Aaron Sorkin's 'Newsroom' gets its first big pan; Arianna Huffington pitches new iPad mag to advertisers
11:17 am Jun. 18, 2012
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
Bad news for "The Newsroom"
Just short of a week before the premiere of "The Newsroom," Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama about a fictional cable-news program, an eviscerating review in this week's New Yorker is making the rounds.
Some choice moments from the review of the first four episodes, screened by critic Emily Nussbaum:
- In “The Newsroom,” clever people take turns admiring one another. They sing arias of facts. They aim to remake television news ... Their outrage is so inflamed that it amounts to a form of moral eczema—only it makes the viewer itch.
- After [the second episode], “The Newsroom” gets so bad so quickly that I found my jaw dropping. The third episode is lousy (and devolves into lectures that are chopped into montages). The fourth episode is the worst. There are six to go.
- The shows’ air of defiant intellectual superiority is rarely backed up by what’s inside—all those Wagnerian rants, fingers poked in chests, palms slammed on desks, and so on. In fact, “The Newsroom” treats the audience as though we were extremely stupid.
- 'The Newsroom' is the inverse of 'Veep': It's so naive it's cynical.
We'll get to see for ourselves: Capital contributor and cable news aficionado Glynnis MacNicol will be writing about "The Newsroom" every Monday, starting after the first episode airs on June 24. —J.P.
Arianna's pitch to 'blue-chip' advertisers
Arianna Huffington's spending some money to get people to subscribe to the weekly iPad magazine the online-news megalith introduced late last week.
"JOIN THE SLOW NEWS MOVEMENT" reads the text of an ad that appeared today in Advertising Age. I haven't seen the ad elsewhere, but its appearance in Ad Age makes me think the campaign is aimed more at advertisers than readers—showing them the magazine will put some muscle behind its push for subscribers, and that advertising there has the potential to reach a real audience.
Getting "blue-chip" advertisers who balk at cheap banner placements of the sort that are bread and butter for the Huffington Post's website is a major part of the plan for the magazine. —T.M.
In other news...
Warren Buffett on saving newspapers: “I do not have any secret sauce.” [The New York Times]
David Carr writes that the launch of Huffington was "one more signal in a week full of them that the velocity of transformation is growing." [The New York Times]
Jeremy Peters writes about how Anna Wintour "has emerged as ... an engaged politico and valuable asset to President Obama and his re-election effort." [The New York Times]
The new Wendi Murdoch. [The New York Times]
The future of MSNBC's 3 p.m. slot. [Dylan Byers/Politico]
Ousted New Republic editor Richard Just has landed at Newsweek. [Dylan Byers/Politico]
New U.S. managing editor at The Financial Times. [Jim Romenesko]
Sports Illustrated is trimming its editorial staff. [NYT/Media Decoder]
More by this author:
- Ahead of an avalanche, the 'Times' reminds us this new thing is theirs, and it's called a 'Snow Fall'
- What is this new Twitter 'Amplify,' you ask?