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Posts Tagged ‘Jared Kushner’

Woody Johnson, Jared Kushner and a Haute New Hollywood Handbag Designer

LunchAtMichaelsSince so many media mavens and talking heads have headed to the West Coast for Oscar week, my lunch today with designer Michelle Vale was particularly timely. Just a few days ago, Michelle sent off several of her handbags to LaLa land in hopes that a certain Best Actress nominee will walk down the red carpet carrying one of her creations come Sunday night. If the actress, whose name for the moment is top secret (“But she’s a big Oscar person!”) utters Michelle’s name when she is asked the million dollar question of the night — “Who are you wearing?” — by E!’s Giuliana Rancic, that could mean very big things for the designer. “You never know what’s going to happen,” Michelle told me. “An actress can pick a dress and change her mind at the last minute. She can look in her suitcase and pick up something else. I won’t know until I see her on television.”

Diane Clehane and Michelle Vale

Diane Clehane and Michelle Vale

No stranger to the celebrity scene, Michelle’s collection of sophisticated, versatile designs that allow women to customize their bags by selecting a variety of  different hardware and straps  — all made right her in New York City — have been worn by Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Kate Bosworth and Kate Beckinsale. Michelle also managed to score valuable television exposure on Gossip Girl, a favorite of fashionistas everywhere where posh Upper East Siders played by Blake Lively and Leighton Meester toted around the Amex Black cards in Michelle Vale handbags.

While fashion was part of Michelle’s DNA — dad was a senior vice president of Sasson Jeans, favored by aspiring disco divas everywhere in the 80s, and mom once owned a boutique, she never planned on going into the business as a career. “I used to go to Studio 54 with my father,” Michelle told me. “It was such a big part of my childhood that I wanted to something completely different, so I got a master’s in counseling  children which, as it turns out, has come in handy in this business.” It was when the accidental designer got pregnant quickly after getting married that she decided she wanted to do something that allowed her to stay at home with her newborn son. “I literally started the business with my son in my lap,” she said.

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Jared Kushner and Others Make $375 Million Brooklyn Building Buy

The Jehovah’s Witness’ are about to witness their bank accounts getting fatter. According to The New York Post, Kushner Companies — the real estate arm of the Jared Kushner empire — is part of a group of companies buying six Jehovah’s Witness buildings in Brooklyn. The price tag? $375 million.

Everyone knows the Witness buildings — they’re the sand-colored structures with green windows that are connected by suspended walkways. If you want to get specific, the spots getting scooped up include 90 and 77 Sands Street, 55 and 81 Prospect Street, 175 Pearl Street and 117 Adams Street.

The Witness’ are selling off their downtown Brooklyn digs because they’re moving upstate, to Warwick. Get ready for a lot more door-to-door visits, residents of Warwick.

Dishing With Scandal‘s Tony Goldwyn; Catching Up With Michael Strahan

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It was a regular boys club at Michael’s today with not one, but two football legends (Michael Strahan, Frank Gifford), several captains of industry (William Lauder, Jonathan Tisch), publishing hot shots (Jack Kliger, Jared Kushner) and the hottest actor on broadcast television, Tony Goldwyn, who plays the adulterous, murderous President Fitzgerald Grant III on everyone’s guilty pleasure, Scandal. For the record, the power gal contingent was nicely represented by Norah O’Donnell and media mavens Katherine Oliver and Cindy Lewis.

Everyone (and I do mean everyone) was abuzz with Tony’s arrival in the dining room so, of course, I just had to say hello. He couldn’t have been more pleasant about doing an impromptu interview about the runaway success of Scandal and offered his take on being a red hot leading man at 53. It was a bit trippy, really, comparing the relaxed, friendly actor who was casually clad in a plaid shirt and jeans (he’s from Los Angeles, after all) with the uptight, angst-ridden politico he plays on the small screen. Grandson of legendary studio head Samuel Goldwyn, Tony’s has had a journeyman’s career with stints on film (most memorably as villain Carl Bruner in Ghost), television (recurring roles on Dexter and Law & Order: Criminal Intent) and several roles on Broadway, including the musical Promises, Promises. Surprisingly, Goldwyn has never been a staple in the likes of People and the other glossies. When I asked him what it meant to have true stardom come along relatively late in his career he told me, “It’s definitely different than if it had happened earlier; I’m very grateful.”

Tony Goldwyn and Diane Clehane

Speaking of grateful, more than a few of my friends look forward to Tony’s steamy scenes with his co-star Kerry Washington. (His wife, Jane Musky, doesn’t watch those encounters.) “We definitely push the boundaries,” he said. I told him it’s often hard to remember that Scandal is on network television rather than cable. “In a way, it’s because of cable that [series creator Shonda Rhimes] has been able to up the level of things and be more bold.” Read more

Observer Drops Scene Publisher Julie Dannenberg

Julie Dannenberg, the publisher of the monthly Observer Media Group magazine Scene, has been laid off. Dannenberg had come to the magazine from Avenue, where she held the same role.

Peter Davis, editor-in-chief of Scene, told WWD that no successor has been named yet. He also didn’t miss the chance to tout Scene as “a local Vanity Fair.”

Scene — the most unintentionally hilarious magazine ever — is a little over a year old. In November of last year, Dannenberg said the glossy was “doing well.” We wonder if she still has kind words for it.

Observer Randomly Picks Jared Kushner’s Brother-in-Law as ‘Important Philanthropist’

The latest issue of Observer Philanthropy features a list of the “20 Most Important Young Philanthropists” and surprisingly, Eric Trump graces the cover. He’s also praised inside and proclaimed a “powerhouse.”

Trump, as you probably know, is the brother-in-law of the Observer’s owner, Jared Kushner. What a crazy coincidence!

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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A Lot of Media People Partied Last Night

The whirlwind surrounding the New Republic continued last night as Chris Hughes, editor-in-chief and publisher of the magazine, threw a party to celebrate the glossy. Since those in the publishing business love nothing more than to hobnob with people just like them, there was a slew of big names in attendance.

Now you might be saying “I don’t care about yet another event full of media people congratulating themselves for being themselves” but we know you do! Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. So allow us to give you what you want, a list of people who went to Hughes’ shindig, via The Huffington Post.

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Joseph Meyer, Brother-in-Law of Jared Kushner, Named Observer CEO

Joseph Meyer, the brother-in-law of Jared Kushner, has been named the Observer Media Group’s new CEO. Meyer comes to the company from Elliott Management, a hedge fund. He is only 33 years old.

“Joseph will oversee business operations and will focus on making investments and exploring acquisitions,” wrote Kushner, in a memo. “He brings years of experience identifying growth opportunities and will help the Observer Media Group expand in the areas it already serves and bring its fresh voice to entirely new markets.”

Kushner’s full note can be seen at Daily Intelligencer.

New York Observer Names Ken Kurson EIC

Ken Kurson has been named the new editor-in-chief of The New York Observer. Kurson has been a contributor to Esquire since 1997, a political consultant and speechwriter for Rudy Guiliani, and has worked at Jamestown Associates, a political communications firm in New Jersey. No word on what will happen to Aaron Gell, who was named the paper’s interim editor after Elizabeth Spiers departed in August of last year.

As the New York Times notes, Kurson’s Republican ties will certainly cause some to wonder (perhaps more than they already do) about the objectivity of the Observer.

Kurson, of course, thinks it’s no big deal. “People will think what they want,” he told the Times. “I will have to earn their trust. I have had a long and honorable journalistic career, calling it like I see it and being a straight shooter.”

“Ken knows the ideas, stories and voices that make up New York better than anyone,” wrote Jared Kushner, in a note to staffers announcing the move. “He is a journalist and an author and through his years as a consultant observed the figures who create the framework of business, politics, media, tech, culture and real estate in our city.”

Elizabeth Spiers Departs The New York Observer [Update]

Elizabeth Spiers (a former Mediabistro editor-in-chief) is leaving The New York Observer. According to the paper, Spiers — who joined as editor in February of last year — is stepping aside to launch a new company, and will remain a part time consultant for the Observer Media Group.

Executive editor Aaron Gell is succeeding Spiers as the Observer’s new editor-in-chief.

“Elizabeth has been a phenomenal editor and manager,” said Jared Kushner, in a statement. “Not only did she bring on a wonderful team, she redesigned the paper and websites, launched a slew of new verticals and web properties, and invigorated the newsroom, all while more than doubling web traffic. I’m grateful for her efforts, and I look forward to seeing what she does next.”

UPDATE:
Christopher Barnes is also leaving. Check out the full internal memo here.

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