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Posts Tagged ‘Cathie Black’

Fortune Recognizes Media Mavens On 50 Most Powerful Women List

ann_moore.jpgIt’s no surprise that some media movers and shakers made their way onto Fortune‘s 50 Most Powerful Women List.

Oprah Winfrey, who topped ForbesWoman‘s list of of the most influential women in the media earlier this summer, was the top media leader on Fortune‘s list as well. The Harpo chair ranked sixth after just five other powerful businesswomen including PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi (number 1) and Avon’s Andrea Jung (number 5).

Other female media and entertainment leaders to make the list include Anne Sweeney of Disney (number 16); MTV Networks‘ chairman and CEO Judy McGrath (number 20); Time Inc. chair and CEO Ann Moore (number 21 — pictured right); Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black (number 46); Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick of NBC Universal (numbers 47 and 48, respectively) and Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal (number 49).

“In 1998 when we premiered our list of the Most Powerful Women in Business, just two of our honorees ran Fortune 500 companies. This year, 13 do,” Fortune said in the introduction to the list. “When it comes to milestones, we say, Keep ‘em coming!”

Fortune‘s 50 Most Powerful Women

Related: Oprah Tops ForbesWoman‘s List Of Media’s Most Powerful Women

Thinking Different Helps Hearst Survive

hearst.pngHearst may be no stranger to layoffs but The New York Times insists the company is doing well due to unique initiatives, like not putting all of its magazines’ content online for free, upping newsstand prices and increasing book sizes instead of shrinking them. (But as Sunday’s article mentions, Hearst is part of a private company so its exact revenue figures are unknown.)

Although all of these moves seem contrary to currently held beliefs in the magazine industry, they’re working for Hearst, the company argues. In today’s economic climate, as media companies struggle to find a digital pay wall structure that will work towards keeping them profitable, it’s refreshing to see a company trying to solve its problems in different, and successful, ways.

“I want 1.6 million women to go to the newsstand every month to buy Cosmo, and they do,” Hearst president Cathie Black told the Times. “We don’t want that genie out of the bottle. I don’t have any interest in challenging that economic model.”

Two Hearst executives, senior vice president and general manager of Digital Media Chuck Cordray and Tom Smith, senior director of Digital Media/IT, will be at Mediabistro Circus tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted about what they say about the future of Hearst and magazine journalism.

Lunch: Happy Birthday, Cathie Black!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

We missed Evander Holyfield by a day, but there was plenty of action to keep our attention in Michael’s jam-packed dining room today. Between the surprise birthday party for Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black on Table One, a smattering of fashionistas, and the bumper crop of beauty industry bigwigs holding court here and there, I suspect there was a fair share of business being done between bites of Cobb Salad. I noticed another interesting trend from my usual perch at the bar: This crowd really likes their cocktails. “For some reason, we are doing a lot of different drinks today,” said my friend Melinda, the bartender. Besides serving up some Shirley Temples, Melinda poured Pernod, Bellinis and Danish Murrays (That’s Aquavit and Bloody Mary mix). One diner who sat down promptly at noon ordered a Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks straight away. It beats iced tea, I guess. Bottoms up!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black celebrating with a table full of media mavens (and plenty of presents!), including Harper’s Bazaar publisher Valerie Salembier and power players Jeannette Chang (long time, no see!), Michael Clinton, Ellen Levine and Donna Lagani.

2. Peter Brown, Paige Peterson and a handsome young gent.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and George Stevens. I was thrilled to see the mayor at his regular perch after his recent trip to Austin, where he’s joined the board of his alma mater, the University of Texas. (He got both his law and journalism degrees there.) Joe was staying with his good pal Lance Armstrong, who, he told me, will be competing in this year’s Tour de France and saddling up for the major ‘Tour’ race in Italy. Lance has completely “bounced back” from his shattered collarbone, reports Joe. Just thought you’d like to know…

4. Leonard Lauder and two well-dressed gals we didn’t recognize …

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Lunch: Barbara Walters, Barry Diller & Dana Perino

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— DIANE CLEHANE

I’m glad I got to Michael’s early today because by 12:30 they were literally lining up outside the front door to get in the joint. Even the Garden Room (Siberia to the uninitiated) was SRO. The groups of wannabe diners at the bar and in the lounge were enviously eyeing the tables occupied by the famous and fabulous in the front room as they dined and dished without notice. Who says there’s no class system in America?

Ah, but you know better, and so do the regulars who, despite hurricane winds and the worst traffic we’ve seen all year, found their way to their power perches to see and be seen by Gotham’s glitterati. Perception is reality these days and from where I sat, it’s business as usual for these folks. We spotted Michael Fuchs working the room like nobody’s business, shaking hands with Matt Blank, Jon Tisch and an assortment of moguls who crossed his path. Others, such as Barry Diller, were riveted to the conversation at their own table. Working on some killer deal, no doubt.

I made my way around the jam-packed dining room to check in with my pals. I needed the breathing room since it was elbow to elbow at the bar, and I was seated across from a gleeful foursome who were celebrating something over a few beers. (See, despite what you’ve been reading not everything is gloom and doom). I was happy to stop and chat with Men’s Health honcho David Zinczenko and his former public relations man (and brand new dad to seven-week-old son Benjamin!) Jon Hammond. Jon, who also worked for Conde Nast Traveler, now works for the NBA as senior director of community and player programs communications. Somehow, the three of us got into a lively discussion about the merits of Twitter. “All my guys are doing it,” says Jon of the NBA players he’s working with. I shared that in working on an upcoming story for Variety, I’ve discovered that some pretty high-level folks are saying it’s an effective way “to build a brand.” David, who never misses a thing, had a brainstorm within seconds of hearing our cases for using Twitter professionally. Look for Men’s Health to have its own Twitter feed in the not-too-distant future where readers can join in the conversation about things like the magazine’s highly popular “Eat This, Not That” franchise. Dave also gave me some scoop about some changes afoot in the next issue of Men’s Health: Fans of recently shuttered Best Life (we loved it!) will be happy to hear that, according to Dave, “the best elements of Best Life are being incorporated” into Men’s Health. Makes sense to us. And, Best Life‘s former editor, Stephen Perrine, is now heading up the newly created position of overseeing books from Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines. Congrats!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. A smiling Barry Diller and a bespectacled gent we didn’t recognize…

2. Jonathan Tisch and a dark-haired beauty. Jon had a big hello for Hoda Kotb when he spotted her across the room.

3. Showtime’s main man Matt Blank

4. Barbara Walters deep in conversation with Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s gal pal Diana Taylor

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Cathie Black to Stay On at Hearst

Cathie_Black.jpgNo one is going anywhere! That at least appears to be today’s media news theme regarding the industry’s top dogs. We already told you that Bill Keller has denied rumors he is going anywhere and today the New York Post is reporting that Hearst president Cathie Black will also stay put after having renewed her contract for another three years.

Hearst, which publishes Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, and O, the Oprah Magazine among others has (along with the rest of the industry) been struggling of late and there had been some rumors that Black would be out once her contract was up. Not so!

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Lunch: Joy Behar, Star Jones & Another Sarah Palin Doppelganger

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— DIANE CLEHANE

What recession? The joint was jumping at Michael’s today. Media mavens, television types and fashionistas were still trying to digest the week’s head spinning events but, in true New York style, weren’t letting a worldwide tanking economy get in the way of a good time. There was plenty of buzz about last night’s debate — a few folks in the dining room today watched the whole thing go down at Denise Rich‘s house. The verdict: Obama won and will win.

The ‘other side of the aisle’ was more than represented when Loreal Sherman, Michael’s tireless and terrific maitre d’, launched into a dead-on imitation of Gov. Sarah Palin for departing diners Joy Behar and CNN’s Jon Klein. Ducking inside the coat closet after donning some clear square framed glasses and using the door as her debate podium, Loreal had the gathering crowd in stitches as she improvised a performance of Palin’s indelible one-liners from her debate with Joe Biden last week. Afterwards, when I told her I marveled at her ability to do spontaneous stand-up, Loreal confessed she’s a professionally trained performer who once sang at Carnegie Hall. Memo to Tina Fey: You can’t be everywhere, so if you’re ever in need of a stand-in (who even looks like you!) Loreal is your girl. You know where to find her.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Star Jones, who called minutes before noon after “a really important meeting” for a table for herself and her entourage. The mood was pretty upbeat (we overheard Star cracking some Sarah Palin jokes) and there was wine all around. When I asked the usually chatty Star about what she was dishing about with her pals, she slipped on her shades and said, “Business, Business,” before sauntering out with nary a look in Joy Behar’s direction.

2. CBS spinmeister Gil Schwartz (who is always smart enough to make his reservation for Wednesday!) with Madison Square Garden’s human resource honcho John D. Moran.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong sporting his Obama button — and talking (what else?) politics — with Cynthia Brill and major democratic booster Maureen White.

4. New York’s First Lady Michelle Paterson with Alexa Eaton and Debbie Bancroft. Word is Mrs. Paterson is “not pleased” with New York magazine’s cover story on her husband. Well, we’ll say this, the cover line “David Paterson Didn’t Ask For This” was perfect.

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Lunch At Michael’s: Lance Armstrong — For Governor?

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Remember a few weeks back when I promised Lunch readers a full report on the off chance we had our own encounter Lance Armstrong at 55th & Fifth? Well, here’s your early holiday treat. The Tour de France winner-turned-man about town was holding court at Table One today so I couldn’t resist chatting up the surprisingly shy guy. When I first spotted Lance in the power spot I was struck by how dashing (and slim) he looked in his power suit (accessorized, of course, with his own LiveStrong bracelet). All you gossipmongers out there will probably be disappointed to learn he wasn’t dining with his ex-Tory Burch or his one time canoodling partner Ashley Olsen. When I introduced myself to Lance as he got up to leave, he looked a bit nervous when he spotted me surreptitiously (or so I thought) taking notes. “What are you writing?” he asked nervously. That’s when I knew it wasn’t exactly the right time to ask about Tory or Ashley, so I told him I write this little column about who lunches at Michael’s on Wednesdays and asked him if he could tell me who he was with today. After giving the question a bit more time than one would think it warranted, he warmed up and answered. Turns out my new pal was dining with the head of his foundation, Doug Ulman and Kathy Giusti, founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. “She does an incredible job raising money for the prevention of that cancer,” he said. When asked why he chose to come to Michael’s (it’s his second visit in so many months), he said with a big smile, “Whenever I ask people where they want to have lunch they say, ‘Let’s go to Michael’s!” He told me he had another date planned but since he seemed a bit skittish about generating any press I promised him I’d keep mum on the specifics. In the meantime, ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong says fellow Texans are so impressed by Lance’s heroic fundraising efforts that there’s a movement afoot to draft him into running for governor of the Longhorn state. If Arnold can do it, why not?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Lance Armstrong, Doug Ulman and Kathy Giusti.

2. Peter Brown.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Dorothy Kalins enjoying a long awaited “reunion lunch.” These good pals go way back to the days when Joe was founding publisher of Saveur and Dorothy was editor …

4. Would love loved to have been a fly on the wall for this one: Jim Dolan and Viacom’s Philippe Dauman.

5. Herb Siegal — congrats on your engagement! Ain’t love grand …

6. A group of gents we didn’t recognize …

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Lunch At Michael’s: Barry Diller, Bob Iger & The Literary Lioness Club

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— DIANE CLEHANE

For those who like their cobb salads served up with a side order of adrenaline, 55th & Fifth was the place to be today. Media moguls and literary lionesses convened their cliques for some lively conversation that kept the dining room buzzing. Esther Newberg and Anna Quindlen enjoyed lively conversation with ABC’s Lynn Scherr and Faye Wattleton in one corner, while NBA commissioner David Stern and Disney honcho Bob Iger kept a much lower profile in the back. The sighting of the power pair set tongues wagging about this morning’s New York Times story that Stern is forming a Chinese subsidiary with some help from a yet to be announced multi-media partner. Has Mickey got game? Stay tuned …

I was lunching with my good pal Chris Madden. The lifestyle maven is everywhere these days: on the cover of Your Good House (her new magazine produced in partnership with Hearst), in her charming ads for her furniture line with JCPenney and in last week’s Home section of The New York Times. The tireless Ms. Madden is celebrating her 30th year in business next Wednesday at a party at the Gramercy Park Hotel in their oh-so-chic rooftop garden. (Massive goodie bag alert!) Cathie Black, Ellen Levine, Random House’s Chip Gibson and jazz man Steve Tyrell are on the guest list. “It’s all gone by so fast!” says Chris, who started out as a publicist for Random House before breaking out on her own and parlaying her eye for all things fabulous into a far-flung empire encompassing a design business (Oprah, Katie Couric and Toni Morrison have been clients), 16 books, an eight-year run on HGTV and her ever-expanding home furnishings line. Chris has always been a believer that those who do well should do good as well and as such, spent much of last spring in Mississippi where she donated the contents of her Vermont warehouse filled with furniture to help survivors of the Hurricane Katrina rebuild their homes.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Lynn Scherr, Esther Newberg, Faye Wattleton (who left her trench coat on during lunch) and Anna Quinlan.

2. Peter Brown & Jonathan Alter.

3. Ed Rollins and a distinguished looking gent…

4. Jay Cross and Steve Greenberg.

5. A smiling (!?) Barry Diller with an unidentified guest. We’re intrigued by the fact that no one ever seems to know the name of the taciturn Mr. Diller’s lunch guests…

6. Jeff Greenfield, Jerry Della Femina, Gerry Imber and pals.

7. We’re not sure and neither was anyone else…

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Mag Editors On Truth Serum: ‘I Have So F*cked Up’

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All hail the editors-in-chief (from left): CosmoGIRL!’s Susan Schulz, Redbook’s Stacy Morrison, mediabistro.com founder and CEO Laurel Touby, Men’s Journal’s Tom Foster, Slate’s Jacob Weisberg; Jane’s Brandon Holley, and Departures’s Richard Story

Photo by David Vanderheyden

Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg called Slate a “cult.” Jane‘s Brandon Holley advised to “kill them with kindness.” Departures editor Richard Story admitted he was most famous at Vogue for hiring Lauren “Devil Wears Prada” Weisberger. CosmoGirl! editor Susan Schulz estimated that she spends 40 percent of her time editing.

At our “Editors on Truth Serum — The New Rules of Success Now” panel last night, top dogs at some of the leading glossy magazines (and Slate) got down and dirty, telling the crowd of 100 exactly where they’ve gone right — and wrong — as they carved their respective paths to that corner office.

Excerpts of some of the juicier moments:

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Cathie Black Has An E-Crush

Cathie Black, the president of Hearst Magazines, loves the way they get magazines done in places like London and Moscow and Sydney. There, they put out nice, glossy mags with good newsstand sales and a small staff, say 15-20 people, compared to about twice as many people for similar publications in the U.S.

Black was speaking at a Magazine Publishers of America breakfast about how hard it is to get a magazine launched successfully in the U.S. because of all the expectations: a big public launch, lots of staff, “$5 million” overhead, a business plan for many months ahead. “We tried our darnedest” with two of the publications shut down in the past year — Shop Etc. and Weekend — “but they didn’t reach the hurdles we set for them.”

Other notes:

  • Hearst will be launching a Dubai edition of Harper’s Bazaar in the next 60 days.
  • Staff turnover has gone down in the last three months at Hearst because of their fancy new building.
  • Her 18 magazine editors let out a “collective gasp” when told Web editors at Meredith didn’t report to the publications’ editors.
  • Their digital division has sold 1.6 million print subscriptions.
  • She hates the term “value added,” and thinks any salesperson who gives Web ads away to close a deal in print should be shot. (Well, she didn’t say “shot,” but that’s what we heard.)
  • Web profit margins should be 30-50 percent, much higher than in print.
  • Big directional decisions shouldn’t be made only by “five senior managers” in a room, but rather floated among the staff first.
  • If you are under 16 and looking for a date, you should go on eCrush.com, a site with 2.4 million registrants and one Hearst bought this week. Black didn’t say if the registrants were all teenagers.
  • “We are in the bumper car year.” We’re not sure what she meant.

    Here’s the full transcript:

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