Times Plugs in Manjoo for Tech

manjooThe New York Times has plugged in Farhad Manjoo to pen its popular "State of the Art" tech column, previously handled by David Pogue.

Majnoo exits the Wall Street Journal after only four months to take the Times slot. He was hired at the Dow Jones property after the exit of Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg to start tech news site ReCode.

Manjoo previously wrote for Slate and penned "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-fact Society."

Pogue left the Times in October after 13 years for Yahoo.

Tampa Times Pub Gets $28M Backing

The publisher of the Tampa Bay Times has secured a $28M loan to refinance debt and provide capital for growth.

The Times Publishing Company, which also produces Florida Trend magazine and PolitiFact.com, said the infusion "will be instrumental for the future growth and development of our business."

Crystal Financial of Boston is providing the loan. "We view the Tampa Bay Times as the dominant newspaper serving the metro Tampa/St. Petersburg market as evidenced by the largest circulation of readers in the state of Florida as well as the Southeast," said Andrew Hettinger, managing director, praising its management team, strategy and reputation.

LA Times Launches Shopping Site

The Los Angeles Times Media Group has unveiled District West, an online shopping site from L.A.-area retailers mixed with native ad content.

“A visit to District West is like finding a cool, hidden gem – full of style and panache that’s straight off of LA’s streets," said Jennifer Collins, VP of revenue development, noting the area's "trends" are "coveted and emulated worldwide."

The site says the majority of items are priced at $200 or less.

Collins said the move, the first standalone e-commerce push outside of latimes.com, is a bid to diversify revenue streams.

AOL Unloads Patch

AOL has formed a venture with Hale Globe, transferring majority ownership of Patch’s 900 micro-newsites that reach 16M monthly to the investment firm.

Charles Hale says he is committed to “take the necessary steps to ensure Patch remains a vibrant part of the community.”

Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, said the venture has a “unified mission to provide local platforms and hyper-local content.”

The companies expect to close on the venture by the end of the current quarter.

Fox News Pro to FP1 Strategies 

Molly Mathews, assignment editor at Fox News, has joined PA firm FP1 Strategies in Washington.

She worked on programs such as “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” and “America’s News Headquarters.”

Mathews worked with Fox correspondents to develop storylines and conducted research to shape future programming.

She will handled strategic matters and political advertising at the Republican-oriented shop.

Terrry Nelson, FP1 partner, was political director for George W. Bush's 2004 campaign and Sen. John McCain's campaign manager in 2008.

Another partner, Rob Jesmer, served as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Forbes Media Attracts Foreign Bidders

International buyers are lining up to bid on the auction of Forbes Media, according to the Wall Street Journal.

They include Germany publisher Axel Springer, China conglomerate Fosun International and Singapore holding company Spice Global Pvt.

A U.S. group headed by Forbes business conference chief Jack Laschever also is in the running.

FM is looking for a price in the $400M to $500M range. Time Inc. dropped from the contest since it valued FM in the $200M range.

Perrette Guids Discovery's Overseas Push

JB Perrette, who once led NBC’s business development efforts, has been named president of Discovery Networks International, taking over duties of the resigned Mark Hollinger.

Discovery acquired SBS Nordics last year, owns a 20 percent stake in Eurosport and recently launched TLC in the U.K.

Perrette joined Discovery in 2011, working on its digital and technology offerings.

At NBCUniversal, he was president/digital, affiliate & content distribution strategy; CFO at NBC Universal Cable; CFO of Bravo Media and VP of NBC business development.

Schmidt Goes to Glam 

Ulrich Schmidt has joined Silicon Valley’s Glam Media as VP and general manager of Glam Germany and Europe market development. He’s based in Munich.

He’s the founder on ad pepper media, digital marketing services/technology solutions provider.

Prior to building out ad pepper to eight countries, Schmidt founded ADTECH AG.

In Europe, Schmidt takes charge of brand/agency development and publishing sales operations.

Glam Media’s sites attract more than 240M viewers per-month.