Monday, November 14, 2011

It's all hell and agony at the Daily B-Word

Today, The New York Times gives us a delicious account of the latest bloodletting -- this one high-level -- at the off-off-Broadway production that is Newsweek / The Daily Beast, starring Tina Brown and a cast of . . . dozens?

If this were sometime back in the day, and if we had the luxury of this production being some sort of experimental cinema, surely there would be some small ad in the back of The Village Voice going something like

Of course, the unabridged, unedited version of what the famed film critic wrote would have gone more like:

"You'll laugh! You'll laugh at your foolish notion that this piece of drivel was worth $2.95 of your hard-earned money. You'll cry! That's because there are no refunds at the box office. But this can be said with confidence: Tina Brown is something else. You just don't want to know what it is."
FOR THIS production -- sadly a real-life one -- there will be no Vincent Canby review. He died in 2000, leaving the dirty work of recounting the awful fate of a once-proud weekly and its beleaguered staff to a new-generation Times scribe, Jeremy W. Peters:

Ms. Brown cast the moves, which coincided with a meeting of the Newsweek-Daily Beast board on Monday, as a restructuring. Mr. Miller will run the operational side of the newsroom while Ms. Rosenthal will help steer the news report. Ms. Brown also recently hired an outside consultant, Lisa Benenson, to help with the restructuring of the magazine.

“I see Newsweek constantly evolving and improving,” Ms. Brown said in an interview on Monday. Describing what effect she hoped the changes would have, she added, “I think it will make it much more nimble.”

Monday’s departures were just the latest moves for a company that has experienced substantial upheaval in the last year. As Newsweek was put up for sale by The Washington Post Company and bought by the audio magnate Sidney Harman, its senior editing team was replaced and its business management turned over. Then in April, Mr. Harman died after a bout with leukemia and his wife, former Representative Jane Harman of California, assumed her husband’s responsibilities on the board.

Staff members at Newsweek and The Daily Beast said the environment there had become difficult in recent weeks. People who work there, who did not want to publicly criticize their bosses, say morale in the newsroom has sunk as Ms. Brown has had more frequent outbursts in front of her employees. “It’s all hell, it’s agony,” she has been overheard telling staff members about the quality of their work, according to one of them.
NOW WE KNOW why the 99 percent drinks.

It's because the 1 percent is bat-s*** crazy . . . and in charge.

No comments: