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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Abrams’

Exclusive: David Zinczenko on AMI’s New Deal | Ousted Obama Insider Turns Heads

Lunch At MichaelsThings were pretty quiet at Michael’s today as many of the media mavens, social swans and talking heads were still away in the Hamptons this week. We, not of the summer cottage set, ventured to 55th and Fifth for our lunch with David Zinczenko, who doesn’t have time for a vacation because building a media empire is a 24/7 endeavor. It turned out to be a very fortuitously timed meeting. Between running his own burgeoning media company, Galvanized, helming his own imprint with Random House, Zinc Ink (there’s also Galvanized Books, which publishes branded books from media partners like AMI) and logging plenty of air-time on Good Morning America and other ABC News programs, David is a one-man conglomerate. Oh, in Septemeber he’s also opening another restaurant in Tribeca with his BFF Dan Abrams and Christine Cole.

David Zinczenko, Diane Clehane and Sean Bumgarner

David Zinczenko, Diane Clehane and Sean Bumgarner

He brought along Sean Bumgarner, who first worked with David back during his tenure at Rodale and is now Galvanized chief digital officer. The guys arrived at the appointed hour and kept one eye peeled to their iPhones (David also kept his Blackberry close at hand) because, as I soon learned, there were big doings afoot. I knew something was up when David was called away several times duiring lunch for calls that just couldn’t wait. It turned out news of AMI’s $515 million buyout offer from investors that keep David Pecker at the helm broke on the New York Post‘s website that very hour. AMI was among Galvanized’s first clients when David launched in March of last year and since then, much of his time has been devoted to acting as consulting editorial director for the company, which included overseeing the extraordinary successful redesign of Men’s Fitness and expansion of the brand across all platforms. When I asked him for his reaction to the news he told he: ”I’m not surprised. David Pecker remains one of the sharpest minds in the media landscape and among the most savvy CEOs I’ve had the good fortune of meeting. A deal of this nature underscores how under-appreciated his legacy has been. And from first glance, this deal underscores that.”

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Harvey Weinstein, Ron Meyer and the Secrets of Sheryl Sandberg’s Media Coach

LunchAtMichaelsIt was the usual mix of moguls on the menu (Harvey Weinstein and Ron Meyer at Table Four), seasoned with a smattering of stylistas, social types and a generous side order of  publicists at Michael’s today. The mood was downright festive in the dining room with a birthday celebration for Shari Rollins, who was feted by hubby politico Ed Rollins and a table full of BFFs at Table One, while a group of fashion folks led by Laurie Haspel toasted the return of National Seersucker Day in the center of the room. As the festivities grew more spirited and the decibel level rose, I leaned in to hear every fascinating utterance by my lunch date, Emmy-Award-winning correspondent and media coach to the famous and fabulous, Bill McGowan.

Bill McGowan and Diane Clehane

Bill McGowan and Diane Clehane

As founder and CEO of Clarity Media Group, Bill, who describes himself as a “total Cyrano de Bergerac,” has coached a head-spinning roster of newsmakers, captains of industry and media types to say the just right thing at the right time on air and in front of an audience when it really counts. He’s crystallized all his best advice and culled it down into a highly digestible, compulsively readable book, Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time (HarperBusiness), which was published in April. “I’ve been coaching HarperCollins authors for 12 years; now I am one,” said Bill. And, trust me, he’s got plenty of material. In the course of his 25-year career in television, Bill conducted thousands (!) of interviews and worked on ABC News’ 20/20, CBS News’ 48 Hours, Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel and Current Affair. He also worked with the “very generous” Bill O’Reilly back in the day at WCBS News as a desk assistant when Fox’s future front man gave him his first on-air shout-out. “I was 21 at the time and he was always really good to me.”

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Matt Lauer and Joan Rivers Do Christmas in January | Catching Up With Anne Fulenwider

Lunch At MichaelsIt must have been the summer-like temperatures (well, it was above freezing) that brought out plenty of media mavens (Frank Bennack, David Carey, Jack Kliger, Nancy Berger Cardone) and a heaping helping of  talking heads (Matt Lauer, Joan Rivers, Star Jones, Dan Abrams, Bill McCuddy) at Michael’s today. January is always an interesting month at 55th and Fifth. It’s the roller-coaster ride that starts off slow with the deadly quiet of the post-holiday doldrums and peaks during the pre-award show maelstrom (Yes, the Golden Globes were last weekend, but that’s just an excuse for celebrities to get together and drink champagne, resulting in the inevitable ’What the hell were they thinking moment?’” This year, that came courtesy of the clearly astonished winner Jacqueline Bisset). Everyone, it seemed, has hit their stride and with Fashion Week and the Olympics just weeks away, the cognoscenti are getting in their power lunches before departing for the gigs that keep the lights on around town.

anne-fulenwider

Diane Clehane and Anne Fulenwider

I was joined today by Marie Claire‘s editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider, fresh off a trip to Beverly Hills. There, she traded compliments with Golden Globe winner Robin Wright (“She was so unguarded and looked so happy with her award and new fiance Ben Foster“) and chatted with her December cover gal Julia Roberts and her husband, Danny Moder, at the magazine’s post-awards-show bash. The party was cohosted by The Weinstein Company and Netflix and attended by tons of A-listers, including Taylor Swift, Bono and Diddy (or is it Sean Combs? — we’ve given up trying to keep up with what we’re supposed to call him). “It was a amazing,” she tells me. “You had to be inside the Beverly Hilton by 4 o’clock because at 5 o’clock it goes into lockdown. I watched the awards at a viewing party at the old Trader Vic’s.” On Friday, she’s jetting off to Washington, D.C., to attend the swearing in of Cathy Russell, President Barack Obama‘s pick for the new global ambassador of women’s issues at the State Department. Lest you think Anne’s life is one glam sojourn after the next, today she tells me her commute felt like a hellish version of “trains, planes and automobiles” as she slogged her way in from Brooklyn, thanks to a gushing water-main break.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Abrams Joins Nightline | Deen’s Alleged Racism | Plain Dealer Layoffs


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Dan Abrams Joins Nightline (FishbowlNY)
Dan Abrams, the man behind the Abrams Media empire, is joining ABC’s Nightline as an anchor and chief legal affairs anchor. Abrams is also getting an expanded role on Good Morning America and pretty much everywhere else. TVNewser Abrams will be stepping back from day-to-day oversight at Abrams Media, which includes Mediaite.com, to devote his attention to ABC. He is a TV news veteran, having previously served as anchor, legal analyst and general manager of MSNBC, and joined ABC News in 2011. HuffPost Abrams will replace Terry Moran who will move to London to become the network’s chief foreign correspondent later this summer but contribute to the network’s coverage of the upcoming Supreme Court decisions on cases including same-sex marriage and affirmative action. Moran’s role change came just months after ABC bumped Nightline to a later time slot so that Jimmy Kimmel’s late night program could move to 11:35 p.m., competing directly with David Letterman and Jay Leno’s shows. LA Times / Company Town The ratings for Nightline have tumbled since ABC moved it from 11:35 p.m. to 12:35 a.m. to give Jimmy Kimmel Live an earlier start time.

Food Network Responds to Paula Deen’s Racial Comments (TPM / LiveWire)
The Food Network has issued a statement responding to racial comments one of its star chefs, Paula Deen, made in deposition she gave for a discrimination suit against her and other defendants. “Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to monitor the situation,” a Food Network spokeswoman said. Jezebel Paula Deen was questioned for three hours regarding the $1.2 million lawsuit filed by the general manager of their Savannah restaurant last year, which alleged that Paula and her brother Bubba made black and white employees use separate bathrooms, threw the N-word around and repeatedly told racist and sexist jokes. When Deen was asked if she used the N-word, she replied: “Yes, of course.” PRNewser Deen’s rep claims that she’s never used racial epithets and that she will be vindicated in court, but the Internet already passed judgement; as of Wednesday afternoon #PaulasBestDishes was the top trending hashtag on Twitter, and it inspired its share of winning puns. theGrio In a statement to theGrio, a representative for Deen said: “Contrary to media reports. Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court.”

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Dan Abrams Joins Nightline

Dan Abrams, the man behind the Abrams Media empire, is joining ABC’s Nightline as an anchor and chief legal affairs anchor. Abrams is also getting an expanded role on Good Morning America and pretty much everywhere else.

“Dan brings a passion for news and an entrepreneurial zeal to all of his work,” said Ben Sherwood, ABC News’ president, in a statement. “Now he’ll have new opportunities to deliver his signature reporting to the Nightline audience, in prime time on ABC’s The Lookout, in the mornings on GMA, and on World News, ABCNews.com, ABC News Radio, and all our platforms.”

For more on this story, head over to TVNewser.

Bridget Williams Named President of Abrams Media

Bridget Williams has been named the new president of Dan Abrams’ Abrams Media. Williams was most recently senior vice president of business and audience development at Business Insider. She had been with BI for the past three years.

Prior to her time at BI, Williams was the president of Split Rock New Media, from 2007 to 2011.

In a memo annoucing the hire, Abrams wrote, “The timing is perfect. Bridget comes to us as Mediaite just had its biggest month ever and she is uniquely suited to help transform this rapidly growing business into a significant media company. This is a really exciting development for the business and I am confident that you will all come to like and respect her as much as I do.”

[Image: Mediaite]

Mediaite.com Adds LA Bureau Chief

Dan Abrams, founder of the mediaite.com website network, had a lot of exciting news to share on Monday. For starters, he says he will be announcing in the next few weeks a new site to go along with the eight that already make up his group including gossipcop.com and stylite.com.

In addition, as part of some recent staff changes and promotions, Matt Wilstein is mediaite.com’s new LA bureau chief, effective January 7. Wilstein comes to the operation after launching the comedy-and-politics blog Gotcha Media in November 2008. He will among other things oversee expanded coverage of late night talk shows, just in time for Jimmy Kimmel‘s move tonight to 11:35 p.m.

Other staff changes at Abrams Media include: the addition of a pair of full-time writers to geekosystem.com (Steven Romano, Glen Tickle); the hiring of writer Colette McIntyre at thejanedough.com, where Sarah Devlin has also been promoted to the overseeing of day-to-day operations; and the addition there of regular contributor Meredith Lepore, formerly EIC of thegrindstone.com.

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Mediaite’s Dan Abrams Fires Back at THR Report*

Exhibit A is today’s Hollywood Reporter item by Eriq Gardner titled “Fashion Photographer Sues Mediaite Over Photographs of Kate Moss’ Sister.” Exhibit B is a response to that article on Mediate from site owner Dan Abrams.

Under the headline “Getting Sued Sucks, But Dealing with a Shady, Hollywood Reporter ‘Journalist’ is Worse,” Abrams bemoans the fact that Gardner went ahead and published the story in the middle of seeking official comment. An email request came in to Abrams a half-hour before the story went live, but some subsequent, more detailed correspondence took place about a half-hour after publication. Writes Abrams:

The Hollywood Reporter story was riddled with errors because Gardner apparently wanted to get this story up quickly, rather than get the story right. Ah, the sweet revenge on the legal analyst.

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Dan Abrams to Launch Celebrity Chef Site

The Dan Abrams empire is about to expand once again. This time, according to The New York Times, the target is celebrity chefs. “The Braiser” will launch in mid-May and cover the world of popular chefs who “have gone from being food icons to becoming mainstream celebrities,” Abrams explained to the Times.

Abrams said that he was “stunned” that no one had thought of this idea before, but maybe others have, and decided against it. As Lockhart Steele, the founder of Eater, notes to the Times, there are only so many true “celebrity chefs.” Let’s see how many we can come up with, without doing any research. There’s Giada De LaurentiisAnthony BourdainWolfgang Puck, Tom ColicchioThomas KellerBobby Flay, Mario Batali, David Chang… That Jamie Oliver guy who everyone hates… Uh, that’s about it.

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Dan Abrams is Launching a Food Site

Dan Abrams, founder of Mediaite and a slew of other sites, spoke to Ad Age today about what the future holds for him and his empire. He said that business has never been better — the company is “solidly profitable” and he expects record traffic numbers for SportsGrid and The Mary Sue this month — and that he can’t wait to become a father. He also said that something new is on the horizon:

We are going to launch a site in the food space in the next few months. While we haven’t yet settled on a name, we will be utilizing one of our in-house editors, and hiring a couple more. I expect to launch two or three new sites in 2012.

Prior to this revelation, Abrams was needled about the cheesy, pun-tastic tagline for The Jane Dough (“The Business News We Knead”) and he let on that he wasn’t the best at picking names or taglines, so we thought of a few for his new food site. Here are some that Abrams will probably like:

  • Foodite: Cooking Up The Best in Food News
  • Foodilator: Thoroughly Baked Food Analysis
  • Foodie First: The First Stop for Foodies on the Fast Track

If any of those are used we better get royalties.

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