In your practically-weekend Friday media column: Playboy could be yours, Michael Kinsley wants to fight newsweeklies, a new type of journalism that will fail, and the police department will run your local paper OR ELSE:
THE HEF is reportedly floating his Playboy Enterprises empire for sale, for a bargain-basement price of $300 million. That's way more than the company's actually worth—porn is free, nowadays—but THE HEF needs all the extra cash to continue paying his concubines until he collapses. Seriously, that's why he's asking for so much.
Michael Kinsley says that the new Newsweek redesign hasn't changed the fact that the magazine is a waste of time, which is true, and that Time is also a waste of time, which is true, but that Time is a waste of time mostly because they canned Michael Kinsley, which is false. The Historical Jesus is not mentioned.
All those projects that are hacked-to-the-bone online relaunches of local news outlets by refugees from folded newspapers? Those are all going to fail. We're calling it now. Sorry.
Ha, the San Diego paper sold recently, astoundingly, to a private equity firm. A big investor in that firm is the pension fund of LA police officers. Now the pension fund demands that the paper fire its editorial writers because they hate cops or something. It will only take a few more incidents like this for the acquisition of the San Diego paper to go down as the last great failed newspaper acquisition. It has a good chance!