The New York Times’ Unsettling Suicide Story, NY1 Will No Longer Be NY1, Kickstarter Comeback For 'Pushing Daisies'? Friday Media Roundup

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New York Times
The New York Times story about a tragic suicide was a bit preoccupied with the social status of the deceased.

The horrifying story of a Manhattan mother (and lawyer, if that’s important to know) who leapt to her death with her baby in her arms (the baby survived) got an unsettling treatment from the New York Times, which has the definitive story on Cynthia Wachenheim’s suicide and the post-partum psychosis that appears to be behind it. As Gawker pointed out, “The Times is, throughout its article, bizarrely focused on brand names and Style Section asides, as though we might want to rush out and purchase the model of baby carrier into which Keston [the baby] was strapped.” Indeed, while brand names are only mentioned a couple of times, the profile does seem to be reinforcing a unfortunate stereotype about the media by hitting the reader over the head with cues that its subject, while far from wealthy by Manhattan standards, was a well-educated, upper-middle class success story -- the article states her salary and the price she paid for her apartment, in a “new sleek building” in Harlem. Is it just me, or does the Times want to make absolutely sure that everyone understands that this woman was not black and/or poor (should her Harlem address lead anyone to a false conclusion?) and, therefore, agree her death is somehow more newsworthy? Also, did the reporters really need to interview her apparently shell-shocked husband less than 24 hours after she died? The story is not open to reader comments, and it’s easy to see why. (New York Times, Gawker)

I guess Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) feels that unsteady connections, frequent outages, a monopoly on modems and ghastly customer service is not enough to make them Public Enemy No. 1 in New York City: The monopolizing cable provider that New Yorkers love to hate wants to make absolutely sure everyone knows that Time Warner Cable -- not New York -- owns NY1. To that end, they have plans to change the name of NY1 to something along the lines of TWC News. “Our research shows that people who watch our stations, such as NY1, are loyal viewers, yet most people don’t understand their connection to Time Warner Cable,” TWC spokesperson Amy Summers said in a statement. (For the record, Time Warner Cable already has a longstanding TV ad campaign that makes it very clear that subscribers will lose NY1 if they switch to Verizon or another competitor.)

Along with the renaming, the early-morning staple will get “an extensive makeover, including new logos, graphics and theme music.” We won’t blame Pat Kiernan if he jumps ship. (Speaking of Kiernan, check out our interview with him about NY1’s 20th anniversary and not getting Regis Philbin’s old job.) (Daily News, NYMag)

The overwhelming success of the “Veronica Mars” movie Kickstarter campaign may have paved the way for more crowd-sourced revivals of dearly departed shows, and “Pushing Daisies” could be next:  In an interview with HitFix, “Veronica Mars” creator Rob Thomas said that “Pushing Daisies” writer/producer Bryan Fuller reached out to him, wanting to know “how this thing works.” Yes, please. “Pushing Daisies” was a magical, wonderfully twisted show that everyone should have been watching. And since it’s a show about bringing people back from the dead, it’s really almost mandatory that it too be given a second life. (HitFix, Vulture)

As we reported yesterday, the Boston Phoenix is closing, and this is kind of a big deal. But Joshua Benton, the director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, felt that the Boston Globe didn’t give the story the visibility it deserves: He tweeted a complaint about their front-page placement of the story (it was buried on the bottom right of the front page): “Dear Boston Globe: The story on the Phoenix closing deserved stronger placement on the front page and you know it. #printbrotherhood” (JimRomensko.com)

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