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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Welch’

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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Pretty Much Everyone is Rumored to Buy The Boston Globe

Ever since the New York Times Company announced that it was selling the Boston Globe, people have been speculating about who/what will purchase the paper.

Because the media is nothing but precise, that list has now been narrowed down to about 834 potential buyers. Below are all the ones we found mentioned, but we’ve surely missed one or 500.

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Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Jack Welch Quits Contributing to Fortune and Reuters

Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, has made his mind up: He will no longer contribute to Fortune or Reuters, which ran his and his wife’s columns in the past. Welch, as you probably know, garned plenty of criticism for his conspiracy theory tweet about the most recent jobs report. “Unbelievable jobs numbers,” wrote Welch. “These Chicago guys will do anything.. can’t debate so change numbers.”

Both Fortune and Rueters — among plenty of others — quickly criticized Welch’s theory. Appearing on Morning JoeFortune’s managing editor, Andy Serwer, said “I think it’s exactly the opposite of what Jack Welch is saying.” For its part, Reuters ran a story in which Welch’s idea was labled as “hilarious” by Barry Ritholtz, the CEO of Fusion IQ.

Welch’s email to Serwer and Reuters’ Steve Adler said the quitting was based entirely on his and his wife’s column not getting enough “traction” at Fortune and Reuters. Hmm… Guess we should just believe him! Right?

AOL Patch To Recruit 8,000 Unpaid Bloggers

Under the leadership of Arianna Huffington, it looks like the whole AOL Patch-paying-writers-thing may be about to go up in smoke. Former AOL writer and current Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici got wind of Patch‘s new plan to add 8,000 bloggers in the next week. A memo sent out last Friday from Patch editor-in-chief Brian Farnham tells Patch editors to recruit 4-5 new bloggers each by the May 4 deadline. And since Patch editors have seen their freelance budgets slashed, this presumably means these bloggers will be writing for free–HuffPo-style.

“The introduction of blogging on our sites is far more than just the release of a new feature,” Farnham said, in the memo obtained by Bercovici. “It is a full-on course correction heading Patch in the direction we want to go.

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Rachel Uchitel Creates A Stir at Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Having covered the scene at Michael’s for some time now, I’ve been witness to plenty of Fellini-esque tableaus where the head-spinning mix of stars and strivers, masters of the universe, and alien-like actors never ceases to amuse and occasionally amaze me, but today was off the charts. What started as an afternoon of ramped up power lunches (Harvey Weinstein and James Dolan! RogerAiles and Jon Meacham!) turned into a game of Spot The Tabloid Temptress. I just happened to be at the front desk when regular Henry Schleiff came in followed by a blonde, pillow-lipped gal hiding behind her huge sunglasses. I immediately recognized her as Rachel Uchitel.  What was Tiger Woods‘ infamous mistress doing with Henry? I couldn’t wait to ask him. Before I could, she darted around us, averting my eyes and making her way into the dining room. Turns out she was on her way to meet Vanity Fair’s Michael Callahan. “Did you see who that was?” I asked Henry. When I told him, he quipped, “I didn’t recognize her with her clothes on!”

Even though the party girl-turned-private eye (according to The New York Post, she’s on her first case here in New York and awaiting her gun license) and Callahan were seated behind a pillar in the back of the room, word of her arrival spread like wildfire.  I wonder what the two of them talked about during their fairly quick lunch. Could it be that Graydon Carter has greenlit yet another piece on Woods? It would be quite cheeky of him to put Uchitel on Tiger’s tail, wouldn’t it? It seems more likely that Callahan is penning a piece on Uchitel’s post-Tiger life as a self-confessed recovering “love addict.” Stay tuned …

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. It’s Harvey’s world and we just live in it. Shortly after noon, Harvey Weinstein arrived with two guys — one looked like Robert Pattinson‘s younger brother and the other like Vladmir Putin. Once the trio was seated, Harvey busied himself playing with his phone while his two babysitters? bodyguards? couldn’t sit still. One spent the entire time pacing between the table and the front door, while the other hopped up every other minute to look out the window as he talked on the phone. Could they have been tracking Harvey’s lunch date? All I know is when Cablevision’s James Dolan finally arrived, they took off.  Harvey then took out a pair of earphones to listen to a recording of some importance while Dolan sat by impassively. I don’t know what the hell really went on, but observing the scene felt like watching an episode of Mission Impossible.

2. PMK’s Cindi Berger and a handsome fellow we didn’t get to meet

3. Political commentator and marketing maestro Robert Zimmerman and Tad Smith

4. Random House EVP Jon Meacham and Fox News chief Roger Ailes, chowing down on burgers and fries. Jon arrived early and spent the time waiting for Ailes by chatting with the staff. We couldn’t help but notice that the ex-Newsweek editor looks a lot more relaxed since leaving the struggling magazine. It’s Tina Brown‘s problem now! Their table was clearly the center of gravity today as pretty much anyone who is anybody (read: all the suits in the room) stopped by to pay homage.

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Desiree Rogers, Kathie Lee Gifford & The Millionaire Matchmaker Meltdown

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— DIANE CLEHANE

There were plenty of movers, shakers and deal makers at Michael’s today to keep things interesting, but a little birdie told me the media A-list was also out in force yesterday. So, as a public service to Lunch’s faithful readers, here’s who was there on Tuesday: Matt Lauer with Jack Welch, Page Six’s new editor Emily Smith and publicist Peggy Siegal presiding over one of her legendary lunches with Ed Zwick, Jean Doumanian, Meryl Poster, Jonathan Alter, Jodi Applegate and Lori Singer (Yes, the one from Footloose!).

With that bit of news out of the way, I can tell you that I was intrigued by all the networking I saw today. It was a little more overt than usual — and that’s saying something. However, some folks, like my Greenwich neighbor Kathie Lee Gifford (looking better than ever, by the way), just come to this quiet little spot to relax with friends. I asked Kathie what she thought of co-host Hoda Kotb‘s new book, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair and Kathie Lee, and she told me, “I’m so happy for her! She has been working so hard. Tonight she finds out if she made it on to the Times‘ best seller list, and these days that takes a lot.” We wouldn’t bet against her.

But not all the action was happening in the dining room. We spotted Patti Stanger of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker pacing outside of Michael’s front window, screaming into her cellphone, stomping her feet and dropping f-bombs like there was no tomorrow. I have no idea who was on the receiving end of the ear-splitting call, but I can tell you it wasn’t exactly a love connection.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Lord and Lady Rothschild in from across the pond. Tally ho!

2.  Joan Jakobson, Pamela Fiori and Thomas P. Farley, a young curly haired gent we initially didn’t recognize but now know as the host of the web TV show New York Insider. (Nice to meet you, Thomas!)

3. Kathie Lee Gifford, sipping a white wine spritzer with Patricia Kluge and two well-heeled gal pals.

4. Stephen Swid

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Leno on Letterman and How Staying at NBC Is ‘a Gamble’

leno04.14.jpgIn the latest issue of GQ, Jay Leno talks about his decision to stay at NBC, moving to the 10 p.m. time slot and his relationship with David Letterman. Some highlights:

Q [deputy editor Michael Hainey]: There’s a scene in The Late Shift where Jack Welch of GE gives you the edge over Dave [Letterman] for The Tonight Show because of your “loyalty.” You’re being loyal again to NBC.”
A: Yeah, it’s a gamble.
Q: Do you worry loyalty this time could be taking you to a not good place?
A: It’s worked fine up until this point. I’ve never argued about money. Dave makes a lot more than I do. Way more. And I’m number one. But that’s okaaaay. How much pie can you eat?

And then there’s the whole dust up with Letterman:

Q: I heard that you wrote Dave a letter, after he had his open-heart surgery.
A: Mmm-hmm.
Q: What was in the letter?
A: Oh, just how funny I thought he was and how I owed him a lot. How important he was to me and all that.
Q: Did he respond?
A: Uh, no.
Q: Really?
A: But that’s okay. Where’d you hear that?
Q: That’s not okay.
A: Well, it’s not okay, but fine. What do you do, you know? I don’t know if he ever got it.
Q: It’s weirdly heartless.
A. I don’t know if he ever got it. He might not ever have gotten it. A middling might’ve said, “I don’t want to show this to Dave. It’ll upset him,” and thrown it away, so I don’t know. Ever talk to Dave?
Q: Ah, no.
A: Dave’s a great guy.
Q: Your relationship is a movie.
A: Well, it was a bad movie. That stupid Late Shift movie.
Q: Do you think you two will ever come around?
A: I hope so!

If you want our opinion, the best take on Leno’s 10 p.m. can be found on Bill SimmonsMarch 19th podcast with former Rolling Stone executive editor and GQ features editor Jason Gay. Simmons, who wrote for the Jimmy Kimmel Show offers an interesting take on why Leno will be back on late night soon. Just listen.

Welch Apologizes For Dissing Zucker

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Welch kisses and makes up

Remember Jack Welch‘s diss of Jeff Zucker last week?

If NBC isn’t doing so well, why is Jeff Zucker still in his job?
JACK: ‘Cause I’m retired. [Pause.] And I think they’ve got a little turnaround going on now. Heroes. And Sunday Night Football helps a lot.

Well, now that Zucker is grabbing the throne from Bob Wright at NBC, Welch has decided to make peace:

“In the five-plus years since I retired from GE, I have answered every detailed question about the company with the happy words ‘I’m retired.’ In Arianne Cohen‘s interview with me, this response about Jeff Zucker’s tenure at NBC was not appropriate and certainly subject to misinterpretation. In fact, I am a huge supporter of Jeff Zucker and have been for fifteen years. I wish him success as he continues to lead the network’s recent comeback.”

EARLIER:

  • ‘NBCU 2.0′: Wright’s Move Gets Zucker Made
  • ‘NBCU 2.0′: Wright’s Move Gets Zucker Made

    jeff_zucker_freston.jpgJack wouldnt’ve, but it appears Bob just did.

    Former GE CEO Jack Welch in last week’s New York magazine:

    If NBC isn’t doing so well, why is Jeff Zucker still in his job?
    JACK: ‘Cause I’m retired. [Pause.] And I think they’ve got a little turnaround going on now. Heroes. And Sunday Night Football helps a lot.

    Bob Wright‘s move:

    Jeff Zucker, the fast-rising television executive who made his name as executive producer of NBC’s morning show “Today,” will be named chief executive of NBC Universal this week, according to four people at the company. Zucker, 41, will succeed Bob Wright, who has spent nearly 21 years building the company brick by brick, transforming “the peacock” from a stand-alone TV network into a sprawling entertainment empire with broadcast and cable channels, a Hollywood movie studio and theme parks.

    For Wright, it allegedly came down to a single, delectable choice:

    “I’m in a very funny position with Zucker. Either I promote him or fire him.”

    EARLIER:

  • NBCU 2.0: Will Zucker Succeed Wright?
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