Monday, April 14, 2008

Exclusive! Fishbowl-fired Kate Coe fires back!

After we told you yesterday that Los Angeles journalist Kate Coe parted company on less than happy terms with MediaBistro’s FishbowlLA blog, Kevin Roderick's essential LA Observed picked up the story with a far less friendly spin:

“Kate Coe was fired as co-editor in a dispute over money, says her friend and former colleague who blogs as Tabloid Baby. He's glowing about her, but I'm surprised it took this long for Coe and Mediabistro to part ways. She used Fishbowl LA to push friends and carry out grudges, made a lot of errors and borrowed to excess from LA Observed. (Low point: In January she passed off one of my observations about the LAT as something she read in the Times.) Mediabistro's sites in New York and Washington are respected, and FBLA should be just as smart and savvy…”

This morning, on her way to greater heights, Kate fires back. We nabbed our friend and former colleague for this exclusive.

Kate, what happened?

As a paid blogger for FishbowlLA, I was supposed to blog about the LA media and entertainment industry. But when I was hired by Dorian Benkoil in 2006, I warned him that I wasn't ever going to jeopardize my actual career in TV and documentary production for a blog post.

Evidently, Chris Ariens, MediaBistro’s new editorial honcho, didn't get that information.

It all started when the managing editor, Rebecca Fox, suggested a story about Sue Naegle, the new head of HBO Entertainment.

Here’s the original email:

"get comment from new pres. Naegle on the morass she's entering at beleaguered HBO, wher Showtime's now superior programming is devouring its breakfast lunch and dinner, and it's now best known for a woman-beating former exec (Abrecht)

“Also, prev. ent. pres Carolyn Strauss left that post but is still affiliated w/ HBO in some undisclosed role.

“Our orig. angle could be what exactly is that, and what's she got to say about the shitshow Naegle's inheriting from her?"

Chris passed on the note on to FBLA. He’s a TV news veteran, so he must have known what a ludicrous request this was.

What’s so ludicrous?

It’s uninformed, first of all. Strauss has an HBO production deal! It's not a story angle calculated to get any response from HBO.

Usually I ignored these requests for HQ, but this time, I replied. Don’t ask me why.

Kate wrote:

“I've worked for HBO and have a lot of contacts there, but I'm not willing to call in a favor for a post."


There goes my next question.

And I was fired.

That post, by the way, pays under $20.

Twenty dollars?

Yeah. Unlike other sites, like Gawker and Defamer, Mediabistro's bloggers work only for a per-post rate. On the other hand, at least they paid that-- unlike Kevin Roderick, who gets established writers to write for free.


It's true. We dubbed Roderick “KRod.” He never understood that FBLA's readership is about half the age of LAObserved readers.

He said you used the Fishbowl to carry out grudges.

Grudges? Let's not forget Roderick's ongoing feud with Jill Stewart, which I mocked last June.

I also mocked him for gushing over Theresa Duncan, whom he'd never met.

So you guys have a history.

I'm a little surprised that KRod even bothered to notice my departure, but then again, at least he got a post out of it.

So what’s next for SuperBlogger Kate Coe? You’ve got heat now!

Heat schmeat.


Anonymous said...

Two guys from FishBowlNY just got axed as they were too expensive.

I think they were getting $20 each.

It's sweatshop journalism.

Anonymous said...

The blogger frenzy is kind of depressing. Writers are selling not only experience but also contacts, just to write a post. Compensation should reflect the banner ads at each site. Clicks, revenue, trickle down. Et cetera.

darleene said...

This is why I doubt I'll ever write for a team blog. I'd rather keep the control of my stuff. I make more money this way, too.