Graydon's goodbye; succession planning; Disney's forecast; Facebook's trust problem; Jezebel sued; Lowry reviews "The Deuce"

By Brian Stelter and the CNN Media team. View this email in your browser!
Good evening from the Time Inc. building in lower Manhattan... IAB held its annual podcast upfront here... Scroll down for a recap...

Executive summary:

The new NFL season is underway... Media stocks sagged amid earnings concerns... Bob Iger talked about Disney's streaming service plans... Graydon Carter announced he is stepping down at the end of the year, and no one knows who will take his place... Lawmakers have a lot of questions for Facebook... Sean Spicer will be on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" next Wednesday...

Blunt warnings about Irma

Advanced forecasts and saturation news coverage have ensured that virtually everyone knows Hurricane Irma is coming. Floridians have had several days to decide whether to stay or evacuate. On Thursday's "AC360," Bill Weir interviewed a Key Largo man who plans to ride out Irma on his boat. He said others are planning to do the same. Anderson Cooper's guest a few minutes later was National Hurricane Center acting director Ed Rappaport. "I was surprised and very disappointed to hear" that man's plan, Rappaport said. "If the hurricane comes ashore as we're expecting... his chances, and the chances of the other dozen people he mentioned, to survive are low."

Network assignments

Lester Holt and David Muir anchored from Florida on Thursday evening... Jeff Glor (above) co-anchored "CBS Evening News" from there... Glor will continue to co-anchor CBS's morning and evening newscasts...

On Friday, CNN's Chris Cuomo, John Berman and Anderson Cooper will be anchoring from Florida...

The Weather Channel will have Jim Cantore in place in Miami on Friday, and Stephanie Abrams in Fort Lauderdale, plus many other reporters and hosts... A network spokesman says "20 hours a day of our coverage will be anchored from the field..."

This weekend...

CBS says it will provide special reports to stations "throughout the day" on Saturday and Sunday... ABC says it will have six hours worth of special coverage on Sunday, 6am til 12pm... The cablers will be wall-to-wall...

Spanish language coverage

Given the Spanish language population in South Florida, Univision often out-rates Miami's English language stations. WLTV plans to stay on the air with news coverage continuously at this point... the company's radio stations are simulcasting... and per Univision PR, the network's streaming service Univision NOW "is offering Florida residents a 1-month free account..."

Emergency plans in place

Both Univision and its main rival, Telemundo, are headquartered near Miami. "We have an emergency plan in place," a Telemundo rep told TheWrap. The network has sent some of its "crews, operations and shows" to other NBC-owned locations to "continue normal operations without affecting our air..."

Univision statement: "We plan to close our Miami facilities on Friday evening -- and allow only critical, essential members of our operations, security and news teams to remain onsite."

Meet Harvey and Irma 

NYT with the story of the day: "Harvey and Irma, Married 75 Years, Marvel at the Storms Bearing Their Names." How'd it come about? The reporter Jonah Engel Bromwich told me that editor Patrick LaForge "suggested that we try to find a couple." A "lucky combo of search terms" led him to the couple in Spokane...


Graydon's goodbye to Vanity Fair

"I want to leave while the magazine is on top," Graydon Carter told Michael Grynbaum in an exclusive interview about his decision to step down from Vanity Fair at the end of the year. "His post-Vanity Fair plans involve a six-month 'garden leave' (Mr. Carter is fond of Britishisms) and a rented home in Provence. He has 'the rough architecture' of a future project in mind, perhaps involving new forms of storytelling, but he demurred on the details."

What a week for the New York publishing scene. First the NY Daily News is sold to Tronc, and now Carter steps aside. Here's Tom Kludt's recap of the news...

Who will take over? "We're in no rush"

"There will be some great candidates both inside and outside the company," Steven Newhouse told the NYT. "We're in no rush." So, about that...

Janice Min seen as the front runner... but...

Dylan Byers emails: Janice Min is the likely front runner for this job. She has demonstrated success at The Hollywood Reporter and is a respected leader. Condé Nast leaders (including in-house power broker Anna Wintour) have been eyeing her for some time. She also has a strong grasp of the VF power centers, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley to New York. In that regard, it's a much more natural fit than some of the other contenders like, say, Adam Moss. Other names in the running: Joanna Coles and Dylan Jones.

Brian adds: I think Min is a natural fit too. But here's the contrarian take from a Conde Nast insider. Yes, Thursday's buzz inside the building focused on Min, but "Min's as expensive as Carter, and Conde Nast is looking to make major cuts... a factor that contributed to Carter's decision to depart..." Plus, Min has been seeking the job "long before today's announcement," the insider said, "winning her no endearment from Carter, who is likely to play a role in his successor's selection and is concerned about a wholesale bloodletting of employees who were loyal to him, many of them for decades..."

Disney's flat forecast

 -- Condolences to the Disney family: "A Disney employee was killed Thursday morning after she was struck by a car in front of the Burbank studio lot..." (THR)

 -- "A 30-year-old man was shot Thursday while washing windows at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel downtown office building." Police believe "the window washer and the Journal Sentinel building were not targeted..." (Journal Sentinel)

 -- Deadline Hollywood exec editor David Lieberman is leaving to become "an associate professor in the graduate media management program at The New School..." (Talking Biz News)

 -- NBC aired the first promo for "Megyn Kelly Today" on "Thursday Night Football..." (Twitter)
"Shares of Disney fell more than 4% after CEO Bob Iger said at a Bank of America media conference that the company's earnings were likely to be flat this year. Wall Street had previously expected a 3% increase in profit from a year ago," CNNMoney's Paul R. La Monica reports. $DIS closed down 4%.

Comcast, meanwhile, closed down 6% after the company telegraphed subscriber delays. Shares of other big channel owners and distributors also slipped... Here's La Monica's full story...
For the record, part one

Iger talks Disney streaming, movie industry

Frank Pallotta emails: "We're going to launch big, and we're going to launch hot." That's how Bob Iger described the plans for Disney's upcoming streaming services on Thursday. He said the products will include Marvel movies and "Star Wars." At the Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference, Iger was also asked about the sluggish state of the movie industry. His response? The industry has to focus on making moviegoing more of "an experience" in order to compete for people's time against the Netflixes of the world...

"Think about iTunes"

This stood out to me in Brooks Barnes' NYT story: Disney's ESPN streaming service will launch next spring, and "Iger said that Disney is hoping to provide a different buying model, at least eventually. Rather than charging one price for subscriptions, Disney's sports service may allow users granular control over what they pay to watch -- 'a season, a league, maybe a conference,' Mr. Iger said. 'Think about iTunes,' he hinted..."

Mickey's 90th

Frank adds: On the lighter side, Iger also spoke about the company's planned celebration for Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday next year. "There's a lot of debate whether we would celebrate Mickey's birthday," he said. "We didn't want to admit he was old."
For the record, part two
By Julia Waldow:

-- Steve Bannon told Charlie Rose that the media's portrayal of him as a street fighter is "accurate..." There's a lot of news coming out of this interview already... More will air on "60 Minutes..." (CBS)

 -- Here's Pew's new study about news use across social media platforms. 67% of Americans get at least some of their news on social media, up (only!) 5% since early 2016... (Pew)

 -- Phone hacking fallout continues: News Corp is avoiding a trial by settling 17 cases "related to allegations of criminality at the Sun..." (The Guardian)

 -- Speaking of the Murdoch empire... Tab Media, a news company geared toward college students and millennials, recently received funding from Rupert Murdoch and the Knight Foundation. Here's how the organization is faring so far... (NYT)

Why it's so hard to trust Facebook

Why won't Facebook show the public the propagandistic ads that a so-called Russian troll farm bought last year to target American voters? That lack of transparency is troubling to many observers. And the trust problem doesn't end there. For a business based on the concept of friendship, it's proving to be a hard company to trust. Here's my latest column...

Angry lawmakers want more from FB

CNN's Tom LoBianco reports: "Facebook officials spent hours Wednesday briefing House and Senate staffers digging into Russia's meddling in the US election, but left investigators more frustrated than before -- demanding more answers but unsure yet of how to get them..."

 -- New info: Sen. Mark Warner "noted that the ads directed users to 'like' certain Facebook groups, which could then be used to either influence votes or, more likely he said, depress voter turnout in certain areas..."

 -- BTW: Google says "we've seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms." Twitter says it will also brief government officials on this issue... 

July vs September

This is what Facebook told CNN in July: "We have seen no evidence that Russian actors bought ads on Facebook in connection with the election." Now: "The statement was accurate at the time we shared it, and our analysis suggests that the accounts and Pages we found may have operated out of Russia. We found this activity as part of our more recent internal review..."

 -- +1 to Ken Vogel's tweet: "Kudos to TIME, which reported IN MAY that there was evidence Russian agents bought Facebook ads to spread info..."

Recommended links and quotes

 -- WashPost's Margaret Sullivan asks, "Would Donald Trump be president today if Facebook didn't exist?" "Although there is a long list of reasons for his win, there's increasing reason to believe the answer is no..."
 -- Peter Hamby tweets: "The Russians had a better understanding of how to move the electorate than American campaign strategists wasting money on 30-second TV ads..."

 -- Via Politico: Fact-checkers enlisted by Facebook to combat "fake news" on the site say the company is withholding internal information that would allow them to more effectively do their jobs...
For the record, part three
 -- Megan Thomas emails: Featuring interviews with 50 women ranging from Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey to Serena Williams and Selena Gomez, Time debuted an exceptional new series Thursday about pioneering women of great accomplishment: "FIRSTS" (Time)

 -- Per THR, AT&T's John Stankey reiterated on Thursday "that the company doesn't plan to sell CNN..." (THR)

 -- CJR's Meg Dalton went deep on "Politico's ever-evolving media coverage..." (CJR)

Charles Harder targeting Jezebel

"In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York Supreme Court, a life coach named Greg Scherick claims that a 'false and defamatory article' published last year by Jezebel continues to bring him 'substantial reputational and economic harm,'" Tom Kludt reports. Scherick's lawyer Charles Harder was also Hulk Hogan's lawyer in the Gawker case.

 --> Jezebel's Thursday evening response: "This case is nothing more than another obvious attempt by Charles Harder to intimidate journalists.​.."

"Editorial uses Fox 32 staffers to prop up the boss"

Hadas Gold emails: A local Fox station in Chicago used its own employees to act as unidentified Illinois taxpayers, according to Chicago's premier media chronicler Robert Feder. Dennis Welsh, the GM of WFLD, starred in an editorial about the "insane unfunded pension debt" which included clips of people questioning the tax system of the state. A quick disclaimer at the bottom of screen noted that "Illinois Taxpayer enactments performed by Fox 32 employees." Feder reports that the clip did not involve Fox 32 news personnel, but that they are "not happy about it..."

Four (!) new CNN political analysts

Bloomberg's Margaret Talev, the Boston Globe's Matt Viser, The Atlantic's Molly Ball, and Sentinel editor/Playboy contributor Brian Karem are CNN's newest political analysts...
Trump and the media

Reality check about Trump's latest media critique

President Trump and the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, "shared a laugh at the media's expense" on Thursday. As recounted by Callum Borchers, Trump said "I'm very happy to know you have problems with the media also." Jake Tapper tweeted this reality check: "In Kuwait, journalists/critics of the Emir get jailed and expelled from the country." Details here via Freedom House...

Trump marveled at TV coverage of his budget deal

Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman emails: Politico's Josh Dawsey reported (and others have subsequently confirmed) that Trump sounded upbeat in calls Thursday morning, specifically mentioning positive TV coverage of the budget deal he struck with Democratic leaders.

 -- Unrelated, but related: "Turn Off The TV, Mr. President" is the title of Rich Lowry's latest column...

From the podcast upfront...

IAB says the podcast biz will bank about $220 million in revenue this year. The chatter at the group's podcast upfront on Thursday was about year-over-year growth... custom content and custom ads... and the demand for more detailed metrics. Hey, speaking of podcasts...

Here's this week's "Reliable" podcast

 >> Liberal media, "identity politics," right-wing rhetoric, and Fox News -- check out my podcast conversation with Mark Lilla, the author of "The Once and Future Liberal." He had some very interesting things to say about the "story" conservative media tells its audience, and why he believes liberals fail to tell a more compelling one. Subscribe to the "Reliable" podcast feed via iTunes...
For the record, part four
By Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman:

 -- Erik Wemple dissected the EPA v. AP episode in great detail, collecting new thoughts from EPA officials about their version of what happened... (WashPost)

 -- Print journalism was alive and well at Burning Man, where a newspaper war unfolded between BRC Weekly and the Black Rock Beacon... (WSJ)

 -- 38 freelancers are suing Ebony magazine to claim over $70,000 in what they say is owed compensation... (Chicago Tribune)

 -- On Wednesday, Scribd announced a special bundle deal for students, who will be able to get the NYT and Scribd's content at once. Thursday, Spotify and Hulu announced a partnership for a discounted bundle that will first be made available to college students as a single subscription plan for $4.99 a month... (TechCrunch)

"The NFL is back. Are you?"

Brian Lowry emails: CNN's Ahiza Garcia has a good set-up to the NFL season, where two key themes seem to be playing in the media: Will the ratings rebound after a drop last fall? And: To what extent are player protests by kneeling during the National Anthem and concern about brain injuries playing into that?

While a lot of emphasis has been put on the former, there has been some thoughtful commentary regarding the latter: Gavin Polone wrote a THR piece in which he seeks to rationalize his love for football with the fact that "TV's most popular sport kills its players," echoing sentiments expressed by George F. Will, who asked, "will informed spectators become queasy about deriving pleasure from an entertainment with such human costs?"

No summer doldrums for CJR

An Phung emails: Columbia Journalism Review had a record-setting August for site traffic. "And for the first time in months, Trump wasn't the main event for readers," CJR editor Kyle Pope tweeted. "It was Charlottesville."

Kyle declined to share the exact numbers, but he told me in an email Thursday that traffic last month was nearly what it was for the previous three Augusts combined. "I find this interesting as a (possible) sign that Trump fatigue, at least as it relates to a steady drip of stories about him and the media, could possibly be a thing, though it's also clear that his response to Charlottesville helped fuel the interest in what happened there," he told me..

 -- CJR's most-read story by a long shot was this one about how the Toledo Blade covered the Charlottesville attack from 550 miles away...
The entertainment desk

Lowry reviews "The Deuce"

Brian Lowry emails: David Simon's "The Wire" is rightly considered both a sobering examination of the war on drugs and one of TV's greatest-ever dramas. The producer is back in similar territory with "The Deuce," reteaming with George Pelecanos ("Treme") on a series that looks back at the birth of the porn industry in the 1970s, a topic with surprising relevance given its ready availability in the digital age. 

Read Lowry's full review here >>>

Feeling the pressure of Netflix...

Sandra Gonzalez emails: I really dug this TV exec survey from IndieWire. I thought the most interesting answer came from Showtime president David Nevins, who said he wants to "increase the pace of our new show introductions." He doesn't name Netflix by name, but it's safe to say the pace the streaming giant maintains (even those who watch TV professionally can barely keep up with them) is weighing on others in the industry...
For the record, part five
By Lisa Respers France:

 -- ABC announced the new "Bachelor" on Thursday and it was a bit of a surprise. He's a total #ThrowbackThursday and was reportedly supposed to be the "Bachelor" years ago. Viewers will get to see him in action when his season starts in January...

 -- George Michael's posthumous single is giving people "mixed feelings," and the famed producer of the song says it should...

 -- Hurricane Harvey was not going to stop Janet Jackson. The superstar singer is scheduled to perform in Houston on Saturday... and she's coming early to do something special for the city...

 -- Happy 50th birthday Leslie Jones! Seriously, how is she 50?!?!
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