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Archives: November 2011

Real Housewife Melissa Gorga Dishes on Her Sister-in-Law From Hell

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Slow moving holiday tourists and presidential motorcades be damned. Nothing could keep the faithful away from Michael’s today. With the place decked out in its holiday finery, the mood was like a swanky office party on steroids.  While the usual suspects and a cool visitor from California (producer/composer David Foster) huddled over their tables deep in conversation, there was a little lunch for 14 in the middle of the dining room. I snagged one of the guests, Melissa Gorga, my favorite ‘housewife’ on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, for a chat about the knock-down, drag-out cat fights on last month’s reunion show and to get the real story about her on- and off-camera relationship with her fellow cast mate and sister-in-law, the charming Teresa Guidice.

Melissa, who is an absolute knockout in person, told me that the RHONJ cast (minus Jacqueline Laurita) shot the reunion special the day after wrapping the yet-to-be-aired Season 4, and the women were all seething about battles and betrayals the viewers haven’t even seen. “We had just had a huge blow up the night before, and that was what was on everyone’s mind. It was so hard not to say anything. That’s why Jacqueline wasn’t there,” Melissa tells me. “It was very confusing for us, and we were constantly trying not to say things about things that hadn’t aired yet. Bravo is so sorry they shot them back to back. I don’t think they are ever going to do that again.” Teresa “tried to set me up” and is back to her old tricks, Melissa told me, without giving anything away. After all the kissing and making up seen at the end of last season, Melissa’s husband Joe Gorga is “disgusted” with his table tipping sibling once again. Big surprise.

Diane Clehane, Bonnie Fuller, Melissa Gorga and Carlos Lamadrid
Diane Clehane, Bonnie Fuller, Melissa Gorga and Carlos Lamadrid

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Blockhead Meets Tablet | The Right Direction | Do It, Do It Now

Enterprising Novelist Recasts Himself as an Occupier

We have to hand it to local novelist Sven Michael Davison. He has a flair for self-promotion.

Earlier this year, right after the publication of his cyberpunk futuristic novel State of Mind, he did a Q&A interview under the guise of his fictional lead character, Jake Travissi. This week, with all the OccupyLA business going down, he has blasted out a new press release that aligns both the novel and its author more directly with the movement:

Davison has worked as a trailer copywriter at Paramount Pictures and a staff screenwriter for several other smaller production companies. In the past two years he has experienced a seventy-five percent reduction in income, “short selling” a home, and doing what it takes to provide for his family and survive in this lean decade. He acknowledges there has always been a disparity in income and is thankful there are no more nineteenth century debtors prisons.

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Details Adds Publisher

As we expected, Sabine Feldmann, who was edged out as Publisher of Teen Vogue this morning, won’t be joining Details. Instead, Kevin Martinez has joined the magazine as Vice President, Publisher.

Martinez has been serving as a consultant to Details since the summer, and before that was Vice President, Brand Publisher at Elle.

“Over the past five months we’ve made great strides in the print, digital and social areas of the brand,” said Martinez. “I am thrilled to be able to build on that success with Dan Peres and the entire Details team.”

Man Who Shot NBC Executive Gets Seven Years in Prison

David Andrew Armstrong was sentenced to seven years in prison for the death of NBC Universal studio executive and childhood friend Brian Kaplon.

Armstrong pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in September after he shot Kaplon (pictured) on St. Patrick’s Day in Porter Ranch while showing off his AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

He was also ordered to pay $3.7 million to the victim’s family. Kaplon worked in the finance department at NBC Universal.

Newsweek iPad App Coming in January

FishbowlNY has learned that Newsweek is launching an iPad app in January. To help the debut go smoothly, the magazine has hired Melissa Lafsky as its iPad Launch Editor. Lafsky has the chops to make the app a hit; she’s worked at The Huffington Post, edited the Freakonomics blog and has written for The New York Observer, The New York Times and Wired.

Details are sparse (we do know that print subscribers will be able to access it for free) but Dirk Barnett, Creative Director at Newsweek, said a broad goal of the app is to expand on the design elements found in print. “Newsweek’s iPad app will enhance the strong design landscape of the magazine, building on the visual strengths with interactives, video elements and an extension of the strong photojournalism that has been a hallmark of the magazine for decades,” explained Barnett.

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Sherry Lansing Makes a Very Generous High School Donation

It’s going to be quite the 50th high school reunion next June for former Hollywood studio exec Sherry Lansing (pictured). Thanks to her pledge of $5 million to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, she will be basking in not just the glow of her Fox, Paramount and philanthropic success, but also that of a major financial backer.

Lansing’s donation to the “Laboratory +” $55 million drive will go mainly towards the Sherry Lansing Theatre, a 250-seat auditorium to be used as the primary rehearsal space for the high school’s theater and other peforming arts programs. Per today’s announcement:

“Attending the Lab Schools was one of the most important experiences of my life,” said Lansing. “It shaped my value system. I think what I remember most is that the Lab Schools were a non-judgmental environment, where we were totally free to be ourselves. What was important was academics–not other values that people might think are important, such as social status or how you look.”

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Slake Writer Pens ‘Notable American Essay’

Erica Zora Wrightson‘s essay “Artichoke,” published in the debut issue of Slake, was just named a 2011 “Notable Essay” in this year’s edition of The Best American Essays.

Says Slake editor Joe Donnelly: “We published this meditation on some of her final memories of her mother in our first issue, and co-editor Laurie Ochoa likes to say it was one of the first pieces she received that told her Slake was going to be special.”

Wrightson’s achievement is great news for a mag which is in the midst of a Kickstarter fundraising drive. The more attention the better.

The New Yorker Names Adweek News Editor to Online Team

Alex Koppelman has been hired as The New Yorker’s new online Associate News Editor. Koppelman was most recently with Adweek as its News Editor, and prior to that was a political blogger for Salon.com.

Koppelman announced the move via his Twitter account, tweeting, “Some job news: I’m sad to be leaving Adweek, but very excited to start soon as associate news editor at NewYorker.com.”

Getty Images Lands New Video Distribution Partnerships

Getty Images announced today that it has landed new video distribution deals with Bloomberg, American Museum of Natural History, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, Barcroft Media and Boston PBS station WGBH.

“We are delighted to partner with these prestigious companies to make their video available to customers across all segments, particularly those in media, broadcast and education.” Getty’s Director of Video Partner Development Karen McLaughlin said in a release. “In addition, we look forward to generating new commercial licensing opportunities for these partners by making their content available globally on our websites.”

The partnership with Bloomberg is especially interesting, because one would think a for-profit media company with a TV wing and a huge multimedia imprint would know how to monetize its own video content.

Press release after the jump.

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