The first time The Observer met Mandy Stadtmiller at her Chelsea studio, the contents of her trash were strewn all over the floor. While Ms. Stadtmiller had been at a friend’s art opening, Samsung, her rescued pit bull, had thwarted his owner’s quickie attempt to clean up. Before we could examine the contents of the mess, Ms. Stadtmiller ushered us into the hallway to wait while she located a trash bag in a cabinet next to a pair of high heels and picked up the refuse.
Inside, her crystal collection sat on a shelf above a bin of bras. A couple of stuffed animals, inspirational sayings and books with titles like Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind decorated the room. A file cabinet served as a combination bedside and dining room table next to a double bed with a plush green velvet headboard.
off the record
It didn’t feel much like winter.
It was balmy: 60 degrees and sunny. The holiday decorations felt out of place in the mild breeze. But the frost was creeping in—media winter (as foreshadowed in October by the fall of Newsweek) was in full swing by 9 a.m. on the first Monday in December.
First came the announcement that The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s foray into iPad journalism, was being shuttered after less than two years and many millions of dollars. The news wasn’t wholly unexpected. A third of the staff had been laid off over the summer, and a sense of doom and gloom had hung over the ninth floor of News Corp. HQ ever since. It was a matter of when, not if, the tablet app would disband. But, as with any death watch, just because it’s expected doesn’t make it any less humbling.
Mergers and Acquisitions
HarperCollins’s parent company News Corp. is interested in acquiring Simon & Schuster from CBS, according to The Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by News Corp.
The prospect of a merger between Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins doesn’t come as a surprise to publishing insiders.
Meeting the Press
So The Journal announced its new Friday real estate section today. You can read all about it in the release below. What struck us though, was the name. “Mansion” it will be called.
We couldn’t help but think it lacked a certain sophistication (say the people who brought you VelvetRoper.com), so herewith are some suggestions: Read More
It’s odd to see chain-email forwards in 2012; they seem like a relic of the late ’90s, when email was still the best way to share information with a mass of people one knew (as opposed to, say, Facebook in 2012). More often than not, they seemed intent on propagating something, whether it was a belief, a superstition or an awful joke that parents find funny.
We found ourselves on the receiving end of one today, however, that struck a chord of curiosity from one person who sent it on.
THE CONTINUED ADVENTURES OF RUPERT MURDOCH ON TWITTER
News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch sometimes thinks “out loud” on his Twitter feed, pondering recent news and issuing his own opinions. Today, while musing on the split between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Mr. Murdoch dropped this doozy:
Rupert Murdoch didn’t overlook The Wall Street Journal in his publicity blitz to promote News Corp.’s plan to split up into two publicly traded companies, one for newspapers and publishing, one for television and entertainment.
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch confirmed reports that he will divide the corporation into two companies—one for television and entertainment, one for newspapers and publishing—in a message to employees today.
The lengthy memo, obtained by the The New York Times, touches on everything from the First Amendment to the iPad but does not mention the ongoing phone-hacking and bribery scandal in the UK. Some think the restructuring, on which they’ll reportedly be advised by Goldman Sachs, is an attempt to protect top management from this or future messes.
News Corp. Meltdown
Tony Blair’s tanned and confident appearance before the UK government’s media ethics probe today was briefly interrupted when a heckler entered the proceedings and accused the former prime minister of profiting off the Iraq war through a contract with JP Morgan.
Want to see how Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers re-write Rupert Murdoch stories in real time? First, three quick thing to keep in mind:
- The Times of London is a Times Newspapers-owned newspaper.
- Times Newspapers is a subsidiary of News International.
- Which is a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.