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Posts Tagged ‘Candace Bushnell’

Friends, Colleagues Remember New York Observer Editor Peter Kaplan

As the sad news of the passing at age 59 from cancer of Peter Kaplan spread Friday, current Observer senior editor Colin Campbell suggested “there’s no better source on Mr. Kaplan than the editor himself.” And so, Campbell for his first piece chose to republish Kaplan’s 2008 tribute to New York magazine founder Clay Felker.

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BuzzFeed’s Doree Shafrir meanwhile led off her memories with what she deemed a typically “quirky” Kaplan hiring experience:

In July 2007, when I was a writer for Gawker, I got an email from Nikki Finke that said in the subject line: “Peter Kaplan called and asked who to hire as his media writer/editor. I said you.” And so a few days later I got coffee with Peter at Le Pain Quotidien on 19th Street between Park and Broadway, just down the block from the old Observer offices, and a few weeks later, after several back-and-forths about what the job was (I was to be writing about “ideas”) and how much money I would be making (not very much), I was hired.

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Rush & Molloy & Many Delightful Memories

ScandalCoverThere’s a new book out today from George Rush and Joanna Molloy. Scandal: A Manual is written mostly from Rush’s point of view and offers 256 pages of breezy anecdotes from the pair’s separate and combined days in the trenches of NYC celebrity gossip.

One of the main takeaways is how much more fun this beat was before the Internet took a firm 24/7 hold. It was never quite a noble profession, but pre-Gawker, TMZ and the rest, the pair only had to compete with the New York Post, most of the time in playful ways:

We tried not to yank people out of the closet. But we did sometimes give clues.We once ran a photo of ‘N Sync’s Lance Bass with Jamie Lynn-Sigler and Shannon Elizabeth as they picked out free stuff at a hospitality suite. Bass’ then-secret partner, Reichen Lehmkuhl, was with them.

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Moguls on the Menu: Brian Grazer, Tom Freston and Isaac Mizrahi

1003_mockup.gifWe missed LL Cool J by a day. Oh, well. That’s the great thing about Michael’s: If it’s Wednesday, you can pretty much count on an interesting scene.

Today, there was plenty of tasty people watching. On the menu: Brian Grazer and Tom Preston (together!), one of our favorite designers (Isaac Mizrahi, who, we’re happy to report, wasn’t wearing those unfortunate sandals he chose for a recent appearance on QVC) and, just for good measure, a random reality star (Ramona Singer who, was no doubt dishing the dirt on the newest Housewives to join the New York City catfight. This season’s previews look downright scary!)

I was joined today by EIC Dara Caponigro and publisher Jennifer Levene Bruno, the dynamic duo at the helm of  Veranda, a magazine devoted to showcasing the homes, gardens and passions (by which we mean plenty of jewelry) of the moneyed but genteel set. The typical reader’s median household income is $149,000. Veranda isn’t a magazine to flip through while you’re in the elevator on the way to your apartment, but is best enjoyed sitting in your living room sipping a glass of wine. Get the picture?

This year marks the magazine’s 25th anniversary, and Dara just celebrated her second year at the helm, having assumed the title from founding editor Lisa Newsom, whose new book The Houses of Veranda is a stunning coffee table tome. Dara, formerly a founding editor of Domino (another one of our favorites!) told me she had long been an  admirer of Veranda‘s “gracious tone” and wanted to continue with the magazine’s mission to “make Veranda about living well through the lens of home.” Since taking the top spot on the masthead, she’s expanded the book’s jewelry coverage (“Our readers are collectors”) and “beefed up the front of the book.” I told her I loved the “Personal Luxuries” column where style makers from around the country share their lists of must-haves from perfume to pillows. “That’s one of our most popular features,” said Dara whose love of gracious living was something she inherited from her mother who was a decorator.

Jennifer, who is only the magazine’s second publisher, is equally enthusiastic about the book. “Everything in the magazine is carefully curated,” she told me. Advertisers obviously like what they see. In Jennifer’s first full year with Veranda, ad pages were up 17% with over 95 new brands.

Michael McGraw, Dara Caponigro, Diane Clehane and Jennifer Levene Bruno
L to R: Michael McGraw, Dara Caponigro, Diane Clehane and Jennifer Levene Bruno

Dara and Jennifer have been working as a team for about 18 months. “[Hearst president of marketing & publishing director] Michael Clinton knew what he was doing,” said Dara. The duo spends a lot of time traveling around the country hosting panels with industry leaders and talking to readers.

Some of their stops this year have included Atlanta (“The women in the south love dishes!” said Dara) and Los Angeles, where they hosted a ‘Bucket List’ panel on decorating with celebrated designers, including Mary McDonald of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators. Their winning formula is obviously working. Published six times a year,  newsstand sales are up 7 percent and, says Jennifer, 35 percent of the ad pages year-to-date through July-August are ”new business.” See, gracious living does pay.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

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Bushnell Talks “Broadroom” As New Webisodes Premiere

broadroom6.jpgThe Broadroom“, a Web show collaboration between MORE magazine and Maybelline about women in the workplace from Sex and the City scribe Candace Bushnell, premiered last night on Maybelline.com. We were at the premiere at Fred’s, the eatery inside Barney’s flasgship where Bushnell and the stars of the show, Jennie Garth (“Beverly Hills, 90210″), Jennifer Esposito (“Samantha Who?”), Talia Balsam (“Mad Men”), among others, were all expertly working the red carpet.

After about 45 minutes of meeting and greeting, MORE editor Lesley Jane Seymour took to the podium to welcome everyone and introduce Bushnell. The lady of the hour thanked the various corporate marketing departments that brought “Broadroom” into being: MORE magazine, its parent company the Meredith Corp. and Maybelline. A quick thanks to Ellen Gittelsohn, the shows director, her agent and the cast, and then viewing commenced.

Earlier in the day, we had the opportunity for a quick phone chat about the show with Bushnell and Garth, the show’s leading lady. The interview and, as always, more pictures from the event after the jump.

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Lunch: Dishing With The Usual Suspects

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The regulars were out in force today at Michael’s as media mavens, moguls and social types were deep in conversation around the jam-packed dining room. Everyone, it seems, had plenty to talk about, including the terrible news of Natasha Richardson‘s skiing accident. “I can’t believe it,” one diner told me. “It was sickening to see the coverage last night — especially the premature reports of her death.” The consensus at Michael’s was that there was a lot of irresponsible reporting that seemed more interested in being first than being right. Today, thank goodness, the reports seem more measured and everyone is awaiting an official word from the family. I had the opportunity to meet the talented Ms. Richardson at Michael’s on several occasions last year and she was always utterly gracious and lovely. My thoughts go out to her and her family.

Today I was lunching with Lisa Linden of Linden, Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc. public relations. A tireless gal who is as nice as she is busy. Lisa — who started the firm with Steve Alschuler 16 years ago (Lloyd Kaplan joined three years later)– reports that despite the gloomy economic climate, business is on solid ground. It’s no wonder. The principals bring a wealth of experience to their clients, having toiled in a host of positions including stints in city and state government (Lisa and Steve both served at various times as press secretary to Senator Roy Goodman and later worked together at Rubenstein; Lloyd was chief of staff at City Hall during the financial crisis in the early 70s). Lisa was also a consultant to the Clinton/Gore ’96 campaign. These days, the firm counts top tier real estate companies like Brookfield and The Plaza as clients, as well as an impressive list of “major” law firms, fashion brands (Sigrid Olsen) and nonprofits including City Meals on Wheels and The Broadway League.

During these perilous economic times, one of the things that keeps Lisa and her staff so busy is crisis management: “We’re living in unprecedented times,” Lisa told me. “There is no industry that has not been hit with a crisis.” And, counsels this public relations powerhouse, even those companies that are not dealing with disaster per se should think twice about scaling back their public relations efforts. “This is not the time to pull back,” she says. “While it is a time of crisis, it is also a time of tremendous opportunity to move messages. The media is happy to report positive stories and people are happy to read them. There is so much negativity. Companies should look for what is good and get the word out because that resonates now more than ever.” Amen to that!

And, one more thing, Lisa was thrilled to break the news to me exclusively that Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former governor George Pataki and New York State’s new Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will be the speakers at this year’s fundraising gala for The New York League of Conservation Voters (she’s co-chair of the board) scheduled for May 28 at Chelsea Piers.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Somers Farkas, Francine LeFrak and two other well-heeled gals

2. Mike Medavoy and a dark-haired gent we didn’t recognize

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Jon Burnham. Joe told me he’s off to Texas to visit mom. Thanks, Joe, for telling me about the terrific mention in Liz Smith‘s column last week on wowOwow.com about our weekly ‘Lunch’ assignations. Have a safe trip to Texas and see you in two weeks.

4. Martin Dunn and Steven Rubenstein.

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‘Lipstick Jungle’ May Get The Boot, But Not If Bushnell Fans Rally

lipstickjungle.jpgNBC‘s new series “Lipstick Jungle,” from the pen of urban chic Boswell Candace Bushnell, looked like it was getting dropped by NBC.

Only nine of 13 episoded made had aired and the ratings looked grim for the Brooke Shields nighttime NYC soaper. But the New York Times, always the benefactor of bedraggled TV shows it likes, reared its head today.

Fans of the skein have been sending lipsticks to NBC chairman Jeff Zucker. Not sure if it’s working or if he’s taking advantage of them in some cross-dressing tone. But it certainly represents loyal viewership. Sick as it might sound.

Candace Bushnell’s Lipstick Jungle Filming Takes Over Balthazar

Shooting for Sex And The City writer Candace Bushnell‘s latest TV adaptation, Lipstick Jungle, took over Spring Street bistro staple Balthazar overnight, forcing Nick Denton and other neighborhood regulars to look elsewhere for their morning bloody mary-and-brioche fixes.

The NBC pilot, following the lives of three New York career women — hmm, familiar — stars Brooke Shields as the “harried” president of “Parador Pictures.”

  • Lipstick Jungle [IMDB]