In your overflowing Wednesday media column: Sam Zell wakes up, alt-weekly censorship, Dan Abrams commiserates, Ben Affleck says words for some reason, Ann Moore doesn't expect to live long, and PRWeek goes monthly:
Sam Zell now admits that his hugely leveraged purchase and subsequent destruction of the now bankrupt Tribune Co. just before the definitive crash of the newspapers business was "a mistake." No shit! So was hiring Lee Abrams, dude. If it makes you feel any better, Sam, Chicago's homeless paper is doing bad too. And New York magazine can't even afford large font!
James Renner, a reporter for the alt-weekly Cleveland Scene, got fired, apparently for sass-talking the paper's owner after the owner decided to spike a story about an affair-having state senator. Now the writer says he's going to file a wrongful termination suit, and, more importantly, he sent the entire spiked story to a blog, which published the whole thing. Streisand effect!
Spotted at the Grey Gardens premiere in NYC last night: NYT publisher Pinch Sulzberger commiserating with PR man Dan Abrams! "They were all smiles and buddy-buddy touches," reports Choire Sicha, spy. He also overheard recently canned Fox gossip columnist Roger Friedman "telling people that the firing was entirely News Corp. honcho Rupert Murdoch's doing." Parties are a great place to spy!
This whole "the Boston Globe may be closed" situation: what does Ben Affleck think about it? The best actor to ever come out of Boston gave this actual quote to a Globe reporter: ""I fundamentally misunderstood what was going on. Boston.com has 5.6 million readers a month, and yet this hugely successful news gathering operation is going out of business." Which is immediately followed in the story by this parenthetical: "(For the record, Boston.com had 5.7 million unique visitors last month.)" Once again, Ben Affleck has ruined everything.
PR trade mag PRWeek (my former employer) is scrapping its weekly print edition and going monthly, starting in June. They'll keep putting out daily news and weekly newsletters online. No, they're not changing the name.