Does a successful book party equal book sales success? If so, then Saira Rao‘s first novel, Chambermaid, is headed for stratospheric heights. The party was a rager, with over 200 people in attendance. Held in a Fifth Avenue Park-facing apartment, it was a delightful if homogeneous mash-up of well-heeled lawyers, bankers, media — and one actor:
Archives: June 2007
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Hey, it looks like Ken Auletta was right. The New York Times is reporting that in the (increasingly likely by the nanosecond) purchase of the Wall Street Journal by News Corporation, an independent committee would be appointed that would have power to approve or reject personnel changes related to top editors. The five founding members of the committee would be jointly chosen by Dow Jones & Co. (we’re assuming with heavy input from the Bancrofts) and News Corp. This committee would have the power to block hirings or firings on the part of News Corp — something extremely close to what Auletta was reporting in his recent New Yorker piece on Murdoch. Meanwhile, the Journal reports on “quixotic” attempts to find an alternate buyer for the paper, including Brian Tierney of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and, err, Brad Greenspan of MySpace.
That big post-jail Larry King interview with Paris Hilton? You remember, the one where the newly-religious Paris stumbled and tripped when asked what her favorite Bible verse was? Well, the show drew nearly 3.2 million viewers — triple Larry King Live‘s average audience. But even Paris couldn’t help CNN beat Fox News that night. The total prime time viewer count for the two channels was 1.858 million viewers at Fox News and 1.851 million at CNN. Winner: Greta Van Susteren.
Life after Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for Aaron Sorkin is pretty sweet. Although Studio 60‘s last episode was last night, the ex-West Wing producer’s got a show on Broadway. Continuing on the post-Copenhagen Broadway mini-trend of highbrow shows (Frost/Nixon, we’re looking at you), Sorkin’s The Farnsworth Invention is opening up in November:
The Farnsworth Invention concerns the battle for the patent for the invention of the television set. The race pitted a young genius, Philo T. Farnsworth, who came up with the idea as a high school student, against David Sarnoff, the head of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).
Apart from writing Farnsworth Invention, Sorkin also penned the script to the upcoming Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts-Philip Seymour Hoffman film Charlie Wilson’s War.
If you’re Barack Obama and want to do a quick round of New York publicity, the answer is simple: appear on Hot 97. Obama did a short phone interview with Angie Martinez this past Wednesday. Martinez, one of New York’s highest-rated radio hosts, has the coveted afternoon drive time slot at the Emmis-owned station. Although most of the chat was your standard politico talk, Obama dropped pop music names as well:
“I’m old-school and generally I’m more of a jazz guy,” he told Martinez. “But having said that, I’m current enough that on my iPod I got a little bit of Jay-Z, a little bit of Beyoncé. A little bit. I don’t want to pretend I know as much as my [children]. I’m falling behind rapidly.”
In other politicians-in-the-media news, the always reliable Joe Biden made a gaffe in Thursday’s debate. Whoops.
It’s the last working day of celebrity editor Janice Min‘s contract at Us Weekly — and it looks like negotiations between her and Jann Wenner are down to the wire. WWD reports that Min still hadn’t reached an agreement with Wenner Media over her new contract as of Thursday night. Min’s previous contract earned her an impressive $1.2 million annually; the New York Post says it is unlikely that Min will walk away. Min has a reputation as a hands-on editor — and her recent decision not to cover Paris Hilton‘s release from jail earned Us tons of free press. Between that and the fact that she been every bit as high-profile as Bonnie Fuller as Us‘s EIC, it seems doubtful she will leave.
Yesterday’s Sideshow column identified Cyndi Lauper as a Brit. She is not: Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper was born June 22, 1953, in Ozone Park, N.Y.
There you have it: Cyndi Lauper = Not British at all.
ABC announced late yesterday that Bill Ritter will be interviewing Peter Braunstein on 20/20 tonight. For those hoping Braunstein — following one of the most depressing criminal cases in recent memory — would go away quietly: Nope. An excerpt from the interview, which took place at Bellevue Hospital:
Peter Braunstein: “I didn’t really do anything in rape or murder her … even the lowest form of criminal comes into something plan.”
Bill Ritter: “You just figured out how to get in.”
Peter: “Yeah that was really what I reached in my thinking.”
Bill: “Of course she didn’t know that, she didn’t know that you didn’t have a plan, she didn’t know you weren’t going to kill her. She didn’t know you weren’t going to rape her. She had no idea … You didn’t rape her.”
Bill: “You didn’t hurt her physically? You did touch her.”
Peter: “Yeah I touched her.”
Bill: “It happened and what did you do?”
Peter: “I think I like fondled her breasts twice.”
Stay classy, 20/20.
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