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Posts Tagged ‘Claire Atkinson’

David Zinczenko, Jack Kliger and The Man Most Unlikely to Wind Up at Michael’s

LunchAtMichaelsAs faithful readers know, we endeavor to give our rundown of the movers and shakers who show up at Michael’s every Wednesday a cheeky spin so as not to take ourselves too seriously about the whole power lunch thing. Today, aside from the obvious reason not to make light of an already featherweight subject, I’m too dumbstruck by a new acquaintance I made while making my rounds in the dining room to come up with a pithy opener.

When TV Guide‘s acting CEO Jack Kliger motioned me to come over and meet the handsome young man dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, I couldn’t imagine who he might be. An actor starring in a new crime procedural for CBS? A new reality star ready for his close-up? A family friend getting the full-court “Lunch at Michael’s” treatment? Well, I was half right. “This is Jonathan Alpeyrie,” said Jack. “He’s a combat photographer who was kidnapped in Syria and just released a few weeks ago.” The French-American photographer told me he was on his third trip to Syria when he was abducted at gunpoint by masked men at a checkpoint near Damascus and was held for 81 days. During his harrowing time spent in captivity, he was often chained to a bed and narrowly escaped execution after enraging a guard because he went to the bathroom without getting permission. The solider held a machine gun to Jonathan’s head before being called off by the other soldiers standing guard. Jonathan didn’t seem to want to talk much about his experience, so Jack, who is a close friend of Jonathan’s father, filled in the blanks.

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Report: Nikki Finke May Soon Be TOLDJA-ing at

New York Post media reporter Claire Atkinson has info this morning that would seem to confirm the report on Defamer last week by Beejoli Shah that Nikki Finke may indeed finally be on the way out at PMC.

According to Atkinson’s sources, Jay Penske will be sitting down this week for a board meeting with Penske Media Group Corp. colleagues to address the (latest) percolating Finke situation. The key date, apparently, falls right after Labor Day:

Finke, who is said to be bristling under Penske’s management of the website, feels the terms of her employment contract have been broken and is eyeing a Sept. 3 exit, according to a letter a lawyer for the star journalist delivered to Penske late last week, sources said.

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Madison Avenue vs. Oscar’s Median Age

As might be expected, the Ratner-Murphy-Grazer-Crystal game of Oscar musical chairs is echoing across Madison Avenue. According to Claire Atkinson of the New York Post, brand new AMPAS marketing chief Christina Kounelias (pictured) and her colleagues are scrambling to adjust an ad sales pitch that until recent events at the Arclight and on Howard Stern airwaves, was predicated entirely on Axel Foley.

One of the problems the Oscar marketing gang faces is that the selection of a 63-year-old, traditional format replacement host leaves them challenged to explain how they will fix what happened last year. Despite the presence of a tweeting James Franco and giggling Anne Hathaway, the 2010 Oscars broadcast was a disaster:

Horizon Media researcher Brad Adgate noted that the Oscars broadcast actually aged upwards last year with the median age hitting 50.6 years — the oldest it’s ever been.

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Hollywood Reporter Owner Discounts New York Post Story

The parent company of the Hollywood ReporterPrometheus Global Media, takes its name from the Greek god who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. This week, THR editor-in-chief Janice Min and now parent company chairman-CEO Richard Beckman (pictured) have been busy trying to put out separate “exclusive” media fires.

In an internal email sent out this morning to Prometheus employees, Beckman refutes today’s New York Post story by Claire Atkinson (posted online Thursday), which alleges that 15 months after paying $70 million for the Reporter and other name brand media properties, one of the backers, Guggenheim Partners, is desperately looking to bail.

Full text of Beckman’s email after the jump. A week ago, the Reporter trumpeted huge Web traffic gains for the month of February, coming in ahead of The Daily Beast and other competitors with a unique visitors total of 3.5 million.

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New York Post Slams Denton, Gawker Media

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (no offense to worms, you do you) you’ve heard about the Gawker Media empire being hacked. Today Claire Atkinson and Keith Kelly of The New York Post take Nick Denton to task over the fiasco. As you can see, the paper even came up with a fancy picture to really capture its rage.

The article explains that Denton is in unfamiliar territory:

Now Gawker — which rarely shows mercy to its own targets — finds itself in the awkward position of asking for forgiveness from the community of commenters it depends on for a steady stream of gossip, tips and remarks that are the ‘life-blood’ of its sites.

The thing is, for Denton and Gawker Media, this is all just fantastic. Sure, Denton feels slightly bad. It’s certainly not good business to have a site get hacked. But in the end, all this means is more page views, and no matter what Denton says, that’s always a good thing. This is a company that talked non-stop about how Julia Allison wasn’t worth talking about, just because it brought in those mouse clicks.

The great Charles Dickens (FishbowlNY mandatory Tuesday Dickens reference) once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For Denton and Gawker Media, that sentiment has never been more true than now.