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Lunch: Power Blondes Rule! Katie Couric, Tina Brown and Barbara Walters Hold Court

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Today at Michael’s, they were dishing like it was 2007. As if the head-spinning assortment of media alpha gals (Katie! Tina! Barbara!) wasn’t enough to keep us busy, the dining room, bar and lounge was jam-packed with mavens and moguls of all stripes who barely made time to peck at their Cobb salads between all the table-hopping. It was hard to keep up! I made my rounds in the dining room to check in with the regulars, and all anyone wanted to know was ‘Who else is here today?’ (I’ve always thought this place was just like a high school cafeteria, but with better clothes.) Plenty of heads turned when Katie Couric breezed in sporting a chic, shorter ‘do and a pretty polka dot summer dress. The woman sitting next to me whispered, “She looks 35!” We have to agree. I caught Katie on her way to her table just long enough to ask what she has planned for her summer vacation next month. No trips to Wasilla for the CBS News’ anchor: “I’m going to the beach with my daughters to enjoy my time with them before Ellie goes off to college!”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Katie Couric, Lifetime’s CEO Andrea Wong, Deborah Roberts, Sherrie Westin and Cynthia McFadden

2. Jeanine Pirro with publicist Adam Schiff and an unidentified bespectacled gal. I hadn’t talked to Jeanine since I profiled her for Westchester magazine last fall on the eve of the premiere of her show, Judge Jeanine. With one season under her robe, Jeanine is thrilled — “We’re in syndication now!” Life must be pretty good for the former Westchester DA — she was tan and dressed to the nines, toting a gorgeous alligator bag.

3. The ladies who lunch: Somers Farkas (in Pucci) with three other social swans

4. Barbara Walters and Diana Taylor


5. Stan Shuman and two distinguished gents.

6. The “Imber Gang” is all here: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Michael Kramer and Andy Bergman

7. Jim Abernathy and Lisa Birnbach

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia, who passed the time waiting for his late-to-arrive business partner by people-watching with Jonathan Wald

9. Michael Gross, who told me that thanks to his publisher’s urging, he’s gotten plenty of traction for his latest book, Rogues Gallery, using Facebook.

10. My friend Jonathan Wald (long time no see!) and his pal and former CNBC colleague Tyler Matheson

11. Bobby Zarem

12. Linda Wells, who, it must be said, writes some of the best editor’s letters in the biz, with two Allure staffers and The New York Post‘s Keith Kelly. I’m guessing the news that Condé Nast has hired McKinsey to ‘rethink’ things may have come up over lunch…

14. Leonard Lauder, who arrived toting some important-looking papers, with Bob Hurrst

15. Jim Signorelli

81. My good pal Fern Mallis, who wraps shooting The Fashion Show next week, with Elyse Kroll.

16. Tina Brown (rocking the skinny pants and high heels look) and two gals we didn’t know.

17. Mark Rosenthal

18. Dick Parsons (who usually prefers the Garden Room) with Jerry Inzerillo

19. Catherine Saxton

20. 48 Hours Mystery producer Susan Zirinsky, who stopped to say hello at the bar before heading off to chat with Katie Couric after I pointed out her good pal was on Table One.

21. Chuck Pfeifer

22. The Early Show: Parade‘s Ira Yoffe with cartoonist Danny Shanahan, whose work has been featured in the magazine and also runs in The New Yorker. Second seating: The tireless Judy Licht and Liz Dewey. Judy gave me some dish about a new project she’s got going with reporters Lynn White and Amanda Miller on WNBC’s New York Non-Stop. The trio of outspoken, fast talking gals have been doing a regular spot on the Wednesday evening broadcast with Chuck Scarborough hashing over the “lead story of the day,” says Judy and reaction has been so good, there’s interest in doing a pilot to spin it off as its own show. Stay tuned…

23. Dan Wassong with Suzanne Bracker

24. Nick E. Rubinstein and pals.

25. Walter Sabo

26. Maureen Reidy, who was working the room like nobody’s business.

27. Ed Nardozza and Mary Berner

28. David Corvo

29. Victor Garvey

Faces in the Crowd: InStyle‘s fashion gurus Cindy Weber Cleary and Hal Rubenstein in the Garden Room.

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

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