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Posts Tagged ‘Al Roker’

Sandra Lee Serves Up a New Magazine and Novel; Hoda Kotb Celebrates Book Number Two with Today Show Gang

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Every time I think it can’t get anyone more Fellini-esque at 55th and Fifth, another Wednesday at Michael’s proves me wrong. All that was missing today was a lion tamer and clown shot out of a cannon. There were so many ‘acts’ going on simultaneously I hardly knew where to look.

While I dined with Food Network star Sandra Lee (and tried my best to hear her over the roar of the crowd even though we were sitting next to each other), there was an intimate party of 20 for Hoda Kotb being thrown by her Today show co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.  The gals were celebrating the release of Hoda’s new book, Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives (Simon & Schuster).  Hoda and Kathie Lee, who spend more time together than most married couples, looked fresher than springtime in Crayola colored (sleeveless!) dresses and were the first to arrive for the noontime fete. Minutes later, the back corner of the front room was jammed with members of the Today show, as well as plenty of well-dressed gals who were there to toast Hoda. The gang was really whooping it up and, of course, a camera man was there to capture it all for posterity or, more likely, for tomorrow’s fourth hour of Today.

I arrived a few minutes before noon to meet Sandra Lee and she came right in the door behind me. After spending just a few minutes with her, it’s easy to see why the creator of the phenomenally successful Semi-Homemade brand is one of the Food Network’s biggest stars. She’s the in-the-know girlfriend who everyone wishes they had.  Within minutes, we were trading tips on our favorite places to shop for bargains. For cake decorating, hers is New York Cake & Baking  on 22nd and Sixth for the most divine sugar roses — “You can get a whole batch for under $10!”

Diane Clehane and Sandra Lee

She arrived laden with proofs for the next issue of her new magazine with TV Guide Magazine named — what else? – Sandra Lee. They’ve already published a Christmas issue, and the January/February “Love” issue is out now. EIC Sandra is in the midst of editing the Easter issue and told me she was trying to explain to a male staffer earlier today why birds’ nests made from shredded coconut should be dyed green instead of brown. It’s all in the details. As the faithful viewers of Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee (now in its 15th season!) know, no one does holidays like her. (“I am working on my latest Cher incarnation. Every Halloween I have to do Cher!”) The Emmy winner covers it all  from the recipes to the cocktails to her trademark ‘tablescapes’ (my personal favorite) to help viewers enjoy entertaining at home without the heavy-handed pretense, over the top expense or work intensive preparation that no one has time for anyway. When I asked her where he love of holidays came from she told me, “When I was a child we didn’t celebrate holidays so when I was 18, that was it. It was Halloween, Christmas and Easter every day.”

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Sue Simmons Ends Historic Run at WNBC, Wants to Be ‘Employed Elsewhere at Some Point’

And so at 11:35 last night, New York’s all-time great anchor team ceased to exist. “Chuck and Sue” became a test pattern of TV history.

Sue Simmons concluded a 32-year run at WNBC, sitting next to her “TV husband” Chuck Scarborough for a final time.

It was a moment inevitable for three months, since the New York Post broke the story that Simmons would not be offered a new contract.

In analyzing the Simmons farewell, praise is given to the station for devoting the closing 15 minutes to everything Sue.

Sprinkled in before commercial breaks, earlier in the newscast, were taped tributes from late night host Jimmy Fallon, who pointed out that his show originates from WNBC’s former home– studio 6B. In front his studio audience, Fallon showed a miniature version of a vintage Chuck and Sue photo displayed on the wall outside the studio.

Jay Leno also had brief, kind words for his NBC Universal colleague 3,000 miles away.

Back live at 30 Rock, the most touching moment of the night went to sports anchor Bruce Beck, who switched his schedule to work the special occasion, saying, “Thirty-two years, 32 roses. I love you dear,” as he handed her the bouquet and they shared a kiss.

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Ann Curry, Tyra Banks, Peggy Noonan Receive 2012 Matrix Awards

Eight influential women were honored this afternoon at the New York Women in Communications 2012 Matrix Awards. The event was held at the Waldorf-Astoria and emceed by NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan.

Katie Couric, who presented a Matrix Award to Tyra Banks, walked the red carpet before the ceremony with a stool so the pair could (sort of) stand shoulder-to-shoulder (pictured). “I feel like I’m standing next to Shaquille O’Neal!” Couric quipped.

Couric’s ABC news colleagues  Josh Elliott, “20/20″ EP David Sloan and SVP of communications Jeffrey Schneider attended to honor Walt Disney EVP and chief communications officer Zenia Mucha. Mucha was presented by Barbara Walters.

In her speech, Walters said Mucha, a first-generation immigrant who lived in Poland until she was 9, “might just have the toughest job of anyone I know.”

“Even Mickey Mouse doesn’t make a move without checking with Zenia,” Walters said. Read more

Knicks Roll Out Blue Carpet For the Lakers Tomorrow Night

Some things never change at Madison Square Garden. Buzz will be in the air when the Los Angeles Lakers make their one appearance of the season at 7th Avenue and 33rd Street.

With that in mind, MSG will have a special edition of Knicks Blue Carpet beginning at 7 p.m.

Several former Knick stars, will walk the “runway” to the World’s Most Famous Arena. Some of the newly crowned Super Bowl winning Giants will also attend the game.

Bill Pidto, Kelly Tripucka, and Alan Hahn host Blue Carpet in the MSG studios, while Tina Cervasio and Jill Martin interview the celebrities arriving for the exciting matchup.

Basking in the big night, Super Bowl champs Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs; supermodel Kate Upton; actors Billy Crudup, Chase Crawford, and Dylan McDermott; Al Roker; and famed Knicks from yesteryear: Allan Houston, Bernard King, Larry Johnson, Anthony Mason, John Starks, and Herb Williams.

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Sounds About Right | Dark Times | Fancy Gold

  • TVNewser: Here is video of Paula Deen admitting to Al Roker that she has diabetes. But don’t feel bad for her, just make sure you buy the diabetes meds that she’s now being paid to sell. America is a great place.
  • FishbowlLA: To protest SOPA, Wikipedia and other sites are going dark tomorrow. Time to find those encyclopedias.
  • UnBeige: Jean-Paul Gaultier has designed a gold bullion bar. We’d be annoyed, but that guy is in charge of a team that produces some fantastic colognes, so we’re just going to ignore this.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper Reportedly Most Searched Media Personality

New York based-Zeta Interactive has once again compiled its annual Most Buzzed Report of the media personalities who generate the intense online traffic. Using keywords and phrases online and on social media sites, FishbowlNY has learned exclusively that Anderson Cooper is number one. Cooper, already an established prime time star at CNN, started a daytime syndicated talk show in September.

The additional workload may be a major reason why Cooper saw huge gains in this year’s Zeta report, up from ninth place in 2010.

The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart is as steady as ever, holding at number two for the second straight year.

Zeta Interactive CEO Al DiGuido says his company uses a specific algorithm to create the report.

“It basically kind of jogs the most often used word,” DiGuido says.

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Trying Too Hard | A King’s Move | Defense is the Best Offense

Al Roker, Barbara Bush and Peggy Siegal Fetes Elizabeth Olsen

1003_mockup.gifWe were disappointed to hear that we’d missed seeing Wendy Williams who’d come by on Monday for lunch with her parents. A little birdie told me that the talk show diva issued this rallying cry to mom and dad before departing to face the lone paparazzo waiting outside: “Get ready! Here we go! Here we go!”  Today the few shooters milling around outside had a little more to work with since starlet of the moment, Elizabeth Olsen, was being feted in the Garden Room. Meanwhile, the main event in the dining room featured its usual mix of moguls (Barry Diller, Ron Perelman),  talking heads (Al Roker) and high-profile editors (Jon Meacham). Just business as usual for Wednesday at Michael’s.

I was joined today by Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief Rosemary Ellis, the magazine’s new money columnist Carmen Wong Ulrich and Hearst’s executive director of public relations, Alexandra Carlin. With 24 million (yes, you read that right) readers, this is not your mother’s Good Housekeeping. With Ellis at the helm, GH is a must read for the multi-tasking, multifaceted woman (Is there any other kind?) and filled with smart, savvy content that covers everything from food and fashion to family and finances.  And, while many books have retooled their marketing message for a niche reader, Good Housekeeping is a media behemoth with some really impressive reach. “We’re not age specific. We have kazillions of 28-year-old readers and kazillions of 34-year-old readers,” says Ellis. “More than the magazines that target them.”  Rosemary, whose editor letters are often inspired by her own family life and her adorable daughter, Lucy (“I figure I have a few more years before she says no more”) says Good Housekeeping offers “one stop shopping  — Who has time to read seven different magazines?”

We all agreed that the one topic on every woman’s mind these days is money. It makes sense, says Rosemary, because 80 percent of all  spending decisions are made by the woman of the house. So, Rosemary tapped Carmen to dispense her unique brand of uncommon financial common sense culled from years of experience deciphering today’s often confusing and confounding financial landscape. “I live for this,” says Carmen, who first became interested in money through her father. “I’ve been watching stocks since I was eight.”

Carmen Wong Ulrich, Diane Clehane and Rosemary Ellis
Carmen Wong Ulrich, yours truly and Rosemary Ellis

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Scottie Pippen Mixes It Up With the Media Mob & Does Rosie Have a New Lady Love?

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Things have been pretty busy at Michael’s this week. On Monday, none other than James Bond aka Daniel Craig dropped by. (“His eyes are so blue!” cooed one smitten staffer). Yesterday, a very laid back Rosie O’Donnell showed up with, so we’re told, a new lady love in tow, and they didn’t have to wait for one of the coveted tables at the very front of the restaurant. They settled for something further back. Today, the usual Wednesday SRO crowd started showing up well before the appointed lunch hour, leaving plenty of time for air kissing and glad handing all around.

I was joined today by Lisa Sharkey, HarperCollins’s senior vice president and director of creative development. Lisa is one hot property herself having spent 25 years in television including stints at Good Morning America, Inside Edition and Al Roker‘s production company before making the switch to publishing four and a half years ago. “The skills were totally transferable. I wanted to bring the TV model to books. I love authors. When I was in television, I was always drawn to them. Now, I consider my authors part of my family and have great relationships with them,” Lisa tells me. “I’m much happier in book publishing because there is more time to spend on a projects. Books have the power to last for generations.” Now, anyone who is anyone — or who wants to be someone — is after Lisa to publish their books. This season, Lisa had no less than four books on the New York Times best seller list, including How to Love an American Man (currently being shopped as a film project by United Talent Agency), football phenom Tim Tebow‘s Through My Eyes, and soap opera diva Susan Lucci’s memoir,  All My Life (We really loved the scathing epilogue she added to the paperback edition taking ABC president Brian Frons to the woodshed for cancelling the beloved soap, All My Children. Go Susan!)

Lisa has a full slate of upcoming books where there is something for everyone. Later this month, actress Carre Otis‘ no-holds barred memoir, Beauty Disrupted, will tell all about her relationship with Mickey Rourke. Due out in November, Imperfect Justice by Jeffrey Ashton is sure to make headlines when the Casey Anthony prosecutor offers his version of what happened behind the scenes of her trial and why is he completely convinced of Anthony’s guilt. “The prosecutor’s story is the real story of the trial. He’s got a lot to say,” says Lisa. No doubt.  On the other end of the spectrum, HarperCollins has a slew of celebrity titles this fall including the first novel penned by those ubiquitous Kardashian sisters, which was Lisa’s idea. The book, due out November 15, spins a fictional (but no doubt inspired by real life) tale of three sisters growing up with a famous father in Hollywood. “The fun is trying to figure out what’s real disguised as fiction,” says Lisa. There was quite a fracas coming up with a title. Lisa wanted to call it Keeping Up but, she told me, the powers that be at E! put the kibosh on the idea saying that was their brand. Lisa then came up with the idea of launching a contest on Twitter asking followers to come up with their own titles. The winning entry, Dollhouse, was submitted by a gal named Courtney who will herself be written into the book as a wedding planner. Savvy Lisa, who is always coming up with clever ways to market her books, decided the cover will be in leopard print and is hoping to do a special edition adorned with Swarovski crystal (“Kim loves bling!”). The sisters’ fans can also turn the cover over for a special keepsake poster that is sure to find its way into plenty of teen bedrooms.

As for the general state of the industry, Lisa weighs in with this: “Publishing is in a new transformative stage. The new wave of eBooks has opened up a world of possibilities. For those who are addicted to technology and books, it’s the perfect fit.”  To wit: HarperCollins’ eBook version of Sammy Hagar‘s best selling memoir, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, featured enhanced content that included a sit-down with Hagar talking about his career at the end of each chapter. Lisa and her team expect the eBook version of Gregg Allman‘s yet-to-be-titled memoir due out next year to have a wide range of enhanced content. By the way, I got a glimpse of the book’s stunning cover and it has best seller written all over it.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Fashionista Mickey Ateyeh with an impressive crowd of power lunch gals: producer Fran Weissler, Fern Mallis (looking fabulous since being on the mend from two broken elbows), Cindy Lewis, Barbara Cutler and Laurie Tisch

2. Six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen, with PR gal Tammy Brooks and some other lovely looking ladies we didn’t get to meet.

3. Proprietor Michael McCarty holding court with Mort Hamburg (Nice to meet you!) and another formidable looking fellow

4. Peter Brown with the very chic Judith Czelusniak. Read more

Guessing Game | Mad Guy is Mad | Don’t Drink and Dish

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