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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Grazer’

Lunch at Michael’s: Presidential Politics & Brian Grazer



The media mavens, captains of industry and money men were out in full force today where a heaping helping of presidential politics were on the menu. Mayor Joe Armstrong, fresh off his latest trip to Paul Newman‘s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp hosted one of his legendary lunches where his guests were Robert Draper, GQ writer and author of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush (Free Press), political pundit Jonathan Alter (who deconstructed FDR’s first 100 days in his book, The Defining Moment) and Joan Ganz Cooney. “There are some explosive things in Robert’s book!” says Joe. No doubt. On the other side of the aisle, I learned a fun fact about Estee Lauder’s Sally Susman who stopped to chat with me at the bar. Before she became a beauty bigwig she worked at the White House. Which one? I asked. “The only one,” she quipped. “The Clinton White House!” Of course. Coincidently, Sally was lunching with another Clinton alum, Internet exec. Margo Spiritus, who now toils as Pingg Interactive’s vice president of marketing. Turns out 55th & Fifth is a must-stop on the campaign trial. Are you listening Hillary & Barack?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Mayor Joe Armstrong and the gang.

2. Gerry Byrne.

3. Terry Allen Kramer and her son, who, we hear, made the scene at the US Open this weekend.

4. Viacom’s Philippe Dauman.

5. 60 MinutesSteve Croft, Brian Grazer (thanks to his distinctive ‘do we spotted him immediately) and a fetching mystery gal. We wanted to ask Brian about the upcoming season of 24 which, we’re told, has Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) matching wits with the first female president. But since he kept his back to the room throughout lunch, we abstained.

6. Luke Janklow (loved the charming photos of your family at home in this month’s Vogue!), Michael Soloman and designer Liz Lange.

7. An exec. from Satellite Radio XM, so we’re told…

8. George Leeds and Estee Lauder’s Lew Rice.

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LAT in 90 Seconds

cruises.jpgA Little Welcome Wagon: Tom Cruise and Will Smith will team up to throw the Beckhams a welcome-to-LA bash on Sunday for 600 of their closest friends, including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Jim Carrey, Anjelica Huston, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Brian Grazer, Warner Bros. President Alan Horn and Universal Pictures chief Ron Meyer. And other neighbors.

31272748.jpgEmmy Noms Are In: And Ugly Betty is sitting pretty with 11 nods. The Envelope has more.

31279205.jpgWhat’s Gotten Into Those Clowns? Has LAT replaced its copy editors with the creators of Bum Fights? Story after story about Michael Vick’s indictment on graphic allegations of animal cruelty, is preceded with astoundingly inappropriate pun-ny headlines. Including, from the site’s homepage: “A Dog-gone Mess.” Seriously?

Brett Ratner to Direct Hefner Bio-Pic


Brett Ratner will direct a film based on the life of Hugh Hefner. Brian Grazer optioned the rights years back, and had Oliver Stone and Scott Silver take some stabs at the project. But Ratner brought his trademarked class and dignity that this project so richly deserves. He told Variety:

Hef came from a puritanical upbringing and reinvented himself to be the godfather of the sexual revolution. He also used his magazine to advocate civil rights and free speech, and put James Brown on his show ‘Playboy After Dark’ when they didn’t put black performers on national television.

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Brian Grazer to Divorce (Tedious Starter Wife Joke Here)


Brian Grazer, still reeling from the cancellation of his debut as a newspaper editor, is splitting from his wife, Gigi Levangie-Grazer. And oddly enough, this news comes just before the couple’s 10th anniversary. He filed in 2006, but they reconciled.

Ten years is the make-it date for a “long-term marriage” in California, not that it matters as Page 6 says they have an “air-tight pre nup”. Page 6 also says they both make their own money, but her own money ain’t nothin’ like his.

And the couple’s house is back on the market, just like them, only the house is listed at $27.5 mil.

Andres Martinez Joins New America Foundation


Andres Martinez is joining the New America Foundation, as an Irvine Fellow. The former LA Times editorial page editor left in a huff after publisher David Hiller squashed a special edition edited by Brian Grazer. He’s joining former West editor Rick Wartzman and Gregory Rodriguez. Based in Santa Monica, Martinez’s mission is to :

focus his writing on how global interdependence affects the daily lives of Californians. He’ll be exploring the disconnect between attitudes toward globalization and its reality on the ground and asking whether politicians and the media sufficiently understand California’s place in the global economy.

Translation: op-eds about off-shoring by people whose jobs will never be off-shored.

Inside The Time 100 Party

America Ferrera and John Mayer

It’s arguably the most exclusive magazine party of the year. (Graydon Carter‘s Vanity’s Fair Oscar party perhaps being the other.) John Edwards mingled with John Mayer. Sir Richard Branson (just back from dogsledding in Alaska) commandeered the corner of the bar like a Virgin spaceship, and allowed Henry Kissinger to ride co-pilot. Craigslist’s Craig Newmark chatted up Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick walked through the cocktail hour unrecognized. Michael J. Fox, too, virtually unnoticed, chatted with Elizabeth Vargas near the glass window overlooking Central Park. Arianna Huffington was noticed. (Line uttered in every pre-dinner conversation: “Is that someone? It looks like someone, I don’t know … do you?”)

Time Warner execs — like Richard Parsons and Jeffrey Bewkes — buzzed along the edges as the usual media-on-media action (including Ad Age‘s Nat Ives, WWD‘s Stephanie Smith, Jossip’s David Hauslaib, New York mag’s Jesse Oxfeld, Gawker’s Lockhart Steele and Doree Shafrir, ETP’s Rachel Sklar, Glynnis MacNicol, Julia Allison, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici, NYO‘s Michael Calderone) made nice use of the open bar.

But as much firepower as there was at last night’s Time 100 party at Jazz at Lincoln Center, just 36 of the 100 to make 2007′s “most influential people in the world” list made it, and there were plenty of notable no-shows: No Obama. No Borat. No Queen of England. Rosie. No Leo. No Gore. No Timberlake. No Tyra.

But impassioned speeches — delivered over dinner by Elizabeth Edwards, Brian Williams, Bloomberg (with an ode to late Boston Celtics’ exec Red Auerbach — huh?) Branson and others — and a three-song set by Mayer more than made up for the relative lack of A-listers.

Others spotted during cocktail hour: Cate Blanchett, Mayor Bloomberg, Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, Simon Fuller, Charlie Rose, Tina Fey, Mario Cuomo, Martha Stewart, Brian Grazer, Gayle King (no Oprah), Matt Lauer, Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, Ziyi Zhang, Police Commisioner Ray Kelly, Suzanne Vega, Harvey Weinstein, David Lauren and Lauren Bush.

FishbowlNY’s Coverage Of Last Year’s Time 100:

  • Inside the Time 100 Party
  • Diddy’s Time 100 Posse Bigger Than Most Posses
  • Time 100: The Most Influential People in the Room

    More photos:

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  • Time‘s 100 Most Influential Includes Borat, Bin Laden, Obama, Tyra, Not You


    Time magazine’s annual list of its 100 most influential people is out. Borat‘s Sacha Baron Cohen (not Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat”) Barack Obama, Osama, Tyra Banks, Brian Grazer and Tony Dungee and Yankees pitchers Chien-ming Wang (seriously) made the list. We (“You”) didn’t.

    TIME 100: The Complete List

    Leaders & Revolutionaries
    King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia
    Peter Akinola, archbishiop, Nigeria
    Mohamed Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, president, Sudan
    Osama bin Laden
    Michael Bloomberg, mayor, New York City
    Raul Castro, acting president, Cuba
    Hillary Clinton, U.S. senator from New York
    Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom
    Sonia Gandhi, chair, Indian National Congress Party
    Hu Jintao, president, China
    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader, Iran
    Liu Qi, chief, Beijing Olympic Committee
    Tzipi Livni, foreign minister, Israel
    Angela Merkel, chancellor, Germany
    Barack Obama, U.S. senator from Illinois
    Nancy Pelosi, speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
    David Petraeus, commanding general, U.S. Army
    Pope Benedict XVI
    Condoleezza Rice, U.S. secretary of state
    John Roberts, Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
    Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor, California

    Builders & Titans
    Bernard Arnault, French businessman
    Richard Branson, CEO, Virgin
    Rhonda Byrne, author, The Secret
    Steve Chen & Chad Hurley, founders, YouTube
    Steve Cohen, hedge fund manager
    Clare Furse, chief executive, London Stock Exchange
    Ho Ching, chief executive, Temasek
    Steve Jobs, founder and CEO, Apple
    Ken Lewis, CEO, Bank of America
    Erik Lie, finance professor, University of Iowa
    Pony Ma, founder and CEO, Tencent
    Lakshmi Mittal, CEO, Arcelor Steel
    Shigeru Miyamoto, game designer, Nintendo
    Michael Moritz, investor, Sequoia Capital
    Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo
    Cyril Ramaphosa, South African union leader
    Philip Rosedale, founder, Second Life
    Stephen Schwarzman, CEO, Blackstone Group
    Katsuaki Watanabe, president and ceo, Toyota

    Artists & Entertainers
    Cate Blanchett, actress
    Sacha Baron Cohen, actor
    Leonardo DiCaprio, actor
    Alber Elbaz, creative director, Lanvin
    America Ferrera, actress
    Tina Fey, actress and writer
    Simon Fuller, creator, American Idol
    Brian Grazer, producer
    John Mayer, musician
    David Mitchell, author
    Kate Moss, fashion model
    Yossou N’Dour, musician
    Anna Netrebko, opera singer
    Rosie O’Donnell, comedian and talk show host
    Brad Pitt, actor
    Shonda Rhimes, actress and writer
    Nora Roberts, romance novelist
    Rick Rubin, music producer
    Martin Scorsese, director
    Justin Timberlake, musician
    Kara Walker, artist
    Brian Williams, anchor, NBC Nightly News

    Scientists & Thinkers
    Paul Allen, scientific philanthropist and co-founder, Microsoft
    Chris Anderson, author, Long Tail
    Elizabeth Blackburn, researcher, UCSF
    Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist, Oxford University
    Frans de Waal, chimpanzee researcher
    Al Gore, environmental activist and former U.S. vice president
    Monty Jones, agricultural researcher
    John Mather, Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist
    Douglas Melton, stem cell researcher, Harvard University
    Steven Nissen, cardiac researcher, The Cleveland Clinic
    T.C. Onstatt, geoscientist, Princeton University
    Svante Paabo, paleogeneticist, Max Planck Institute
    Lisa Randall, string theorist, Harvard University
    Klaus Schwab, founder, World Economic Forum
    Kari Stefansson, genomics researcher
    Alan Stern, planetary scientist, NASA
    Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director, Hayden Planetarium
    Craig Venter, founder, Institute for Genomic Research
    Nora Volkow, director, National Institute on Drug Abuse

    Heroes & Pioneers
    Maher Arar, rendition survivor
    Wesley Autrey, New York City subway hero
    Tyra Banks, talk show host and model
    Warren Buffett, businessman and philanthropist
    Youk Chhang, executive director, Documentation Center of Cambodia
    George Clooney, actor, director and activist
    Tony Dungy, coach, Indianapolis Colts
    Elizabeth Edwards, cancer activist
    Drew Gilpin Faust, newly appointed president, Harvard University
    Roger Federer, tennis star
    Michael J. Fox, actor and stem cell advocate
    Timothy Gittins, decorated U.S. soldier
    Thiery Henry, French soccer star
    Garry Kasparov, Russian chessmaster
    Amr Khaled, Egyptian televangelist
    Judith McKay, anti-tobacco activist, World Health Organization
    Chien-ming Wang, pitcher, New York Yankees
    Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and philanthropist
    Zeng Jinyan, Chinese blogger

    Dean Baquet: ‘Panic Had Set In’

    fbny_dean_baquet.jpgThis morning at breakfast at the ultra-swank W Hotel in Midtown (blaring “salsatronica” at in the lobby at 8:00AM = unnecessary), Dean Baquet looked an awful lot like the next executive editor of the New York Times. As he sat alongside Gary Pruitt, president and CEO of the McClatchy Co. of newspapers, the Washington bureau chief of the Times and L.A. Times ex-editor/folk-hero fielded questions from the New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta on yet another panel about the future of newspapers, Baquet looked ever-the-general, politely slamming his former employers at the Tribune Company. “There was a lack of rational thought about the future,” Baquet said. “Panic had set in. It’s impossible to lead an organization when that happens.”

    While Baquet admitted that some pressure from Wall Street on newspapers to reach the youth market — what he called the “Britney Spears pressure” — is healthy, he’s “not convinced young people won’t read the newspaper as they get older.” Baquet said some of the downward spiralling state of newspapers was “self-inflicted” — pointing to the slashing of sections, like book reviews, turning readers off.

    Baquet, though, had optimism for his former company’s future: “If I were a multibillionaire, I’d [buy] the Tribune Co. right now.”

    Pruitt, whose McClatchy Co.’s stock is down some 30 percent this year, conceded that the timing of the company’s purchase of Knight Ridder was “awful,” but that the newspaper business is “not for the faint of heart.”

    Baquet also addressed the current scandal at the L.A. Times involving the resignation of the paper’s op-editor and the killing of a section that was to be edited by film producer Brian Grazer, saying he would not have approved the guest editor because “it invites conflict.”

    Baquet said the morale the L.A. Times was “in the tank”: “They’re sitting there waiting for a sale, [waiting for] some cuts rolling down the hill — throw in the angst of the newsroom in general … it’s a tumultuous time.”


  • Baquet: L.A. Times Morale in the Tank
  • Jeff — We Mean, Gary — Pruitt Joins Auletta and Baquet in Industry Chat [E&P]
  • Dean Baquet Says Don’t Panic [AdAge]
  • Important Media People Have Breakfast [Gawker]
  • Keller Gets His Man: Fired LAT Editor Dean Baquet Joins NYT as D.C. Bureau Chief
  • Now There’s Only One Section to Ignore!

    booksstuff.jpgThe LAT is combining its book reviews section with its Sunday opinion page, Current on April 15. We hear its first review will be of a Brian Grazer memoir.

    Posh To Start Book Club for Celebrity Wives With Too Much Time on Their Perfectly Manicured Hands


    Victoria Beckham, aka Posh, is starting a book club with Katie Holmes and Jennifer Lopez. According to some British tabloid:

    Books that Victoria wants to talk about, include Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility, as well as tomes by literary giants Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy.

    In 2005, Posh told the Daily Telegraph that she reads books despite having said she didn’t.

    In 2001, she wrote a book.

    So, there’s been a progression of sorts. Remember, Brian Grazer doesn’t read himself, he has someone to do it for him. Who knows where this could lead? Maybe Posh will edit the LA Times?