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Posts Tagged ‘Dominick Dunne’

FishbowlNY’s 2009 Lists: In Memoriam

cronkite.jpgOur favorite part of any award show is the memorial montage commemorating the lives of all those who passed away in the past year. While this year’s headlines were populated by the tragic deaths of celebrities and other bold-faced names — from Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett to Patrick Swayze and Senator Ted Kennedy — our industry lost quite a few of its prominent members in 2009 as well. Here, a look back at some of the media’s brightest stars we said goodbye to this year:

Former anchorman Walter Cronkite was perhaps the biggest name in the media world to pass away in 2009, and he was honored by a star-studded memorial in September.

A number of famous columnists also left us without their prolific narratives about politics, celebrities and the English language in 2009. Conservative columnist Robert Novak died in August from a brain tumor, Vanity Fair‘s Dominick Dunne passed away later that month after a battle with bladder cancer. The New York Times‘ “On Language” columnist, William Safire, died in September from pancreatic cancer. Another columnist who we had the pleasure of working with last year, men’s wear expert Stan Gellers, died suddenly last winter, just a few months after the publication he had contributed to for more than 50 years, DNR, folded.

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Welcome To FishbowlNY’s Best Of Lists Of 2009

nye2000.jpgAs the year comes to a close, we couldn’t resist taking a look back at all the great things that the media industry covered and produced, all the people who rose to prominence, maintained their perch atop the heap or had dramatic falls, and all the events that were covered faithfully and at length on the pages of our favorite newspapers and magazines and on computer screens across the city.

For better or worse, 2009 was a year that won’t easily be forgotten by those in the New York media world. It started with a bang: Barack Obama‘s inauguration, which gave us all hope of something better to come.

But for all that hope, we fear that for those in our industry, 2009 will be remembered for all those things lost. Popular publications like Domino and Gourmet published their last issues (and we’re still waiting to hear about what’s in store for Editor & Publisher) and thousands lost their jobs industry-wide. We also lost some big names in the industry, like Walter Cronkite and Dominick Dunne, to name just two.

As we head towards 2010, and a brand new decade, we’re cheered by the fact that our industry is started to show some signs of recovery. After a crushing 2008, 2009 became the year of “flat is the new growth.” We’ve already sunk to new lows, so any growth is promising, even if we’ll never reach the soaring heights in terms of the ad sales and employee counts of earlier this decade. Growth is our only option.

We’re happy to say goodbye and good riddance to 2009. But as we look to the future, let’s take a moment to remember all that happened this year — for better or worse. Over the next few days, we’ll be compiling what we think were the biggest moments in New York media this year. Plug in those Christmas lights, pour yourself some eggnog, and settle in for a recap of the year that was.

(Photo by Paul Mannix)

Remembering Dominick Dunne

ddunne.jpgIn its November issue, Vanity Fair, where Dominick Dunne contributed countless articles since the mid-1980′s, has a detailed tribute to the tireless journalist and chronicler of Hollywood life and high profile court cases, written by executive online editor Michael Hogan, who first met Dunne while working as the assistant to editor Wayne Lawson.

Wrote Hogan:

“What makes his accomplishments all the more astonishing is how low he was just three decades ago. Before he became one of the most instantly recognizable magazine writers in the world, Dominick Dunne’s only claim to fame was his epic, humiliating failure.”

The must-read article highlights Dunne’s work throughout his life, particularly his propensity to identify with the victims of horrible crimes as he covered the trials of Claus von Bulow, the Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson — an affect arising out of his experience with the murder of his own daughter Dominique, whose killer John Sweeney was convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter:

“Dominick’s article about John Sweeney’s case was published in the March 1984 issue of Vanity Fair under the title ‘Justice.’ Even today, you can feel the rage pulsating behind his carefully chosen words.”

Hogan also talks of Dunne’s various feuds with family and friends over the years, from his own brother John to the Kennedy family, who seemed to haunt Dunne even to the day of his death last month.

“Dominick died on August 26, but fate had prepared one last humbling joke for him. The night before, Ted Kennedy had beaten him to the punch. The man who, in Dominick’s estimation, had ‘lived recklessly, performed brilliantly in Congress, and often failed miserably in life’ was all anybody could talk about.

Even in death, Dominick was being tormented by the family he resented most. It was the kind of story that would have amused the hell out of him–if only it had happened to someone else.”

Read more: Our Man DominickVanity Fair

Earlier: Vanity Fair Columnist, Prolific Author Dominick Dies

Tech Cos. Share Ideas About Charging For Content|Tina Brown Talks Wintour|Remembering Dominick Dunne|HuffPo Uses Twitter For Headline Writing

Associated Press: The Newspaper Association of America has asked IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Google to come up with ideas about how media companies can easily charge for content on the Web.

Daily Beast: Tina Brown on Vogue editrix Anna Wintour‘s recent spate of good press.

New York Times: Remembering Dominick Dunne at his memorial on Thursday.

Huffington Post: The Huffington Post crowdsources a headline for a story about Congressman Joe Wilson via Twitter. The result? “I’m Sorry…Send Me Money.”

On The Menu: Mourning Dominick Dunne And VH1 Reality Content

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There was lots of mourning on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast today.

Hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven remembered the life and work of Vanity Fair special correspondent and author Dominick Dunne, who died yesterday. Jason was proud to report that Dunne had completed his final novel, “Too Much Money,” before his death, and it will be published later this year.

The hosts also talked about VH1 reality shows and Ryan Jenkins, the reality show contestant and murder suspect who committed suicide after being sought by authorities for the murder of his wife. Jason reported the news that VH1 is now planning to revamp its programming to move away from the sort of reality dating shows that Jenkins appeared in. Can the shows that Jenkins was featured in or VH1 be blamed for this tragedy?

“VH1 used to have so much really great content,” Matt remembered. “Whether it was ‘Pop-Up Video’ or just their penchant for just replaying great videos…It was always about great music and always about that one thing.”

Jason was also very excited to announce that the 1989 film Heathers might be remade into a television show. “I loved [Heathers] and we quoted it all the time in high school,” he said. “Maybe that dates me a little.”

Matt was less enthusiastic about this possibility. “I was five when the movie came out,” Matt admitted.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

Dominick Dunne Dead at 83

dd3333.jpgDominick Dunne, author, journalist and television personality; a kind of Perez Hilton to high society of his day, died of bladder cancer yesterday.

The LAT obit is here, NYT is here.

We’re going to bet Dunne, who made a career from the scandals of the well-to-do, which is in of itself a form of celebrity worship, would be THRILLED to know he died on the same day as a Kennedy.

Lunch: Jane Fonda & Jerry Seinfeld — That’s Entertainment!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It’s always those random celebrity sightings at Michael’s that make my weekly Wednesday visits much more fun. Today certainly didn’t disappoint. When a little birdie told me Jerry Seinfeld would be holding court on table one today, I knew I was in for it. When he strolled in sporting a baseball cap and jeans, it seemed he was trying to keep a low profile, but as soon as he opened his mouth, every head in the vicinity swiveled in his direction. He pretended not to notice and took a quick look around the dining room before settling in at table one with Trident Media’s Dan Strone. I’m thinking Jerry’s got another book in the offing. If not, he might have gotten an idea for one by the time lunch was over — every time I glanced his way, I got the distinct impression he was gathering material. He looked more than a little amused at the scene as the rest of the crowd strained to check him out on the sly. Across the room, Jane Fonda (who made her second appearance of the week) also opted for a low profile, hiding behind her shades for much of her lunch with Pat Mitchell — then the gals ducked out early. But not before my pal Beverly Camhe got a chance to chat with Jane about a possible appearance at the Center for Peace in Berlin. Then, the tireless Bev joined me at the bar and gave me the scoop on the hit of the Hamptons Film Festival (she’s on the advisory board) — the new documentary from two Australian filmmakers on Dominick Dunne. Bev reports that Dominick flew in just for the premiere and was “very moved” by the film. “He was thrilled,” says Bev. “He was nervous beforehand because it was an act of faith since he didn’t know these guys. It turned out great and everyone loved it.” We’re thrilled for Nick. Congrats!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Jerry Seinfeld and Trident Media’s Dan Strone

2. Peter Brown, Frank Bowling and pals

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Sotheby’s Jamie Niven

4. Arnold Scaasi (who felt compelled to prune the bountiful fall arrangement behind his table before sitting down), Parker Ladd and a gal named Judy, so we’re told …

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The Third OJ Trial Takes Toll on Dunne

dunnedunne.jpg 82 year old scribe Dominick Dunne was taken to a hospital in Las Vegas after suffering chest pains while covering the latest OJ Trial.

He told AP:

“Tell them not to worry. I’m fine. They’re going to check me out and I’ll go back to the hotel and watch the trial there today.”

He must have a higher threshold for pain than we have…

Lunch: Valerie Bertinelli Weighs In

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— DIANE CLEHANE

As much as we love our bird’s eye perch from the bar, it’s always a treat when we’re invited to dine in the grown up section — especially when the scene is as head-spinning as it was today. Hallmark Channel’s senior vice president Jen Geisser and her power publicist Jaime Saberito made room for me at the table at a luncheon hosted by their fearless leader the consummate showman Henry Schleiff and attended by a tasty stew of bold-faced names and top executives from UNICEF that made for one interesting afternoon of Cobb salads and conversation. Henry, newly ensconced on UNICEF’s board, brought the group to together to kick off the TAP project during ‘World Water Week’ (March 16-22). The initiative was created to raise funds and awareness by asking NYC diners at select eateries around town to forego their Fiji water for good old NYC tap water and donate what they would have spent on it to help fund clean water for kids around the world. And, yes, Michael’s is participating.

The reigning queen of the celebrity diet wars Valerie Bertinelli (A 40-pound weight loss thanks to Jenny Craig!) was the guest of honor (arriving with her boyfriend Tom Vitale) having made one movie for the network with another one in the works — Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith (Catchy title!). The still adorable actress and newly minted best-selling author was busy signing books for everyone (Henry thinks of everything!) but still made time to chat with me. Her big news — her book, Losing It — And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at Time will debut at No. 1 on this week’s New York Times‘ list. “I’m so thrilled — it’s on my son’s 17th birthday and I dedicated the book to him,” she says. “I couldn’t be more blessed.” Val (we’re on a first name basis now) also confided that she’s hot on starting another book and already has an idea that’s bound to strike a chord. “I’d like to write something like Divorce & Children: Love Your Child More Than You Hate Your Ex. The list is long when one considers who might benefit from such a tome. For now, at least, it appears Silda Spitzer won’t be needing it but we’re not closing the book on that one just yet.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The white wine was flowing in celebration of Linda Fairstein‘s latest book, Killer Heat with a table full of gals that know a little something about the subject. In attendance: Cosmo editrix Kate White, super agent Esther Newberg, former Law & Order SVU star Stephanie March, Lesley Stahl (I promise to keep my eye out for that 60 Minutes watch!) and Cynthia Lufkin (Congrats on being named The American Cancer Society’s Mother of the Year!)

2. Bobby Zarem and a Jake Gyllenhaal doppelganger.

3. Mayor Joe Armstrong who has been traveling far and wide hard at work on his upcoming book with some lovely looking ladies. Welcome back Joe, we missed you!

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Fashion Week: Dominick Dunne @ Carolina Herrera: ‘I’m a Star in Dubai!’

Dominick Dunne made his only Fashion Week appearance at Carolina Herrera this morning (“We’re good pals”). Sandwiched between Vanity Fair‘s fashion director Michael Roberts and the unsmiling Fran Lebowitz , the intrepid chronicler of the social set’s crimes and misdemeanors was happy to chat about his latest passion: the Princess Diana inquest. “I’ve been back there twice,” says Dominick, who is filing his latest “diary” entry for Vanity Fair today. “There are a lot of fascinating things that are happening — it just comes out in bits and pieces.” Most intriguing, he says, is the fact that Mohamed Al Fayed’s remains doggedly determined to convince people that Dodi and Diana would have married.

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