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Fox News Is Scorned, and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Praised, At Media Awards

Seems there’s no way to avoid Fox News these days. Rolling Stone and New York Magazine have big stories about the network. And Fox was very much on the minds of the media elite who gathered in NYC today for the annual Mirror Awards, Syracuse University’s celebration of the year’s best reporting about the media. Eric Alterman, accepting the best commentary award for digital media, disturbed the air of industry self-congratulations by urging the audience to “stop treating Fox News as though it’s news. It’s not.” Applause was mixed with disapproving murmurs after he added that those who take Fox seriously “allow it to corrupt the news ecosystem.” The network was also central to the story that won the best single article award for traditional media, Gabriel Sherman’s “Chasing Fox” — a story for New York Magazine that examined how the News Corp-owned network has affected the journalism at CNN and MSNBC.

The most surprising winner was Milwaukee Magazine’s Mary Van de Kamp Nohl who won the best in-depth piece in traditional media. She showed how the publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel impoverished many of its employees by encouraging them to buy its stock — which lost nearly 98% of its value after the company went public in 2003. “They hired a PR director to handle me,” she said. “It’s a sad commentary on the priorities of this particular business.”

But moguls had nothing to fear at the gathering. The top honor, the Fred Dressler Achievement Award … Read More »

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Google Founders Will Get Film Treatment

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The founders of Facebook aren’t the only game-changing geeks poised to have their story told on a movie screen. Michael London’s Groundswell Productions has teamed with producer John Morris to acquire movie rights to the Ken Auletta book Googled: The End of the World As We Know it. They will use the book as the blueprint for a feature film that tells the story of Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and the fast rise of the juggernaut web business that made them billionaires.

The book was published last fall by Penguin. Auletta, the media columnist for The New Yorker, chronicled a business that grew into a search engine-driven octopus whose $20 billion in ad revenue last year was more than the major broadcast networks combined. CEO Eric Schmidt predicted to Auletta that Google will become the world’s first $100 billion media company.

While the Facebook founder story being told in the upcoming David Fincher-directed The Social Network revolves around a group of Harvard pals who squabbled in success, the Google narrative plays out differently. Google was formed by the duo while they were Stanford Ph.D students who had ideas on how to make a better search engine. They founded Google on principles like “You can make money without doing evil” and “You can be serious without a suit.” London … Read More »

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Camp Allen: What A Showbiz Snorefest!

campallen.JPGHollywood is jetting to the annual Allen & Co investment conference in Sun Valley starting today. I’ve just been emailed the in-room schedule by a participant, and this year showbiz is back in favor because of an “Entertainment Panel” consisting of Barry Diller, Peter Chernin, Jeff Katzenberg, and Bobby Kotick (the CEO/president of Activision Blizzard for those who are joystick challenged). Ken Auletta, the CEO pornmeister, moderates. No Friday night dildos. No sandwich boards for out-of-work moguls. Gawd, Camp Allen has become such a showbiz snorefest. Just look at the sked:

Also Wednesday:
– “Women In Technology” – Tom Brokaw moderating, with panelists: Ursula Burns and Anne Mulcahy from Xerox and Sheryl Sandberg for Facebook.

Thursday:
– “Modern Europe” – Tom Friedman moderating, with panelists: Lionel Barber from the Financial Times, Mathias Döpfner, and Niall FitzGerald from Thompson Reuters, Jean-Bernard Lévy from Vivendi
– “Social Internet’ – Erin Burnett of CNBC moderating with panelists: Marc Andreessen, Reid Hoffman and Mark Zuckerberg.
– Lunchtime Panel – “Understanding The Brain”

Friday:
– “Global Risk” – David Ignatius moderating, with panelists consisting of military dudes.
– “The Business of Running a City” — Charlie Rose moderating with panelists: Mike Bloomberg, Cory Booker, and Richard Daley.

Saturday:
– “The New Breed Of Companies” featuring Square, Pandora, thinged and groupon.
– Untitled Panel moderated by Anderson Cooper with panelists: Warren Buffet, and Melinda and Bill Gates.

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