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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Nov. 21, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 45 (download PDF version)


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MEDIA NEWS ____________________________________________________________
 

NEWSWEEK SHUFFLES EXEC CARDS

Ed Felsenthal, Newsweek executive editor, and Tom Weber, managing editor, have resigned their positions.

Tina Brown, who presides over Newsweek/Daily Beast, has named Mark Miller, a former Newsweek editor, to replace Felesenthal.

Miller, who had been editor at the Texas Tribune, takes the director of editorial operations position.

Justine Rosenthal, who was editor of The National Interest, takes over for Weber.

Publisher Ray Chelstowski is also out after a 10month stint. Eric Danetz, a veteran of CBS Interactive, will assume his duties.

Brown believes the shake-up will make Newsweek more “nimble.”

DISNEY’S IGER TO APPLE BOARD

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger has joined Apple's board of directors and will serve as a member of its audit committee.

Iger
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Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that Iger’s strategic vision at Disney based on “generating the best creative content possible, fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology, and expanding into new markets around the world makes him a great fit for Apple.”

Iger, a good friend of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, joins the company as it slates a run into the TV market.

Jobs, who sold Pixar Animation to Disney, sat on its board as one of its major shareholders

Apple also named Art Levinson non-executive chairman of the board. The Genentech chairman is Apple's longest serving co-lead director.

PEYSER NAMED EDITOR OF BTM

Mark Peyser, who joined Budget Travel Magazine earlier this year after a 20-year stint at Newsweek, has been promoted from deputy editor to editor.

During his last decade at Newsweek, Peyser was its chief TV critic and penned stories on Donald Trump, Katie Couric and Martha Stewart’s legal woes.

He was named Newsweek’s arts & culture senior editor slot in 2006.

Peyser has written for the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue and Life.

At BTM, he takes over for Nina Willdorf.

NEWS CORP.: AUSSIE UNIT IS HACK-FREE

News Corp. has completed a three-month review of expenses at its News Limited newspaper group in Australia and found no evidence of phone hacking or payments to government officials.

A team of more than 25 auditors scanned about 700K transactions over the past years of cash outlays of at least $100 and all transactions over $10K.

Two retired judges reviewed the process.

The papers scrutinized include The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Herald Sun, Courier-Mail and The Advertiser.

John Hartigan, News Ltd. CEO, said the review proved his faith in the standards of his journalists. “I said at the start of this process I had no reason to suspect any wrongdoing. An incredibly diligent piece of work has confirmed that. Nevertheless we will use this opportunity to put in place measures to further reinforce our standards,” he said in a statement.

Hartigan is leaving News Ltd. on Nov. 30 after a 41-year run.

CBS LAUNCHES ALL-NEWS RADIO IN DC

CBS Radio will introduce an all-news format on 99.1 FM in January to serve the Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland listening area.

The company runs “all news all the time” formats in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Detroit and Boston.

CBS has named Robert Sanchez its program director in D.C. He currently is assistant director of news & programming for WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York and a veteran of the station’s sister outlet 1010 WINS.

Michelle Komes-Dolge, who was WTOP-FM news director, managing editor and producer, is joining as news director.

NIEROB SPEAKS FOR ROBERT WAGNER

Hollywood PR vet Alan Nierob is handling the media crush surrounding actor Robert Wagner as Los Angeles police re-open the investigation of the 1981 drowning of his actress/wife, Natalie Wood.

Daily News

Dennis Davern, the former captain of the yacht Spendour, says the couple argued before Wood vanished. The skipper claims that once he realized Wood was missing from the boat he wanted to search the Pacific waters for her, but Wagner told him not to.

Hours went by before the Coast Guard was alerted about non-swimmer Wood’s disappearance, according to Davern.

The body of the actress was found about a mile away from the boat. The autopsy report showed that Wood had bruises on her arms and face. The coroner ruled that her death was accidental.

Davern, who wrote “Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour” in 2009 to tell his side of the story, is making the media rounds to express regret that he did not search for Wood.

Wagner has maintained that Wood took the boat’s dinghy to go ashore.

Nierob issued a statement to say that Wagner’s family fully supports the work of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. and trusts that it will “evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30-year anniversary of her tragic death.”

Nierob, of Rogers and Cowan fame, has repped Mel Gibson, Marie Osmond, Jennifer Lopez and Denzel Washington.

 
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