Thursday Evening Edition 10/15/09

TONIGHT ON ’30 ROCK’: Kenneth leads a strike of NBC pages after he discovers the king’s size of Jack’s bonus. Ouch! How much closer to home can you get? 9:30 ET, on NBC. [NY Times]

SEPTEMBER WEB NUMBERS: Huffington Post tops Washington Post in uniques; NY Times bounces back; phenomenal (improbable?) 373 percent growth for Examiner newspapers. [Editor & Publisher]

HEARST TWO-TIMING MURDOCH?: In bed with aggregators. [NY Observer]

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: It’s easier — and more essential — than ever.

In a time when the digital world of Web, mobile and social media are turning the traditional media world on its head, Wal-Mart’s mantra never had so much meaning: “If you’re not working on things to increase revenues or decrease costs, you’re working on the wrong things.”

CLASS DIFFERENCE: Canadian study eyes demographic differences between users of Facebook and MySpace, in both the US and Canada. [CBC News]

SAN FRAN TIMES: NY Times begins its localized San Francisco edition tomorrow. [Business Wire]

TEASERS SELL: Readers who sample a book on line (for free) … often buy the book. (This should not be a surprise.) [Melodika]

ANN LANDERS: “The Lady With All the Answers,” a play about the advice columnist from the Heartland who changed lives — including her own — opened this week Off Broadway. [Villager]  Also: Link to NY Times review.

“Ann Landers is iconic,” [said Judith Ivey, who’ll play Landers on stage]. “I grew up on her … and thought it would be real kick to try and mimic her and make her accessible to everybody. She was a real humanitarian. She really took her work seriously, and had a responsibility to her readers…

“One of the greatest subjects she championed was homosexuality. She went to the experts and they said ‘this is not an affliction, this is who people are.’ She said [gays] can’t be treated as ogres or as someone who has a disease.”

Raised in Iowa, Landers wasn’t always so progressive. “She was actually quite conservative at first and then she’d change her point of view when the times changed.” A devout Jew, she often received hate mail from anti-Semites, homophobes, and right-wing fanatics for defending minorities and women’s rights.

At one time, she was against divorce and premarital sex, but changed her perspective when she faced a personal crisis — [a divorce from her husband Jules].

Landers wrote a brief letter to readers about her divorce, in which she said, “Not only has this been the most difficult column I have ever written, but it is also the shortest. I apologize to my editors for not giving you your money’s worth today. I ask that you not fill this space with old letters.  Please leave it blank — as a memorial to one of the world’s best marriages that didn’t make it to the finish line.”

HISTORY OF THE INTERNET: It’s all about sharing. Here it is step by step, with basic tech jargon, beginning in 1957. (8 minutes)

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