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Former 'Radar' exec forms group for downsized media

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THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SHITCANNED MEDIA ELITES (ASSME) HOSTED A holiday soiree Dec. 17 where “recently downsized magazine, newspaper, publishing, advertising, TV and Web professionals” were invited to celebrate their pink slips at an open bar from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Afterward, the first round of drinks was on the “still employed” bold enough to show for the $5 p.i.n.k. vodka special until 12 a.m. These “hard hustling, free agents of the media business of late,” as referred to by Reporter Nat Ives of Advertising Age, are the product of the tough times at media companies, which so far have resulted in 30,000-plus layoffs. Founded by former Radar magazine executive editor Aaron Gell, the group strives to “sustain and inspire this beleaguered professional subclass” by way of time-tested, alcoholic and socially interactive methods. According to Gell in a Dec. 22 interview in The Village Voice, “ASSME started out three weeks ago as a joke, the sort of dumb idea you have occasionally but don't act on because, when you're working, who has any time? For now, it's a party, a Web site and a way of life. There's a lot of talk about turning it into something real down the road. At the very least, we'll have another party, for sure.” —Tanya Meyer
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