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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Abernathy’

Joe Kernen Settles a Bet, Plus the Return of Michael Wolff

1003_mockup.gifThreats of yet another winter storm (We’re begging for mercy!) didn’t keep the faithful from Michael’s today. In fact, the dining room was even more crowded than usual as some of the city’s biggest hot shots cooled their heels at the bar and in the lounge as they waited to be seated among the power brokers and media mavens. There was plenty of air kisses and glad handing among the talking heads (Joe Kernen, Rosanna Scotto), television titans (Matt Blank, Henry Schleiff) and fashionable folk (Julie Macklowe). After all, what’s the point of having a power lunch in this town if the right people aren’t there to see it — or write about it? Happy to oblige.

PR maven extraordinaire Catherine Saxton, who has represented some of Manhattan’s most well known swells (and how do you think they got that way?) invited me to join an eclectic and energetic group for lunch today. I was seated between Khashy Eyn and Daniel Hedaya of Platinum Properties and nearly got whiplash as I listened to these real estate wunderkinds regale me with tales of their incredible success since launching their firm in 2005. (Khashy, the firm’s CEO and co-founder, is 31 and Daniel, the president, is all of 26.)  Khashy, who has been in real estate since he was a teenager, came to the United States from Iran when his family fled during the revolution. Daniel, who grew up in Great Neck, dropped out of culinary school before landing a job at a boutique brokerage firm.  Khashy and his sister, co-founder and COO Dezireh Eyn (“The brains of the operation,” says Khashy), launched the company and later tapped Daniel to join them.

(Left to Right) Daniel Hedaya, Diane Clehane, Khashy Eyn, Christian Giovanni Curato, Catherine Saxton and Vicki Downey

Daniel, who will appear in episode seven of  the new season of HG-TV’s Selling New York, told me high rollers and regular folk get the same stellar treatment from the firm.  ”Whether our company is working with a client looking for a $2,500 rental or someone selling a $50 million property, we provide the same level of service. It is very important to us that everyone of our clients receive the same high level of concierge service from us. Manhattan real estate is unlike other markets in the country where the agents handle so many parts of a transaction. Here, we sell or rent the property, negotiate the deal and turn it over to an attorney. But many of our clients want us to handle everything and we do.”

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Former Staffer Alleges a String of Poor Decisions Made By Fox 5 Management

The changes at WNYW/Channel 5 since last July could fill a book. While it has become a revolving door in the evening, one constant has been the “other anchor.”

That would be Dari Alexander, who remains on set at 5 and 10 p.m., no matter if it’s with Ernie Anastos, Greg Kelly, or Steve Lacy. Readers of FishbowlNY have been leaving comments since the summertime anchor debacle about her ability.

Related: FishbowlNY, Major Anchor Changes Come to Fox 5

For example, last week, Alexander was caught inadvertently calling “sitting shiva” for Mayor Ed Koch as “shitting” shiva.

That led to these remarks on the posting:

Dari seems like a nice person, but speaking strictly on her work, she is easily the worst anchor in NYC. Completely [miscast].

Sad to say, she is horrible!

The sentiment about Alexander extends well beyond a handful of disgruntled viewers.

A former colleague who worked with Alexander tells FishbowlNY that her work ethic was non-existent.

“I’ve never worked with anybody who does less preparation before she gets on the air.” [She] seems to not really care where the show is going next or what’s really happening. [Alexander] just seems to be absolutely unaffected and oblivious to the consequences of that,” the former colleague says. “It was so strange. I had never worked with anybody like that.”

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Breaking: WNYW Brass Meet for Greg Kelly Damage Control

It’s just over two weeks since WNYW/Channel 5 made wholesale changes to its on-air product. Front and center was the promotion of Greg Kelly from Good Day New York to evening anchor. His move to 10 p.m. with Dari Alexander sent market icon Ernie Anastos to the sidelines. He remains on the 5 p.m. broadcast.

Multiple sources close to the situation say three high-ranking Fox executives met yesterday with WNYW VP/GM Lew Leone for “damage control.”

FishbowlNY has learned that Jack Abernathy, Dennis Swanson, and Sharri Berg met with Leone, although news director Dianne Doctor was a no-show.

One source says the trio came to 67th Street to “figure out how to handle Greg in the 10 o’clock news.”

With Kelly at night, Dave Price stepped into Good Day with Rosanna Scotto. FishbowlNY readers have given mixed reviews, to be kind, about Price’s performance and his chemistry with Scotto.

Our readers also offered strong opinions about Kelly’s transformation to night time. Most prefer Kelly on mornings, where he spent four years, bouncing off Scotto. One reason is because Kelly brings much of his daytime style to the more subdued evening broadcast.

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Lunch: Tina Brown, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Media Mavens Galore!

1003_mockup.gif

— DIANE CLEHANE

They were dining and dishing like it was 2006 today at Michael’s. When I mentioned to one of the regulars that I hadn’t seen the dining room jam packed with so many power lunchers in a long time, he summed up the scene this way: “People are tired of waiting for the official word that we’re out of the woods so they’re trying to act as if we are. In some ways, it’s working.” In other words, denial is the new black.

A few weeks back, my friend Robert Zimmerman introduced me to Melanie Brandman, founder and CEO of The Brandman Agency, and Diana Biederman, managing director of Blackbird PR. I chatted briefly with the two public relations mavens and today we had our own ‘Michael’s lunch.’ Melanie started her all-female agency in 2000 after serving as vice president of corporate affairs for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in London where she headed worldwide PR for over 3,000 properties in 100 countries. Today, at the helm of her own agency, she specializes in luxury hotels and lifestyle brands and represents top-tier clients including Qantas Airways, Orient-Express Hotels & Resorts, as well as her former employer. As you might imagine, she’s logged “millions of air miles” on the job and in just the past six months alone has visited India, Morocco, and Barbados multiple times. She recently hosted a group of lucky travel writers on a six-night sojourn aboard the uber luxurious Maharajas’ Express, which travels from Delhi to Kolkata. “Absolutely the best way to see India,” says Melanie. I’ll bet.

Last year, Melanie launched Blackbird PR, a lifestyle subsidiary of The Brandman Agency, and asked Diana, who had been working as public relations director of ’21′ Club for eight years, to head up the company. Of the spin-off Melanie says: “It was a natural progression, because we do a lot of work within the lifestyle divisions of our travel clients. I wanted to keep Brandman as a separate entity.” Things are off to a good start with clients like VOS Selections, whose handcrafted artisanal wines are the brainchild of Victor O. Schwartz and Ray Griffiths Fine Jewelry.

Melanie also tells me she just opened an office in Los Angeles so she could “get more business out of Asia” and squeeze in a few more trips back home to see the family in Australia. Where does she find the time?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Hotshot Hollywood attorney and producer Freddie Gershon with legendary Oscar winning songwriters (“The Way We Were“) Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

2. Peter Brown

3. Howard Rubenstein

4. Allen & Co.’s Stanley Shuman

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