TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Bethenny Frankel’

Michael Strahan, Maria Shriver and Dishing With LuAnn de Lesseps

LunchAtMichaelsAnother Wednesday, another “Bravolebrity.” For the final leg of this month’s reality-show trifecta, I was joined today by LuAnn de Lesseps (the “Countess” to you), fresh off her trip to Chicago for an appearance on The Steve Harvey Show where she made over a few fashion-impaired civilians with oh-so-stylish looks from her new clothing line, the Countess Collection. (It will debut on Shop HQ, formerly known as Shop NBC, in May.) LuAnn is a regular contributor to Steve’s show, weighing in on all kinds of haute topics, from text etiquette while dating to how to dress like a million bucks without breaking the bank. When I lunched with her last summer, the conversation focused mainly on her role on Real Housewives of New York City and her fledgling music career. But these days the clever and stunning LuAnn, who clearly knows when to say when, has scaled back her presence on the Bravo screechfest (she’s now being billed as a “special guest star”) and is focusing primarily on “brand-building” her eponymous lifestyle brand, which, she says, is founded on the principle of “chic made easy.” After six seasons on Housewives and one of only two of the original New York City cast members left standing (tabloid favorite Ramona Singer is the other), LuAnn says, “I’m grateful for the platform the show has given me. I came into it with no preconceived notions. I didn’t watch reality television and I didn’t know what I was getting into. I signed on to do “Manhattan Moms” and thought it was going to be this nice little family-oriented show, but it turned into something else. I’m fearless and  have always had a real sense of adventure.” I’ll say.

Diane Clehane and LuAnn de Lesseps

Diane Clehane and LuAnn de Lesseps

LuAnn’s pre-Bravo life already read like something out of a Danielle Steel novel. The Connecticut native and nursing student who dabbled in the pageant circuit went to Europe to try her hand at modeling, but when that didn’t work out, a series of whirlwind events landed her a gig on Italian television even though she didn’t speak a word of the language. ”I was a big star — the Vanna White of Italy — paired with a man that was like their Bob Hope. Twelve million people a week were tuning in!” By the time she left three years later, she was fluent. Between bites of her crab cakes, she told me when she met her now ex-husband, Count Alexandre de Lesseps, it was “magic.” As for her much-discussed title as a result of her marriage, LuAnn thinks it’s ridiculous that people assume it’s some trumped up affectation. “The de Lesseps have played a very important part in French history,” she explained, citing her husband’s descendant Ferdinand de Lesseps as the architect of the Suez Canal and the man who played a huge role in gifting the Statue of Liberty to the United States.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Overcoming Writer's Block

Overcoming Writer's BlockUse proven tools and exercises to get back to writing! Starting July 15, learn a process that will help you pinpoint your optimal writing conditions, structure your time and build a framework to increase your productivity. Register now! 

Tory Burch’s Ex Dines With Ron Perelman; Kelly Bensimon Goes Back to School

1003_mockup.gifAs much as we’d like to, we can’t deliver dish from Oscar winners (Shirley MacLaine) and supermodels (Naomi Campbell, Coco Rocha and Karolina Kurkova) every week. After a head-spinning cycle of chats with A-listers, the celebrity quotient at Michael’s was of the low-wattage variety today with reality television refugee Kelly Killoren Bensimon and comedian Robert Wuhl representing the famous (infamous?) contingent. We suspect after the Academy Awards and most schools’ winter breaks are over next week, things will be back to the usual Fellini-esque circus at 55th and Fifth.

I was joined today by SELF vice president and publisher Laura McEwen and the magazine’s director of public relations, Lauren Theodore. It was a fortuitously timed lunch (isn’t it always?), because the newly reinvigorated title is on a roll. Even before our lunch, the colorful cover of the March issue featuring starlet of the moment Julianne Hough caught my eye. It turns out, the issue debuted a new, more “extroverted” all-black logo which seems to capture the forward motion of the Conde Nast title perfectly. Since its launch in 1979, the magazine has been the bible for young fitness-focused women. Now, says Laura, the title has stepped up its mission and embraced a more encompassing philosophy of “Body/Looks/Life.”  ”They are all inseparable today,” explains Laura. “When it first launched, SELF started a movement but now it’s a way of life that has gone mainstream.”

Read more

Housewives’ Bethenny Frankel Gets Test Run on Fox

She’s become a reality TV fascination, and now Bethenny Frankel is ready to take daytime TV by storm. Frankel, who spent three seasons starring on The Real Housewives of New York, will host her own one-hour entertainment talk-show. Bethenny will air starting Monday, June 11. In New York, the show will be broadcast at 11 a.m. after Wendy Williams.

Bethenny will have its test run on five other Fox-owned stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis.

The show, executive produced by Frankel and Ellen DeGeneres, will feature Frankel’s no-holds barred perspective on numerous topics, including pop culture, current events, and relationships.

Frankel first gained national recognition as a runner-up on NBC’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Frankel has parlayed her popularity on Bravo’s Housewives into a pair of spinoffs: Bethenny Getting Married and Bethenny Ever After, which had its third season debut in February.

Read more

Matt Lauer, Harold Ford Jr. & Neil Sedaka

1003_mockup.gif

— DIANE CLEHANE

If the scene at Michael’s today is any indication, summer vacations are so 2010. The place was full of magazine honchos (the cafeteria at Hearst must have been empty), media mavens (Does Jason Binn ever sleep?) and bold face names who were all working the room like nobody’s business. I knew this group meant business when the chatter rose to such a decibel-splitting level that I could barely hear what my lunch dates were saying. So forget about playing hooky this week because the weather is so good, get to work on making that next big deal happen!

When I arrived a little before noon today I got a chance to catch up with Harold Ford Jr. I asked the former congressman, now MSNBC analyst, what he thought of the contentious negotiations between President Obama and the Republicans on raising the debt ceiling. Will the two sides reach an agreement before the August deadline? “They’ll strike an 11th hour deal,” Harold told me. “They have to.” Harold thinks the president is “acting responsibly” while the freshman Republicans are “playing with fire.” His solution: “If I were advising the president, I’d say get out on a ten-city tour and talk to people and explain (in his plan) there would be no new taxes until the end of 2012.” When it comes to raising taxes, Harold espouses raising the tax threshold for individuals and households. Eat your peas, indeed.

I was joined today by Redbook’s editor-in-chief Jill Herzig and Hearst PR director Alexandra Carlin and we had a lively conversation that ranged from raising kids to keeping up (literally) with the Kardashians. Jill just celebrated her first anniversary at Redbook in May and has made some savvy tweaks to Hearst’s magazine for smart, style-conscious women who juggle work and family. The biggest change? A shift in tone from “commiserating to celebrating” life in all its glorious, modern day chaos. “We love it when we hear about that from our cover celebrities. Brooke Burke was very honest about it recently. She said balance doesn’t exist. It’s just life.” In the new August issue, Jada Pinkett Smith gives some very frank — and emotional — answers about raising a family of budding superstars, her “excruciating” choices and how she wouldn’t have it any other way. Who wouldn’t want to go home to Will Smith?

Speaking of celebs, Jill gave me the rundown on which cover gals have scored on the newsstand this year. The big winners were the multiple covers featuring reality/competition show queens Bethenny Frankel, Allison Sweeney and Padma Lakshmi, and the issue featuring country star Miranda Lambert right before she married Blake Shelton. The top seller? The May issue which featured the women of the Kardashian clan clad all in white. Jill tells me ‘momager’ Kris earned her complete respect by rounding up her daughters and arriving early for a 6 am call to the set. “They were incredibly professional and all genuinely seemed to enjoy each other. They were just lovely.”

Here’s a rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Niche Media’s Jason Binn (Loved the seersucker suit!) presiding over a table of young bucks.

2. Producer Francine LeFrak and some well-heeled pals.

3. Cosmo‘s publisher Donna Lagani and Hollywoodlife.com’s Bonnie Fuller. A little birdie told me that Bonnie and Fidelis Global’s Gerry Byrne moved their monthly ‘Influencer’ luncheon from Tuesday to Wednesday this month because Jay Penske, whose company Mail.com Media owns Hollywoodlife.com, was in town and didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. Just in case you were wondering who joined the terrific trio here’s the list: social swan and Vanity Fair scribe Amy Fine Collins , designer Stacey Bendet, Ogilvy Entertainment president Doug Scott, Maybelline’s Deborah Marquardt, ION Media Networks’ CEO Brandon Burgess, Razorfish VP of media Julie Weitzner, Charlie Corwin, founder of Original Media,  publicist Matt Hiltzik and Aly Racer, president on PMC.

4. Producer Freddie Gershorn.

Read more

Getting the Skinny on Forbes‘ Blog Plans

Last night, FishbowlLA attended a swanky bash at Drai’s in Hollywood thrown by Forbes magazine. In honor of the newest Celebrity 100 list and cover story “The New Celebrity Money Makers,” the publication handed out fancy crystal trophies to several members of Tinseltown’s entrepreneurial elite: Bethenny Frankel, Gene Simmons, Khloe Kardashian and DumbDumb.com, the Internet content project of actors Will Arnett and Jason Bateman. (Ben Silverman accepted on behalf of the absent DumbDumb duo.)

One of the first people we ran into was Lewis D’Vorkin, Forbes‘ Chief Product Officer and formerly of Tru/Slant. He told us that Forbes.com currently has an astonishing 700 bloggers and that the plan is to up that total to 900 by the end of the year.

Read more

Pictures from Last Night’s National Magazine Awards

Last night, as we’ve reported, and live-tweeted, and follow-up tweeted to you many times, was the National Magazine Awards.

This is one of the biggest nights for the magazine industry, so we figure we can’t possibly overload you with information about it. And now we have some celebrity pictures from the event!

Host Katie Couric attending the 46th Annual 2011 National Magazine Awards:

Image credit: ASME

Read more

National Magazine Awards Roundup: New York, National Geographic Among the Big Winners

Last night’s ASME National Magazine Awards had more than a few surprises. The evening began with a cocktail hour for a change, where FishbowlNY had drinks with Graydon Carter, Bethenny Frankel, David Copperfield, and other media celebrities milling around the red carpet. We caught up with a few nominees, such as the editor of Audobon magazine: “We’ve been nominated for 5 years,” he told us, “and we haven’t won once. I wasn’t going to attend, but then I thought, what if we win this year?”

They didn’t. Oh, well! Some other choice quotes: we heard from Bethenny Frankel that she always reads her magazine coverage in nail salons, because she is medicated on planes.

The evening began on a somber note, with Graydon Carter acknowledging the many journalists who had died or been detained while reporting in war areas, and presenting a slideshow of the work of Vanity Fair contributor Tim Hetherington, who died in Misrata, Libya.

But the mood lightened as the awards were announced. Some of the big winners of the night were New York Times Magazine, New York, and National Geographic, each taking home a couple of awards, with National Geographic jubilantly winning “Magazine of the Year.”

Read more

The Huffington Post To Celebrate Its List Of Game Changers Tonight

Tonight, The Huffington Post is holding a special ceremony to celebrate its list of “Game Changers,” the “innovators, mavericks and leaders who are changing their fields and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.”

This year’s ceremony happens to include quite a few bold names in the media industry:

Other attendees slated to appear tonight include reality tv star and health expert Bethenny Frankel, TV and radio personality Gayle King, fashion designer Prabal Gurung, models Paulina Porizkova and Crystal Renn, former New York Governor and current TV host Eliot Spitzer and his co-host Kathleen Parker, PR whiz Kelly Cutrone, and many others.

Alex McCord & Simon van Kempen Serve Up Some Tasty ‘Real Housewives’ Dish

1003_mockup.gif

— DIANE CLEHANE

There’s never a dull moment on a Wednesday at Michael’s. When I arrived in the dining room today I spotted LX TV‘s senior executive producer Amy Rosenblum shooting a segment for tonight’s show with host Sarah Gore and Michael’s GM Steve Millington about their famous $36 Cobb Salad. Who says lunch here isn’t about the food?

I had a delightfully dishy lunch with Alex McCord, one of my favorite cast members from The Real Housewives of New York City, her husband Simon van Kempen and their literary agent, my pal Jason Allen Ashlock. The couple is surprisingly down to earth given the histrionics filled season. “We’re trying to prove you don’t have to be an idiot to be on reality television,” says Simon.

At the moment, Alex and Simon are in the middle of their book tour for Little Kids Big City, which is now in its second printing. It’s a well-written, ‘mom-oir’ (as Simon likes to call it) that chronicles their transformation from DINKY (dual income no kids yet) couple to hands-on, working parents of two sons, Francois and Johan. Also in the works are a “relationship book” written in the same ‘he said, she said’ style as Little Kids, a possible cookbook, and Alex tells me she’s penning a “roman a clef about the dark underbelly of reality television.” Watch out Jill Zarin!

I just had to ask Alex what she thought of Jill’s tearful performance at the marathon three-part reunion show, which culminated in Jill basically begging former BFF Bethenny Frankel for a hug. (I’m told the women shot for nine hours with very little down time.) “It was a long day,” says Alex. “I don’t know whether it was genuine or not.” But she didn’t hold back in describing Jill’s backstabbing behavior overall: “When you have nothing else in your life, you can sit around and scheme like a character in Dangerous Liaisons.”

The couple was first tapped by Bravo to appear on what was to be called Manhattan Moms in 2007 before it morphed into The Real Housewives of New York City. “We didn’t know we were going to be paired with bitchy, socialite wannabes,” says Simon. With three seasons behind them, Simon feels Alex “hit her stride” this year. For her part, Alex says her friendships with Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, and Bethenny have grown and she’s spoken to all three of them “within the last 48 hours.” No decision has been made about who will be returning next season but Simon says of the couple’s plans, “At this point, it would be silly to not do one more season.”

You can catch Alex at her next New York City book signing on July 6 at Barnes & Noble on Lexington and 86th Street with New Jersey Housewife Caroline Manzo, who be on hand to promote Bravo’s new tell-all on the popular franchise.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

Read more

Daily News‘ Zuckerman Vies For BusinessWeek|NYT Looks To Chicago|Three Reality Stars Get Their Own Shows|Forbes.com’s New Chief|Stacked Up

BusinessWeek: New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman has made a bid for BusinessWeek.

The New York Times: The New York Times plans local editions for Chicago and other markets, in addition to a recently announced San Francisco edition.

Variety: Three reality show starsBethenny Frankel from “Real Housewives of New York,” “Project Runway” winner Christian Siriano and Fabio Viviani from “Top Chef” — have been offered their own shows on Bravo.

Folio: Forbes.com has named a new president, Mike Smith.

Video: Former Glamour editor and author Laurie Sandell reveals what’s on her bookshelves as the first subject in this new Web video series Stacked Up.