Editor exodus; what Facebook doesn't know; Trump's confusing comments; Noah renews; ESPN update; podcast with Jim Rutenberg


By Brian Stelter and the CNN Media team. View this email in your browser!
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Exec summary: President Trump was chatty today... There's new intel about Facebook and the election... Hillary Clinton is weighing in... Time mag has a new editor... Glamour mag needs a new editor... Verizon is eyeing acquisitions for Oath... Oh, and check out our podcast with Jim Rutenberg...

A magazine exodus?

On Wednesday night Graydon Carter's senior staff toasted him at the Waverly Inn. In the week since Carter announced plans to step down from Vanity Fair, Robbie Myers stepped down from Elle and Nancy Gibbs announced her exit from Time. On Thursday, a fourth top magazine editor joined them: Glamour EIC Cindi Leive.

So what's going on? Well it's not a coordinated exodus. But it's not entirely a coincidence either. The transition to digital has been grueling. Major publishers have been making hard choices about cuts. And analysts expect even more cost-cutting in the near future. All four of these editors remember "the golden age of magazines," as one publishing industry exec said to me. There have been drastic changes to budgets, bottom lines and expectations, and "that takes a toll."

Here's my column about the end-of-a-very-specific-era of Manhattan media...

What Leive told the NYT

While giving the scoop about her departure to the NYT's Katie Rosman, she referenced the other recent announcements and said, "That's a pretty nice outgoing class to be in, I'll take it. We can all hang out in the corner booth somewhere."

The new editor of Time is...

Tom Kludt emails: Edward Felsenthal has been Time's digital editor since 2013, and in that time, the storied magazine has seen a flowering of its output across platforms. Now he's taking over for EIC Nancy Gibbs. When I spoke to him on Thursday, Felsenthal noted that, only four years ago, Time was "essentially a weekly magazine with a relatively small site." That's changed now -- and yet, Time's chief offering remains in print. "The cover of Time magazine is incredibly valuable real estate," Felsenthal said. "The power of that cover to drive the conversation and to drive our coverage across all platforms is really valuable." Read Tom's full story here...
 -- The letter from the editor page in this week's Time was replaced by a tribute to Gibbs from the Time staff. It says "we plan to make her write many more cover stories..."

 -- Programming note: Nancy Gibbs will be on Sunday's "Reliable Sources..."
FACEBOOK AND THE 2016 ELECTION

What Facebook doesn't know

How extensive was Russia's use of Facebook to meddle with the presidential election? Even Facebook doesn't know. That's what Dylan Byers reported in this must-read story on Thursday.

One week after the company disclosed that it had sold $100,000 worth of ads to a Russian troll farm during the 2016 election, Facebook is still not sure whether pro-Kremlin groups may have made other ad buys intended to influence American politics that it simply hasn't discovered yet, sources with knowledge of the matter told Dylan.

These sources said it is entirely possible that unidentified ad buys may still exist on the social media network today.
Dylan's bottom line
Dylan emails: It's important to remember that Facebook doesn't know what it doesn't know. There are ad buys that may have been so sophisticated -- routed through other countries, paid for with other currencies -- that they have escaped detection...
Clinton says FB needs to "own up"
Cheddar's J.D. Durkin flagged this for me -- Hillary Clinton, speaking with Rachel Maddow on Thursday night, said FB needs to "own up" to its role in the "fake news" ecosystem. "They have a long way to go before they get to where they need to be, in my opinion." She added: "Other tech companies," too. I think FB was expecting HRC to weigh in at some point this week...

Today's other big Facebook stories

 -- ProPublica got a lot of attention for this story: "Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach 'Jew Haters.'" It exposed flaws in FB's algorithmic ad-targeting system...

 -- After ProPublica inquired, "Facebook removed several anti-Semitic ad categories and promised to improve monitoring..."

 -- Then Slate followed up: "In minutes, Slate found 18 similarly hateful categories on FB's targeting tool..."

Podcast: Rutenberg talks about RT, Sputnik and social media

This week's guest on our mid-week "Reliable Sources" podcast is Jim Rutenberg, whose investigation into RT, Sputnik and Russia's "21st century Informational War machine" is on the cover of this weekend's NYT Mag. I asked him why he wanted to probe this subject, what he found at RT HQ, and what U.S. officials are trying to do about Russian media. Here's the iTunes page for the podcast... and here's a web link for other podcast platforms...

New ESPN/Jemele Hill controversy

Late Wednesday night, Jemele Hill expressed regret for painting ESPN "in an unfair light," and ESPN said it accepted her apology. Hill did not apologize for calling POTUS a white supremacist. A settled issue? No, maybe not. On Thursday evening ThinkProgress sports reporter Lindsay Gibbs wrote that "ESPN originally tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening," but co-host Michael Smith "refused to do the show without her." Gibbs cited "two sources familiar with the situation." She said the producers also "reached out to two other black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them to serve as fill-ins for the show -- but Eaves and Duncan did not agree to take the place of Hill and Smith."

 --> This story lit up the Twittersphere. Wesley Lowery's reaction: "Note how Jemele's black colleagues -- from her co-host to those asked to fill in for her (standing to benefit) -- had her back. Remember that..."

"It never got to the point of asking anyone else"

ESPN is strongly denying this allegation. "We never asked any other anchors to do last night's show. Period," spokesman Josh Krulewitz said.

Later in the day, a source told me "it never got to the point of asking anyone else," but acknowledged that it was a "very fluid situation" on Wednesday. Think about it -- people inside and outside the network were openly wondering if Hill was going to lose her job. A cautious producer might have tried to come up with a backup plan for "SC6." The source added: "People hear bits and pieces, and folks with an ounce of what really happened think they mixed the whole drink, but what they really have is just an ounce..."
 -- @SportsMediaWatch tweets some free advice to ESPN: "The only result of trying to appease the people who *want to hate you* is that you will only create more enemies..."

 -- Late night TV ๐Ÿ”Œ: I'll be talking about this on "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon" around 11:30pm ET...
For the record, part one
 -- The British government made it official on Thursday: The review of the Fox-Sky deal will take six more months. Charles Riley has a full report here... (CNNMoney)

 -- A bunch of us -- Ta-Nehisi Coates, Andrew Rossi, Amy Chozick, Jake Tapper, Sydney Ember, Natalie Kitroeff, many others -- talked to Mikaela Lefrak about how David Carr mentored us. Check out the finished product... (The Atlantic)

 -- Happy fifth "CBS This Morning" anniversary to Norah O'Donnell... She and Gayle King are featured in this Marie Claire piece about the show's success... (Marie Claire)

Trevor Noah + "The Daily Show" through 2022

Yesterday I mentioned that Viacom is feeling "more and more confident about Trevor Noah." Today, more proof. Frank Pallotta emails:

Trevor Noah will be your "Daily Show" host until 2022. That's the big commitment Comedy Central made Thursday, keeping Noah at the anchor desk through the next five years or, as he put it, "until Kim Jong Un annihilates us all -- whichever one comes first."

Viacom lost Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Samantha Bee. It didn't want to lose Noah now. BTW, Noah will be adding annual year-end specials to his workload... Details here...

Today at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference:

The ever-quotable Moonves

THR's headline: "CBS Chief Leslie Moonves Takes Shots at Disney, ESPN, Fox at Investor Conference." Oh yeah, Moonves came to play. Read all about it here...

Verizon + who?

Earlier this week I asked: "Verizon + who?" But according to CEO Lowell McAdam, "Verizon is no longer exploring acquisitions of a big cable giant to help grow demand for its wireless data and content products," THR's Etan Vlessing reports. So -- no deal with Charter or Disney or Comcast? "We've moved on from those discussions," McAdam said Thursday. "Verizon is now looking beyond cable companies to purchase optical fiber and related hardware to build out its wireless network..."

Who's selling to Oath?

More from Vlessing's story: "Verizon is, however, eyeing content acquisitions to feed its Oath subsidiary, created after the telecom giant acquired Yahoo and put it together with AOL. 'I wouldn't be surprised if sometime before the end of September you hear about one of them,' McAdam told investors about coming content deals, without giving details..."
For the record, part two
 -- A new category at the Webby Awards this year: Media Company of the Year. It'll honor the company "with the most Webby wins across editorial and branded content categories..." (Webby Awards)

 -- "UTA has named news agent Peter Goldberg its new Head of UTA News and Broadcasting." Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper "will still manage their client rosters and continue to play a key role at UTA..." (Deadline)

 -- Erik Wemple's latest: Daily Caller reporter Chuck Ross has renounced "racist and misogynistic writings" from his past... (WashPost)

Ben Mullin to WSJ!

Ben Mullin, who has been a standout reporter at Poynter for the past three years, is moving to NYC... and joining the WSJ... covering digital media and advertising. He tweeted out the news on Thursday and thanked his former colleagues at Poynter...

 -- From earlier this week: "Media Reporters Are Making Moves"
Trump and the media

Trump fielded lots and lots of Q's on Thursday

USA Today's Gregory Korte tweets: "Trump answered reporter questions at least five separate times today, including 15-minute Air Force One gaggle. Did Obama ever do this?"

 -- Former Obama comms director Dan Pfeiffer responded: "Assessing a President based on the frequency not the accuracy of their interactions with the media seems like a shortsighted approach..."

...And he misspoke about hurricanes

Was the president serious about this? When I first saw folks tweeting the quote, I went to look it up because I didn't think it was real. But it was. 

"In Florida you got hit with the strongest winds ever recorded," Trump said at a White House reception Thursday night after returning from a tour of areas hard hit by Irma. "It actually hit the Keys," he said, "with a -- it was a Category 5. I never even knew a Category 5 existed. And they suffered greatly."

He owned Mar-a-Lago but didn't know about Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale? Hard to believe. FWIW, Irma was not a Category 5 when it hit the Keys, it was a Category 4. Two weeks ago, POTUS tweeted about a "Class 3" hurricane, Harvey, when he meant "Category 3..."

The "92%" mystery

While we're on the subject of presidential statements or misstatements, Trump delivered this head-scratcher while describing his dramatic talks with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. "Mitch is on board, Paul Ryan's on board. We all feel -- look, 92% of the people agree on DACA -- but what we want is very, very powerful border security, okay?" Where'd that 92% figure come from? I couldn't figure it out.

Speaking of DACA...

Pro-Trump media types are incensed 

Oliver Darcy emails: Is this a turning point? That's what I've been pondering as members of the pro-Trump media lace into the president for seemingly abandoning the hardline immigration stance he campaigned on. Since Wednesday night, Breitbart's homepage has read like an anti-Trump screed, hammering Trump with brutal headlines, one of which went as far as to compare him to Hillary Clinton. Ann Coulter, who back in the day wrote the book "In Trump We Trust," has been railing against Trump all day on Twitter. This was Tucker Carlson's message to Trump on Thursday night: "If the president doesn't get funding for a wall now, it will never be built. Period."

 >> That's not to say that Trump isn't (still) without his supporters. Shocking absolutely no one, Sean Hannity continued to contort himself into any position necessary to defend the president...

 >> Rush Limbaugh, meanwhile, mocked CNN for suggesting Trump might be in hot water with his base: "I'll bet you there are a lot of Trump people out there who say, 'If he has to work with Democrats to get what he wants done, then so be it...'"

 >> Read Oliver's full story here...

ICYMI: Spicer on Kimmel

Sean Spicer did what the boss told him to do. That's basically what he said on Jimmy Kimmel's show Wednesday night. Spicer didn't reveal a whole lot, but he subtly confirmed the reports that POTUS watched the press briefings and opined on Spicer's style, performance, etc. "It's my job to speak on his behalf," Spicer said. "So if you're not speaking in the way that he wants, obviously he wanted to make sure he corrected that." Frank Pallotta has a full recap of the interview here...
For the record, part three
By Julia Waldow:

-- The WashPost is developing its own scripted comedy videos -- think political satires and "columnists read your hate mail" segments -- to provide "new entry points to the news..." (NiemanLab)

-- BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman rebuts a new study questioning the impact of "fake news" flags on Facebook: "Any link rated false by third party checkers automatically has its reach reduced on Facebook. People can share it all they want... but the platform prevents it from going viral as a result of an algorithmic push..." (BuzzFeed)

-- Speaking of FB: It has developed a "snooze" button that lets you unfollow friends, pages, or groups for periods of 24 hours, a week, or 30 days. Smart! (TechCrunch)

-- A new Google News feature called "Community Updates" keeps users informed about their own backyards by emphasizing news at the local and neighborhood level... (Poynter)
The entertainment desk

Lowry reviews "Mother!"

Brian Lowry emails: Darren Aronofsky issued a director's statement with "Mother!," saying the movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, "poured out" of him as part of a "primordial soup of angst and helplessness" thanks to the craziness of the times. All of that turns out to be a recipe for self-indulgence, and a movie that represents a thorny marketing challenge for Paramount... Read the rest here...

Buzziest entertainment story of the day

Lisa Respers France emails: Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa are the ultimate in #friendshipgoals. Gomez revealed that her BFF Raisa donated a kidney to her...

Lowry says this is almost the definition of "too much TV..."

Brian Lowry emails: Netflix's "American Vandal" is getting reasonably good reviews -- from the few critics who bothered -- but the whole premise seems too precious and narrow: an eight-episode parody of the true-crime genre represented by docu-series like "Making a Murderer," only here, about vandalism at a high school. That's almost the definition of "too much TV." Meanwhile, FX is garnering well-deserved raves for the second season of "Better Things," the dry comedy starring Pamela Adlon, who produces the show with Louis C.K. Read more...
For the record, part four
By Lisa Respers France:

 -- Larry King is speaking out about his recent lung cancer surgery and urging people to get chest X-rays...

 -- The "This Is Us" cast is a big, ole family... and just like your relatives, they can't keep a secret. Mandy Moore's co-stars have been discussing her engagement before she's publicly confirmed it...

 -- Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo are expecting baby #2...

 -- Harrison Ford has broken his silence about the late Carrie Fisher...
What do you think?
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