…and Now In Real Estate…

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In a real estate story with shades of Who’s On First, What’s on Second, Tribune Media says 285 Broad St. in Hartford is for sale.

285 is the building that houses the Hartford Courant and Fox 61.

For details on the complicated circumstances, that should not lead to a change in address for the Courant, we suggest this road map.

We Love Us

We have noticed that more and more often politicians use the plural personal pronoun (us, we, our…”We thank the people of Iowa for their support….”). The goal is to give the impression 1) he/she isn’t completely self-centered, and 2) he/she is leading a movement and you will be joining a cast of millions by lending your support. Fine. But we thought that Rand Paul took it a little too far on yesterday’s “Meet the Press” when Chuck Todd thanked him for coming on the program and Sen. Paul responded, “Thanks for having us.”

Humor

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Former Hartford Courant columnist Jim Shea has found a new home for his brand of news humor.

He’s now writing once a week for Hearst Media papers in Connecticut. His work appears on Sundays.

Shea is one of several long time Courant staffers who took the company’s early retirement offer at the end of last year.

Follow Up

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Interesting follow up from the weekend on the coming changes at Politico and Bloomberg Politics.

Later this year two of the biggest names behind the website Politico – Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen – will leave, apparently to start a new venture. It seems curious that Politico would allow the two of them to stay on for nine months while they plot the launch of a product that might compete directly with Politico. But that seems to be the “state of play” as Mike Allen might put it.

Meanwhile, it appears Michael Bloomberg has had enough of the kind of political journalism offered by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and has given word their contracts won’t be renewed after 2016. It’s not personal, just business. Bloomberg believes his company is in the usable data business not the political news candy business.

Does anyone see merger possibilities here?

At the same time, a weekend analysis posted on Gawker suggests there really isn’t a huge market for a new political journalism start-up. The article questions whether there is even enough of a market for the outlets that exist today:

Bloomberg is exiting politics. Chris Hughes is done with The New Republic.Atlantic Media gutted National Journal. Disney killed Grantland—which wasn’t political, but was still Big Name-driven prestige journalism—and divested itself of Fusion. (FiveThirtyEight might find itself in post-election trouble too, though there’s plenty of ways data-driven sports coverage could still be useful to a media organization with a mutually beneficial relationship with scammy daily fantasy sports companies.) About the only people still investing significantly in name-driven politics coverage are Viacom, through some recent MTV hires, and Univision, now the sole owner of Fusion.

But perhaps the next VandeHei-Allen play isn’t a traditional start-up but one built on the sharing of political intelligence through sponsored/pay walled tip-sheets like Allen’s Playbook.

Also from the weekend, a New York Times article on the future of the Daily News. Which is sort a man bites dog configuration.

Sunday Talk

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Face the State WFSB 11 am

Host: Dennis House

West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka(D) on his decision to step down later this year

State Taxes:
Mayor David Cassetti(R) Ansonia
First Selectman David Mallozzi(D) New Canaan

 

 

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The Real Story Fox CT Sunday 10:30am

Hosts: Jenn Bernstein and Al Terzi

Upcoming Session:
Senators Rob Kane(R) and Cathy Osten(D)

Student Test Scores:
CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg

Potential Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Visconti

 

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Focus on Connecticut News 12 Saturday: 7:30am, 11am, 2:30pm, 7:30 pm Sunday: 2:30am, 7:30am, 11am, 1:30pm, 5:30pm

Host: Tom Appleby

TBA

 

CTN: Capitol Report: Week in Review Sunday at 8pm replays of: The Real Story (8:30pm), Face the State (9:00pm), The Stan Simpson Show (9:30 pm)

Allen Leaving Politico

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Mike Allen, a franchise player for the news website Politico, is leaving the Washington, D.C. based, conversation leading publication after the fall elections.

Allen spent time in Connecticut as a state capitol reporter for the New York Times. He was one of a core group of former newspaper journalists there at the founding of Politico in 2007. Since then the website – and daily free tabloid – has undergone dramatic growth diving deeper and deeper into Washington, D.C. politics with products based on the “one page briefing” model.

Allen has made a name for himself as the author of the daily tip sheet known as “Playbook.” He is also very much the public ambassador for Politico serving as the host of morning events with news makers and other multi-media productions.

The departure of Allen, co-founder Jim VandeHei and three others, appears to stem from disagreements inside the business about the future of the news organization. VandeHei reportedly plans a new venture he says will not compete with Politico. Having said that, it is worth noting that both VandeHei and Allen worked at the Washington Post which is now owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos who is committed to transforming the Post in the Internet age. VandeHei and Allen clearly have insight on how to do that.

Allen is somewhat of an enigma because of a non-stop work ethic that borders on strange. Few know when he sleeps or even where he lives. While working at the state capitol in Hartford some of his Connecticut colleagues wondered whether he actually slept in the 5th floor press room. He was a dogged reporter who successfully put Connecticut on the Times’ front page numerous times during his short tenure.

There is a more dramatic assessment of the situation at Politico in Friday’s edition of the Washington Post.

The Harris View

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Cianci foreground. Harris upper right.

Av Harris, the communications director for Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, must have a unique and perhaps jaundiced view of politicians.

His life and career has placed him in close proximity to a string of questionable characters. We make this observation in relation to the passing of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci who died unexpectedly today after being rushed to a hospital with severe stomach pain.

Cianci was the longest serving mayor of Providence and Harris was working in the city as a reporter when the mayor was convicted on corruption charges and sent to prison.

From the Providence Journal:

He was a political saint – a larger-than-life figure who lit up the rooms he walked in, the hearts of followers and the city he loved.

He was a sinner, who liked to intimidate and dominate, who once shut a restaurant for “over-crowding” after a bouncer who didn’t know him stopped him from coming in.

He was a magician, who showed only his charisma to those he needed most – the voters…

Later, Harris came to Connecticut just in time to cover the collapse of former Governor John Rowland.

And now, of course, he is witness to the resurrection of Ganim, who has returned to the mayor’s office after serving time on a corruption conviction.

Who knows what to make of this curious string of events. One is left to wonder; Harris moves to town, politician goes to prison. Just a coincidence?

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Harris with the latter day “Prince of Providence.”

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