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Monday, October 17, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Nearly 14 percent of college graduates from the classes of 2006 through 2010 can’t find full-time work, and overall just 55.3 percent of people ages 16 to 29 have jobs. That’s the lowest percentage since World War II, as you might have heard an Occupy Wall Street protester point out. (Not coincidentally, one in five young adults now lives below the poverty line.) Almost a quarter more people ages 25 to 34—in other words, people who should be a few years into their independent lives—are living with their parents than at the beginning of the recession. Being young is supposed to mean you have the luxury of time. But in hard times, a few fallow years can become a lifetime drag on what you earn, sort of the opposite of compound interest. Because the average person grabs 70 percent of their total pay bumps during their first ten years in the workforce, according to a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, having stagnant or nonexistent ­wages during that period means you hit that springboard at a crawl. Economist Lisa Kahn explained to The Atlantic in 2010 that those who graduate into a recession are still earning an average of 10 percent less nearly two decades into their careers. In hard, paycheck-shrinking numbers, the salary lost over that stretch totals around $100,000. That works out to $490 or so less a month, money that could go, say, toward repaying student loans, which for the class of 2009 average $24,000. Those student loans (the responsible borrowing option!) have reportedly passed credit cards as the nation’s largest source of debt. This is not just a rotten moment to be young. It’s a putrid, stinking, several-months-old-stringy-goat-meat moment to be young." (NYMag)


"At nine o’clock on the morning of September 6th, Jill Abramson was riding the subway uptown from her Tribeca loft. It was her first day as executive editor of the New York Times, and also the first time in the paper’s hundred and sixty years that a woman’s name would appear at the top of the masthead. Abramson described herself as 'excited,' because of the history she was about to make, and 'a little nervous,' because she knew that many in the newsroom feared her. Abramson, who is fifty-seven, wore a white dress and a black cardigan with white flowers and red trim. Her usually pale complexion glowed from summer sun, but there were deep, dark lines under her eyes. As she entered the Times Building, she waved to the security officers and greeted colleagues in the elevator, something that she had usually been too preoccupied to do. The vast newsroom was quiet—the place does not really come alive until about ten-thirty—but there was a hint of apprehension. The few reporters at their pods silently watched their new boss as she walked by ... Once, it was preposterous to think that a woman could become the editor of the Times. When Eileen Shanahan, who went on to become a well-respected economics reporter, arrived for an interview with Clifton Daniel, the managing editor, in 1962, she hid her desire to become an editor. 'All I ever want is to be a reporter on the best newspaper in the world,' she told him. 'That’s good,' Daniel responded, as Shanahan told the story, 'because I can assure you no woman will ever be an editor at the New York Times.” (Ken Auletta)



"KELLY CUTRONE GETS ABOUT 625 EMAILS A DAY, she told Betabeat last week. The fashion publicist, book author and reality show star spends her frequent flights to L.A. slashing through notifications from Twitter and party promoters, missives from clients and employees of her P.R. agency People’s Revolution, and communiqués related to her various television gigs. 'I also have two BlackBerrys and two email addresses and they all forward shit everywhere, so sometimes I get the same email four times,' she said. 'I sometimes contemplate how much time I spend deleting junk emails, and how I’ll be thinking that when I’m on my deathbed, like how many hours or days that will eventually add up to, and it’ll sort of just make me want to kill myself while I’m dying. 'I really am haunted,' she added. 'Like this is like a really big part of my life' ... Those who work in media are especially saturated." (Betabeat)


"My friend, curator and art historian Charlie Scheips went over to the the Acquavella Gallery on East 79th Street on Saturday to see the Braque retrospective – the first in decades for the artist in New York. Charlie raved about it, saying it was stupendous and New York was very lucky to have it. On the current calendar, last Thursday night the Gerald Peters Gallery at 24 East 78th Street held a reception for artist Doris Downes and her show of more than 30 works entittled 'The Death of Medea by Belladonna While Dreaming of Orchids.' The show runs through November 11th. Ms. Downes is also the wife of the eminent art historian Robert Hughes whose new book 'Rome' will be in the stores in November. Also last Thursday night down at Denise Bibro Fine Art on 529 West 20th Street, there was a reception for artist Audrey Ushenko and her show: Fete Champetre: Recent Paintings. Ms. Ushenko’s solo exhibition, compositions of still life and social gatherings runs through November 12th." (NYSocialDiary)


"I'm reading an oral history of MTV. I find these off-putting, good for bathroom reading but disappointing as books, but maybe the hit and run nature of 'I Want My MTV' works because that's just like the station, it lacked depth, it was in your face, it was the opposite of classic rock. MTV changed music. I'm not talking about the music business, but the music itself. Suddenly how you looked was important. And you had to fit the genre the station was promoting. Which went from Brit art school to flash to rap in a decade. Suddenly, music was all about the heavily-promoted, the heavily-marketed, it was made by beautiful people for everyone, and the people who weren't beautiful, who'd lived a life of rejection, who considered music their own private playground, tuned out. It's like you discovered baseball when everybody was playing cricket, only your friends and you hit the diamond, then it went on TV and everybody was playing the game and no new sport could get traction. Either you were on MTV or you were history. Either you were monstrous or you were irrelevant. The Web is gonna change the kind of music we listen to. As a matter of fact, it already has. Lady Gaga is the first Web star. She wasn't broken by radio, but by videos online, she established that paradigm." (Bob lefsetz)


"Silicon Valley luminaries, politicians and celebrities were among the several hundred people at a private memorial service for late Apple Inc co-founder and tech visionary Steve Jobs on Sunday.
Guests arrived in dozens of black limousines and walked up a path lighted by hundreds of large white candles to Memorial Church in the heart of Stanford University's campus. The event was heavily patrolled by police and security and walled off to the public. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who took the helm of the world's largest technology corporation in August when the industry icon declared he could no longer lead Apple, walked up to the chapel with a man dressed in the garb of a Buddhist monk.Maria Shriver, estranged wife of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and U2 frontman Bono stopped to exchange words with others in the courtyard before heading in. Apple software chief Scott Forstall, former President Bill Clinton and News Corp Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller were also among those in attendance." (Reuters via Huffington Post)


"'We have the money,' Chrystia Freeland tells me one recent afternoon on the nineteenth-floor newsroom of Reuters’ gleaming Times Square tower. The spunky, Canadian-born editor of Reuters’ rapidly expanding website is sitting in her spartan office giving a sales pitch, pretending to try to hire me. 'What I want us to be, and I hope we’re becoming, is a great home for journalists. In this current belt-tightening environment, you often don’t feel a lot of love.' It’s a spiel Freeland has been using a lot these days. A few days before we meet, Freeland announced her latest recruits: Bethany McLean, of Vanity Fair, and veteran Times reporter Geraldine Fabrikant. The pair join a growing roster of marquee columnists and editors that includes Pulitzer Prize–winning Times reporters David Rohde and David Cay Johnston, former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, media critic Jack Shafer, former Times Sunday business editor Jim Impoco, and former Big Money editor James Ledbetter. Freeland’s inside-baseball hope is that high-profile hires will attract media attention and, with it, finally, actual readers. Freeland was herself a high-profile acquisition for Reuters. In 2010, she left the Financial Times after running the paper’s U.S. edition. 'I love the FT,' she says of her former employer. But that doesn’t mean she’s not enjoying scooping her alma mater. 'At the FT, the constant refrain was ‘Put up ­Reuters’ story while we do our version.’ [At Reuters] we are the original version!'" (NYMag)

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