Business of Art Fix #10: We’ve Got The Tiger Beat!

Welcome to the tenth “This Business of Art / Media / Web Fix,” in which I share with you things I read that I loved relating to the work I do here — online media, business, entrepreneurship, women in tech, start-ups, journalism, publishing, management, queer visibility, and so forth. You can expect this sucker to drop every-other Wednesday.


This Business of Online Media

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+ The Daily Mail and Mariah Carey are among the 17 investors who pooled together $2 million dollars to buy teeny-bopper rag Tiger Beat and revamp it. Digiday reports that “The plan is to turn the print magazine into a media company that spans television, radio, live events and even film.” The Daily Mail also recently purchased Elite Daily, another publication with a less-than-spectacular reputation.

+ Kids these days aren’t into the impartial tone of most news reporting.

+ Vice’s new channel for women, produced in tandem with Unilever brands, Broadly, will not be a “pink ghetto,” says Tracie to The Guardian. They’ll be talking about abortion and also LGBT rights and stuff. Also, refreshingly: “we’re not going to be doing think pieces where you can write something from your couch about something that’s happening on Twitter.” AMEN.

+ I talked with a BBC reporter today about the decline of online commenting and why Autostraddle is dedicated to maintaining and improving its commenting community despite this decline, as we discussed earlier last month. This is a VERY hot topic right now, and this week’s addition to the conversation is on Medium, where Howard Goldberg talks about why the conversation around disabling comments is a conversation that cuts to the core of online news.

+ How Seven News Organizations Are Using Slack to Work Better and Differently: As a media organization that also uses Slack, this was really interesting, though I’d like to know more about how people handle unpaid accounts (we’d be happy to pay a reasonable membership fee, but the per-member pricing for a team as large as ours is an enormous investment we can’t make right now) and teams that include mostly freelancers and independent contractors working erratic hours.

Matt Galligan is concerned that Slack, for all its benefits, also is destroying our ability to ever carve out downtime. So he has some really fantastic suggestions for how Slack could fix that.

+ Time Inc is getting into the paid content game, noting that people are beginning to realize that “quality content does matter” and that clickbait isn’t just shitty because it’s clickbait, but also ’cause the clickers aren’t engaging with the content enough to benefit an advertiser, anyhow.

+ New media is becoming big media. Comcast’s TV and film unit NBC Universal is closing a deal to invest $250 million in Buzzfeed (giving the company a $1.5 billion valuation) and is negotiating an investment in Vox Media (which’d give Vox an $850 million valuation). From re/code:

People familiar with the proposed deals say they’re part of a new effort from NBCU CEO Steve Burke to bet on digital outlets he thinks can tap into millennial audiences, who are tuning out of NBCU’s TV networks and most others. The idea is that NBCU can get a crash course on digital content and distribution from its new investments — and that those companies may want to distribute some of NBCU’s content as well.

Digiday writes that Vox is poised to be a modern-day Condé Nast, which’s funny ’cause Conde Nast still exists.

+ Apparently Salon.com isn’t respecting the union created by its employees which has led Gawker to ask How Progressive Are The Media Liberals? because “Words are cheap. Unions can cost money. This is where we learn how real all of these nice progressive media bosses really are. If they won’t support their own workers’ union, they were lying the whole time.” However, most of this article is hypothetical, so I’m unsure how Gawker justified including a picture of The Huffington Post in its feature image when HuffPo has yet to do any of the things Gawker says they could do? Is Gawker just fucking with us.

+ The New York Times is revamping how it does mobile ads, which will be timed, apparently, to the “seven moments in a day” that are the most important to readers, such as “morning.” Here’s more: “The New York Times plans to roll out a new ad format in September to its smartphone apps and mobile site in the U.S. that mimics the in-feed placement of the social networks’ mobile ads and applies the publisher’s editorial insight to how they’ll be targeted and what multimedia bells and whistles they’ll feature.”

+ Highlights is going mobile! In collaboration with kids’ learning and entertainment startup Fingerprint, Highlights will be offering free games and other cool sh*t for kids who can’t get enough of Goofus and Gallant in their dentists’ waiting room. The magazine has 2 million print subscribers, which is pretty incredible.

+ Nikki Finke is starting a new site, Hollywood Dementia, with which she intends to “expose the hard truths and gritty reality of showbiz through creative writing. In fiction, I can be more honest than just sticking to facts.”

+ Instagram debuted a new ad platform.

+ Thinking of Quitting Blogging? You are not alone. Dooce talks to ProBlogger about what she did after pulling the plug.

How much do you think the pressure of publishing schedules has contributed to lots of bloggers either burning out or giving up in favour of something less relentless?
I would say from the conversations I’ve had with other people in my situation, the publishing schedule has been 85% of it. Bloggers are on a hamster wheel which is going faster and faster and faster.
I don’t know a single blogger who even enjoys it any more. There was a time when we loved every minute of it, we would gush and say oh my god, we love it. Now we say there’s times when we still love parts of it, but nobody sits down at the end of the day and pours a drink and says “Oh I had the most glorious day”. There are only now parts of it we still enjoy but there’s not that enthusiasm for the whole thing any more.


This Business of Business

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+ Techcrunch breaks down what Homejoy’s failure can tell us about the future of the On Demand economy. It addresses a number of issues with hiring inexperienced non-pros to clean the homes of strangers, concluding that “the on-demand model simply doesn’t work for such a uniquely high-touch market.”

+ So guess what? Detroit Is Cultivating Local Entrepreneurship. That’s what. Related: 13 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Detroit.

+ Today’s White House Demo Day did indeed pay attention to the need to get money into women-founded startups. On that tip, founder of KIND is pledging to invest $3 million in women-led food startups. Fun facts: here are the Top 10 Venture-Backed Female Founders.


This Business of News

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+ Jessica Williams and Jon Stewart talk about how they find those morons to say ignorant things on their teevee show. “It’s like ‘Girls Gone Wild’ but they flash us their controversial ideas,” says Jessica Williams.


Businesswoman’s Special: Advice On How To Work Better

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25 Famous Women On Being In Charge (The Cut)

+ How to Start Your Day Like a Do Something Bitch (Jezebel)

Three Reasons Millennials Are Getting Fired (Inc)

How To Recover From A Huge Mistake At Work (Inc)

How to Have the Classiest Desk In The Office (The Cut)

Four Trends In Home Office Design (Entrepreneur)


Pitches We Are Looking For Right Now:

We are mainly looking for longform at the moment:

  • Personal essays (at least 2,500 words) for our upcoming “Thursday Essay” series. (Payment $75 – $150, depending on breadth and how much editing the piece will require)
  • Reported feature articles and investigative journalism telling compelling and edgy stories related to the subcultures we address in our editorial mission (queer, feminist, outside culture) — articles you have to go out into the world to research and create. Be sure to include your rates when you pitch.

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2689 articles for us.

15 Comments

  1. hi if we could just have different pictures of bette porter for the business of art fix every week that’d be swell, since she was literally in the business of art and i hear provocations is replacing the impressionists this winter.

  2. I read about the reasons Millenials are getting fired from the POV of someone on the hiring side.

    And yes, just yes.

    It’s not a therapy couch/ gossip lounge/ entertainment unit, it’s a workplace.
    You’re entitled to be treated respectfully, and to decent working conditions, but you are still there to work – that’s why it’s called…work!

    I’ve had hires who honestly think it’s appropriate to request an hour of private conversation (aka counseling) on home issues that are unrelated to work – several times a week.

    And YES to arriving on time unless you have a damn good reason. Otherwise you’re just saying your time is more valuable than anyone else’s.

    • For the first time in a couple years, I’m working with a lot of people my age (27) or younger… I cannot believe how difficult it is to find someone who will show up every day and on time, and actually focus on their work and think about what they are doing. Maybe it’s just because it’s food service, and I get that it’s not usually anyone’s dream job, but it’s mind boggling to me the attitudes that most of my coworkers have about their jobs.

  3. So much truth this week! I’m not the only new worker making big (and little) mistakes… but apparently I dealt with it right, so that’s awesome!

    Also the detroit piece and others were pretty cool.

  4. I am an avid reader of the Verge(which is part of the Vox media empire) and I am pretty sure they have said that Comcast Ventures has invested money into Vox media. Not sure what Comcast wants to do, but I can tell you The Verge has been railing Comcast any chance it gets(since some of them are actual Comcast customers). I keep seeing this news, but I am more worried Comcast is really going to mess with things seeing as there is no real FCC regulation to stop them from doing shit, like there was and still is with their purchase of NBC-Universal(which technically is illegal).

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