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Posts Tagged ‘Connie Chung’

Sigourney Weaver, Howell Raines and Barbara Walters Enjoying Semi-Retirement

LunchAtMichaelsThere are Wednesdays at Michael’s and then there are Wednesday’s at Michael’s. Today was one of those days. I could hardly keep up with the steady stream of famous faces that sailed past my table and made for some of the best people watching at 55th and Fifth in a long time. First came early arrival Montel Williamswho kept himself busy with ear buds and his phone. Next came Joy Behar (who I didn’t notice until she took off her sunglasses) and two pals who were waiting for another person to join them. A little birdie told me the mystery guest was going to be none other than Barbara Walters, so I kept an eye on the door for what seemed like forever in hopes of grabbing a quick chat with her before she made it to her table. Minutes before Barbara arrived Sigourney Weaver showed up looking absolutely ageless in Prada (and from what I could tell, next to no makeup). The Oscar nominated actress (we loved her best as Ripley!) and The New York Botanical Garden’s biggest cheerleader was clearly concerned she’d kept her guest waiting because she’d gotten stuck in traffic so she dashed by before I could utter a word to her. Drats. When Barbara, who was impeccably dressed in black and white, finally arrived, Michael’s chivalrous GM Steve Millington was waiting by the door to take her by the arm and personally escort her to her table. Let me tell you, a real hush fell over the room when the world’s most famous semi-retiree made her way into the dining room. Throughout lunch, plenty of well-wishers, both famous and “civilians,” stopped by her table to pay their respects.

Dr. Phillip Romero and Diane Clehane

Dr. Phillip Romero and Diane Clehane

After making my rounds in the dining room and having made sure Barbara, Joy and their friend had finished their lunch, I made my way over to their table. When I told Barbara that her final appearance on The View, where she was joined by what seemed like every female broadcaster who has followed in her trail-blazing footsteps, including all her View cohosts as well as Jane Pauley, Katie Couric, Deborah Norville, Connie Chung, Joan Lunden and Oprah Winfrey (who managed to score the center square in the iconic photo of the seismic sorority) was one of daytime television’s most memorable moments, she took my hand and squeezed it. “I’m so glad,” she said. “It was really something.” Even more moving, I told her, was her two-hour special that aired last Friday night, where her long-time producing partner Bill Geddie interviewed her about her amazing life and ground-breaking career. What was it like to be the subject rather than the interviewer? “Bill was terrific,” she told me. “We didn’t want to have it be ‘then she did this and then she did that’ so we did it that way. I’m glad everyone seemed to like it.” I had so many questions I wanted to ask, but didn’t want to overstay my tenuous welcome (it’s a bit of a delicate dance sometimes) so I left the trio to order dessert. No word on what Barbara has planned for the summer but in her column in The New York Post this week, Cindy Adams wrote that she and Barbara planned to travel abroad together this summer. I’d say Ms. Walters has more than earned some time off after her long good-bye.

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UCLA Extension Novelist Glad She Didn’t Listen to Mom

Mom had different hopes for LA journalist and author Alison Singh Gee. As the writer recalls in a delightful Q&A with the South China Morning Post, for whom she wrote extensively in the 1990s and still freelances occasionally today, it was all about TV and airborne glamour:

“My mother wanted me to be either the new Connie Chung, a contestant on Wheel of Fortune or a stewardess. Really. My father was a stifling patriarchal sort who never really gave us much of an audience. So I decided that if I couldn’t talk freely, I could write my feelings and ideas out instead.”

“I wrote my first “book” as a child, an illustrated book about dogs. I always kept journals full of tortured thoughts and so when I graduated from university and graduate school in London it seemed logical for me to pursue journalism.”

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NY Media Gather For Cronkite|Which Journos Were Called On At Last Night’s Presser?|Tribune Seeks Millions For Bonuses|National Geographic Publishes Readers Photos|Everyone Trusts Jon Stewart

TVNewser: Walter Cronkite‘s funeral was today, and here’s a peek at some of the people in attendance. The crowd included Bob Schieffer, Les Moonves, Katie Couric, Connie Chung, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Brian Williams, Barbara Walters, Charlie Gibson, Tom Brokaw, Andy Rooney, Dan Rather and Meredith Vieira.

FishbowlDC: A run-down of who was called on to ask questions at the president’s press conference last night.

Chicago Tribune: The Chicago Tribune asked the bankruptcy court to allow millions of dollars in bonus payments to more than 700 employees.

Folio: National Geographic magazine is planning to publish a special edition “Your Shot” issue featuring photos submitted by readers.

Time/All Things Digital: It’s a big news day for Jon Stewart. A Time online poll found Stewart was the most trusted newscaster in America, but a segment from his show making fun of President Barack Obama‘s opening pitch of the MLB All Star game has been blocked by the league.