Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer Break Up; The Daily Free Until March 21
The joke possibilities are endless, but we'll leave it to Jay Leno: fact is, Kathleen Parker has departed the show half named after her, CNN's Parker Spitzer, after only four, under-performing months. Starting on Monday, the show will be called In The Arena, "an ensemble program," which still will not beat Fox News or MSNBC (or probably HLN -- did you know there was a channel called HLN?) in the 8 p.m. time-slot. Eliot Spitzer, our disgraced former governor, is still employed, for now. More on the split inside a rainy Friday edition of Press Clips, our daily media round-up. Plus, saying goodbye to the old New York Times Magazine, an update on The Daily's price and teasers from a movie script about Rupert Murdoch.
Parker Out: The news started to trickle out this morning with a Page Six item that alleged Spitzer had been telling friends that Parker, the show's conservative co-host, "will be gone within a week." According to the report, "Spitzer thinks she's holding him back. The ratings surged when she was out sick, and he anchored alone during the turmoil in Egypt. Only very few anchors have the power to wipe out a co-host, and Spitzer thinks he has it."
There was speculation about Spitzer getting his own show (probably indicating which side leaked the info to Page Six in the first place), but the New York Times is reporting now that CNN has been clear that they are "not turning the 8 p.m. hour into The Eliot Spitzer Show." Surely that could be out of respect to Parker, who said in a statement that she has "decided to return to a schedule that will allow me to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings." For his part, Spitzer called Parker a "teammate" and said that he would "continue to be a huge fan of the wisdom that jumps from her written work and the wit, charm and insight she brings to all that she does."
first reported that Parker was gone today (Update: The Daily's gossip page, Flash, had Parker out first thing this morning), and noted that while she was out sick, the show "saw a 68 percent jump in 25-54-year-old viewers." Even still, barely good enough to see Bill O'Reilly in the distance.
The Daily, Still Free: We wondered Wednesday how the first-ever iPad (and soon to be Android) newspaper would fare once it costs $.99 a week, but it's going to be a while longer. The Daily announced today that a new version of the app is now available for download and will be free until March 21. And yet yesterday the thing was listed as the "top grossing" iPad app, as in money, even above Angry Birds. So that's confusing!
The New NYT Magazine: This ain't your great aunt's New York Times Magazine. Hugo Lindgren's redesign of the Paper of Record's glossy insert is all set to debut next weekend, leaving this weekend's issue as the last to feature columns like Ben Zimmer's "On Language" and Virginia Heffernan's "The Medium." (Deborah Solomon has already vacated "Questions For"; Times executive editor Bill Keller will have a space in the new rag and Ariel Kaminer has been named the replacement Ethicist, following Randy Cohen.)
Heffernan dedicates her final article to the Kindle Singles series, long-form narrative nonfiction that can be bought like an e-book, but really the column is something of a eulogy for Heffernan's relationship with the internet. "The Web giveth, and the Web taketh away," she writes. "For nearly four years, this column -- which ends today -- has chronicled what has been lost and gained by the rapid digitization of virtually all cultural artifacts and experiences." Save the reprieve of the e-reader Singles, the web is at an all-time low, she argues:
Anyone who's honest with herself knows that the Web stopped being a great place for consumers of culture a year or two ago. You think you're reading the Web these days, but it's reading you -- gathering data on you, trying to sell you stuff, pushing you to other links. On the Web, reading is shopping. And sometimes you don't want to shop.
Heffernan's column will sort of be replaced by a column, um, about the internet, "loosely speaking."
"As his family gathers for his birthday party, Rupert Murdoch tries to convince his elder children to alter the family trust so that his two youngest children by his newest wife will have voting rights in the company."
We talked about the real life relationship between Murdoch, his children and his empire yesterday. But this is one film we may very well never see, considering that Rupert Murdoch owns one of the Big Six, though that doesn't mean it's not fun to read about.
Citizen Journalism: An internet commenter on a newspaper website broke the news that Georgia Rep. Paul Broun laughed when someone asked him, "Who's going to shoot Obama?" See! Who needs reporters?