'Net newsmag's founder embraces convergence

Inside.com founder-editor Kurt Andersen may be keeping his fingers in a few too many pies. The former New York magazine editor, who also helped found Spy magazine, has taken on screenwriting duties for the film version of his satirical novel “Turn of the Century.”

Though the journo-novelist will inevitably be taking aim at various studios as Inside.com editor, he is quietly scripting the project for director Curtis Hanson, who showed up at the Inside.com launch party in L.A. last week. And Anderson’s getting paid a decent amount of cash for his efforts.

Village Roadshow is producing the pic and is quite content with Andersen’s attachment. Nonetheless, one can’t help but wonder how Inside.com will treat Village Roadshow’s upcoming releases. Or, more pertinently, how the Internet newsmag will view the ongoing and occasionally testy relationship between Village Roadshow and Warner Bros. Andersen couldn’t be reached for comment. Village Roadshow simply confirmed Andersen’s role.

But Anderson did point out at the time of his book’s release that he believes “we’re living in a time of ‘extreme capitalism,’ where the marketplace rules as never before. We’re living in a time when almost everything (news, politics, advertising, the computer revolution) is a form of entertainment.” Now that comment takes on new meaning, given his dual roles as editor and content provider.

But Andersen isn’t the only Insider to test the conflict waters. One TV topper testifies that right after a reporter for Inside.com called to inquire about a news story, that reporter’s agent was on the phone pitching a project the reporter was eager to sell.

“It struck me as rather tacky,” the TV exec said.

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