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Posts Tagged ‘Gus Wenner’

Special ‘Evening’ Edition: The Media Mob Turns Out for Michael’s 25th Anniversary

LunchAtMichaelsWe’re serving up an extra helping of Lunch this week to bring you the rundown on Michael’s 25th anniversary party at 55th and Fifth last night. At one point, it felt as though all 600 invited guests were there at one time. A few minutes after six o’clock, the steady stream of A-listers had already bottlenecked at the front door, filled the dining room and had migrated to the Garden Room, causing one regular to quip, “Oh so this is what it looks like back here!” Here’s a collection of news and notes we collected as we ricocheted from one cluster of fabulous folks to the next…

Hilary and Bryant Gumbel

Hilary and Bryant Gumbel

I arrived right behind Jann Wenner and his perpetually scruffy son, Gus Wenner, who dutifully waited on the check in line. “Name please?” requested the clipboard-wielding young gal at the door. “Wenner, the two of us,” said Jann, who put an arm around his son and ushered him inside. Right behind him came Bryant Gumbel and his wife, Hilary Gumbel. I’d last seen Hilary at a Michael’s lunch for Cosmo editor-in-chief Kate White a while back when we feted Kate on the occasion of her latest book. “Hilary’s got a book now,” Bryant told me. The book, Unichef, is a collection of international recipes from chefs around the world with proceeds from book sales benefiting UNICEF. Hilary has been a consultant for the U.S. fund of UNICEF for years.

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Jon Steinberg on The MailOnline’s Plans for World Domination, New Hire Piers Morgan

LunchAtMichaelsIt was a true media mashup at Michael’s today as the joint was jam-packed with famous faces (Katie Couric and Barbara Walters at separate tables; Natalie Morales) and moguls (David Zinczenko), while the usual suspects upped the volume to near ear-splitting levels. I had to lean in to catch every word uttered by Jon Steinberg, who joined me for lunch to dish about his new-ish gig as CEO of the Daily Mail‘s MailOnline.com, yesterday’s announcement that Piers Morgan was joining the site and his old guard inspirations in this new-media world.

Diane Clehane and Jon Steinberg

Diane Clehane and Jon Steinberg

I suggested Jon and I do “Lunch” after I interviewed him earlier this year for a Gotham cover story I was doing on New York City’s most powerful millennials, for which he talked about his role in creating  BuzzFeed as its president and chief operating officer. During Steinberg’s tenure, BuzzFeed became a global brand and went from a staff of 15 to more than 500. Turns out our chat was fortuitously timed. Days before the story was set to go to press in May, Jon announced that after four years at the helm of the social news and entertainment site, he was stepping down to pursue his next big adventure. “Having built this place with Jonah [Peretti, BuzzFeed’s founder and CEO] and the rest of the team, I want to go through that rush again, and there is a certain amount of freedom that I want,” he said at the time. Since when we spoke for the Gotham piece, he’d told me he believed “freedom and independence are the new status symbols,” I was eager to see what his next move would be. A short time later, he announced he was joining MailOnline as chief executive officer of North America. Today he arrived fresh off the set of CNBC, where he appears three times a week as a contributor on Squawk on the Street. Said Jon of his television gig: “I love it because they operate it like a startup. They had the idea for it and just weeks later, it was on the air. It’s a great team.” But clearly, he’s even more enthusiastic about his top spot at MailOnline. “I wasn’t the CEO before and that’s something I’ve always wanted. I get to make a lot more decisions now,” he told me today, between bites of chicken paillard. And he’s making plenty.

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Wenner Media CRO Bolts to Apple University

DavidKangLinkedInLast month, the New York Times offered a rare peek inside Apple’s internal employee training program. Reporter Brian X. Chen didn’t exactly get a mountain of details from the three staffers he spoke to, on the QT. Rather, just some program tidbits and a reminder of Apple U’s cloak:

It is highly secretive and rarely written about, referred to briefly in the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Apple employees are discouraged from talking about the company in general, and the classes are no exception. No pictures of the classrooms have surfaced publicly. And a spokeswoman for Apple declined to make instructors available for interviews for this article.

Not so top secret, according to intrepid New York Post media reporter Keith J. Kelly, is the identity of Apple University’s newest teacher. Joining the program at the end of the month will be David Kang, recently promoted at Wenner Media to the position of chief revenue officer. From Kelly’s report:

On the Wenner front, the move suggests that Jann Wenner’s succession plan may have hit a speed bump.

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Michael Provus Named Rolling Stone Publisher

Rolling-Stone-LOGO-2Michael Provus has been promoted from associate publisher to publisher of Rolling Stone. Provus had served as associate publisher since 2010.

Provus is succeeding Chris McLoughlin, who announced he was leaving amid some chaos at the magazine. The reports were that Gus Wenner forced COO John Gruber to fire an exec over the phone, and that led to Gruber leaving the title as well.

Provus’ appointment is effective immediately.

Anything But a (Star-Spangled) Banner Week at Wenner Media

WennerMediaLogoHoly cow. According to Lisa Granatstein, managing editor at Mediabistro’s very-soon-to-be sister publication Adweek, this happened at Wenner Media:

[COO John] Gruber was ordered to fire Rolling Stone‘s head of brand and content and marketing solutions over the phone while the exec was on vacation after newly promoted Wenner Media digital chief Gus Wenner was said to have told his father that he didn’t like him, the sources added.

Not surprisingly, Gruber has bolted. Granatstein notes that this is the highest-ranking shuffle at Wenner Media since Gruber took over for Kent Brownridge in 2005. She also got confirmation of another major departure – Rolling Stone publisher Chris McLoughlin.

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Gus Wenner Continues His Climb at Wenner Media

Rolling Stone logo GJann Wenner — founder of Wenner Media — likes what he sees in his son, Gus Wenner. One year after Gus was named rollingstone.com’s editor, he has been promoted once again — this time to head of digital. The younger Wenner will now oversee the sites for Rolling Stone as well as Us Weekly and Men’s Journal.

With the promotion, every other Wenner Media exec has officially had their dreams of climbing to the top of the company crushed. There is no stopping the 23-year-old Gus from taking over the company. It’s happening. Probably sooner rather than later. As Jann already said, “It’s a path open to him if he wants it.”

In other words, the only way Gus doesn’t become head honcho of Wenner Media is if he somehow decides he’d rather do something else. Perhaps that’s where the hope lies for Wenner Media execs. They could try to get Gus interested in something new — like archery! That could be fun! And Jann would probably buy Gus his first set (quiver?), which would make the transition easier. Good luck to you all.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Risen Appeal Rejected | Top Social TV Shows

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Supreme Court Will Not Review Risen Case (The Guardian)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a lower court’s order requiring a New York Times reporter to testify in a criminal case against a former source, deepening the court’s silence on the question of protections for journalists and confidential sources. FishbowlDC The issue dates back to a May 2011 subpoena received by James Risen to identify a source for his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of The CIA and the Bush Administration. NYT The court’s one-line order gave no reasons but effectively sided with the government in a confrontation between what prosecutors said was an imperative to secure evidence in a national security prosecution and what journalists said was an intolerable infringement of press freedom. NPR / The Two-Way Risen has said he would refuse to testify in order to protect the identity of his source. Federal prosecutors argued that they need him to testify to pursue their criminal case against Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer. WSJ A divided U.S. appeals court based in Richmond, Va., sided with the government last year, ruling that Risen didn’t have a reporter’s privilege allowing him to refuse to testify about the source and scope of classified information allegedly disclosed to him. The court said there is no privilege in criminal cases that protects a reporter from testifying about conduct the reporter allegedly witnessed or participated in. USA Today Since Obama took office, federal authorities have filed at least seven leak-related criminal cases, including against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for leaks about government surveillance programs and Army Pfc. Bradley Manning for giving classified information to the website Wikileaks.

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Rolling Stone Launches Country Music Site

Rolling Stone has — to quote Alan Jacksongone country. Forgive us for that, but we don’t often get the chance to reference horrendous music from the mid 90s, so we just had to take this opportunity.

Today marks the launch of Rolling Stone Country, the glossy’s first site solely dedicated to the genre. It will be overseen by Gus Wenner, rollingstone.com’s director. Beville Dunkerley and Joseph Hudak will serve as senior writers.

“We’re starting Rolling Stone Country out of a deep love for the music,” said Wenner, who pretty much had to say something like that, in a statement. “Country music has always been part of Rolling Stone‘s DNA.”

To coincide with Rolling Stone County’s arrival, the next Rolling Stone that hits newsstands will be its first ever country issue.

The magazine is also throwing a party in Nashville to celebrate the new site. There will be a performance by Keith Urban and guests will be provided custom cocktails by Patrón, in the hopes that consuming the beverages will help them enjoy Urban’s music.

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: Mandela Dies | AOL Lays Off 20 | Rolling Stone Expands

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Nelson Mandela Dies at 95
(TVNewser)
Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, has died at the age of 95. His death was announced by Jacob Zuma, the current president of South Africa. NBC News and CBS both produced special reports beginning at 4:45 p.m. ET, with Brian Williams anchoring on NBC and Scott Pelley anchoring on CBS. David Muir anchored a special report on ABC News at 4:46 p.m. ET. On the cable networks, CNN joined Zuma’s press conference at 4:44 p.m. ET. MSNBC began broadcasting NBC News’ special report at 4:45 p.m. ET, and Fox News joined Zuma’s press conference at 4:46 p.m. ET. Variety The news cablers went into wall-to-wall coverage mode. CNN bumped the planned premiere of its documentary An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story for a primetime block anchored by Anderson Cooper. CNN also has correspondent Robyn Curnow on the ground in Johannesburg. Poynter / MediaWire The Associated Press sent a “flash” alert to members Thursday about Mandela’s death. Such alerts are used “on the rare occasion when an APNewsAlert represents a transcendent development — one likely to be a top story of the year,” the AP Stylebook says. THR The death of Mandela dominated headlines on newspapers and newscasts around the globe Friday as the world mourned one of the history’s greatest freedom fighters and statesmen. UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon honored Mandela as a “giant for justice,” German chancellor Angela Merkel called him a “shining example,” while Indian media compared the late South African leader to Mahatma Gandhi. HuffPost Reporters swarmed Mandela’s home before Zuma’s announcement, according to ITV’s Rohit Kachroo. Lydia Polgreen, the New York Times‘ Johannesburg bureau chief, tweeted that “news broadcasters are deeply emotional, holding back tears as they speak about Mandela’s death.” National Journal The New Yorker, like the vast majority of global media outlets, was ready for Mandela’s death Thursday night. And they prepared a powerful cover tribute to the late South African president. The cover, which will appear next week, is titled “Madiba” and was drawn by Kadir Nelson. Nelson is also the author of a children’s book about Mandela. GalleyCat The activist and world leader was an inspired writer and the author of dozens of books.

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