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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Woodward’

Lunch: Harold Ford, Jr., Ken Starr, and a Slew of Fashionable Folks

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— DIANE CLEHANE

There was definitely something in the air (besides all that pesky pollen) at Michael’s today. The dining room was so jam packed with every conceivable type of boldfaced name I could barely keep track of all the wheeling and dealing that was going on around me. While the fashionistas and socialites traded air kisses and picked at the salads, the media mavens were spinning like there was no tomorrow. The power lunch is back, folks, so break away from your desk and go make something happen.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Jack Myers, presiding over a table of movers and shakers: Huffington Post’s Greg Coleman, Eric Hippeau and Phil Cara; Colgate’s Jack Haber, Pattie Glod of Limited Brands; and E*Trade’s Nick Utton.

2. Peter Brown and Dan Scheffey, who joins Fairchild Fashion Group on May 10 as the new director of communications for the trade and business sector of Conde Nast. Dan tells me he’ll be working on all the titles including WWD and WWD.com. He reports to president Gina Sanders. Congrats!

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with Vanity Fair’s Wayne Lawson and Punch Hutton and a chic blonde gal we didn’t get to me. Joe, fresh off another trip to his home state of Texas was all jazzed up to tell the group about the The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas. (He’s on the board.) Joe reports that the center has acquired an impressive array of archives of literary legends including Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, Evelyn Waugh, and even Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Joe also reports that none other than Robert De Niro has given the center his script archive and actually footed the bill for two 18-wheelers to deliver the costumes he’s worn in his films. So, the next time you’re in Austin, you might want to check it out.

4. Sean Cassidy — no, not the eighties pop icon — this fellow works for Dan Klores.

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News Corp. Earnings|Hybrid Companies Of The Future|Inc. Goes Virtual|Julia Allison|Conan O’Brien|David Brown Dies|Oprah

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paidContent: News Corp. reported its second quarter earnings this afternoon, reporting a profit for the quarter and increases in most of its divisions, including — amazingly — the newspaper business, which saw a 29.5 percent gain.

Nieman Lab: According to this survey, hybrid media companies are the wave of the future.

MediaJobsDaily A new way for media companies to save money: ditch the office. Inc. magazine is trying a virtual office experiment this month.

MainStreet: Julia Allison says she’s a journalist, compares herself to Bob Woodward.

TMZ: Conan O’Brien plans to pay severance for some of his axed employees out of his own pocket.

Los Angeles Times: David Brown, former journalist, producer and husband of Cosmo editrix Helen Gurley-Brown, has died.

New York Times: Oprah Winfrey will star in a reality show about the end of her talk show once her cable net, OWN, debuts.

New York Magazine Figures Out Where News Comes From

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New York Magazine suffered a giant blow last week when it lost its owner Bruce Wasserstein. Still, the publication trucks on, just as fun and relevant as ever, and perhaps even more cleverly than ever with their recent dissection of how news is disseminated. The point of the article was to answer, definitively, who is breaking our top stories of the day; bloggers, television reporters, print journalists, or some unholy hybrid of that trinity. Their findings?

Not very much. The news cycle of the 24-hours in question was driven by stories stemming from unlikely sources such as Andrew Breitbart, Yale Daily News, and the National Enquirer. We could have told you that CNN has basically become a blooper reel for YouTube without the graph. But there’s hope for traditional journalism:

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YouTube Launches Reporter Center|Wikipedia Co-Founder Helped The Times|Hachette Reorganizes Auto Brands|Atlantic City Paper’s Editor Says Goodbye With Top Ten List|Spitzer Blogs For HuffPo

WebNewser: YouTube launched its Reporters Center today, featuring instructional videos, tips and advice from journalists like Katie Couric, Bob Woodward, The New York Times‘s Nicholas Kristof, and Arianna Huffington.

New York Times: More information about the lengths the Times went to to keep reporter David Rohde‘s kidnapping off the media’s radar: Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales joined in the effort to monitor Rohde’s Wikipedia page and delete any references to the kidnapping.

Folio: Hachette Filipacchi Media is reorganizing its automotive brands, Car and Driver and Road & Track, under the Jumpstart online network purchased in spring 2007. The structure of the new Jumpstart Automotive Group will be similar to the new structure implemented for Hachette’s women’s and shelter titles.

The Press of Atlantic City: Longtime editor Paul Merkoski wrote a good-bye letter to his readers ala David Letterman, listing the “Top 5 Things I’ll Miss Most Starting Next Monday” and “Top 5 Things I’ll Miss Least Starting Next Monday.”

Huffington Post: Disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer blogs for The Huffington Post for the first time since 2007. What motivated him to come back to the blogosphere? “The Plight of New York’s Small Business Owners” for the site’s new New York section.

Shots From Today’s Daily Beast Inaugural Brunch

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The Daily Beast and Morning Joe crews jointly hosted a well-attended (though tricky to-get-to courtesy of a myriad of road blocks) brunch this morning at the Council on Foreign Relations building. While plenty of bold-faces mingled the room imbibing “Obamimosas” and quiche, the star of the hour had to be David Axlerod whose hand everyone wanted to shake.

We bumped into Peggy Noonan who told us that after the pilot on her US Airways flight from New York yesterday came on to announce they were departing for Washington D.C. the entire plane had burst into applause.

Jay Carney
, who is departing Time to be Joe Biden‘s director of communications showed us his transition Blackberry (they get a new one next Tuesday) and said that there will be no AIMing in the Vice President’s office, either (Joe will have to give up his Berry, also). He also said that he doesn’t foresee himself coming back to news reporting after his stint in the government, though “maybe as a columnist.” Of course what journalism will look like in four to eight years is anyone’s guess! Pics from the brunch after the jump.

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“Deep Throat” Dead at 95

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The unsurpassed anonymous source that brought down the Nixon administration and fueled vigorous debate for decades as to his true identity, has died. Mark Felt, the FBI’s ‘number two’ man, a protege of J. Edgar Hoover, gave information to young WaPo scribes Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex.

Woodward always said that the identity of Deep Throat would not be known until after he died. Our money was on it being Pat Buchanan (but put that in the pile of things we’ve been wrong about). But in 2005 – they let the proverbial cat out of the bag and for a month all we could read about in the newspapers were the phrases ‘deep throat’ and ‘number two man’.

On a lame note, the LAT obit was written by recently laid off staffer Johanna Neuman. Cough.

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Lunch: Carl Bernstein: Bush ‘Straight Talk’ Book Would Sell

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Reports of the death of the power lunch are, by the looks of things at Michael’s today, most definitely premature. It will be a sure sign of the apocalypse when the regulars at 55th & Fifth stop showing up to cook up their next big move over burgers and Cobb salads. By the looks of today’s crowd, there was plenty of business being done between bites as media machers, fashion mavens and a few authors of note were deep in conversation. And, reports Michael McCarty, the joint is also jumping after dark. Leonard Lauder took over the Garden Room for a chic soiree last night, and the place is booked with plenty of parties throughout the month. “We’re very fortunate,” says Michael. “We have a very diverse and loyal clientele.” Indeed.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Police commissioner Ray Kelly and Tom Kelly. No one was quite sure if these two imposing looking fellows were related, but I’m guessing not since I spotted Tom scribbling furiously in his notebook during lunch…

2. Men’s Health honcho Dave Zinczenko and Glamour editrix Cindi Leive. With all the gloom and doom that abounds and the scarcity of holiday fetes around town, I asked them what they were planning to do for their staffs to brighten spirits. Both said they were planning “very low key” get-togethers somewhere in town. “There’s going to be a pool table and bottles of beer involved,” promises Cindi. Dave also reports that Rodale will be hosting two parties — one here at the New York offices and the other at the company’s Emmaus, Pa. headquarters. No Scrooges here! I just had to ask Cindi what she thought of this morning’s item in The New York Post that she (and Linda Wells) might be in line for the top spot at Vogue should those pesky rumors (denied by Si Newhouse) that Anna Wintour is on the way out. Or, maybe her pal Dave has lured her away for the top spot at Women’s Health. (An announcement about the job is expected any day.) “I’m perfectly happy where I am,” Cindi told me.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Carl Bernstein. I told Carl that I caught All the President’s Men (which he co-wrote with Bob Woodward on the heels of their game-changing coverage of Watergate for The Washington Post all those many years ago) on TMC the other night. “How does it hold up?” he asked me. Pretty well, I told him. “It’s been years since I’ve seen it,” says Carl. I had to ask him what he thought of the reports that the soon to be ex-president wouldn’t exactly incite a bidding war for his memoirs in the months following him leaving office. Carl dismisses the notion that their would be no takers for the book. “Presidents never have difficulty getting their memoirs published,” he told me. Earlier this week, Bush told ABC News’ Charles Gibson that he was “unprepared for war” and said his “biggest regret” was the mistaken claims regarding weapons of mass that lead to the war in Iraq. So does that mean that Bush’s prospective tome might offer some introspection? “Forget introspection,” says Carl. “If he was more forthcoming about his presidency given the amount of withholding of information and level of mendacity, a little straight talk would be good.”

4. Tommy Mottola and an unidentified older gentleman

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‘Deep Throat’ Director Dead At 80

The porn industry-strewn San Fernando Valley was in mourning yesterday when word got out that “Deep Throat” director Gerard Damiano had passed away in Florida.dam4.jpg
He was 80.

Damiano died Saturday at a Fort Myers hospital, his son, Gerard Damiano Jr., said Monday to the Associated Press. He had suffered a stroke in September.

“He was a filmmaker and an artist and we thought of him as such,” the younger Damiano said. “Even though we weren’t allowed to see his movies, we knew he was a moviemaker, and we were proud of that.”

See more below:

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Lunch at Michael’s: All Hail Tina Brown!

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When a little birdie told us to switch our weekly reservation from Wednesday to Thursday so as not to miss the confab of publishing powerhouses that were expected today, we did so in a heartbeat. We’re happy to report today’s crowd didn’t disappoint. Where else could you see Newsweek honcho Jon Meacham bow down to Tina Brown at Mayor Joe Armstrong‘s table, or watch a gaggle of social swans fawn over Project Runway breakout star Tim Gunn while cooling their Jimmy Choos in the lounge? The worlds of substance and style collided today at 55th & Fifth.

The results kept us so busy gawking that we barely finished our salad nicoise:

1. Mayor Joe Armstrong presiding over one of his legendary lunches with a host of truly impressive guests. Tina Brown arrived looking every inch the power blonde in black leather and was greeted with great fanfare by all including an enthusiastic hug from neighboring diner and former Condé Nast colleague Shirley Lord. We can’t wait for Tina’s new book, The Diana Chronicles, due out in June from Doubleday with an excerpt to run in Vanity Fair. Word is she breaks big news about the People’s Princess. We can’t imagine what’s left to reveal, but we’re all ears! Joe kept the conversation flowing among pals Liz Smith, Newsweek‘s Jon Meacham, ABC News producer Kathy O’Hearn, Random House’s Susan Mercandetti (who edited Bob Woodruff‘s new book, In An Instant. The ABC newsman’s tale of recovery following his near-death experience in Iraq as written mainly by his wife will debut at number one on the Times bestseller list Sunday, March 16. Couldn’t happen to nicer guy!).

Always the gentleman, Joe took time out from keeping things lively to introduce lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane to two of his other guests, Vanity Fair correspondent Marie Brenner and Newsweek scribe Holly Peterson. We’ve been fans of Marie’s ever since she took on the tobacco industry in a piece that became the basis for The Insider. Joe teased that her upcoming expose on Guantanamo Bay for Vanity Fair will be even more explosive. We’re really intrigued by Holly’s new book, The Manny, — which earned her $1 million for the book and movie rights. (Not bad for a first timer.) The novel taps into the cultural zeitgeist by chronicling the fictional exploits of a male nanny who does more for Upper East Side yummy mummies than look after their kiddies. The sure-to-be-bestseller is also due out here in June from HarperCollins but is already selling like mad in the U.K.

2. Shirley Lord & Peter Brown.

3. Charlie Rose and Zoe Baird. The talkshow host looking more debonair than usual (the no tie look really works for you, Charlie) held Ms. Baird’s rapt attention throughout lunch — must have been a very intriguing tale …

4. ‘Entourage’ East: EMI president Charlie Walk with four black-suited young gents.

5. Herb Siegal.

6. Freddy Gershorn and Steve Swid.

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