we interrupt this special broadcast of “ruby and the rockits” for

STOP THE PRESSES! “PAGE ONE” ROCKS THE PAIFF!

Give It a Rating ‘A1’

PALO ALTO, OCTOBER 6:

BY M. BENNETT WEISS

I loved the film “Page One” and hope to see it screened again in Bay Area soon, perhaps with Dartmouth Club. I was only slightly disappointed that my two favorite Timesmen, Yardley and Steinberg, were not among those interviewed –although David Carr was sure a star. (There are 1,200 newsroom people so the odds of talking to my guys was slim). But then a quantum of solace in seeing Jacques Steinberg today on Craig Ferguson show talking about his “Iron man” book– I wrote a story on Iron Man for the Worcester Telegram in 1985, will have to suss out the clip.

http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Ironman-Finishing-Triathlon/dp/1452604231

I would state that “Page One” as befits its subject features exceptional reporting on wikileaks, the dimunition of the fourth estate, New York and more. David Carr is a star. Kudos and hearty “wah-hoo-wahs” for Kate Novack, Andrew Rossi and their crack team!

I also texted to her email address Ms. Novack directly after show to say “LOVED IT” ditto to James Von Rittman of the local Dartmouth Club who is considering hosting a screening.

—– Forwarded Message —–

From: mark weiss
To: “bradkava@aol.com”
Sent: Saturday, October 1, 2011 9:29 AM
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Fw: kate novack and page one in palo alto

nice chatting with you. see you soon. mark

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: mark weiss
To: jay thorwaldsen
Sent: Saturday, October 1, 2011 9:09 AM
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Fw: kate novack and page one in palo alto

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: mark weiss
To: Ztiburon
Sent: Saturday, October 1, 2011 9:06 AM
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Fw: kate novack and page one in palo alto

This is my interview with Kate Novack, the co-director, with her husband Andrew Rossi. Terri and I are attending the screening this a.m., even if no one else from my invite list is able to make it. I am also a driver for filmmaker Chris Paine who’s work about electric cars shows tonight. The first Palo Alto International Film Festival has been worthwhile supporting, as volunteer and patron.
Mark

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: “eknovack@aol.com”
To: mark weiss
Sent: Saturday, October 1, 2011 5:06 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Fw: kate novack and page one in palo alto

1) Do you mind if I read from this verbatim, if I end up being the one who introduces the film?
THAT IS ABSOLUTELY FINE!
2) Where you aware of the Dartmouth connection at the Times? Did you interface with any of the alumni there? (for example, David Shipler is a Dartmouth trustee, and was a writer there for a while).
I WASN’T. THE NUMBER OF TIMES CONNECTIONS I’ve encountered along the way is uncanny though. We were in Martha’s Vineyard recently for a screening and panel and one of the local papers there was once published by Scotty Reston.
3) Did you see like or were aware of the Bill Cunningham film?
I SAW IT at New Directors in NY and thought it was such a moving portrait of an artist. I’ve also been a fan of Bill Cunningham’s work for a long time.
4) Do you know Ricki Stern the ’88 who made the film about Joan Rivers — it seems like she made a special deal to get access to Joan.
I don’t know Ricki, although we have been at film festivals together and I’ve met her. And I don’t know the details of their access to Joan Rivers. (By the way, I thought Joan Rivers was a compelling story about women aging and what that means in the world we live in.) It’s worth mentioning here that for Page One, the Times had no editorial control over the film and no financial interest in it. We just agreed to respect off the record sources and uphold the same standards of journalism as the paper.
5) Was Mark Decker at Dartmouth — he is a documentary maker and teacher — when you were there, or did you study film at Dartmouth? Were you, even for one byline, on the D or other student press?
I did study film. I sort of unofficially minored in film and took a handful of film studies courses there and took filmmaking in my senior year, where we shot a short narrative feature on 16mm and then cut it on film, which was unforgettable and stays with me even as we now use Final Cut. I remember we opened with a Rolling Stones song–something only college students and Scorsese have the luxury of doing. It was a revelatory course for me though. I also co-directed a short on Generation X. The Douglas Coupland book was very hot then!
Let me know what happens with the screening. And thanks for your support on the film! We may screen at one of the San Fran area schools later in the fall–I will let you know.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
From: mark weiss
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:37:19 -0700 (PDT)
To: eknovack@aol.com
ReplyTo: mark weiss
Subject: Re: Fwd: Fw: kate novack and page one in palo alto

Hi, Kate.
Thanks for responding. You are obviously very busy.
1) Do you mind if I read from this verbatim, if I end up being the one who introduces the film?
2) Where you aware of the Dartmouth connection at the Times? Did you interface with any of the alumni there? (for example, David Shipler is a Dartmouth trustee, and was a writer there for a while).
3) Did you see like or were aware of the Bill Cunningham film?
4) Do you know Ricki Stern the ’88 who made the film about Joan Rivers — it seems like she made a special deal to get access to Joan.
5) Was Mark Decker at Dartmouth — he is a documentary maker and teacher — when you were there, or did you study film at Dartmouth? Were you, even for one byline, on the D or other student press?

My best friend — I was best man in this wedding, we talk at least weekly — is a physician neuropathologist in Illinois –Dr. Brian E. Moore ’86 — who I met at the D freshman winter and was a film major and made a doc about ROTC coming back to Dartmouth but then went on to med school, despite the fact that I bought him Les Blank’s film about Errol Morris called “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
If you ever do a screening in Springfield maybe he and his crew will support the event as I am doing here — or I’ll fly to Springy to support such.
Mark Weiss
Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto
closest I actually got to the Times was when we had a reunion of D staff at Becco’s in New York which Jack Steinberg

My former The Dartmouth trainee and now Timesman Jacques Steinberg on the Craig Ferguson Show

said was a hangout for the Times, at the old buildings — what has happened to the old building?

Also, is it fair that the reviewer of your film for the Times said your work was more about the building than the people?

From: “eknovack@aol.com”
To: earwopa@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:18 PM
Subject: Fwd: Fw: kate novack and page one in palo alto

Hi Mark,
Thanks for writing.
Not sure what would be most helpful but here is one question we always get when we screen the film: Why did the New York Times let you in?
When we came up with the idea for Page One (inspired in part, as I read you were, by the Kingdom and the Power) it was not at all clear that we’d be let inside. The newspaper business was in bad shape, newsroom morale was low (or, as Bill Keller describes the mood in the newsroom at that time: “funereal”) and, on top of that, the paper had just suffered the utter embarrassment of a piece on the Daily Show (which if you haven’t seen you should check out).
Andrew Rossi, the director (who’s also my husband), ran the idea for a movie on the Times’ media desk by David Carr, the Times’ media columnist who would eventually become one of the stars of Page One. We’d met David at a film festival while promoting A Table In Heaven, our previous film about the New York City restaurant Le Cirque. David said he was a qualified yes. “Go talk to my bosses,” he’d told Andrew, thinking there was no way in hell the editors would let in the cameras.
It took about six months of meetings with editors and writers but eventually we got the go ahead. Ultimately it was Bill Keller, the former executive editor, who made the decision. “I’m proud of my journalists,” he said, “and I want the world to see them.”
Hope that helps. If there’s anything specific you want to know, feel free to shoot me an email at eknovack@aol.com.
Thanks again–
Kate
P.S. We’re actually screening the film in Hanover in November…

—–Original Message—–
From: andrewrossi@ymail.com
To: Kate Novack
Sent: Tue, Sep 27, 2011 8:04 pm
Subject: Fw: kate novack and page one in palo alto

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerryFrom: mark weiss <earwopa@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 16:50:50 -0700 (PDT)
To: nastasya@mrc-pr.com<nastasya@mrc-pr.com>
ReplyTo: mark weiss <earwopa@yahoo.com>
Cc: andrew@eatthisnewyork.com<andrew@eatthisnewyork.com>
Subject: kate novack and page one in palo alto

To Kate Novack ’94 via Nastasya:

Hi, Kate. Happy to notice in recent alumni magazine just read this a.m. that a Dartmouth grad (and her husband) produced “Page One” in that I am trying to bring a group (bought ten tickects at group rate), preview for my blog “Plastic Alto” at wordpress, and perhaps may end up introducing the screening Saturday at 11 a.m. at Palo Alto International Film festival.

I was going to write about having trained two Timesmen during my student press days. Jim Yardley, James Barrett Yardley, whose father Jonathan Yardley was the very first intern to James Barrett “Scotty” Reston, attended my high school here for one year in 1981, played football, when his mother Rosemary, was a Knight Fellow at Stanford, but when we heard his lineage we conscripted him for his first byline at the Gunn High Oracle. Then, of course, there is Jack Jacques Steinberg of the Times who was a freshman reporter for The Dartmouth when I was an editor there working with new reporters. It’s also true that someone who from ages 13 to 18 played at, worked at and sometimes promoted — like an intern — my concert series, Rachel Metz, a Cal grad, freelanced for the Times recently — mostly crime stories it seemed, and is an AP tech writer. Jim Newton was my editor at Dartmouth, a former Reston intern (I think Steinberg was as well), and is now LA Times editorial page editor. I think I met one or two other Dartmouth Timesmen over the years.

Just wanted to say “Hey” and if you had a chance to write me back and could offer a few words for either,as I said, my blog, my breakfast (I am actually trying to comp my high school journalism staff from 1980-1982) or my potential introduction to the screening itself, cool.

Here is something I wrote about “Bill Cunningham”.

https://markweiss86.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/ode-to-william-j/

Best regards,

Mark Weiss (Dartmouth ’86)
Palo Alto, CA
(650) 305-xxxx
also hoping to reach Jim Yardley in India re his thoughts on Palo Alto salad days or your film

edit to add, oct. 6: I loved the film “Page One” and hope to see it screened again in Bay Area soon, perhaps with Dartmouth club. I was slightly disappointed that my two favorite Timesmen, Yardley and Steinberg, were not among those interviewed –although David Carr was sure a star. (There are 1,200 newsroom people so the odds of talking to my guys was slim). But then solace in seeing Jacques Steinberg today on Craig Ferguson show talking about his “Iron man” book– I wrote a story on Iron Man for the Worcester Telegram in 1985.

http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Ironman-Finishing-Triathlon/dp/1452604231

I would state that “Page One” as befits its subject features exceptional reporting on wikileaks, the dimunition of the fourth estate, New York and more. David Carr is a star. Kudos and hearty “wah-hoo-wahs” for Kate Novack, Andrew Rossi and their crack team!

NB: the Ruby Show was produced by my high school newspaper humor columnist Marsh McCall, who also played in a band I booked once called Marsh and The Mellows I mean Standard Procedure.

PAIFF founder Devi Kamdar rocked not one but two red dresses at her fete

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
This entry was posted in ethniceities, film, la la, math, media, music, Plato's Republic, sex, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to we interrupt this special broadcast of “ruby and the rockits” for

  1. markweiss86 says:

    http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Ironman-Finishing-Triathlon/dp/1452604231

    also in process of trying to give away my spare group rate tickets to “page one” at printers on saturday I met Ron Wolf a former Philadelphia Inquirer technical, science and environmental reporter (and former geologist) who lives in Palo Alto.

    I also borrowed, per Times article on “Page One” “His Girl Friday” for re-view.
    I thought Novack and Rossi’s movie might have been called “A1” — although actual title elicited from Tony May reference to, I think, Moss Hart work. “Act One” his autobiography.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moss_Hart
    pingback to “close” to https://markweiss86.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/xxxii-tony-may-at-ica-san-jose/

  2. Mark Weiss says:

    i have been backing up my posts on palo alto weekly site because i think they do delete some of the more inflagratory things i say about them:

    The term “Palo Alto Process” is a campaign by the developers to berate City Staff and create a misconception that the public should work at the speed of the industry who make millions and billions by fouling the commons and refers to their greed rather than any public need. It’s propaganda.

    There is some public benefit in investing in downtown but it is way out of hand and plays too great a role in public policy. But yes the optimal outcome would include working with the owner of 456 to see the light — maybe he would want people to remember him fondly via “CK Auditorium at The Varsity” — rather than opposing him like in 1995 or go above his head via eminent domain which would mean first getting three or four residentialists on council in 2012. This case study will play a major role in 2012 local election, mark my words.

    Also, I would say, having viewed “Page One” about New York Times at PAIFF some thread about dimunition of news business and “fourth estate” due to for example purchase of Tribune Company (who had asset here once, of course) by realtor Sam Zell: these people seek to get rid of the press rather than get in on their profits. Palo Alto journalism is severely compromised by its pander to real estate interests here, I think. So yes, after I buy the Varsity I will also start an independent newspaper that takes no real estate ads.

  3. Mark Weiss says:

    inflammatory not conflagratory but i am no william safire or michael “yell fire” franti
    incindiary?
    flaming is rather vulgar

  4. Mark Weiss says:

    this is something grahame lesh for a 2010 class at stanford, which I could also have posted under stegner tribute or david shields:
    The comparisons always come fast and hard. Since the popular music industry was first, it must always be the industry that all others are judged against when the Internet catches up with old business models. After popular music went down movies, TV shows, newspapers, and even bicycles followed soon after. Yes, even the bicycle industry is being hit hard, since local bike shops can only stock so many different kinds parts and EBay can stock an infinite number, cutting heavily into revenue for local bicycle shops. The common denominator in all of these situations is the Internet breaking old business models. Music and newspapers, for instance, have both come to find themselves in a place where the cost of producing content remains pretty high, but the cost of distribution and reproduction has gone to basically zero. Thus, money cannot be made in the distribution of music or newspapers in the quantity that it was made before by record companies and newspapers. But while there are similarities between the situations that these institutions find themselves in, there are major differences as well. Thus, the modest success those certain industries have had in tweaking their business models to fit this new Internet age cannot necessarily be transferred to another industry. There have, for example, been many words written about the need for newspapers to create their own iTunes, or their own Hulu, when many problems with these comparisons arise with some scrutiny. First, iTunes and Hulu are not exactly successes for their respective industries (both are successes for technology companies, however). Hulu may not survive without a paywall (which will eventually kill it), and iTunes has not come close to replacing the revenues that CDs used to bring in. Secondly, it is incredibly difficult to imagine exactly what a Hulu for newspapers would look like. There is no single model that the newspapers have rallied behind, but if (or when) it comes, it will not look like iTunes (unless the Apple iPad really is the savior of newspapers) or Hulu. It will look completely different, and the newspaper industry will wonder why it didn’t think of whatever that model is earlier.

    The music industry is definitely the industry that has experienced decline for the longest, and has done the most to combat it. The business models are much different, though they are still based on the assumptions that got them into trouble in the first place. Consumer patterns changed with the technology, and the music industry has coped reasonably well. None of the major record companies have gone under, they have simply changed how they get their money. While digital music sales have risen, they have not been able fill the void left by drops in CD sales. In 2008, we discovered that “The latest recording industry statistics show digital music sales are rapidly increasing as a percentage of total industry sales, but not by enough to offset a dramatic fall in compact disc sales.”[1] So, digital sales have not been the reason that the music industry has coped with the Internet age, despite all the press that Apple gets for iTunes saving the music industry. No, instead, revenues from live music has actually increased substantially since recorded music revenues began to peak. Since 2006, recorded music revenue (from CDs, tapes, vinyl, and digital sales) has stayed stagnant at $12.6 billion (which is considered a drop adjusting for inflation), while live concert revenues have jumped from $7.3 billion to $9.1 billion in 2009.[2] And most importantly, the growth in live music revenue has happened in a way that is consistent with the social norms of the Internet age: the Top 100 tours have produced less revenue, but underneath the Top 100 there has been huge growth in smaller shows and in the festival market (lots of acts getting together to put on one big event). You can see the makings of a business model starting to take shape with these statistics: the money comes not from the sale of a single piece of music that can be copied a million times for free. Instead the money comes from live touring and merchandise like t-shirts. Thus, the recorded music becomes simply a marketing tool. Play a hit single on the radio not so the listener will like that song and buys the album, but so that the listener likes the song and attends a concert. The Internet is simply allowing the music industry to grow from the bottom up. There are more music choices, more ways to listen to them, and more ways for more artists to make more music available now than there ever has been. Thus the consumer has more of an ability to become attached to music that he or she will enjoy, and thus artists that aren’t backed by giant record companies have a better ability to make a living making music by recording on their own, giving away their recordings (or selling them through iTunes independently, which allows them to take a bigger percentage of each sale than if they had a record deal), and making money off ticket sales and merchandise. Thus more people listen to more kinds of music, go to more concerts, and spend more money – the industry does fine. The stories you hear about music’s slow death are from the record companies themselves, since they are the ones who will become irrelevant as this trend continues.

    Unlike their partners in the newspaper industry, however, record companies have begun to change their ways somewhat. It may be too little, too late, but they have made enough moves into the live music arena that revenues can begin to trickle back in. The biggest moves, however, have come from live music promotion companies, such as LiveNation (which is a part of ClearChannel, a radio conglomerate). LiveNation has begun signing artists like Madonna to deals that replace and expand on what is traditionally a “record deal”. “This unique business model will address all of Madonna’s music ventures as a total entity for the first time in her career”[3]. The equivalent for the newspaper industry would be if a newspaper helped pay for journalists’ speaking tours but also took a cut of those engagements. This is something that one can’t really see with newspapers or journalists because journalists do not tend to become famous in the same way that musicians and entertainers do.

    This is the first place where the music industry and the newspaper industry parallels diverge. The music industry’s failing are all in the inability to sell discreet creations (recordings), but unlike newspapers they have another product that they can sell in a different way: the artist/musician/entertainer. Newspapers do not really have this luxury. There is no backup plan after selling content. Unlike their media partners in TV – especially at Fox News – they don’t have personalities that they can sell. On TV the personalities, who these days are simply opinion personalities instead of straight news gatherers or reporters, get face time with an audience and usually can sell themselves in a way that newspaper writers (even opinion writers) can’t. They can’t at least in a way that allows their parent company to cash in on their personal image.

    Thus, we come to the reason why newspapers cannot weather the Internet age storm the same way that music did – the only business model from the music industry’s experience that they can copy is the model that music now has for recorded music. In other words, the only option newspapers have (unless we completely rethink the idea of a newspaper or news organization) is the option that the music industry has shown doesn’t really work very well. Pay barriers for newspaper content has a very shaky track record, and those are only being considered because of lost ad revenue from both print and online newspaper ads. In the 1st quarter of 2009, Internet advertising dropped across the board. “The biggest drop was in real-life newspaper ads with a 29.7 percent decline to $5.9 billion. Online newspapers ad sales also declined by 13.4 percent to just $696.3 million in the same period”[4]. So how can newspapers begin to make some of the money back?

    There are a few answers to that question, and all of them have to work in conjunction with each other. First, no one disputes that newspapers were incredibly slow on the uptake when it came to taking advantage of the Internet, and thus still lag behind even many blogs when it comes to integration with new and emerging technologies like Twitter, social bookmarks, and the like. Newspapers have not taken a good hard look at what it means to be a newspaper in the 21st century, and until they do publicly they will be seen as stuck in the glory days. Secondly, they need to start working together. Perhaps, as the argument of this paper goes, there is no clear correlation between the newspaper industry’s crisis now and the music industry’s crisis a few years ago, but perhaps there are better parallels when we look at the music industry of 50-60 years ago. Instead of looking at how the music industry has dealt with distribution problems, newspapers could look to how the music industry dealt with licensing and publishing issues. “Under the music industry model, a venue or media outlet that wants to use a songwriter’s work can purchase a yearly blanket license from the organizations that control the public performance rights to the compositions. The two largest organizations, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Broadcast Music Incorporated, together represent the writers of millions of songs. ASCAP and BMI distribute the money to songwriters and music publishers based on a complicated formula designed to ensure that a major television network pays a higher fee than a bar in Texarkana”[5]. This model could absolutely work for articles in blogs the way that it works for the music industry and plays on the radio. This would make it cheaper for articles used in small blogs, but more expensive if a major newspaper quoted from a blog. The questions remain very big. Are there anti-trust implications? Since there is already a model with songwriters then an arrangement like this may hold muster in the courts. Should it be newspapers that band together or journalists themselves? After all, it was the songwriters, not record companies, who banded together to form ASCAP and BMI. If journalists banded together to form a similar situation then newspapers could still benefit – they have the famous names that will draw the best journalists who will get read the most, thus bringing in more money to the newspaper when those journalists’ articles get linked to or quoted in other websites. The technological and logistical hurdles would be immense, but so are all other options.

    If one looks hard enough, parallels can be found between any media industry. Newspapers and the music industry are simply two of the simple parallels that people use. Pick two of music, the news, TV, and feature films, and contrast them with each other. There are lessons to be learned in every story, and some lessons can be applied to the situations facing other industries. But they are not analogous, and trying to save the newspaper industry by copying the music industry is basing your strategy on a failed premise. What is clear, however, is that the old way for all of these industries is over, and that new business models have to be in place. Some are farther along than others in the race to revamp themselves for the 21st century. Time will only tell how far they get.

    [1] Stein, Mark. Daily Brief. Porfolio.com. April 28th, 2008.

    [2] Grabstats.com, Music Industry Stats. Source: eMarketer

    [3] “Madonna Joins Forces With LiveNation in Revolutionary Global Music Partnership”. PR Newswire. October 16, 2007.

    [4] Parfeni, Lucian. “Internet Advertising Revenue Down in Q1 2009”. Softpedia News. June 5th, 2009.

    [5] Jones, Ashby. “Come Together! On Newspapers’ Big Antitrust Hurdle”. Wall Street Journal Law Blog. June 4, 2009. http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/06/04/come-together-on-newspapers-big-antitrust-hurdle/

    • Mark Weiss says:

      but i think the diminution of the fourth estate (from bagdikian through as depicted in novack and rossi “page one” (zell comments) is much more important than the hit the entertainment industry is taking from new media.

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