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End of an Era
July 5, 2019

The satirical MAD magazine will disappear from newsstands following the publication of its August issue, ending a 67-year run after facing dwindling circulation.

DC, the division of Warner Brothers that publishes the magazine, said after the summer MAD will recycle previously released cartoons and parodies, and be available at comic book stores or by subscription. MAD will publish new content only in special, year-end editions.

MAD, with its iconic gap-toothed mascot Alfred E. Neuman ("What, me worry?), has influenced generations of readers, including comedians. "It's pretty much the reason I turned out weird," tweeted "Weird Al" Yankovic. Josh Weinstein, a writer and producer of The Simpsons, tweeted a thank you to MAD, saying: "There was a moment in so many of our childhoods where you were the greatest thing ever." Harold Maass

March 20, 2019

If it hasn't yet hit you how big a deal it is that Disney's purchase of most of Fox has gone through, look no further than the bizarre sight that is the company's new website.

Disney's $71 billion takeover of Fox's assets was officially completed just after midnight on Wednesday, and an update to the official Walt Disney Company website was ready to go almost immediately, as pointed out by The Hollywood Reporter. A banner on the homepage now features a mix of classic Disney properties and Fox ones that are now under its control. Mickey Mouse and Queen Elsa are there, but so are Deadpool and Bart Simpson. The website also features images from the new Disney properties like Avatar, Atlanta, and The Shape of Water, mixed with classic ones like Star Wars and Toy Story.

Disney did not take over all of Fox, as Fox Sports, Fox Business Network, Fox News, and the Fox broadcast network were spun off into a new company, Fox Corporation. But 20th Century Fox's film and TV shows have gone to Disney, with some of the other properties they now control including X-Men, Alien, and Family Guy.

Clearly, Disney was excited to show off some of its new toys with this website change, one of which, Avatar, is the highest-grossing film of all time and has four sequels on the way. The image from Deadpool is particularly interesting and supports the theory that Ryan Reynolds' foul-mouthed version of the character might be incorporated into Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. And we're not saying a crossover between Star Wars and The Shape of Water is likely, but yes, that's now technically a thing that could happen. Brendan Morrow

December 14, 2018

Conservative magazine The Weekly Standard is shutting down after 23 years in print, its owners announced Friday.

The Weekly Standard, once published by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, rose to prominence as it influenced former President George W. Bush's administration. It was sold to Clarity Media Group in 2008, and soon proved a persistent critic to President Trump and the rise of the far right.

That neoconservative voice may have been its downfall, though, CNN points out. The Weekly Standard's finances faltered as far-right publications such as The Daily Caller and Breitbart grew. It reportedly searched for a new owner earlier this year, but The Daily Caller later reported the magazine wouldn't last until 2019, per The Ringer.

The Weekly Standard editor Steve Hayes broke the news to staffers in an email on Friday. Read all of it below. Kathryn Krawczyk

November 20, 2018

The January 2019 issue of Glamour will be the magazine's final monthly print edition, Condé Nast announced Tuesday.

Launched in 1939 as Glamour of Hollywood, the magazine will be shifting to an entirely digital presence. Glamour has a print circulation of about two million and an online audience of 20 million, Variety reports. Last year, Condé Nast ended the print editions of Teen Vogue and Self. No layoffs are planned, and the magazine will still print special issues on occasion.

Samantha Barry, the magazine's new editor-in-chief, told staff in a memo that Glamour is "doubling down on digital — investing in the storytelling, service, and fantastic photo shoots we've always been known for, bringing it to the platforms our readers frequent most." Barry came to Glamour in January from CNN Worldwide, where she was executive producer for social and emerging media. Catherine Garcia

October 29, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Monday that she will not seek re-election as party leader in December but intends to stay on as chancellor until her term ends in 2021, Germany's DPA news agency reports. Merkel, 64, has led the CDU since 2000 and been chancellor since 2005. She had said earlier she intended to seek another two-year term as party leader, but after two consecutive setbacks for her party in regional elections in Hesse on Sunday and Bavaria a week earlier, she apparently changed her mind.

Merkel had previously said a chancellor should also be leader of the governing party, but her predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, stepped down as leader of the Social Democrats in 2004 and former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was never leader of his party, also the center-left Social Democrats, The Associated Press reports. Stepping down now will allow her party to settle on a successor before the next election. There is no clear candidate to replace Merkel, but the most likely contenders are seen to be her handpicked CDU general secretary, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer; socially conservative Health Minister Jens Spahn, a critic of Merkel's refugee policy; and parliamentary caucus leader Ralph Brinkhaus. Peter Weber

October 8, 2018

Over the last 16 years, The Fresno Bee has endorsed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in all of his elections, but that streak has ended.

This weekend, the newspaper's editorial board announced it is not recommending Nunes for California's 22nd Congressional District, but rather his Democratic opponent, deputy district attorney Andrew Janz. The 34-year-old "offers the best chance to both lead the district by attending to its issues and then striving for bipartisanship in Washington, D.C., which is the only answer to the poison of gridlock politics that is stifling debate and action at nearly all levels."

The Bee invited both men to interviews, but only Janz responded, RSVPing yes. Nunes not only ignores the newspaper, but also his constituents, the editorial board said, avoiding town hall meetings and alienating people who are working to develop a new source of water for local farms. District voters "have a chance to become a model for the nation," the editorial concludes. A vote for Janz is a vote for someone who will "help them with their needs, listen to their concerns and invite them into the process, and chart a bipartisan course that the nation must find if it is to meet the challenges of the future."

With Nunes, voters are "stuck with the damaging partisanship he practices, the party-above-country mode that motivates him to protect President Trump from the investigation into Russian meddling more than meet his constitutional obligations as an independent arm of government." Read the entire op-ed at The Fresno Bee.
 Catherine Garcia

September 13, 2018

Volkswagen announced Thursday that the Beetle will be retired in 2019.

"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans," Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen's president, said in a statement. The Beetle debuted in 1938 in Germany, but it didn't go into mass production until after World War II, making its North American debut in 1949.

Volkswagen, which introduced new generations of the Beetle in 1998 and 2012, ended production of the original version in 2003. The retirement is coming at a time when consumers are more interested in larger cars like SUVs, but Woebcken said it's possible the Beetle could come back in the future. Volkswagen will produce a "Final Edition" series, CNN Money reports, with hardtops running $23,045 and up and convertibles starting at $27,045. Those vehicles will end production in Mexico in July 2019. Catherine Garcia

August 1, 2018

Prior to Anthony Bourdain's death in June, enough footage was shot to create a final season of his hit CNN show Parts Unknown, the network announced Wednesday.

The episodes will premiere in the fall. The acclaimed chef, author, and television host finished one full episode before he died by suicide, traveling to Kenya with United Shades of America host W. Kamau Bell. This will be the last episode to have Bourdain's narration. One of the show's final episodes will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Parts Unknown, and the last hour will focus on the effect Bourdain had on the world, according to Amy Entelis, CNN's executive vice president of talent and content.

To finish the other episodes — set in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Texas, Spain, and Indonesia — producers are using audio of Bourdain captured while on location, and conducting follow-up interviews. "Each one will feel slightly different depending on what's gathered in the field," Entelis told the Los Angeles Times. "They will have the full presence of Tony because you'll see him, you'll hear him, you'll watch him. That layer of his narration will be missing, but it will be replaced by other voices of people who are in the episodes." Parts Unknown, launched in 2013, is one of CNN's most successful programs. Catherine Garcia

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