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Lunch: Barry Diller, Jeff Zucker & The Magazine Mob

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— DIANE CLEHANE

What recession? The usual power quotient found on any given Wednesday at Michael’s went into overdrive today as the gals at the front desk had so many media moguls, magazine mavens and talking heads lining up to dine and dish today, they had to shoehorn in extra tables all over the dining room. Luckily, I scored some prime real estate for my lunch with my old pal Jeffrey Slonim and new-found friend Bettina Zilkha. Jeffrey and I have stood side by side on many a red carpet over the years and have bonded over the histrionics that goes with covering A-list events. These days Jeffrey is busier than ever as Interview‘s society editor (a prestigious gig once held by Truman Capote!) and Allure‘s special correspondent where he fearlessly asks all those publicity shy celebs questions we all really want to ask (bedtime rituals, what they really eat after parties — that sort of thing). It was nice to see him out in daylight. Bettina was recently named Special Projects Editor for Elle Decor and has a fascinating profile of designer Dennis Basso in this month’s Avenue. We had a lively lunch trading stories about Gotham’s gadflys we all know and love (all off the record, sorry to say). I can’t wait until to our next get together.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Crooner Steve Tyrellwith Frank and Jamie McCord (owners of the LA Dodgers, in case you were wondering), James McBride (the GM of The Carlyle where Steve is performing through New Year’s Eve) and my good pal Amy Rosenblum.

2. Peter Brown

3. Jim Abernathy and Dawn Bridges

4. Barry Diller and the Financial TimesChrystia Freeland who was warding off today’s chill with a killer fur hat. Fab!


83. Freud Communications’ Lisa Dallos with the always charming Harold Ford Jr., chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.

5. Glamour editrix Cindi Leive, Scott Currie and two other formidable folks we didn’t recognize.

6. The Imber Gang: Dr. Gerry Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Michael Kramer and Andy Bergman. We’re so glad to hear Judy is finally feeling good again!

7. Jeffrey Slonim, Bettina Zilkha and yours truly.

8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia and pals.

9. Men’s Health honcho David Zinczenko (Long time no see!) and Ralph Lauren senior exec Jeff Morgan. Turns out these two dashing guys worked together way back in the nineties when Jeff was publisher of Men’s Health and Dave was a fledgling editor. What a difference a few years makes … And speaking of success stories, Men’s Health‘s November issue (celebrating their 20th anniversary) with Barack Obama on its cover was another big winner of the election. The issue’s newsstand sales nearly tripled in the days following the election. The only magazine to have the next president on its cover to coincide with his historic win also delivered on its promises with an interview conducted by editor Peter Moore aboard ‘O Force One’ and a 45 minute photo shoot in Washington, D.C. “He didn’t come with a lot of handlers and was right on time,” says Dave, who was at the shoot. “He’s this incredibly focused, intelligent guy who is also extremely affable and has the ability to make the people around him feel completely at ease.”

10. Our favorite Cosmo gal Kate White (we were coveting those killer booties throughout lunch) who passed the time editing copy until her date, an imposing looking gentleman who we didn’t know but would have loved to have met…

11. The Early Show: We’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall for this one: NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker and Viacom’s Philippe Dauman. Second shift: Jane Friedman.

12. Harper Collins’ Jonathan Burnham

14. Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd.

15. Lesley Stahland Richard Holbrooke.

16. Nick Verbitsky.

17. Judy Price.

18. Kathie Lee Gifford and pals.

20. Jann Wenner.

21. CNBC’s Jonathan Wald.

22. Steven Yee.

23. David Corvo.

24. Publicity princes Elizabeth Harrison (love those fishnets!) with More‘s editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymour. Elizabeth told me: “I think Lesley is doing a great job with More” as she clutched a handful of recent issues. I love the recent issue featuring Jane Fonda, Tea Leoni and Sharon Stone all in red, shot by Matthew Roltson. Now that’s a shoot we’d have loved to have been on…

25. David Poltrack.

26. Peter Gethers and Sandy Djykstra.

28. Fernanda Kellogg and Ricardo Salmona.

29. Lee Schrager.

30. Skip Finley and Dan Gasby (B.Smith’s hubby, in case you were wondering …)

81. Gary Zarr.

82. Rita Jammet, former owner of La Caravelle with, so we’re told, “a foreign journalist.”

Faces in the crowd: Beverly Camhe lunching at the bar and a whole host of USA Today staffers who were having a company get together in the Garden Room.

A note to ‘Lunch’ loyalists: We won’t be serving ‘Lunch’ next week so we can save room for turkey. Have a happy Thanksgiving! See you in two weeks.

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.

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