Who among New York City’s media set has never read a single MediaBistro mailer or blog? Nobody. Which is strange, because it’s not like they break crazy news or anything! But it is a clearing house for two things: (1) Everything That Happens in Media, Especially in New York City and (2) Good Talent, who peaces the fuck out of there as soon as someone offers them a salary that’s slightly above what bad subway buskers rake in, because even those guys make more than MediaBistro bloggers. Such is the case with Fishbowl NY blogger Alex Alvarez, whose hard work has finally paid off with a job in the Dan Abrams Gulag of Media.
Press Clips, Day 24, The MediaBistro Conspiracy Edition.
Alvarez — who’s had bylines elsewhere at Guanabee and Playgirl, which is awesome — has her last day with Fishbowl NY and MB’s Media Newsfeed on the 17th, and her first day at Mediaite on the 20th. Which means sitting shiva through the 27th.
We kid! To be fair, this is basically the perfect media career path, and there are upsides here. For one thing, working for Dan Abrams means you’re now automatically mortal enemies with Keith Olbermann, which is cool, but it also means you have to watch Glenn Beck every day or be friends with him or something. That sucks. That said: we totally jacked Joe Coscarelli from Dan Abrams and started the trend of stealing people from Mediaite — Henry Blodget snaking Glynnis MacNicol for Business Insider, Piers Morgan kidnapping Steve Krakauer in the middle of the night — so it’s also a pretty great place to be poached from. The only thing you really have to worry about there is being terrorized by Jeff Bercovici, but so long as you don’t show fear or fight back or steal any of his movies you’re fine.
More importantly, Alvarez leaving MediaBistro is another step the company’s long legacy of being a place for Young Media People to slave away for on their way to “The Top” or whatever jobs haven’t been killed off that month. For example:
- Brian Stelter’s TV Newser was purchased by MediaBistro. He was then poached to become the youngest reporter at the New York Times since Al Siegal banned Human Resources from using the number “2” in the 70s.
- Matt Van Hoven terrorized ad agencies for two years at Agency Spy, and then sold out to go work for an ad agency, which made him such an epic sell-out, even the Times wrote about it.
- Steve Krakauer — who inherited TV Newser from Stelter — went on to work for Mediaite, became a New York Times-anointed gossip blogger, and now works with Piers Morgan at CNN on a show that’s supposed to be the best thing that’s going to happen there until Larry King’s comeback special where he farts out Stravinsky’s Cantata while Joan Rivers reads all nineteen of his divorce filings over it. No, but really, Steve Krakauer works for Piers Morgan now. That’s insane.
- Rachel Sklar went from MediaBistro to The Huffington Post to Mediaite, and now she’s touring the tech panel circuit. She also goes on TV! That’s crazy.
- Elizabeth Spiers, who was the founding Gawker editor and first person in New York to have a truly sitcom-worthy relationship with Nick Denton was the editor-in-chief of MediaBistro for a while before she peaced out to go start now-infamous Wall Street blog Dealbreaker and write a book and work for Conde Nast on Gourmet Live!, which was sometime before she did standup comedy (?!?!) and wrote for Forbes and The New Republic. She now runs a bunch of girlie websites for some Canadian guys and also The New York Media Conspiracy and teaches at Duke and FIT and as an extracurricular activity, in her spare time, when she isn’t drinking. She also invented Formsping.
Toubey (whatever) who founded MediaBistro, is now a millionaire. She goes on safaris in Africa. Tobey
- Drew Grant also went from MediaBistro/Fishbowl NY to Mediaite and now works for Elizabeth Spiers at Crushable, which former Fishbowl NY editor Amanda Ernst also did for a short while.
- Jesse Oxfeld was the editor of MediaBistro before Spiers and then they basically traded jobs and he went to Gawker to write about Spiers. Oxfeld then went to New York and then the New York Observer, where as the theater critic he and Rex Reed now have weekly MMA fights (no bite marks, no hair pulling) for space in the print edition.
- Mike Taylor also went from Fishbowl NY to the New York Observer.
- Greg Lindsay was a “contributing editor” — whatever that means — to Fishbowl NY and now writes for basically everyone and, like, books and whatever, too. More importantly, he went on to win fucking Jeopardy but is still so embarrassed of having ever written for Fishbowl he won’t put it on the “About Me” page of his website.
- Emily Gould had a stint at GalleyCat that was basically acted as a figurative methadone clinic after what was arguably the most intense tenure in the history of Gawker. Then she got a New York Times Magazine cover story and a book deal. Damn, Gina.
- Neal Ungerleider was the editor of MediaBistro for a bit and then he went to Israel, started blogging for True/Slant, and then, well: True/Slant. Last I heard he was recruited by the Mossad.
- Dylan Stableford went from being managing editor of MediaBistro to working at Folio as a senior digital personthing to writing for Sharon Waxman at The Wrap. Talk about a cush job: his boss is in LA.
- Chris Ariens went from MSNBC to MediaBistro and has been running it for the last three years (or 21 years, if you’re a dog) so he’s probably going to be the next CEO of GE.
- Tonya Garcia used to work in PR but now runs PR Newser, which I guess is the opposite of what Van Hoven did — selling in, perhaps? — so she’s obviously going to heaven and Van Hoven is clearly going to hell.
- Ron Mwangaguhunga ran Fishbowl after Dylan left and then wrote for like, I don’t even know, CBS News and Paper and New York.
- Also, Aileen Gallagher — who basically invented blogging in Eric Gillin’s LES convertible two bedroom/meth lab in the early aughts when nobody had anything better to do even two years after the 1.0 bubble burst (it was 2003, I was still in high school) — was Ze MediaBistro Capo sometime between D-Stab and Spiers. Sometime after, she ended up going to New York, and then got so sick of everyone’s bullshit she picked up and went back to college, like Spiers. Also, she, too, is drunk right now.
- [Something about Hunter Walker.]
Most of these names will be eaten by Murdoch’s Daily iPad Angry News Birds thing in the next seven months anyway, so really, who gives a shit? But the point is that:
1. If you are young and you want to move up in media, you’re better off just working for MediaBistro than taking any of those ridiculous classes they offer. Who does that anyway? That said, it’s more expensive than the classes, because it’s a job that famously pays in various third-world currencies and peanut shells.
2. Alex Alvarez’s career has only just begun! Congratulations to her. A big week for lady media writers continues!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 1, 2010