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Archives: October 2007

Lunch At Michael’s: Dominick Dunne, Barbara Walters & Some Scary Celeb Gossip



It seems only fitting that today’s crowd was a bewitching blend of media mavens old and new, chatty regulars and bold-faced names. There were plenty of delicious treats all around for those who like to play the game of ‘What are they talking about?’ over their cobb salads. While diners trolled like trick or treaters from table to table looking for the tastiest morsels of dish they could find, we scored plenty of scoops from our usual perch at the bar. The staff was still buzzing about Lance Armstrong‘s visit earlier this week. Man, that guy gets around. Have you heard Lance was spotted canoodling with Ashley Olsen at the Gramercy Park Hotel this week? If they show up at 55th & Fifth anytime soon, expect a full report.

My lunch date, best selling author Pamela Keogh, joined me at the bar. She knows everyone! The prolific Ms. Keogh (Audrey Style, Jackie Style and Elvis Presley The Man. The Life. The Legend.) has just finished her fourth book but discretion — and a healthy sense of superstition — prevented her from disclosing anything more than the scarcest of details. All I can report is that it’s coming out in May from Gotham Press. Pamela, looking tres chic in a beautiful Ines de la Fressange blazer and jeans (loved the Colbert Wriststrong bracelet!), was more interested in chatting with a host of good pals including Peter Duchin, writer and social swan Amy Fine Collins and our mutual friend Dominick Dunne than blowing her own horn. Imagine that!

No matter who shows up on Wednesdays, everyone always wants to talk to Dominick, so Pamela and I were thrilled when he was nice enough to stop by the bar and regale us with tales from the Paris inquest into the death of Princess Diana. Although Dominick joked, “I just went for the trip” when talking of his overseas assignment for Vanity Fair (he’s staying at the Ritz), he says he finds the whole thing “fascinating.” Evidently, so does his editor. He’s headed back to Paris since Graydon Carter just called him this morning wanting more from this surprisingly below the radar news event. When I asked Dominick why the coverage of the inquest in the New York media has been so spotty despite the endless interest in the late Princess, he opined, “I guess people are thinking, ‘Oh, that’s still going on?’” But, as usual, Dominick has followed the case with his all-encompassing eye and ear for detail and will deliver his own patented must-read report in the February issue of Vanity Fair. And Dominick, if you’re looking for two assistants for your next Paris trip (we’re crack typists!) Pamela and I are up for the adventure…

Here’s the rundown on the rest of the crowd:

1. Mike Medavoy and a table full of exec types.

2. Peter Brown, Warren Hoge and, we’re told, Alison Richard, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University. Cheerio old chaps!

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Paula Zahn. I was happy to see Paula, looking chic as ever, out and about. Since leaving CNN, Paula is busier than ever keeping up with her full plate of philanthropic work. Just back from a visit with the Congressional Families Action Committee, a tireless group that raises money for cancer awareness in Washington, she’s off to Maryland tomorrow to deliver one of the keynote addresses at a breast cancer symposium hosted by the renown Dr. Larry Norton. We’re anxiously awaiting news on where the tireless Ms. Zahn will next appear on the small screen. Stay tuned…

4. Chuck Pfeifer, Dominick Dunne & Taki.

5. Alex Hiltz.

6. Teen Vogue‘s Amy Astley, a squadron of staffers and Jane Lauder.

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Morning Call Time: 10.31.07

In today’s Morning Call Time, Bob Yari and Nicolas Cage get tangled up with the Police, James Vanderbilt gets caught in Spiderman 4, and Jerry Buckheimer tries to get pucked in Vegas.

Click here to subscribe to Morning Call Time…

Tell Me Something GOOD


In this era of gratuitous snark interspersed with dry negativity, GOOD magazine has come up with the astonishingly positive GOOD magazine second annual ”Choose Good” campaign. One hundred percent of the $20.00 GOOD magazine subscription fee is designated towards the subscriber’s choice of one of twelve non-profits, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or Malaria No More whose mission is to end deaths due to malaria.

Last year the ”Choose Good” campaign earned over $500,000 for the various charities. ”We’re proud that our non-traditional subscription model has already contributed half a million dollars to a diverse set of nonprofits. Beyond funds raised, GOOD endeavors to forge substantive bonds between our subscribers and our partners,” said Daniel Mitchell, Director of Non-Profit Partnerships at GOOD magazine, in a press release. ‘’By connecting our partners to a highly creative and influential audience, we hope to catalyze a movement of positive thought and action.”

Sounds GOOD

(image via joshspear)

Larry Kramer to Conde Nast’s Portfolio


Larry Kramer is back in the magazine business, but this time on the new media side. Kramer, whose career has weaved together experiences at the helm of old and new media, is a consultant at Conde Nast’s, according to WWD. Few people — Michael Wolff comes to mind — have such strong, seasoned credentials in the business world, the print world and with all-important new media.

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More Writers’ Strike Merriment

alexstuff.jpgAn open letter to “Hollywood,” published on the site introduces “Hollywood” to Alex Perez, a supposed screenwriter who is pledged to “helping Hollywood in its time of need.”

It’s funny stuff … at least, we hope it’s a joke.

Dan Peres Explains It All

If it’s autumn, it can mean only one thing: An onslaught of magazine-into-book adaptations. As publications prepare to turn their “magabrands” into the perfect Christmas gifts, an editor’s eyes invariably turn to this year’s crop.

Among them is, yup, a Details book. The magazine’s Details Men’s Style Manual promises that it’s “the ultimate guide for making your clothes work for you.” Now, we’re not exactly the Details demographic. We stick to a strict regime of jeans and button-down shirts and think that the Ben Sherman sample sale is some sort of exotic beast. Our taste in drinks extends to Yuengling, Wild Turkey and not much more. In short, reading about broguing on shoes was a new and somewhat disturbing world for us.

But, hell, we’re media bloggers. The idea of taking a magazine property and making a book out of it fascinates us in some sick way. So we decided to speak to Details EIC Dan Peres about it yesterday. He gracefully indulged us on a short break during a busy day to talk about the book with us. Hell, he even had a sense of humor about the whole Page Six thing.

After the jump, we talk “magazine DNA”, man boobs and the editorial process.

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Scariest Halloween Sighting Ever |Sirius-ly Spooky Merger |Cutting the Plimptonian Chord |Esquire’s Pent-hearse Party |CNN Headline ”Noose”

Chris Anderson: Flacks Get One Swing


Wired EIC Chris Anderson posted his own list of ghouls–his Outlook blocked list. The addresses of those who sent him unwanted press releases, added his name to distribution lists, and so on are all posted, although we didn’t see Shirley Fitzpatrick who regularly tries to entice us by promising:

she will love a massive meat in her back door!

Commenters range from innocent photographers who bought some list from a shady PR service to outraged public relations professionals.

Cyrus Afzali, commenting in the forums, suggests:

A good compromise to me would be if he’d publish a complete index of every correction Wired ever issued.

New Television Technology To Give Advertisers Headaches


Dolby Labs just figured a way to get rid of one of the main tricks in the tv advertiser’s toolbook: How to get rid of variable volume.

Over the next few years, Dolby will start licensing out technology to manufacturers that will prevent advertisers from making television ads louder than the actual programs:

The issue of TV audio variation across channels and during commercial breaks is one which affects most of us – in fact, rushing for the remote to dampen the sound when an ad breaks in at uncomfortable volume has become the modern day equivalent of the quick-draw. Solutions to this problem have been sought for years with varying degrees of success, but now a new technology unveiled by Dolby promises to provide “set and forget” volume-leveling while preserving the full listening experience at any volume level.

(Image via Wired)

Why Michelle Malkin Is Awesome

This is why Michelle Malkin is our favorite columnist in the world. Writing in the National Review, supposedly about yoga in public schools, she rants full-stop:

“Welcome to your new nanny-state nightmare. [...] Why stop at yoga? Tantric chanting, here we come. And, hey, Kabbalah has done wonders for Madonna. Let’s add hypnotism and acupuncture classes while we’re at it. Hot stone massages? Bonsai tree-clipping? No Relaxation Technique Left Behind! [...] Bit by bit, the dumbed-down cult of mediocrity, secular extremism, and multicultural madness has infected American public education.”

Michelle, please don’t stop. We love you.