund.” (@freejamesfoley) | The fund will “honor what he stood for,” the family writes, with plans to build “a resource center for families of American hostages and [foster] a global dialog on governmental policies in hostage crises,” among other goals.
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