Media: The Word on the Street

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The Independent Culture
CONSPIRACY THEORISTS have been debating whether Kim Evans' departure from the BBC, where she was head of arts, means she is unhappy with the Corporation giving too low a profile to arts coverage. Ms Evans denies this. But the focus on her has kept attention away from a similar scenario at Channel 4, where the commissioning editor for arts has been promoted to the new post of managing editor of commissions to oversee Channel 4's commissioning process. Meanwhile, her arts fiefdom is being integrated into Kevin Lygo's entertainment department. Now that does sound like a channel downgrading its arts output.

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DEPARTMENT SHALL not speak unto department: the Daily Mail last Friday con- veyed the sullen scene of Henry Cecil having to congratulate Kieren Fallon, the jockey he had just sacked, on riding a winner for him. On page 3 the Mail reported how Mr Cecil praised the jockey's riding but "could not bring himself to mention Fallon by name". Apparently, Cecil said: "He rode her well. Both jockey and horse did themselves justice." Only problem is that on the back page of the paper Mr Cecil is quoted as saying: "Kieren rode the filly very well."

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DEPARTMENT SHALL not speak unto department part two - not even its own department. Not for the first time Alexander Chancellor, media commentator of The Daily Telegraph, seems not to be let in on what is going in his section. Last week Chancellor wrote about Boris Johnson's editorship of The Spectator, saying: "So what will Boris do with his new toy? You can't expect him to have decided yet, since he sat in the editor's chair for the first time yesterday." Actually, he had decided what he was going to do - and spelled out his thoughts in an interview opposite Chancellor's column.

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THE FIRST issue of Tina Brown's Talk magazine comes out in America today. Its launch interview with Hillary Clinton has already had wide coverage; Ms Brown has given interviews; previews of last night's New York launch have been around for days. What more can one do to hype it? Send out a threatening legal letter. Yesterday one duly arrived "respectfully drawing attention of editors to copyright interests in its premier issue... Before that date Talk will rigorously defend against the use of copyright articles and photography from this issue." And they will rigorously plug by all legal means.

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