In your surrogate Friday media column: Anderson Cooper tries on a studio audience, magazine ads continue to plummet, Crazy Rupert Murdoch has dealzzzz, Oprah buries Kitty Kelly's tell-all, and New York's most loathsome bromantic couple launch a "media scene" lunchspot.
- CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 is experimenting with a live studio audience for two "newscasts" later this month, according to TVNewser. This will presumably involve gathering the 75 or so people who routinely watch CNN at that hour into one room, where they will watch Cooper in person, thereby obviating the need to actually broadcast the event. No word on how they plan to fill out all the remaining seats.
- The total number of magazine ad pages sold fell by about 10% in the first quarter of 2010. That's down from the first quarter of 2009, which was itself down 26% against the previous year. Don't call it a comeback! Because it's not a comeback. You should probably call it an uncontrolled death spiral.
- According to the Financial Times, Rupert Murdoch is offering 80% discounts on full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and New York Post to coincide with the launch of the Journal's new New York Times-killing metro section. Advance teams of News Corp. paramilitaries will begin scaling the wall of the Times Building under cover of darkness early tomorrow morning; a full-scale assault will begin at dawn.
- Kitty Kelley tells the New York Times Magazine that Larry King, Barbara Walters, and Charlie Rose all refused to let her talk about her new Oprah Winfrey tell-all on their respective television shows, because Oprah has had lots of people killed.
- Dave Zinczenko and Dan Abrams, ever searching for ways to be more horrible together, are launching a restaurant called the Lion, because there just aren't enough overpriced eateries in Manhattan catering to people who think they're important because they work "in the media."
- The Film Forum is launching a month-long, 43-film series of movies about newspapers. Will there still be newspapers in a month, when the series is over? It doesn't really matter.
- Tribune Company gnome Sam Zell doesn't want you, or any pesky reporters, to know where his private jet is flying.