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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Katz’

Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin and the Skinny on Jessica Simpson’s New Role at Weight Watchers

LunchAtMichaelsNeither rain nor snow (not yet anyway) or a meltdown on Metro North’s Connecticut line (don’t ask!) can keep us from our appointed rounds on Wednesdays at Michael’s. Who else would tell you which talking heads (Star Jones, Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin) were holding court in the dining room while pointing out the random sighting of a former beauty queen and even some titled ladies and lords? (Read on and you’ll find out.) We, not of the town car set, braved a very crowded train from Westchester (Note to fellow passengers: garlic on your breakfast isn’t a good thing!) to bring you all the earth-shattering goings on at 55th and Fifth today so you can eat at your desk while searching for Internet spoilers on Sunday’s series finale of Breaking Bad.

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Andy Amill and Diane Clehane

I was joined today by my intrepid Greenwich neighbor Andy Amill, VP of Media Sales at Weight Watchers. I’ve been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers since my days heading up Danskin’s PR department (just try having to wear spandex to work) and wanted to get the skinny on all the incredible innovations the company has implemented over the past year. Have you seen Jennifer Hudson lately? Exactly. Andy tells me that Jennifer has been “an inspiration” to Weight Watcher members. The dynamic multi-media campaign featuring the brand ambassador which launched in 2010 has helped attract plenty of new members. I am also fascinated by the technology behind the company’s barcode scanner app, which members can download to their smart phones. It lets the user zap the UPC of thousands of products in the supermarket and instantaneously get the Weight Watchers PointsPlus value. What will they think of next?

When I mentioned that the Weight Watchers center where I attend meetings had undergone a pretty dramatic makeover a few months back, Andy explained that many stores have been redesigned in the past few years with a contemporary look and feel. “They’re all uniform so members can find a center anywhere and they all look the same,” he tells me. “It really helps them stay connected.” Read more

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Jason Binn’s Du Jour Adds Editorial, Sales Staffers

Du Jour, the magazine from Jason Binn intended for the .003 percenters of the world, has started to hire the necessary staff to publish a title that will probably annoy anyone who doesn’t swim around in gold coins.

Keith Pollock and Nicole Vecchiarelli will be Co-Editors-in-Chief. Pollock was most recently with Elle.com and Vecchiarelli comes to Du Jour from InStyle magazine, where she worked as a Senior Editor.

Alan Katz will also join Du Jour as its Chief Revenue Officer. Katz is a veteran of the publishing world, having worked at New York, Vanity Fair, Interview and more. Katz comes to the magazine from Direct Brands. Cynthia Lewis, the title’s new Vice President of Sales, will work closely with Katz. She most recently founded Create Lucrative Relationships.

Finally, Max McDonnell will serve as Du Jour’s Associate Vice President of Product Development. McDonnell was formerly CEO Lonnymag.com, an online shelter publication.

The Drama At Brant

interview.pngThis week, there has been a flurry of news coming out of Brant Publications, the publisher of Interview magazine.

On Monday, there were reports that editorial director Glenn O’Brien had left the company. O’Brien had been appointed co-editorial director of Interview and Brant’s other publications,Art in America and The Magazine Antiques, last year when longtime editor Ingrid Sischy left the company.

Coming in to replace O’Brien is Fabien Baron, who was originally O’Brien’s co-editorial director but was in the role for a matter of months before being let go.

Of course, this whole shake-up has tongues wagging about the health of the company, with some predicting that the company might be in dire financial straits. As O’Brien told Fashion Week Daily, the publisher simply isn’t able to pay its freelancers.

Brant is now being run by Ryan Brant, a disgraced former CEO of software company Take Two, who pled guilty to stock option backdating. He was appointed by his father, Peter, after publisher Alan Katz departed a few months back.

“Months ago, I wanted to bring in a professional publisher, which might have averted this cash flow situation,” O’Brien told FWD. “Basically, it’s been rudderless [ever since Katz's departure] on the publishing side.”

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