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About FishbowlNY

FishbowlNY is a blog dedicated to breaking news, analysis and insightful commentary about New York media.

Alex.jpgCo-Editor | Alex Alvarez

Alex is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared on Guanabee, Racialicious, Jezebel and Sadie Magazine as well as within the pages of Surface and Playgirl. She hopes to continue covering topics as diverse as ethnic identity, celebrity baby names and, of course, New York media as long as the internet will have her. She is currently working on a novel you will never read.

If you have a media news or gossip tip, please email tips [at] or use the anonymous tip box at the top right-hand column of the FishbowlNY page. We protect our sources, and anonymity is guaranteed.

If you are interested in advertising on FishbowlNY or any other blogs, contact Jude O’Connor; jude [at] mediabistro [dot] com.

FishbowlNY launched in November 2004 as a flagship member of’s blog network. The network now encompasses our other regional media sites FishbowlLA and FishbowlDC. Also, TVNewser and companion site WebNewser, public relations site PRNewser, design blog Unbeige, literary-bent GalleyCat and its companion site eBookNewser, ad agency tell-all AgencySpy and sports-obsessed SportsNewser.

James Truman Finally Gets His Art Magazine (Or Several)

Condé Nast’s former Editorial Director/In-House Decorator, James Truman, is abandoning his current occupation of traipsing around Europe full-time to become the CEO of arts/culture-focused LTB Media. We knew the traipsing wouldn’t last.

LTB ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF JAMES TRUMAN AS CEO AND MANAGING EDITOR 18 October 2005: LTB Holding Ltd, one of the world’s leading arts and cultural information providers, is delighted to announce the appointment of James Truman, former Editorial Director of Condé Nast, as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Editor.

Full release after the jump.

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Super-Short Lunch @ Michael’s: The Super-Crowded “We Sat in the Back” Edition

It’s not Wednesday and I’m not Laurel, so this isn’t an official “Lunch at Michael’s” post, but per Keith Kelly’s Oct. 7 column, it’s worth noting that for a 1:30 reservation today, the place was ridiculously packed.

From Kelly’s column:

Michael’s, the West 55th Street restaurant, is getting so popular with the media elite that some of the regulars are having trouble getting choice seats in the front room — and at least one long-time patron is looking elsewhere. Vanity Fair writer Michael Wolff devoted a whole chapter to Michael’s and the view from Table 5 in his last book, “Autumn of the Moguls.” Still, when he called for a reservation Wednesday morning, he was told the place was filled to the brim for lunch that day…”I’m officially shopping for The Next Place,” he said…” Where’s he going next? “Nobu is opening nearby and there is that Greek place, Milos. The food is really good there,” said Wolff. “Or even the Four Seasons, the food isn’t any more expensive.”

[Ed.—If he does that, I'm going to have to start sending Laurel to Nobu, Milos and the Four Seasons. Nobu Monday, Milos Tuesday...]

I was with Kurt Andersen, who is more or less responsible for the Lunch at Michael’s feature in the first place (he suggested it) and there were no seats in the front so we got shuttled past all the full tables to the back room. Contrary to expectation, space and time did not collapse when we crossed the threshold, and the people in the back room look remarkably like the people in the front room, except they usually work in advertising and therefore emanate twice as much ennui.

(Since it’s Kurt…)


But while we’re here, per tradition: the people I spotted, er, on the way to the back room included New York mag’s Stephen Rodrick lunching with former governor Bill Weld at the table by the door, Cablevision’s Charlie Schueler, and David Patrick Columbia at his usual table. Seated in the middle of Siberia: me (Elizabeth Spiers) and Kurt. True to his word, Michael Wolff was not there.

Ask Yourself: Are We Funnier Now Than We Were Four Years Ago?

howard_stern_32.jpgOn the heels of botched responses to Katrina and Rita, startling disaster-unpreparedness news from New York: Howard Stern will leave Infinity Broadcasting for Sirius this January. And Variety‘s Michael Learmonth reports that after contacting celebs such as Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg and Geraldo Rivera as potential replacements for Howard Stern, Infinty CEO Joel Hollander said yesterday that he won’t replace the King of All Media with a single host.

OK… Talk about “burying the lead” here: Four years after September 11th, this country is so woefully underequipped when it comes to radio comedy that after Jon Stweart turns down a job, we’re going to Whoopi and – right after her – goddamned Geraldo Rivera? That’s OUR PLAN?

geraldo2.jpgI can understand going to Jon Stewart. Funny guy, appealing mix of deadpan and interogative delivery. Fine. But from Stewart, to Whoopi to goddamned Geraldo? I mean, on the radio, you can’t even see his mustache. And fully half his comedic, post-post-modern appeal is tied up in that 70s, porn ‘stache (as oppossed to a porn stash: k:) he sports.

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Condé Nast Plays Musical Executive Titles

With new magazines sprouting up left and right like weeds, it’s not entirely surprising that Condé Nast is running out of room to house them all. (They’ve probably got three or four start-ups in the basement they commissioned and then forgot about.)

What’s the solution? Re-org! (That was a trick question. Isn’t re-org always the solution?)

Memo after the jump.

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New FishbowlLA Contributor: Claude Brodesser

We’re happy to introduce our new guest contributor to FishbowlLA, Claude Brodesser:

Claude started at mediabistro in September 2005, after an eight year stint as a film reporter at Daily Variety and Variety. He continues to serve as the host of KCRW’s “The Business,” the National Public Radio show about the business of entertainment that’s carried in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C., among other markets. Claude’s freelance work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Premiere, Entertainment Weekly and US Weekly. In his spare time, he is the lucky fiance of West Coast Director of Education Taffy Akner.

Claude will be blogging about film and entertainment.

While We’re On The Subject…

Speaking of Double Super-Secret Off-the-Record Gatherings

Mickey Kaus writes:

If Karl Rove really is “in charge of the [Katrina] reconstruction effort,” what’s he doing at a Teddy Forstmann schmooze event in Aspen? You’d think he’d have had more important duties this past weekend.

Others in attendance at said Teddy Forstmann schmooze event: Harvey Weinstein, Brad Grey, Michael Eisner, Les Moonves, Tom Freston, Tom Friedman, Bob Novak, Barry Diller, Martha Stewart, Margaret Carlson, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, Norman Pearlstein and Walter Isaacson.

Could we get Harvey Weinstein to ask Rove what he’s doing there? C’mon, Harvey! Do it for New York.

Or we could just go the usual route:


Double Super-Secret Googlefest

According to this thread, Google is hosting a big secret OFF THE RECORD confab in October:

Zeitgeist ’05: The Google Partner Forum is happening on Oct. 25-27, …About 400 people are on the invite only list…The traditional press is well in attendance, with James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell, the chairman and publisher of the New York Times Arthur Sulzberger and others…


All speeches and discussions at Zeitgeist are off the record. To ensure that our presenters and attendees can speak openly, no press coverage or blogging is permitted.

As everyone knows, an off the record conference with 400 attendees is a leaky conference. Just ask Michael Wolff. (Or Steve Rattner.)

shhhhh.jpg[ATTENTION CONFERENCE ATTENDEES: Leakage may be directed to Note to "Karl R.": Stop emailing us "leaked information." The conference hasn't happened yet. Don't you have a country to run?]

A User’s Guide to Vanity Fair’s New Establishment List

Vanity Fair’s annual “New Establishment” List is on newsstands today, and not surprisingly, most of it looks like the Old Establishment. (People Who Have Been Known to Pay Graydon Carter Consulting Fees—formerly #46—however, have been downgraded to “Moguls in the Running”.)

Walmart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. is in the #2 spot despite the fact that Walmart’s stock price has done nothing but sink for the last two years (competition, lack of merchandising talent, etc.) but then we don’t expect anyone at Vanity Fair to know anything about any sort of business that doesn’t involve Klieg lights, t-stops and Brian Grazer.

Along those lines, VF ranks the top talent agencies, knocking their member agents and executives off the list (possibly because no one can remember who runs them).

In media, Sumner Redstone’s #3, Rupert Murdoch’s #4, Oprah’s #10 and Martha’s #50. On the upside, they had the good sense to boot Michael Eisner off the list (formerly #36). On the downside, only media-industry narcissism would produce a story that insinuating that Sumner Redstone and Rupert Murdoch were the most powerful leaders of the Information Age.

[See the full list after the jump.]

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Ron Galotti, Volunteer Fireman

firehat.jpgWe interrupt your round-the-clock Katrina coverage to bring you something of far, far less importance. We hear that Ron Galotti has been completely assimilated into Vermont farm life and has among other things, joined the Pomfret Volunteer Fire Department. Also: recent Galotti household purchases purportedly include a “very big tractor” and a manure spreader.

We probably wouldn’t call him if our house was burning, but we have to give Mr. Big credit here: if he insists on fleeing New York for cows and trees and whatnot, at least he’s not half-assing it.