Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Want to Hear What Katie Couric Said Yesterday? Don’t Read Portfolio

How serious is media investment group Quadrangle about keeping its annual Foursquare conference private? Serious enough that the only account I’ve seen of it stayed live on the Web for just a few hours yesterday.

Portfolio.com media blogger Jeff Bercovici posted a short item about one of the panels yesterday afternoon; later that evening, the story had disappeared.

It should never have run in the first place, Portfolio.com managing editor Daniel Colarusso tells me. That’s because Portfolio magazine was a sponsor of the event (editor in chief Joanne Lipman moderated one panel; Washington editor Matt Cooper moderated the one that Bercovici wrote about) and is honoring its no-press rules.

Again, it’s Quadrangle’s conference, and they can run it however they’d like. But it seems particularly ironic that the one story that did get published, then pulled, was about a panel of professional communicators: CBS (CBS) news anchor Katie Couric, NBC anchor Brian Williams and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Some MediaMemo readers have asked me to reprint all of Bercovici’s story, but I don’t have access to it. I can tell you, however, that is a very short story–maybe three or four paragraphs long–and that the text I quoted yesterday was the most interesting part. Here it is again:

Couric shed some light on her preparation for the interviews: Beforehand, she sought advice from former senator Sam Nunn and Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haas. They told her to draw Palin out on her geopolitical worldview and urged her to let the governor speak at length without interrupting her. Maybe she should bring them along with her when she takes over at Meet the Press?”

Meanwhile, Quadrangle really has bigger problems on its mind these days than unauthorized blog posts. It is shutting down its media hedge fund after sustaining losses of 25 percent year-to-date.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald