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Lunch: Hoda Kotb, Dan Abrams & George Stephanopoulos Brave the St. Pat’s Crowds

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The hardcore Michael’s regulars weren’t about to let a little thing like the Saint Patrick’s Day parade get in the way of their power lunch today. After a slow start, the dining room filled up nicely with plenty of media mavens and talking heads. The Today show’s Hoda Kotb was among the first to arrive and looked smashing in her emerald floral sheath by Adrienne Papel. “I’m meeting Dan Abrams, but he’s coming from downtown so I hope he makes it,” said Hoda, having made her way through the few thousand extra people clogging up the sidewalks on the East Side.

With Kathie Lee Gifford on vacation this week, Hoda has been enjoying something of a television time warp with her guest co-hosts. On Monday, she was joined by Beverly Hills 90210‘s resident good guy Jason Priestley, Growing Pains‘s Kirk Cameron came by on Tuesday, and his TV dad Alan Thicke was today’s blast from the past. “Tomorrow, Ralph Macchio from The Karate Kid is coming in and Friday it’s Andrew Shue. I’m having a lot of fun.” Turns out Hoda is something of a sitcom aficionado and can easily reel off her TV favorites from days gone by: “I loved Growing Pains, Who’s The Boss, Rhoda, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” We could have talked about iconic TV hits forever, but luckily Dan did make it uptown and lunch went on as planned.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. This year’s “Kelly Gang” contingent: New York Post‘s media man Keith Kelly with a table full of revelers, including Jim Kelly, Tom Kelly, and Kelly Delaney.

2. George Stephanopoulos and David Anton. I caught George on his way to his table to ask who he thought should take his Sunday morning seat. “I don’t know!” he said with a smile and dashed off before I could get in a follow-up.

3. Margo McNabb Nederlander and another stylish blonde gal we didn’t recognize

4. Hoda Kotb and Dan Abrams


5. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at this table: CBS News producer Rick Kaplan with WCBS-TV’s news anchor Kristine Johnson. Is someone getting ready to go national? Just asking…

6. Kathy Lacey

7. Jack Kliger (I met the missus last week) and my good friend Fern Mallis, who just got back from Fashion Week in Mumbai. Fern tells me she’s “in talks” with the suits at Bravo about returning for a second season on The Fashion Show. Says Fern, “They want to reinvent the show.” Here’s my two cents: If Andy Cohen is looking to keep his fashion cred, find a bigger role for Fern!

8. The Paley Center’s Pat Mitchell with a young lady we didn’t know.

9. Jackie Leo, managing editor of The Fiscal Times

11. Viacom’s former CFO Richard Bressler

12. Susan Mercandetti

14. Time, Inc.’s John Huey

15. Vanity Fair‘s John Connolly

16. Peter Price

17. My pal, public relations maven Lisa Linden and lobbyist extraordinaire Suri Kasirer

18. Jonathan Wald and another dapper gent

20. Literary ladies Fredi Friedman and Knopf’s Vicky Wilson

21. Warner Music’s Dave Johnson

22. Mary Durkin

23. Calvin Mitchell

24. Suzy La Strange who, we hear, once toiled as the pastry chef for Michael’s in Santa Monica.

25. Peter Firestein

26. Ann Lowenthal

27. Allen & Co.’s Steven Greenberg

28. Sony’s Deirdre McDonald

29. Sherona Samson

30. Gordon Goldstein

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

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