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Billboard Buys Spin and Vibe in a Quest to 'Own the Topic of Music Online'

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 19:47:24 +0000


The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group is acquiring the music assets of SpinMedia, including Spin, Vibe and Stereogum, expanding Billboard's reach into the music news world.

"In recent years, we set out to own the topic of music online, and the acquisition of these incredible music assets helps us do just that," said Media Group co-president John Amato, adding that the deal is meant to "fully capture the value of millennials and music."

Once closed, the combined entity will reach 45 million monthly unique visitors. SpinMedia CEO Stephen Blackwell will be named chief strategy officer and report to Amato.

"Bringing in these historic brands under Billboard gives us the chance to serve passionate music audiences from rock to urban to pop in one massive portfolio," said Media Group co-president Janice Min.

A transaction price was not revealed.

Spin magazine was founded in 1985 by Bob Guccione Jr. Guccione sold the magazine in 1997 to Miller Publishing, which sold the title in 2006 to an entity that became Spin Media LLC, which in turn sold to Buzzmedia in 2012. The publication went fully digital later that year. SpinMedia, as it was then known, acquired Vibe in 2013. Vibe was founded by Quincy Jones 20 years earlier, and it's print product was shuttered in 2014.

SpinMedia also includes the sites Celebuzz, The Playlist and The Frisky, which had been posting stories as of this morning. It's not known what will become of those sites.

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Trump Tweets Temper Tantrum Over Vanity Fair Restaurant Review

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 16:00:01 +0000


Donald Trump took to Twitter to complain again. But that's not news.

Today, however, he took umbrage with Vanity Fair's recent review of his Trump Grill restaurant, written by Tina Nguyen.

The review, published Wednesday, was full of undeniably sick burns on the Trump Tower establishment. The author said that the "bathrooms transport diners to the experience of desperately searching for toilet paper at a Venezuelan grocery store" while linking to a Vice video on the Venezuelan food shortage crisis.

She also documented how the steak filet was "slumped to the side over the potatoes like a dead body inside a T-boned minivan" and that it "might not have even been a filet at all."

Trump, expectedly, did not take kindly to the review. He used it as an opportunity to poke Vanity Fair's editor, Graydon Carter, once more.

"I, of course, am part of the problem," humbly wrote Coppins.

Recently, Coppins was a part of BuzzFeed's groundbreaking dip into live news coverage as he reported from the Trump campaign's gathering on Election Day on Nov. 8.

And spending time with Trump so early in the campaign, though not well-received by Trump and his team, gave him a deeper understanding of how that particular machine worked.

The Atlantic's politics and policy reporting team has tripled in size over the last year and has increased traffic to that part of its website by 200 percent.

"I'm thrilled that McKay is joining our already stellar politics team," said Jeffery Goldberg, eic of The Atlantic. "He is one of the brightest and most talented young politics writers in America, and Atlantic readers will quickly come to rely on his reporting and analysis."

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Why The Washington Post's Jeff Bezos Is Adweek's Media Visionary of 2016

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:55:41 +0000

Few tech entrepreneurs have had the ability to imagine a future just beyond our reach, and to profoundly change how we live our lives. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are two such stars, and Jeff Bezos, our Media Visionary for 2016, joins this constellation. From ecommerce and streaming video to artificial intelligence, drone deliveries and publishing, look to Bezos to enable the Jetsons age. Amazon's founder and CEO has spent the past two decades building a global shopping site with an active user base of 304 million. "This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales," Bezos wrote shareholders in July. In the coming years, Bezos aims not only to expand the retail colossus but also his burgeoning Amazon Prime business. U.S. membership in Prime—which, for $99 per year, provides access to two-day shipping, streaming video and ad-free music, among other benefits—grew to 63 million in Q2 of this year, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal last week reported the possibility of a premium live sports package—negotiations over game rights with the NBA, NFL and MLB are said to be underway. Prime Video may soon rival Netflix on a global scale, with the streaming business set to launch in 200 countries and territories, including Canada and Australia. (It's currently available in the U.S., the U.K. and a handful of other countries.) As Bezos eyes expansion, he has made an equal commitment to producing the highest quality programming. Amazon Prime series reaped six Emmy Awards this fall, including two for comedy Transparent, also a Golden Globe winner. Many media watchers scratched their heads when, in 2013, Bezos paid $250 million for The Washington Post. But in that, too, Bezos casts his gaze toward the future. While he has stayed out of the newsroom, allowing editors and reporters to do their jobs, Bezos has invested heavily in the future of the 140-year-old Post, which is now billed as a "media and technology company." Bezos not only has spent money hiring journalists but also engineers. In mid-2015, the Post began using an enhanced content management system called Arc Publishing, which, among other things, flows seamlessly across platforms and optimizes headlines and articles, much in the way Amazon recommends the products consumers might want to buy. The move clearly paid off this fall. The Post's aggressive election coverage—which included breaking the story of the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape featuring Donald Trump making lewd comments about women—smashed traffic records, driving nearly 100 million visitors to the Post's site in October, per comScore. On the horizon, Bezos envisions a world driven by artificial intelligence. Already, he is doubling down with the release of Amazon Echo, a voice-activated speaker that connects to virtual assistant Alexa. The future is catching up, and it is Bezos who's poised to deliver it.  Check out the rest of this year's Hot List honorees: Digital Executive: Mark Zuckerberg Digital Creator: Casey Neistat Hottest Digital Brands and Products Hottest TV Shows and Networks TV Executive: FX's John Landgraf TV Creator: Full Frontal's Samantha Bee Hottest Magazines Magazine Executive Team: Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton Magazine Editor: New York's Adam Moss TV News Anchor: Fox News' Megyn Kelly This story first appeared in the November 28, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe. [...]

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Why More Women's Magazines Are Taking a Political Stand This Election

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 23:53:40 +0000

The 2016 presidential election has ushered in many "firsts," from the nomination of the first female major party candidate to the first time (at least in memory) that a presidential nominee has been recorded saying that he likes to "grab women by the pussy." In light of these firsts—and many, many others—a host of women's magazines not exactly known for taking sides in the political arena are now making their opinions heard loud and clear. In mid-October, Vogue officially came out in support of Hillary Clinton—the first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate in the magazine's history. "In the past, Vogue has made every effort to profile Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, but our editors recognized that this election required a different approach," a spokesperson for the magazine said, adding that "the response has been tremendous."   Vogue's endorsement may not come as a surprise, considering that Vogue has been actively covering Clinton for decades (she's been profiled in the magazine a total of six times) and its editor in chief Anna Wintour is a well-known Democratic fundraiser, but there's no question that its treatment of the current election cycle is more robust than ever before. Online, has dutifully followed the ups and downs of the political cycle with headlines like "Donald Trump Is Not an Aberration: Your Nightmare Election Recap" and "Hillary Clinton Awesomely Defended Abortion Rights at the Debate"—not what you might think of as standard Vogue fare—and teamed up with celebrities, models and designers on a series of videos encouraging readers to vote. Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive made her own first endorsement, also of Clinton, in the November editor's letter. "It never seemed at all appropriate before, but in this election cycle, I felt that the interests of young women were really clear," she said. "This is an election where, politics completely aside, one candidate has displayed respect for women and their interests and concerns, and the other has displayed a decades-long lack of respect for women. It felt like a very clear distinction to me, and as the election grew closer, I could see that our audience, for the most part, were with us." The magazine isn't new to politics—it has featured interviews with candidates in every election cycle since 2004—but has ramped up its coverage this year, launching an initiative called the 51 Million (for the 51 million women under 45 who are eligible to vote in this year's election) and partnering with Facebook to host events at both the RNC and DNC. While Glamour as a brand has not made an official endorsement, its coverage, especially online, has been steadfastly pro-Clinton—or, in the case of its conservative columnist S.E. Cupp, at least anti-Trump. Leive, who has interviewed both Republican and Democratic candidates in the past, firmly stands by her publication's objectivity. "We've looked at these two candidates, and one of them seems to us to be objectively better for women, and that's what many of our editors concluded," said Leive. "It's our job to represent the real discussions that are happening among women in this country, and at this moment, women in this country—especially young women—are not split 50-50 for Trump versus Clinton." One of the more politically outspoken voices in the women's magazine world, Hearst chief content officer and former Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles, welcomes the industry's political activism. "I don't find it surprising that other women's magazines have endorsed Hillary, and it's not because she's a woman; it's because she's clearly the most suitable, experienced candidate for the job, and it's also clear that despite what he says, the R[...]

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