A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
John Lansing becomes CEO of NPR
NPR, the public radio giant that employs hundreds of journalists, is about to get a new chief executive.
John Lansing is taking over for outgoing CEO Jarl Mohn, who has led the organization for the past five years.
Mohn announced his plan to step down late last year, but the search for his successor took longer than expected. He will officially hand off to Lansing in mid-October.
Lansing is currently the head of the US Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA, Radio Free Europe, and other government-funded media outlets outside the United States.
Paul Haaga, chair of the NPR board, said Lansing’s “deep experience as a media industry executive and practicing journalist make him ideally suited to lead NPR into its next chapter.”
NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik spoke with Lansing, who said NPR and its member stations across the country provide “journalism as a public service, not tied to a profit motive.” Lansing said he defined NPR’s mission as “serving the public with information and an excellence and quality about it that makes it ‘must see’ on a variety of platforms.”
FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE
– At the time I’m sending this, 10pm ET, Dorian’s eyewall is very close to Cape Fear, NC. CNN.com has the latest updates here…
– And here’s the latest forecast track graphic from the National Hurricane Center. Those government forecasters are serving the public so well, even while being undermined by the president…
– CJR’s Amanda Darrach has a valuable look at “how Bahamians have covered Dorian…”
– Speaking of Pete, he’ll be on Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club” at 7am Friday. The interview will be on YouTube shortly after…
Behind bars: Important reporting by Lester Holt
NBC’s Lester Holt spent two nights behind bars in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a/k/a Angola, for a special report on criminal justice reform. The special will air on Friday’s “Dateline NBC.” It will re-air on MSNBC on Sunday, “along with a Holt-moderated town hall meeting from inside another well-known prison, New York’s Sing Sing,” The AP’s David Bauder reports…
Bloomberg Law’s puzzling directive to reporters
Oliver Darcy emails: What is going on over at Bloomberg Law? After the Labor Department reinstated Leif Olson, an official who had been wrongly accused by the outlet of anti-Semitism, Bloomberg Law published a story about his return to the agency.
But a source told me on Thursday that reporters at Bloomberg Law were instructed not to tweet the new story out. The new story was also not promoted by Bloomberg Law’s Twitter account. As many journalists pointed out on Twitter, Bloomberg Law continues to follow what can only be described as a textbook way NOT to handle an editorial failure.
Still no formal correction…
Darcy adds: The original Bloomberg Law article still remains up with no correction or apology to Olson. But, it was updated after Olson’s Labor Department reinstatement to remove from the headline the incorrect description of his comments as “anti-Semitic.” An editor’s note said, “In light of the subsequent events, we removed ‘Anti-Semitic’ from the headline and clarified Olson’s reference to those tropes.” I checked in with Bloomberg Law on Thursday, but reps would not comment on the record…
FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO
– Morgan Hertzan is Viceland’s new EVP and GM. Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports the hire is “part of Viceland’s shift from entertainment to news programming and its integration with Vice News…” (Deadline)
– “Meredith Corp. suffered its worst stock decline since 1986 after the publisher and broadcaster delivered a disappointing forecast and acknowledged that its $1.8 billion acquisition of Time Inc. isn’t delivering the payoff it wanted…” (Bloomberg)
– Best read of the day: Charlotte Cowles’ Q&A with Kara Swisher… (The Cut)
Now here’s an idea…
Poynter’s Rick Edmonds writes about “a novel idea for saving serious journalism: Give every adult American $50, via an income tax checkoff, to donate to a favorite news outlet.” He says “this is not the work of the proverbial crackpot blogger in her pajamas but rather a white paper from a group of seven well-credentialed academics, led by Guy Rolnik of the Stigler Center of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.” Far-fetched? Probably. But “there is precedent for the scheme, cited by the ad hoc group as a model: For the last two local election cycles, Seattle has given citizens tax-funded vouchers to pass on as campaign contributions to a city candidate of their choice…”
The Atlantic’s paywall is up
Kerry Flynn has the details: Non-subscribers will only get free access to five articles per month. The digital subscription is $49.99 per year while print and digital together is $59.99. For $100 per year, subscribers receive other benefits like ad-free web browsing and podcasts.
The Atlantic’s EIC Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in the announcement, “More than 30 million people each month visit our website, read our print magazine, watch our documentaries, listen to our podcasts, and attend our live events. But our ambitions are still growing. Our aim is nothing less than to be a standard-bearer for truth in an age of disinformation.”
Amazon’s big error
Kerry Flynn writes: Amazon accidentally broke the embargo on Margaret Atwood’s new book “The Testament,” a sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The online-book-seller-turned-tech-behemoth shipped the book to Amazon customers who preordered it this week even though the release date is September 10.
Publishers Weekly reported how independent booksellers were quite annoyed with Amazon, categorizing it as just another hit Amazon has taken on their businesses. An Amazon spokesperson said it was a “technical error.” More in my story here…
Speaking of “The Testaments…”
Here is Alexandra Alter’s new interview with Atwood, who says the new novel “has more closure.”
She points out that, from a political point of view, “the desired outcome of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ would have been that it would fade into obscurity as a period piece, so that my dire warnings would not prove to be correct. That’s not the turn that history has taken.”
Atwood, 79, also rules out another book about Gilead, to make it a trilogy, saying “I’m too old.” She’s working on a collection of poems now…
FOR THE RECORD, PART THREE
– The rollout for “She Said:” Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey will be on the “Today” show on Monday and “The Late Show” on Tuesday…
– Fox’s Shannon Bream has the first TV interview with Neil Gorsuch ahead of his book launch next Tuesday. The interview will air Sunday at 8pm on Fox…
– Azeen Ghorayshi has been promoted to science editor at BuzzFeed, where she’s worked since 2015 (Twitter)