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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Wasserstein’

FishbowlNY’s 2009 Lists: In Memoriam

cronkite.jpgOur favorite part of any award show is the memorial montage commemorating the lives of all those who passed away in the past year. While this year’s headlines were populated by the tragic deaths of celebrities and other bold-faced names — from Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett to Patrick Swayze and Senator Ted Kennedy — our industry lost quite a few of its prominent members in 2009 as well. Here, a look back at some of the media’s brightest stars we said goodbye to this year:

Former anchorman Walter Cronkite was perhaps the biggest name in the media world to pass away in 2009, and he was honored by a star-studded memorial in September.

A number of famous columnists also left us without their prolific narratives about politics, celebrities and the English language in 2009. Conservative columnist Robert Novak died in August from a brain tumor, Vanity Fair‘s Dominick Dunne passed away later that month after a battle with bladder cancer. The New York Times‘ “On Language” columnist, William Safire, died in September from pancreatic cancer. Another columnist who we had the pleasure of working with last year, men’s wear expert Stan Gellers, died suddenly last winter, just a few months after the publication he had contributed to for more than 50 years, DNR, folded.

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Remembering New York Owner Bruce Wasserstein

nymag best of cover.jpgDealmaker, Lazard Ltd. CEO and New York magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein died yesterday at age 61. News of his untimely death filtered through the media world yesterday afternoon, resulting in many tributes and remembrances from those on the media beat.

Not surprisingly, New York magazine’s Daily Intel blog had the most touching tribute to Wasserstein, saluting his commitment to journalism and his love of the publication that he took ownership of in 2004:

“Unlike the private investors who often buy publications like New York, Bruce had no interest in using the magazine to advance a personal agenda. On the contrary, he had a journalist’s curiosity and took pleasure in the provocative. At monthly meetings with the magazine brain trust, he wanted to talk as much about the latest news, or politics, or shifting currents of all kinds as he did about New York itself.”

Over at The New York Times‘ blog Media Decoder, David Carr reflected on Wasserstein’s New York deal:

“Many of the bidders thought they had the magazine in the bag, but then Mr. Wasserstein, as was his habit, came swinging in out of nowhere and took the prize off the table. None of the bidders knew more about the use of leverage and muscle than Bruce Wasserstein, so it was assumed that it would become one more accessory used to personal ends.

It became a great magazine instead.”

The New York Observer has gathered some reactions from Wassersteins former associates and friends, including Carl Icahn:

“It’s sad, it’s a sad thing. He was a good friend and he was one of the few real bright guys on Wall Street. I always respected his views.”

The Observer also asks what will happen to New York following Wasserstein’s death. The paper reports that the magazine was owned by a family trust, so New York will be passed along to his wife and children. Will one of them become the magazine’s new owner, or will they sell the property?

Related: Editorial Independence, Bruce Wasserstein-Style

Bruce Wasserstein Died At 61 | Vogue Layoffs | NYT Won’t Sell Boston Globe | A Look At Jersey’s Papers

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Wall Street Journal: Lazard CEO and New York magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein has died at age 61, after being hospitalized Sunday with an irregular heartbeat.

All Things Digital: More cuts at Conde: Vogue lays off “at least six people”.

Boston.com: The New York Times has announced that it will not sell The Boston Globe.

New York Observer: A closer look at the cuts that have plagued New Jersey newspapers like the Star-Ledger, this year. “When this round of cuts is finished, The Star-Ledger‘s staff will be half the size of what it was a year ago, but at least it will still have a bustling office. The Record, on the other hand, has existed essentially without a home base for over a year—reporters can drop into an office when they want, but they’re encouraged to stay out on the streets. Meanwhile, The New York Times killed its New Jersey section and cleared out its bureaus.”

Rush Yanks The Media’s Chain|USA TODAY Publisher Addresses Circ Decrease|Wasserstein Hospitalized|NYT Cancels Subscriptions|Letterman Still Facing Challenges

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

TVNewser: Rush Limbaugh appeared on the “Today” show this morning, talking about how he becomes news by tweaking the media: “I know how to yank their chain. I know how to send them into insanity. I know how to make them spend the next two days talking about me.”

FishbowlDC: An internal memo from USA TODAY Publisher David Hunke addressing the paper’s reported decline of 398,000 copies a day.

Associated Press: Bruce Wasserstein, CEO of Lazard and owner of New York magazine, was hospitalized yesterday with an irregular heartbeat.

New York Observer: The New York Times has canceled all subscriptions to newspapers and magazines for its staff.

New York Times: David Carr says David Letterman still has some hurdles to face.

Bloomberg Makes Bid For BusinessWeek

businessweekcover.jpgBusinessWeek‘s media columnist Jon Fine reported yesterday that Bloomberg LP has made its official bid for the magazine, although Fine himself admits he has no info about the bid’s details:

“A bid from Bloomberg is widely expected to make the business information giant the prohibitive favorite to purchase BusinessWeek. (Caveat time: I write that phrase as one ignorant of the exact details of the bids for the magazine I work for. And if you’d asked me around a week ago who’d win BusinessWeek. I’d have told you Lazard Chairman Bruce Wasserstein — who last Monday night decided against submitting a final bid.)”

However, Fine has done his homework about privately-held Bloomberg, which is said to earn about $5 billion a year thanks in part to the terminals its subscribers must purchase. The company has even seemingly weathered the recession pretty well. Says Fine:

“When I looked at their media operations, around a year ago, Bloomberg was employing 2,350 journalists — or around 15 percent more than the combined staffs [of] The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And Bloomberg’s staff has grown since then.”

More information about the bids for BusinessWeek should come out soon. Despite the other parties who were said to be interested in the magazine did any one else make a final bid? We’ll wait to see.

Bloomberg Submits Its Bid For BusinessWeekBusinessWeek

Earlier: Getting The Skinny On The BusinessWeek Deal As Bid Deadline Looms

Brown’s Tome Hits Stands|Wasserstein Pulls Out Of BusinessWeek Bidding|Forbes.com Tries Palm Pre App|WSJ Ready To Charge For Mobile Content|”Regis & Kelly” Producer Gelman Dishes

GalleyCat: Dan Brown‘s long-awaited novel, The Lost Symbol hit bookstores today.

BusinessWeek: New York magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein has dropped out of the running to buy BusinessWeek.

Min Online: Forbes.com launched an app for the Palm Pre.

Paid Content: News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch told attendees at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XVIII Conference that The Wall Street Journal will soon start to charge for mobile access on the Blackberry and iPhone.

Julie Menin’s Give and Take: A four-part interview with “Live with Regis and Kelly”‘s longtime producer Michael Gelman, once the youngest producer of any national talk show. In the first part (above) Gelman says he thinks Regis Philbin will never retire. “Being the host of our show is the closest thing to retirement you can have,” he said.

Getting The Skinny On The BusinessWeek Deal As Bid Deadline Looms

businessweek.jpg After tracking the upcoming BusinessWeek sale all summer, the magazine’s own media columnist Jon Fine has compiled all the known information about the transaction and put together this helpful guide.

So what do we know? The deadline for any interested parties to place a bid for the magazine is tomorrow. And Fine knows of at least seven potential bidders who have gotten debriefed by BusinessWeek execs and the management of the magazine’s owner, McGraw-Hill:

“They are New York Magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein; Fast Company and Inc. owner Joe Mansueto; and four private equity firms: Platinum Equity, Warburg Pincus, OpenGate Capital, and ZelnickMedia. The seventh player is Bloomberg LP, which despite having previously rebuffed McGraw-Hill in talks regarding a deal for BusinessWeek, apparently got very interested very quickly and is expected to meet with BusinessWeek management Monday, Sept. 14.”

Fine also said there are as many as three other unnamed parties who have shown interest, although he has been unable to dig up any info about them. (Know something? Send us an email.)

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Mansueto Eyes BusinessWeek

bw.pngOver the past few weeks, BusinessWeek‘s own media columnist Jon Fine has been tracking the efforts by the magazine’s owner, McGraw-Hill, to sell the business pub.

Yesterday, he reported another possible bidder has entered the fray: Jon Mansueto, whose Mansueto Ventures also owns Inc. and Fast Company.

Mansueto has a history of buying magazines when they’re a good deal, Fine said. “In 2005 Mansueto bought Inc. and Fast Company from Gruner & Jahr for around $35 million in cash plus the assumption of certain liabilities,” he said.

Mansueto’s interest in BusinessWeek might have another explanation as well. John Byrne was editor of Fast Company when Manseuto purchased the magazine and he helped broker the deal that brought Fast Company and Inc. under Mansueto’s control. He left the company shortly thereafter to return to … BusinessWeek. He currently serves as executive editor of the magazine and editor-in-chief of Businessweek.com.

Meanwhile, as Fine previously reported, other parties are also interested in possibly making a bid for BusinessWeek and have taken meetings with the magazine’s management. New York magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein met with BusinessWeek insiders earlier this week, and three private equity firms have also shown an interest.

Read the whole story here.

Earlier: BusinessWeek Update: There Are Interest Parties

BusinessWeek Update: There Are Interested Parties

businessweek.pngBusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine has some excellent insight into the progress of the sale of his employer.

According to Fine, OpenGate Capital, the private equity firm that bought TV Guide magazine last year, and Bruce Wasserstein, who picked up New York magazine in 2003, have both shown interest in BusinessWeek, which is currently owned by McGraw-Hill.

Although some financial information was already sent out to interested parties six weeks ago, the magazine’s management is going to be making full presentations soon, starting as early as the end of next week or early August, Fine said. Other companies will most likely attend the presentations besides OpenGate and Wasserstein, but McGraw-Hill is remaining mum.

However, some companies have already passed on the business magazine including Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and private equity firm Investcorp, which owns American Banker.

Fine also uncovered some of BusinessWeek‘s financial data, after the jump

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Lunch: Barry Diller (on a Vespa!), Harvey Weinstein & Judge Judy

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Maybe it was because it finally stopped raining for five minutes, but the power-lunchers were out in force today at Michael’s. There was a crowd gathering in the lounge before noon waiting for tables. Of course, most of the regulars breezed in at their appointed hours, making sure they had plenty of time for glad-handing before settling in for some serious dish. Harvey Weinstein and Barry Diller did their fair share of hand shaking before getting down to business at separate tables.

I was lunching today with public relations powerhouse Lisa Linden and Tom O’Brien, president and general manager of WNBC. Tom had plenty to talk about, since these days it seems you can’t go anywhere without an NBC star beaming out from a TV set in a growing number of spots. Look for that to continue, says Tom. With the newscasts on WNBC-TV, the fledgling lifestyle channel New York Nonstop (now in 5 million homes), NBCNewYork.com and Taxi TV (in 5,500 cabs and growing), “We have the ability to get our content out across multiple platforms and reach people at any time of the day,” says Tom. Now the network has gone underground with their latest digital out-of-home effort, NBC in Transit, with video of news and NBC Universal entertainment programming broadcast on PATH trains between NYC and New Jersey. “We’re excited about this new way to reach an audience who isn’t waiting for news. It’s another great way for keeping people informed.” Coming soon: more televisions on the platform in Newark. Stay tuned…

I told Tom I have a particular soft spot for those adorable spots with Jimmy Fallon and that cuddly bear cub that seem to be playing in every taxi I’m in. “He’s doing very well,” reports Tom, who says Conan O’Brien‘s new show is set to debut June 1 and there will be an announcement about Jay Leno‘s new primetime show in two weeks. We’re all ears…

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

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

2. My new pal Susan Silver, Abby Ellin of The New York Times and Judy Twersky

3. Andrew Stein and a mystery gent…

4. Barry Diller and an unidentified young fellow. Here’s a fun fact: Barry is a mogul on the move. I happened to catch him suiting up for a quick getaway after lunch as he slipped into a windbreaker and donned a helmet and sunglasses before revving up his Vespa and disappearing into midtown traffic.

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