MediaFile

Crunch theater: blogger’s VC fund creates media spectacle

The tech blogosphere was on fire on Friday with a flood of constantly-updated news reports and a barrage of tweets dissecting every angle of the story.

A new iPhone? Details of the long-awaited Facebook IPO?

Not quite. The object of fascination was the preceding day’s news that high-profile tech blogger Michael Arrington has launched a $20 million venture capital fund.

The move instantly triggered a debate about the inherent conflict of an influential blog editor investing in many of the start-ups that would presumably be covered by TechCrunch — a must-read in the tech crowd.

But things only got more confusing as Arrington’s role at TechCrunch and parent company AOL appeared to undergo a series of metamorphoses as each hour passed.

AOL, which acquired TechCrunch in September 2010 and is also an investor in Arrington’s new CrunchFund venture fund, initially said Arrington would become “founding editor” and that AOL would look for a new managing editor.

Glam Media rolls out mobile ad platform

Glam Media is rolling out a mobile advertising platform for its stable of website properties and for other publishers taking direct aim at Apple’s iAd.

This is the latest move for the company, a network of highly currated blogs mainly centered around fashion, healthy and beauty that target women. It recently launched a new platform to support more than 10,000 authors and writers in addition to a tool box that helps its content creators navigate the increasingly complex world of social media.

The mobile ad platform called GlamMobile is for brand marketers — Lexus and Macy’s are launch sponsors of Glam Mobile. The platform is also available to help outside publishers develop websites that are suited to smartphone and tablets running on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.

Exclusive: After leaving Ubisoft, Patrice Désilets is back in the game at THQ

MONTREAL–Game designer Patrice Désilets stunned the video game world with his high-profile departure from Ubisoft in 2010. Désilets’s contract prohibited him from working for the past year but now the creative director behind “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” and “Assassin’s Creed”  franchise is back in the game, having joined THQ’s new development studio in Montreal. In his first interview in the new digs in Montreal, Désilets opens up about the new job, the time off and what it’s like to be an underdog again in the gaming world.

Reuters: You’ve been at THQ for about a month, how do you find it?

Désilets: I’m not used to it (laughs). You can see in the industry that a lot of people change jobs often and then there’s me. I spent 13 years in the same company. I started July 2, 1997 and I quit May 28, 2010. In between, I did six games with roughly the same people, so I’m really excited. I like where we physically are in the city. I spent my professional years back in the Mile End and it’s nice to change the scenery. I walk to work and I like this district with these nice restaurants around.

The real thing for me is just to meet a bunch of new people. There’s 100 plus people to meet and I’m bad with names, but the energy is the same as when I started at Ubisoft. It’s a smaller place with less people but also, there’s the feeling that we’re the underdogs. So it’s all about the need to prove ourselves and do something great, instead of at a bigger company where you’re making sure you are still good and making sure that you’re growing.

from UK News:

Constitution in crisis as tyrannical journalists devour cowed politicians

A sordid tale of excess and brutality, of a world dominated by journalists with their ears to the keyhole, of tyrannical newspapers wielding remarkable power and of a political class not only cowed, but consumed, by that power.

Sound familiar? With two of Britain's most senior policemen out of a job, the prime minister under pressure for his serenading of News Corp and one of the world's most powerful press barons, in the form of Rupert Murdoch, summoned to testify to parliament, it would be one way of describing the current state of affairs.

In fact, it is how Irish writer and wit Oscar Wilde saw the state of Britain 120 years ago.

Arthur Andersen. Anthony Weiner. News Corp?

Arthur Andersen. Anthony Weiner. News Corp?

Sure, it’s too early to “go there.” News Corp is an immense, diversified multi-national media conglomerate that has been widely reviled by many for more than a generation. For all of his detractors there are plenty of readers, viewers and shareholders who are just fine with Rupert Murdoch’s tabloidization and opinionization of the news business.

The New York Post may chronically lose money but such things are hardly news in the newspaper business. Yet the Post is a metaphor for the Murdoch empire. When Rupert amped up the sleepy New York tabloid to take on the New York Daily News, he started a media revolution with the newspaper that had been founded by Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

It all seems so quaint now, with cable news talk show hosts having no qualm about taking sides in the style set by Fox News, and with newspapers still struggling to re-establish their relevance as a medium.

News of the World hacking scandal: UK’s Miliband speaks out

UK opposition leader Ed Miliband called on the British media to clean up its image and emphasized the need for a speedy public inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Watch clips of Miliband’s comments at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event below:

Miliband to British media: “Clean up your image”

Miliband calls for judge-led inquiry into phone-hacking scandal

Miliband wants media watchdog scrapped

Miliband calls for BSkyB referral

Miliband urges UK Prime Minister David Cameron to apologize

Follow our live coverage of the phone-hacking scandal below:

Is Murdoch free to destroy tabloid’s records?

Editor’s note:

After this post was published, News Corp indicated that it did not plan any liquidation of assets in connection with the shutdown of the News of the World newspaper.  In the absence of a liquidation, the scenario laid out by Mark Stephens does not apply.

By Alison Frankel
The views expressed are her own.

Here’s some News of the World news to spin the heads of American lawyers. According to British media law star Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent (whom The Times of London has dubbed “Mr Media”), Rupert Murdoch’s soon-to-be shuttered tabloid may not be obliged to retain documents that could be relevant to civil and criminal claims against the newspaper—even in cases that are already underway. That could mean that dozens of sports, media, and political celebrities who claim News of the World hacked into their telephone accounts won’t be able to find out exactly what the tabloid knew and how it got the information.

If News of the World is to be liquidated, Stephens told Reuters, it “is a stroke of genius—perhaps evil genius.”

Rupert Murdoch’s global empire

A scandal rocking Rupert Murdoch’s media empire deepened on Thursday with claims his best-selling News of the World paper hacked the phones of relatives of British soldiers killed in action. The latest allegations prompted News Corp to shut down the 168-year-old tabloid. Here’s a look at the rest of the empire.

Assigning value to online content

A Los Angeles-based company is attempting to accomplish what online publishers have been chasing for the past 15 years — namely, placing value on a piece of content.

JumpTime, founded by a group of former executives from the likes of MTV Networks and Yahoo, this month is taking the wraps off a  software service that affixes a price tag to articles in real time. It also helps determine the future value of those articles.

Over the past four years, the company has worked with leading publishers such as MSNBC and ESPN.

Mashable Follow feature picks up traction

The technology and culture oriented website Mashable has met a new milestone, netting some 100,000 users as participants for its new “Follow” feature. Launched in April, Follow lets readers keep tabs on topics of interest and share news with others in their social network.  Readers can tailor the subject matter they are interested in by clicking on the Follow button alongside an article or by hitting the Follow button on a list of topics. The green button also lets readers share content with their Twitter, Facebook and others in additional social networks in one fell swoop.

Meanwhile, Mashable announced that Robyn Peterson has joined the company as senior vice president (not vice president as previously reported) of product. Peterson was most recently the head of product at Next Issue Media,the media group dedicated to tablets founded by Time Inc, Hearst, Meredith Corp, Conde Nast and New Corp.