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Posts Tagged ‘Ari Emanuel’

David Pecker Holds Court; David Zaslav Jumps the Shark

1003_mockup.gifIt’s been a head-spinning summer of celebrity sightings and media maven mashups at 55th and Fifth, but today at Michael’s the mogul quotient was completely off the charts. I knew it was going to be one of those days when Discovery Communications honcho David Zaslav sauntered into the dining room sporting shades and carrying a stuffed shark. Oh, hadn’t you heard? The net’s Shark Week kicks off August 4. Funny enough, David was lunching with William Morris Endeavor’s co-CEO Ari Emanuel. I’ll let you insert your own joke here.

I was sitting squarely in the center of gravity with David Pecker and David Zinczenko and the experience was akin to being a fly on the wall to the lunchtime version of ‘This is your life, David Pecker,” as friends (too many to mention), former colleagues (ditto) and well-wishers (everyone else in the room), stopped by to pay their respects and get some face time with AMI’s chairman and CEO. (“I’m definitely going to call you about that, thanks!”) It was something akin to The Godfather without the tuxes, mumbling and cannolis (David opted for the ‘Michael’s burger and ‘Zinc’ had the Korean tacos).

Zinc (in the interest of clarity, I’ll refer to David Zinczenko by the catchy moniker of his book imprint) has garnered plenty of headlines this year with his highly publicized alliance with AMI, his Random House contract and a new deal with ABC (he’s got his first segment on “20/20″ airing this Friday). David has maintained, by comparison, a somewhat low profile — except for the fact that he was a contender for the top spot at Time Inc. this spring. AMI’s affable chairman (I discovered this man knows everyone — and I mean everyone) has opted to mostly let his game-changing decision of hiring Zinc and the success at the newsstand with his myriad of titles do the talking.

David Pecker, Diane Clehane and David Zinczenko

Fresh off the quarterly AMI board meeting in Connecticut this weekend, there was plenty to dish about over lunch. As you undoubtedly know, AMI publishes, National Enquirer, Star, Globe, OK!, the newly revitalized Men’s Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Fit Pregnancy and Shape and several other titles which reach a combined audience of more than 60 million readers every month.  With the birth of the royal baby and the can’t-make-this-stuff-up New York City mayor’s race, I just had to ask David what his tabloid titles have in store. Plenty, as you might expect, but each title addresses a very different constituency. When it comes to news about the royal baby, the ubiquity of the coverage poses a challenges says David.

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WME Starts a CAAt Fight

Towards the end of the comments thread for Deadline’s updated item about today’s bizarre “CAAN’T” pop-up ad campaign in Century City and elsewhere, there is a NSFWestfield suggestion as to how the house that Michael Ovitz built could respond to what is now a confirmed William Morris Endeavor broadside:

Options: bloWME also works.

Another reader offers up  ”w’meh.” And then there’s this hilarious alternate conspiracy theory:

Postradamus: This is CLEARLY an attack on the beautiful acting of Scott Caan!

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Fortune Magazine Catches Up with ‘Ari @#$%ing Emanuel’

During that recent sit-down for Rock Center with brothers Rahm and Zeke, Ari Emanuel insisted that lots of therapy had helped him move away from Entourage-worthy volcanic eruptions. But of course, for Fortune magazine senior editor-at-large Adam Lashinsky and most other journalists, it’s impossible to resist the lure of those tales, still, for the purposes of an article lede about the William Morris Endeavor deal maker:

Sean Parker, the billionaire technology investor and onetime president of Facebook, will never forget being on the receiving end of an Ari Emanuel onslaught. It was 2009. Emanuel, the famous Hollywood agent, had been e-mailing Parker because a friend had suggested they connect…

The article is behind the Fortune paywall. If this content doesn’t spark a few more subscribers, then there is no hope for the future of print media.

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David Zinczenko on His New ‘High-Profile Life’ and the Real Story Behind His Leaving Rodale

1003_mockup.gifI’ve been looking forward to today’s Michael’s lunch for quite a while. David Zinczenko, who I met in this very dining room many years ago, was joining me with his business partner Stephen Perrine and Patrick Connors, the new publisher of Men’s Fitness. As most faithful readers of this column know, Dave, arguably one of the highest profile editors in history during his tenure as EIC of Men’s Health, and Stephen, head of Rodale Books, were unceremoniously fired from their positions at Rodale last November. The news shocked industry insiders and made headlines all over the media landscape, most notably in a piece penned by Keith Kelly for The New York Post where Maria Rodale cattily commented that David could now go on living his “high-profile life.” When asked if his departure would hurt the brand, she sniped, “It’s not Dave’s Health –  it’s Men’s Health.” Jealous much?

I was thrilled to score the exclusive first sit-down with Dave and Stephen to get the real story behind their firings, an overview of their new venture, Galvanized Brands, and the first look (which Patrick brought along hot off the presses today) of the June issue of Men’s Fitness, the result of their collaboration with their first client, AMI. Dave and Stephen are co-founders and CEO/president and chief creative officer, respectively, of their new firm. Stephen describes Galvanized Brands as a “broad-based brand building and media company that helps other companies unlock their hidden value specializing in health and wellness,” and the duo is positively euphoric about the company’s prospects.

Patrick Connors, David Zinczenko, Diane Clehane and Stephen Perrine

Not surprisingly, it turns out Dave’s living a “high-profile life” that made millions for his former employer has its advantages. (The highly successful Eat This, Not That series he wrote while at Rodale sold 7 million copies in North America.) Last month, it was announced Random House gave Dave distribution and a multi-million dollar deal for his own imprint, Zinc Ink, through its Ballantine Bantam Dell division. As part of the deal, Dave will pen three health/fitness books, the first of which will be published in 2014.  Zinc Ink will publish six to 12 non-fiction and lifestyle books annually — and Dave will share in the profits. He explained that, in addition to Zinc Ink, Random House is prepared to create a series of imprints, like say, AMI/Galvanized, tied to media brands which Random House will publish and distribute. There are currently “half a dozen” AMI/Galvanized book idea percolating, and Stephen told me the first book will be published some time this summer.

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Columnist Recalls Good Old CAA Media Leak Days

Patrick Goldstein has an interesting take on the current media fascination with the astronomical free agent salary deals landed by Major League Baseball stars Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.

He suggests that just as the DVD boom once fueled the headline-grabbing paydays of Hollywood A-listers, billion-dollar media rights deals for MLB teams are now powering a similar inflationary curve on the baseball diamond. This shift has also taken out a once common top-tier talent agency tactic:

CAA was famous for leaking its star salary numbers in the ’90s, and every dazzling new salary breakthrough sent a telling message to stars signed to a rival agency–why isn’t your agent raking in all that moolah for you? When salaries are in decline, as they are now, you rarely see the likes of Kevin Huvane or Ari Emanuel feeding any information to the press, as today’s salary news only offers another instance of the scaling down of A-list actors’ earning power.

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Richard Belzer, Deborah Norville & the Real Ari Gold!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The dog days have arrived. Just ask Richard Belzer, who showed up in the Michael’s dining room today with his pooch tucked under his arm. (No word on what Fido ordered.) The rest of the crowd barely noticed as the usual media mavens, publicists and Hollywood types table hopped and air kissed like crazy. Who has time for a summer vacation when there’s business to be done?

I was lunching today with Dr. Brent Ridge, one of the stars of Planet Green’s new reality show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys. The show chronicles the lives of Brent and his partner, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, as the fish-out-of-water couple turn their Sharon Springs, New York farm into the epicenter of their new organic lifestyle brand. It’s the perfect antidote, says Brent, to the tawdry and toxic tone of other reality shows (Jersey Shore, anyone?). “It’s inspirational and educational,” says the TV star and cookbook author.

However, it’s not without the requisite drama as the boys attempt to juggle their big city careers with life down on the farm with their goats, pigs and llamas. Brent says the biggest adjustment living life in front of the camera has been dealing with how much time it takes to shoot a single episode. Since producers wanted to show just what happens season-to-season on a working farm, the shooting has stretched over several months versus the usual few weeks. “I had no concept what it took,” says Brent, who found himself scrambling after wrapping one episode when he had mere hours to get 14,000 bars of his organic soap hand wrapped and shipped.

Brent, who once toiled under Martha Stewart as vice president of Healthy Living, is also the creative force behind an upcoming auction of heirloom vegetables at Sotheby’s benefiting The New Farmer Development Project NYC and The Sylvia Center. It’s the kick off event of “Eat Drink Local” week and, says Brent, will bring out the who’s who of the city’s culinary community, many of whom will be cooking a course at the launch dinner. If you’ve got a craving to get an up close and personal look at life with Brent and Josh, you can bid on a weekend at the farm on Ebay next month or just tune in. The Fabulous Beekman Boys airs tonight at 9 on Planet Green.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Half of ‘The Imber Gang’: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina and Michael Kramer

2. Public relations maestro Paul Wilmot

3. William Morris’ Sam Haskell and a bespectacled gal we didn’t recognize.

4. Producers John Hart and Fred Zollo with a young mystery gal.

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Will William Morris and Endeavor Merge?

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Will giants William Morris and Endeavor become one super agency? The answer is that it’s complicated. And by ‘complicated’ we mean packed full of super rich successful people with super rich successful egos. Entertainment writers love this type of script. It’s a dramity.

Nikki Finke‘s source says that ‘Thursday is the big day’ as to whether this deal will fly.

And Kim Masters over at, The Daily Beast (the same site that the youth from a younger generation who’s totally not like 40 or anything, Meghan McCain has a column at – so you know they have standards) gets into the personalities at work in the deal (spoiler: they’re all Ari Emanuel‘s).

Also: NYT’s William Morris and Endeavor Explore a Merger

Rush Limbaugh Notices Ari Emanuel; He Must Need An Agent

rushlimbaugh.jpgArch conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh tried to take his anti-Obama campaign to a new level when he figured out on the air this morning (on KFI 640) that new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was in fact the brother to Endeavor agent Ari Emanuel.

“The Clintons had the Thomason’s,” Limbaugh bombasted about former President Bill Clinton’s links to Harry and Linda Bloodworth Thomason. “Now the Obamas have access to anyone they want.”

Apart from discussing how “nice, really great guy” Ari was (does he know what he’s saying?) and how Ari invited, nay begged Rush to come out to Hollywood to go to the Oscars, Limbaugh dropped the subject quickly and moved on.

Luckily, Limbaugh wasn’t aware that Ari is the model for Ari Gold on “Entourage,” which no doubt would have led to a Limbaugh diatribe against the show’s producers (Mark Wahlberg, among others) for not inviting him to be a guest star.

How do they say it? That’s Hollywood.

Obama Chooses Chief of Staff — Kissin’ Kin To Hollywood

Within a day of his triumphant trouncing of Sen. John McCain, President-elect Barack Obama has already chosen a congressman as his chief of staff, a man who is very closely tied to Hollywood, Associated Press reported.

Obama picked Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) to head up his White House Office. As of Wednesday evening, Emanuel had not accepted the offer, but Washington pundits were clearly convinced he wouldrahmandobama.jpg.

Emanuel happens to be the brother of Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, who is a partner in the Endeavor Agency and handles some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Ari is also the model for the unctuous agent on “Entourage” Ari Gold.

That particular choice may be Obama’s strongest link to Hollywood and showbiz types. Unlike former President Bill Clinton — who had dear friends who were producers and Hollywood insiders in Harry and Linda Bloodworth Thomason — Obama clearly has no link to show business.

Agent Ari Emanuel had no comment on his brother’s good fortune.

With hundreds of jobs to fill and only 10 weeks until Inauguration Day, Obama and his transition team confronted a formidable task complicated by his anti-lobbyist campaign rhetoric.

The official campaign Web Site said no political appointees would be permitted to work on “regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”

But almost exactly one year ago, on Nov. 3, 2007, candidate Obama went considerably further than that while campaigning in South Carolina. “I don’t take a dime of their money, and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House,” he said of lobbyists at the time.

Because they often have prior experience in government or politics, lobbyists figure as potential appointees for presidents of both parties.

On the morning after making history, the man elected the first black president had breakfast with his wife and two daughters at their Chicago home, went to a nearby gym and visited his downtown offices.

Aides said he planned no public appearances until later in the week, when he has promised to hold a news conference.

DHD: Endeavor Signs ‘Vince’

vince-assri.jpgDeadline Hollywood Daily reports that Endeavor just signed Adrien Grenier, aka “Vince” from Entourage — the show executive produced by Mark Wahlberg that features an agent, Ari Gold, more than loosely based on Wahlberg’s own agent Ari Emanuel.

With life imitating art so much, does this mean that soon Grenier’s career will be over too?

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