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Posts Tagged ‘James Murdoch’

Harvey Weinstein, Ali MacGraw and the Brains Behind Coffee With Tim Cook

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Where to begin? This week at 55th and Fifth, the scene in the dining room provided whiplash-inducing people watching with a tasty mix of moguls on the menu (Harvey Weinstein, Jimmy Finkelstein) with a side of social swans (Sharon Bush, Patricia Kluge, Terry Allen Kramer).

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wednesday at Michael’s without the random celebrity sighting. I was thrilled to hear that I would be sitting next to none other than Ali MacGraw today. The ageless actress, who catapulted into the pop culture hall of fame with her iconic performance (and preppy wardrobe) in the 1970 tearjerker Love Story, turned every head in the place when she arrived — which is quite a feat among this crowd. She was beyond gracious as diners (including yours truly) lined up for pictures. Several years ago, I worked with her on The Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars where she was honored with FGI’s entertainment award for her contributions to film and fashion. When I re-introduced myself, she immediately said, “Oh, I remember that night. It was so much fun!” and then proceeded to tell me this delicious bit of gossip from the evening: “I was standing next to Bill Blass when he saw Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones come in. And Bill turned to the person next to him and said, “Finally, some real movie stars!” She giggled, clearly delighted by the memory of the snarky diss from the designer.

Diane Clehane and Coppy Holzman

Speaking of the power of celebrity, I was joined today by Charitybuzz CEO and founder Coppy Holzman who dazzled me with tales of his work with the famous and philanthropic. His company, which he founded in 2005, is currently the world’s largest online charity auction site and is the go-to partner for every famous person with a charity looking to raise serious money for their pet causes.

It all started at a backyard fundraising party for The Clinton Library in Westport, Connecticut that Coppy attended where he met President Bill Clinton and Chevy Chase. “Isn’t there a way  for you to use your experience on the Internet to raise for the library?” the host of the party asked Coppy. On the spot, he came up with the idea of auctioning off a lunch with the former president. One year later, The Chevy Chase Earth Day Auction brought in $250,000 for the library, including $80,000 paid by one bidder to lunch with Clinton and Chase. Since then, Coppy has worked with Clinton on many different initiatives. “There is no bigger celebrity in the world,” he says. The top dollar paid to spend the day with Hillary’s husband: $255,000 in an auction last year.

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News Corp. Confirms Purchase of YES Network Stake

News Corporation just made the rumor that it was purchasing a stake in YES Network a fact. According to a press release from the company, the deal for News Corp. to acquire a 49 percent stake in YES will close by the end of the year.

As part of the deal (numbers were not disclosed) Yankee Global Enterprises, YES’s parent, Goldman Sachs, and others reduce their stake. After three years, News Corp. has the green light to purchase up to 80 percent of the network.  Also, buried in the same release, YES Network now owns the broadcast rights to Yankees games through 2042.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to enhance News Corporation’s industry-leading portfolio of sports properties, while also strategically re-entering the New York market,” said James Murdoch, News Corp.’s deputy COO, in a statement. “The YES Network represents the gold standard for regional sports networks and is a pioneer in sports media.”

“FOX wrote the book on regional sports networks, and we are excited to partner with FOX and take advantage of this opportunity to build upon our leadership position,” added Tracy Dolgin, YES Network’s president and CEO.

Report: Rupert Murdoch Interested in the LA Times*

A day after KPBS relayed Doug Manchester’s possible interest in acquiring the LA Times, there is news of a much bigger media mogul sniffing around this city’s prized daily newspaper. According to LA Times reporter Meg James, her new boss could potentially turn out to be none other than Rupert Murdoch:

News Corp. executives have had preliminary talks with debt holders about acquiring the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, according to two ranking News Corp. executives and others familiar with the situation.

These people cautioned that talks are in the early stages, and that a deal is by no means certain… On trips to Los Angeles, Murdoch is known to mark up the newspaper with a Sharpie pen to illustrate how he would design pages.

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Clean-Living James Murdoch to Run Fox Networks Group

James Murdoch hasn’t overseen a company that illegally hacked people’s phones for several months now, so of course he is getting a promotion. This is America, and that’s how we do things. Or at least that’s how the Murdoch’s do things. Get involved in a scandal? Get rewarded with a bigger job!

The Wall Street Journal reports that Murdoch — currently deputy chief operating officer of News Corp. — will oversee Fox Networks Group, which includes a slew of channels, including Fox, FX, and National Geographic. The only catch? Murdoch isn’t getting control of Fox News or Fox Business which will still be overseen by Roger Ailes.

We’re being serious when we say we can’t wait to see what Murdoch does with this new role.

Rupert Murdoch Takes Pay Cut, Still Rakes in $30 Million So He’s Probably Fine With It

The aftermath of the phone hacking scandal will be playing out in courts for years, but the now that News Corp. has announced its compensation packages for its 2012 fiscal year, we’re seeing how that situation financially impacted the company’s top dogs.

Bottom line? Their wallets barely felt the difference. Rupert Murdoch took a 10 percent pay cut, but still made $30 million; Chase Carey, News Corp.’s COO, made $24.8 million; Roger Ailes made $21.1 million; and James Murdoch grabbed a nice $16.8 million package.

Despite all of the execs — aside from Ailes, who saw his pay increase by 30 percent — taking a cut in pay, those are some healthy numbers. Imagine if the phone hacking scandal had never happened? We imagine they’d all be swimming in pools of $100s, not the shoddy $50 bills they must use now.

UK Panel: Rupert Murdoch is ‘Not Fit’ to Run Media Empire

The months of phone hacking investigations have concluded, and the result is this: Rupert Murdoch has done a lot of bad things. And that’s just us being nice. The report gathered by the British panel had a lot worse language in it.

Some choice cuts, according to The Guardian and The New York Times:

  • “On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications”

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Back to Business With Norma Kamali, Jeanine Pirro and William Lauder

1003_mockup.gifSpring break is over, so it’s back to business for the movers and shakers at Michael’s. Today’s crowd was the usual mix of media mavens (Keith Kelly, Jonathan Wald), stylistas (Norma Kamali, John Galantic) and money men (William Lauder), with plenty of strivers and a slew of pretty young things thrown in for good measure.

I was joined today by Kelly Langberg, who I met at Michael’s last month when she was celebrating her birthday at Table One with her nearest and dearest. When I got a gander of the fabulous jewelry she was wearing, I just had to go over to get a closer look. It turned out that Kelly had designed the pieces herself and had a thriving  business selling the beautiful bling to her well-heeled clients. At today’s lunch, Kelly explained how her jewelry inadvertently served as a launch pad for her now four-year-old business as the makeover maven to Manhattan’s chic set.

Having had a successful career pre-motherhood in investment banking and commercial real estate, Kelly was looking for something new that would allow her to have more time to spend with her children when they were little. Some years ago while on vacation at a swanky resort,  not one, but two different women who she’d run into over the course of her stay and admired her personal style asked her if she’d accompany them (separately) to the hotel’s pricey jewelry boutique to pick out something fabulous. “It was so random,” Kelly recalled, “but I did it for fun and wound up having things made for them at a fraction of the price. I thought to myself, ‘I think I found a business.’”

Diane Clehane, Michael McCarty and Kelly Langberg
Diane Clehane, Michael McCarty and Kelly Langberg

In no time at all, Kelly found herself advising her jewelry clients on everything from their hairstyles and makeup to plastic surgery options. “I’d show up at apartments to talk about jewelry and a client would say, ‘What do you think about my neck? What should I do with my hair?” said Kelly.  ”In 20 years in business, people have shown me just about everything you could imagine. I’ve seen it all.”

The enterprising Kelly decided to turn her exhaustive knowledge of the beauty business (“The best doctors, stylists, makeup artists — I know them all”) into a bonafide business. Today, she works individually with every client, listening carefully to their desires and needs (“A lot of this is therapy”) and even accompanies them to doctor’s offices and salons to ask the tough questions or just give her honest opinion on what works and what doesn’t.

While Kelly advises the creme de la creme of Manhattan on the very best places to go for those big ticket items like plastic surgery (she’d just come from a surgeon’s office with a client) and cosmetic dentistry, she is completely obsessed with helping clients find the perfect hairstyle. ”It all starts with the hair,” Kelly says. “You could have a great smile, terrific posture and a great wardrobe. If your hair is wrong, it’s all wrong.” As if on cue, proprietor Michael McCarty came by (he and Kelly go way back) to say hello, and we complimented him on his new, shorter locks which we decided made him look downright boyish. He told us his wife Kim McCarty had suggested he try her stylist who recently relocated from London to Malibu, where the couple lives. “I have a great person for you here in town, because you need one when you’re here,” Kelly told him. “I’m taking you over there. Let me know when you want to go.” And that was that.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

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James Murdoch Resigns from BSkyB, Has Now Stepped Down from 7 Positions

James Murdoch can’t quit quitting. Just last week he stepped down from his sixth executive position, and now The Guardian is reporting that Murdoch is vacating his position as CEO and Chairman of BSkyB. Murdoch has held the position at the company since 2003, and his departure means there is now no family member holding a top spot at the broadcaster for the first time in several years.

Murdoch has now stepped down from seven executive positions. His BkyB departure is hardly surprising, and as the language of this joint statement from Rupert Murdoch and Chase Carey indicates, no one is exactly pleased about the ordeal:

We are grateful for James Murdoch’s successful leadership of BSkyB. He has played a major role in propelling the company into the market-leading position it enjoys today – and in the process has been instrumental in creating substantial value for News Corporation shareholders. We look forward to BSkyB’s continued growth under the leadership of Nicholas Ferguson and Jeremy Darroch and to James’ continued substantial contributions at News Corporation.

James Murdoch Resigns from More Boards

We had no idea James Murdoch sat on so many boards until now. The guy just keeps resigning from them; almost every day there’s another one. The biggest resignation was from News International, on February 29, but he has also resigned from GlaxoSmithKline, Times Newspaper Holdings and is supposed to be leaving Sotheby’s board soon. Bloomberg reports that we can now add Newscorp Investments and News International Publishers Limited to the growing list.

That’s six resignations so far, but there could be more to come:

News Corp., based in New York, has said that Murdoch, 39, will focus on his main job as deputy chief operating officer to oversee the company’s international television operations. Still, Murdoch also faces calls from investors to step down from the board of News Corp. and as chairman of pay-TV company British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

Maybe Murdoch should just resign from every position in one mass “If I quit will you forget about all those allegations?” moment, because frankly, it’s getting a little difficult to keep up with.

5 Things Rupert Murdoch Will Not Discuss at His Birthday Party

Rupert Murdoch turns 81-years-old on Sunday. If you’re lucky enough to be in attendance at his birthday party, FishbowlNY has collected five items that Murdoch will definitely not want to talk about. Please avoid these at all costs. You can thank us later.

Five Items Rupert Murdoch Will Not Talk About at His Birthday Bash:

  1. Twitter
  2. Hacking (coughing, “WarGames” references, etc.)
  3. Phones
  4. Chase Carey’s mustache
  5. Why James Murdoch isn’t there

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