BUST magazine operates out of a loft on 27th street and Broadway, above an awning that says Reiko Wireless Accessories. On the evening I visited, a bit before Christmas, young staffers rode up with me in the elevator, sharing swigs from a plastic bottle of whiskey. In the office they broke away, laughing and chatting, settling down at computers underneath walls covered in posters and stickers. One featured a giant image of Joan Crawford from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and the text "BUST Magazine says no wire hangers ever!"
The magazine's editor in chief, Debbie Stoller, was in a state. She waved me to the conference room in [...]
"For the full year of 2012, digital advertising revenues increased 0.2 percent to $214.8 million from $214.5 million in 2011. Excluding the additional week [in 2012], estimated digital advertising revenues decreased 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.9 percent for the full year of 2012." —The New York Times Company released its 2012 results this morning, if you like that kind of thing. Lots of fun stuff, like the $4.5 million cost for a "retirement and consulting agreement" for departed CEO Janet Robinson. How do you like your buyouts now, staffers?
The Tumblr of Newsweek, which still exists, unlike Newsweek, and which is run by the DailyBeast "senior editor for social media," announced a new policy yesterday. "You pin, we unfollow" was the communiqué—by "pinning" they mean the Tumblr commerce initiative wherein, for a small fee, one can make a Tumblr post "adhere" to the top of each follower's dashboard until each follower "clicks" upon the post to make it disappear. (By "unfollow," they meant that they would no longer choose to receive said pinners' posts in their dashboard.) "The pins are like dashboard cockroaches. Turn on the lights every morning and unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin," the [...]
Mike Shatzkin, a "widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry" (his bio), counsels that Brightline, Barry Diller and Scott Rudin's new ebook publishing company with the fun and talented Frances Coady, "would appear to be poised to compete with major publishers for major books." And: "Diller and Rudin, with their Hollywood roots, certainly have access to many of the great story-creators and storytellers." True, but they have two bad choices there in order to compete: explain the finances behind ebooks to authors who are used to being overpaid—"Hey, you get 50%! Of something between zero and infinity dollars!"—or, overpay those authors up front, and [...]
A wonderful new feature on Tumblr means that you can destroy peoples' lives! For just $5, you can "pin" something to people's "dashboard," and these "pinned posts" don't go away until you "unpin" them. It's basically MADE for trolls. (Also, do you think people born after 1990 know what a pushpin is?)
I have been beefing about the Times media desk a little recently, so it's definitely on me to say that today's story about the pending sale of Philadelphia's newspapers is AMAZING and BRUTAL. The likely buyers—who are being prevented from having any competing bidders in the sale—are former governor Ed Rendell, the owner of the Philly Flyers, a Democrat party bundler and a "parking lot and banking magnate." What could go wrong?
Profound congratulations to Slate for finally stabbing to death its creaky, ancient, and very angry CMS. Called "Gutenberg," it was nearly as old as its namesake. The first rule of Media Club is: never build your own CMS. Someone will build it for you. Speaking of! Now someone is going to build me a Chrome extension to do for New Slate what "Ochs" does for the Times' site.