In your finally Friday media column: Freakonomics is taking its bazillion readers away from the NYT, layoffs loom at the NY Daily News, Hollywood media wars aren't catty enough for Vanity Fair, and PBS must have news on the weekend.
- The Freakonomics blog, which has been hosted on NYtimes.com since 2007, is going back to being independent. Jeff Bercovici gets his hands on an email saying the site's backers are "confident in the site's ability to attract millions of visitors almost immediately." Well, confidence is good! We request that Freakonomics write an irreverent, statistic-laden post on their own traffic numbers a week after they launch.
- Keith Kelly says that layoffs are coming down soon at the New York Daily News, which could precede "dropping edit pages dedicated to Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx." Those are the last places in the city where people read newspapers though! This will not end well.
- Vanity Fair ordered up a 5,000-word story on the ongoing LA media competition between Nikki Finke, Sharon Waxman, and Janice Min; but Keith Kelly says they spiked the piece because it didn't have enough "catfight." Hey, media competitions are, at their core, very boring. You should know that as well as anyone, Graydon Carter.
- PBS' ombudsman, by definition the most serious man in all of journalism, is very upset that PBS doesn't carry its regular news coverage on the weekend. It's an "abdication of duty," in fact! Where else will Americans learn about news that happens on the weekend?