In your mordant Thursday media column: Arianna Huffington offers concierge service, layoff rumors at Meredith (confirmed), Tina Brown on snark, the Guardian's digital future, and Greta Van Susteren's embarrassment of the day.
- Are you a celebrity who wants to have a "blog" on The Huffington Post, for some reason, but can't make time in your busy schedule to slap together some crappy rant about politics? Good news! Arianna is now talking up "the company's "blog concierge service," where busy celebs can dictate a blog post to an editor over the phone for publishing on the site." (Like this post, which is essentially a press release from Rob Lowe's lawyer.) Blog concierge service. The future of the media truly has become an amazing, democratic space.
- A tipster tells us that there were fairly major layoffs today at Meredith Corp. We've emailed them and we'll update if we hear back. If you know more, email me.
UPDATE: Meredith just sent over a press release saying the company is taking a $10 million charge in the 2011 fourth quarter&mdash:"The charge includes closing the ReadyMade brand due to ongoing weakness in the home category/marketplace, and other selected workforce reductions – for a total of approximately 75 positions companywide."
- Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, the journalist least likely to commit journalism, is now handing out "free advice" to Newt Gingrich about how he should deal with the media. This is perfectly in character. You keep on doing you, Greta.
- Earlier this year, we reported ongoing rumors that NY Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman was unhappy with NYDN editor Kevin Convey, and was looking around for his successor. In an online chat yesterday, Kevin Convey said, quote, "Like Twain, rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated." There you have it! We'll see.
- How does NewsBeastBoss Tina Brown deal with quote unquote snark on the internet? "Brown brushes off all the negative chatter, saying, among other things, that she does not read Web sites like Gawker, where the carping has been rather meanspirited." She doesn't pay any attention to it, allegedly! She has no idea that John Cook called her a "hagfish," and that is probably for the best, if you think about it.
- Guardian News & Media, the parent company of The Guardian newspaper, says it is "embarking on a major transformation that will see us change from a print-based organisation to one that is digital-first in philosophy and practice". [BRITISH PERIOD PLACEMENT ALERT] Though that is, to a certain extent, just corporate pap, it is also, to a certain extent, a meaningful statement, coming from the publisher of one of the world's great newspapers! Hear that definitiveness, in there? That's meaningful! Get on board, America's newspapers, or get left behind!