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Archives: April 2006

Punching Out Parkinson’s

Marlene Kahan, the head of ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors), has launched a campaign to “Punch Out Parkinson’s” via public service announcements in magazines. This makes a lot of sense, considering, as she put it “I have the magazine world in the palm of my hand.”

The launch party for the campaign was last Thursday (April 27th) at the well-appointed multi-bazillion dollar Upper East Side home of William Reilly, former head of Primedia and now head of Aurelian Communications. At the media-star-studded event, Kahan announced that her campaign has so far raised $25 million worth of Public Service Ads in 20 magazines/media outlets, including AARP’s magazine, Adweek, Business Week, Cooking Light, Edutopia, Forbes, Gourmet, Harvard Business Review, Kiplinger’s, People, Prevention, Success, Travel & Leisure — and Not bad for a night’s work!

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Fox locks fall; Tyler Perry gives Hollywood the finger – again

A quick round up of TV deals, as the week winds down:

– “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” creator Tyler Perry‘s goes outside the traditional studio system again. After “Madea’s Family Reunion” opened as strong as it did, Perry could have gone to any network (“My Big Fat Greek Family”, anyone?) but Perry wanted control. And so, “House of Payne,” is heading for limited run through spring and summer, with Debmar-Mercury distributing.

Fox Broadcasting, unwilling to attempt a 24/7 “American Idol” schedule after Ryan Seacrest‘s physicians insisted he sleep at least three hours a week, has set up two fall series, Variety reports.

Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa have gotten a greenlight on “Til Death,” a Sony Pictures sitcom that stars Garrett and Joely Fisher “as a long-married couple whose new neighbors are idealistic newlyweds (Eddie Kaye Thomas, Kat Foster).”

And Josh Berman has gotten the OK on “Vanished,” about “a senator’s wife who goes missing as part of a larger conspiracy. Inspired by the country’s ongoing fascination with missing women, (Ed: The country has an on-going fascination with missing women?)the story behind “Vanished” will unfold throughout the season, as told through the eyes of law enforcement, family members and the media.” (We’d have noticed this sooner, but we were a little preoccupied.)

Emmy Showdown: Martha vs. Rachael Ray


From the L.A. TimesEnvelope:

WHO’LL WIN THE DAYTIME EMMYS THIS FRIDAY NIGHT? Looks like Rachael Ray is the Eve Harrington of the Daytime Emmys — she gets the best odds to beat Martha Stewart, who had dominated the awards for 6 out of the past 7 years.

“DaVinci” marketing mayhem: Pope’s minions enter frey

The Church’s move today against “The DaVinci Code” baffles us on many levels.
For one, there’s the E! reportage,

Monsignor Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal office, has urged Catholics everywhere to boycott the upcoming Tom Hanks film on the basis that it patently “offended” the Christian faith.”

“Powerful doctrinal office?” What’s so powerful about it? As a former Catholic myself, I’m couldn’t even hazard a guess at what this means. Does E! think that whenever the Vatican suggests something, a Popesignal is shined up into the firmament, activating the boycott chip that lodged in the cortex of every Catholic?

Like we said, baffled. pope_looks_like_palpatine_02.jpg

Then there’s the obliqueness of the comment: Why not have the Pope just come out and say it his holy self? Why have some faith-lackey do it, if Tom Hanks‘ is so patently offensive? Besides, Tom Hanks? This softie is offensive? Are you kidding me? He’s a candidate for canonization based on the Times essay alone.

And finally, there’s the whole Palpatine / Pope thing. You’d think that a guy who looks so much like the Emperor would be a movie lover, not a hater.

No, the other Hollywood wiretapper…

We just got off the phone with our old pal, Tom Tapp, the former editor of the lamentably-late Variety celeb lifestyle monthly, V Life. wiretap.jpg

In one conversation, he ruined our afternoon: Six months after leaving Reed Business Information, he’s launching – gasp! – a competitor to FishbowlLA – the cunningly-christened “Hollywood Wiretap” – designed to simultaneously exploit both the Anthony Pellicano scandal and the people searching the web for it. Get it? Tom Tapp? Wiretap?

Of course, Tom, tells us, it’s much more than a Pelican news site, and its not a blog. It’s meant to be “Matt Drudge, but for Hollywood.” Tom has experience with that sort of pace, too: He was a wire-hanger for E! Online for years before joining Variety.

Naturally, we wish him the best of luck – even as we plot a denial-of-service attack against him.

This is Hollywood, after all.

(Though it launches Monday, you can check out the beta version today:

Sometime Correspondent: Elle Magazine

The latest installment from our ongoing Correspondency on NYC-TV’s NY 360. This time, Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, dishes on top models and celebs, and reveals her entire budget for everything from new editorial hires to freelance contributors. Hah! We wish.

If you’d like to see this on your TV screen instead, New York folks can tune in to Channel 25 on this Saturday, April 29th at 10:30 p.m. and again on Monday, May 1st, at 8:30 p.m.

*Stay tuned for our next interview, with Vogue‘s Sally Singer!

Prego Hollywood Celebs = The New Foreign Aid


As Americans, we’re cheap.

As Jimmy Carter pointed out not so long ago on Charlie Rose, America gives proportionately less foreign aid to developing countries than any other Western nation.

But with a muy expensivo war on, what to do?

The answer came today, in a flash of brilliance from the U.N.: Deploy pregnant celebs to developing states! 20050908_britney.jpg

As Reuters noted today,

“If Angelina Jolie gives birth in Namibia, she would have done for our tourism sector what our tourism board budget cannot do in a year,” Namibian Ambassador to the United States Hopelong Iipinge said in a letter released to the media late Thursday.”


Britney and K-Fed, you take Burkina Faso. Matt Damon and Luciana? You’ve got Mozambique. Okay. Niger, NigerRachel Weisz? You and Darren Aronofsky are bound for beautiful Niamey.

Don’t tell us you don’t like Africa – we saw The Constant Gardner!

TriBeCa: Salon appointment yields dark highlights


Indie film is rarely a land of cotton candy and peppermint rainbows, but a report by’s Andrew O’Hehir suggests this year’s crop of TriBeCa indies are particulalry caliginous:


- Emmanuelle Bercot‘s “Backstage”: “trashy but highly absorbing

- Matt Williams‘ “Walker Payne”: “redeemed from total triviality, in fact, by its darkness.”

- “Civic Duty,” a claustrophobic, low-budget thriller starring Peter Krause: “a gloomy, intense and effective little picture, without being the least bit original.” rw.jpg‘s O’Hehir continues, “Stay tuned: I’ll be back with many more films, though not necessarily more cheerful ones: a controversial documentary about Golden Gate Bridge suicides, a tale of death row in Iran, a story about an all-night bender in Dallas, multiple visions of the Iraq war, how Colombia’s drug kings brought vice to Miami and much, much more.”

Much, much more? Uh, thanks, but no. Amazingly, “RV” is starting to look like a laugh riot.

Stocklogs Inc.? First Weblogs Launch Under AOL Regime

A bloggy announcement courtesy of Jason Calacanis‘ Weblogs Inc. came over the transom yesterday:

AOL Launches New Blog Network Dedicated to Individual Stocks of the Most Watched and Widely Held Companies

Series of Blogs to Provide Original Analysis and Commentary Plus Information on Breaking News, Industry Trends, Market Moves and More

Dulles, VA (April 27, 2006) — In the first joint creation of a new blogging network since the acquisition of Weblogs, Inc., AOL and Weblogs, Inc. announced today that they have launched a new network,, which will host a series of individual blogs dedicated to providing daily commentary, insightful and thought-provoking analysis and news coverage of some of the most-widely held and followed public companies.

The bloggers will not be making investment buy or sell recommendations or provide any personalized investment advice, but rather providing original and entertaining commentary and analysis so individual investors can become better informed about the stocks they hold or are most interested in.

Entertaining commentary. Related to Wall Street. Sounds familiar.

The first companies to get the Weblogs’ stock treatment: Time Warner, Google, Yahoo, Apple, eBay, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, General Electric.

Vanity Un-fair? The celebs strike back

The John Connolly / Bryan Burroughs fall-out

Variety carries the PR counter-offensive today, with some curiously worded defenses:

Cindy Guagenti, who reps Pitt and Sandler, said in a statement, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler and the late Chris Farley have never once engaged the services of Anthony Pellicano, either directly or through a representative.”

OK. Now for the odd part:

“Guagenti added that none of the three thesps were contacted by the magazine before the story was published.”

We’re curious: How exactly would one go about contacting Farley these days? We recently went for a meeting, but he kept us waiting in the outer office all day.