Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.
- Uber for public-relations disasters
At a supervillains retreat in Manhattan, Uber executive Emil Michael floated a plan to hire opposition researchers to investigate journalists. They could look into “your personal lives, your families,” Michael wisely told a group that included BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith. (BuzzFeed) | Creepiness aside, what does Michael think he’d find on most of us? A Cayman Islands bank account? | Michael directed most of his anger toward PandoDaily Editor-in-Chief Sarah Lacy. After Smith’s piece landed, he called her to apologize and hung up when she refused to speak off-the-record. (@sarahcuda) | He apologized on Twitter. (@emilmichael) | Lacy: “And lest you think this was just a rogue actor and not part of the company’s game plan, let me remind you [Uber CEO Travis] Kalanick telegraphed exactly this sort of thing when he sat on stage at the Code Conference last spring and said he was hiring political operatives whose job would be to “throw mud.” I naively thought he just meant Taxi companies.” (PandoDaily) | Uber is looking for more funding and investors “might force Kalanick to step up and do something about Michael’s comments,” Liz Gannes writes. “Whether that includes firing Michael is unclear at this point, according to sources at the company.” (Re/code) | Thing I just learned: The French term for “dig up dirt” appears to be “chercher les casseroles.” (Le HuffPost)
- Women journalists challenge established players with startups
Among the women “turning traditional news models on their head”: Jessica Lessin, Lara Setrakian, Kara Swisher, Laura Lorek and Selena Roberts. (Fast Company) | Related: Poynter’s Push for Parity essay series, featuring articles by women newsroom leaders, launched yesterday. (Poynter)
- Philly papers’ owner shares some plans
Gerry Lenfest “is ready to commit to the papers for at least another three years” if he gets union concessions, Rem Rieder reports. Also he plans a paywall for philly.com and thinks it “featured far too much ‘trash'” under the George Norcross regime. (USA Today)
- Say Media sheds media properties, gives away CMS
It plans to make money from its Tempest CMS by “selling the publishers’ remnant inventory and keeping a cut of the revenue.” Pacific Standard is among the publishers moving to it. (Digiday) | Last week Say said it was selling its publishing properties, including XoJane and Readwrite. (Digiday)
- YouGov tool profiles British newspaper readers’ diets
If you read the Financial Times, you “enjoy a spot of Braised endive.” If you read The Sun, it’s “pork chops and chips.” Guardian reader? “antipasti, aubergine parmigiana and braised endive.” Some promising cohort data there for endive growers. (The Guardian)
- Will Tribune Publishing’s new vacation policy discourage people from taking time off?
The company will eliminate traditional accrued vacation days in favor of a discretionary, theoretically unlimited number of days. “In an environment where just about everybody already half-expects to be laid off at any time, it feels like all the incentive will be to not even ask for time off,” Kevin Roderick writes. “When the next wave of staff cuts sweeps the newsroom, I doubt anybody wants to be the person who took a lot of time off and whose last tweet was insufficiently goosed to attract eyeballs.” (LA Observed)
- Pet project takes off
The retailer PetFlow turned its Facebook posts and blog into a publication called LittleThings.com. It accepts outside advertising. “I could put our own banners on the site, but if I can make $10,000 in ad revenue and use that to acquire customers somewhere else for less, I’d rather do that,” chief exec Alex Zhardanovsky says. (WSJ)
- Data pluralists advance
- Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare
Snow on a memorial for Michael Brown on the front of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (Courtesy the Newseum)
- Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
Nicco Mele is now deputy publisher at Los Angeles Times. He is the co-founder of consulting firm Echo & Co. (Los Angeles Times) | Amanda Smith is now associate publisher at T Magazine. Previously, she was advertising director there. (The New York Times) | Alison Engel is now vice president of finance at Gannett. Previously, she was chief financial officer of A. H. Belo Corporation. (Gannett) | Alan Price will be interim CEO of Vevo. He is its chief financial officer. (TechCrunch) | Darren Waters is now social media editor at The Press Association. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Microsoft UK. (The Guardian) | Job of the day: The Boston Globe is looking for a sports editor. Get your résumés in! (The Boston Globe) | Send Ben your job moves: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: This post originally misspelled Rem Rieder‘s last name.