USA Today media columnist and lazy gadfly Michael Wolff has finally weighed in on BuzzFeed’s report about an Uber executive’s inflammatory comments at a private dinner attended by dozens of journalists. Wolff is quite unpleased with the minor role he played in embarrassing the $18 billion car-sharing company.
USA Today media critic and Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff is legally married to Cold Spring lawyer Alison Anthoine, from whom he famously separated in 2009 to pursue a then-28-year-old Vanity Fair intern named Victoria Floethe (pictured above with Wolff). While it’s not clear what happened with Wolff and Floethe—the pair were photographed at a Financial Times party in 2012—the former’s marriage remained intact, at least by the courts. No more.
In the wake of the news that Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce against Wendi Deng, people seem to be entering the above-referenced search terms into Google. Presumably, they're just trying to look up a column Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff wrote last year in the Guardian, headlined "Tony Blair and the Murdochs: A Family Affair," which includes this passage:
Last night Gawker founder Nick Denton hosted a little soiree at his Soho pad to welcome the American staff of the Guardian who recently moved their office to the neighborhood. And what is a party without a photo booth and a few boldfaced media names? We didn't save you any tea sandwiches, but you can at least enjoy the pictures.
October, 2010: lifelong media grenade-thrower Michael Wolff is appointed as the top editor of advertising industry trade magazine Adweek. April, 2011: the new Wolff-ified Adweek debuts. Our prediction at the time: "It'll go along just fine for a month or three, until the publisher starts getting calls from the advertisers, who say, 'I find all of that media reporting very interesting but by the way, we are in the advertising industry. Not the media. So I'm, you know, taking my business over to Ad Age, which really, let's be honest, covers this industry that I'm in (advertising) better than you guys do.' And that will be the end of the great media-reporting-heavy advertising trade magazine experiment!"
Yesterday, the already-shrunken world of media reporting lost its two grandest figures: Jim Romenesko, the quiet man who singlehandedly set the agenda, like a front page editor for all media news (semi-retiring, by choice); and Slate's Jack Shafer—America's most consistently fearless press critic (laid off). Step back. Look around at the smoldering carnage of the media critic landscape. Who's left to carry the "harassing one's own industry colleagues" torch? A brief look, below.