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Archives for June 2017

“On Deadline with Gabe Pressman”: My Starstruck 1973 Profile of the Late Dean of NYC TV Reporters

Back in 1973, clutching a masters degree in journalism from Columbia, I decided to take the class that Gabe Pressman, gave at the New School. This "indefatigable dean of New York's television reporters" (as described in his Friday NY Times obit) generously allowed a few students to shadow him on different days. I was one of the lucky ones. Gabe proved to be both a tough reporter and a kind mentor. Watching him cover two breaking news stories from start to finish, and chatting with him throughout the day, I knew a lively profile story … [Read more...]

Ethics and Critics: Conflicts of Interest Infect NY Times Reviews

If a newspaper accepted outside compensation for favorable coverage, that would be clearly be a violation of journalistic ethics---a conflict of interest, potentially compromising the integrity of its reports. That's essentially what's happening, though, on the arts pages of the NY Times, where clickable "FIND TICKETS" buttons have been appended to theater and movie reviews. Clicking the button leads to an online ticket-selling site. Here's an image of one example (in the blue box on the right, below): Here's what the faint text below the … [Read more...]

AAMD’s Response to Metropolitan Museum’s Renegade Reorganization: “Guidance to Consider”

In last week's post---Metropolitan Museum as Renegade: Reorganization Defies AAMD’s Professional Standards---I noted that Met President Daniel Weiss' designation as his museum's CEO, with the yet-to-be-named new director as his subordinate, ran contrary to the professional guidelines (P. 5) of the Association of Art Museum Directors. I also predicted that AAMD's reaction to the Met's going rogue would be to ignore it. I was right. Here's the answer that I received today from AAMD's executive director, Christine Anagnos, to my query about … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Museum as Renegade: Reorganization Defies AAMD’s Professional Standards

The Metropolitan Museum has become a renegade. Its decision to rejigger its organizational chart---elevating the finance-oriented CEO (now President Daniel Weiss) above its (as yet unnamed) new art-centric director---runs contrary to common wisdom about the appropriate chain of command in art museums. That said, I reluctantly concede that desperate times may call for desperate measures. Notwithstanding outgoing director Tom Campbell's gracious endorsement on his Instagram feed of Weiss' CEO designation, subordinating the director to the … [Read more...]

President Dan Weiss Snares Top Spot at Metropolitan Museum (with director as subordinate)

Congratulations, Daniel Weiss. You've passed the audition. As announced in today's press release, the Metropolitan Museum's board voted unanimously to make permanent President Weiss' previously interim appointment as the museum's CEO. No surprises there. The big news, unmentioned in today's NY Times report, but implicit in the Met's official announcement, is the board's laudable decision not to add "director" to Weiss' titles. According to the press release: The museum will lead a search to appoint a director of the museum, who will … [Read more...]

Diller Thriller: MoMA’s Mega-Makover, An Irreverent Photo Essay

After my involuntary hiatus, I re-joined the scribe tribe on Thursday to learn more about what Robin Pogrebin had already announced to us in the NY Times earlier that morning---the completion of Phase One of the Museum of Modern Art's $450-million capital project (the renovation and reconfiguration of the eastern portion of its sprawling physical plant) and the plans for the rest of the project, which involve renovation of the rest of the existing facility and expansion into the lower floors of the in-construction Jean Nouvel-designed … [Read more...]

Proud and Unbowed: Tom Campbell’s Valedictory to the Press (plus, a look to the future)

I was surprised and saddened to realize (from Robin Pogrebin's tweet) that I hadn't been invited to Tom Campbell's press briefing at the Metropolitan Museum on Wednesday---the last of these biannual events before he "step[s] down" (his words, my link) from the museum's directorship on June 30. I've attended these informative conclaves for decades: Hearing of my plight, a friendly colleague provided me his own digital recording of the proceedings. I transcribed Campbell's astonishingly self-congratulatory oration, but then decided that instead … [Read more...]

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