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Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Hudson’

Hearst Documentary Screens in San Francisco

Following a splashy private screening at Hearst headquarters in New York City and a public world premiere earlier this month at the Hamptons International Film Festival, feature documentary Citizen Hearst has come home to roost. Commissioned by Hearst and narrated by actor William H. Macy, the film will debut in San Francisco tonight at a Legion of Honor event sponsored by the Chronicle.

The movie was co-produced and directed by Leslie Iwerks, who previously took a look at another west coast media giant in The Pixar Story. The parade of on-screen interviews includes Oprah Winfrey, Dan Rather, Mark Burnett, Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger and a number of William Randolph Hearst descendants.

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Alexis Glick Dishes with Michelle Paterson, NY Republican Chair Talks Turner Victory

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It was SRO at Michael’s today. The dining room was a tasty mix of media mavens with a heaping helping of politicos and a dash of flash with a very tall L.A. Laker. (We don’t follow basketball, but several guys in the room made sure we knew it was Matt Barnes who made heads turn.)

I was joined by Andrew Amill, VP of media sales at Weight Watchers, who, unlike many of his colleagues in publishing is seeing some extraordinary numbers these days. “This is a record year in the history of the brand driven by The Points Plus system and [spokesperson] Jennifer Hudson,” Andy tells me. The numbers speak for themselves: Newsstand sales are up 10 percent;  print ad revenue is up eight percent. Online, the business is exploding with an impressive 25 percent jump in ad revenue.

As a lifetime members of Weight Watchers, I told Andy I’d been a longtime fan of the brand but was really impressed by their canny selection of Hudson as a spokesperson. “She has a lot of credibility with members and readers,” says Andy, and that’s translated into plenty of new members who have joined because of the amazing results the Oscar winner got from the program. In fact, the cover of this month’s issue features an attractive array of men and women, ‘real life success stories’ that attest to the program’s sweeping success. This is definitely not your mother’s Weight Watchers.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1.  Atttorney Rob Barnett, presiding over a table of business types

2.  Wayne Kabak and Lauren Green

3. Oxygen Media founder Geraldine Laybourne

4. Producer Francine LeFrak and some colorfully dressed social swells

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Jennifer Hudson to Self: ‘I’m Prouder of My Weight Loss Than My Oscar’

Jennifer Hudson is the cover girl for Self’s September issue, and in the feature accompanying the picture, she talks about how much her weight loss means to her. As if to quantify that, she explains, “I’m prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar.” As you might remember, Hudson won an Oscar for her stellar performance in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.

While we’re in no position to judge, that’s kind of sad, isn’t it? You’d think that earning an award for her craft would be one of the highlights of her life, but instead, she’s more focused – or maybe we should say forced to be focused by the media – on being skinny.

Hudson is a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, so maybe she just got a little overzealous. We just wish that she considered her accomplishments first, and her weight second. Or maybe even third or fourth.

Jennifer Hudson Electrifies Crowd Live at Letterman

Academy Award and Grammy Award winning singer Jennifer Hudson put on a “by invitation only” performance Monday night.

It was the latest in the CBS Interactive Music Group’s Live on Letterman webcast series.

Looking and sounding amazing, from the first note, Hudson had the crowd on its feet, and kept them standing until the end of her 50-minute concert.

Hudson was at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan to promote her new CD, I Remember Me.

She started the show, entering the stage by way of the back of the audience, singing It’s a New Day, which was popularized in her recent Weight Watchers ads.

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April Edition of Essence Features Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson will appear on the cover of Essence’s April issue, which hits newsstands on the 12th. The feature inside centers on how the singer/actress has been able to juggle all the many things that she’s experienced in her life. Hudson tells the magazine, “My wish is to be at least half as good as my mother was, as patient and as loving as she was, and to just give that to my son.”

Hudson is truly a great story, so be sure to support her and Essence and pick up a copy. Here’s FishbowlNY’s favorite artistic contribution from Hudson so far. Warning: Only click that link if you’re feeling extra sassy today.

Essence to Honor Angela Bassett Among Others at Annual ‘Black Women in Hollywood’ Event


Essence magazine will be in Los Angeles come Oscar-time to throw its fourth annual “Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.” This year the event will celebrate the work of Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Loretta Devine and Viola Davis.

Press release after the jump:

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Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bo Dietl and The Post-Election Posse

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The votes are in and this week’s big winner is Michael McCarty whose dining room has been packed every day with A-list celebs  and politicos of every stripe in town this week to dissect every nuance of election night. The star of Monday’s lunch was none other than Jessica Lange, and on Tuesday James Carville, Cokie Roberts and Tina Brown made the scene. Kirk Douglas was also spotted accepting well wishes for son Michael Douglas, who is keeping a low profile having just finished his treatment for throat cancer.

Today, politics were the topic and I overheard plenty as I made my rounds in the dining room. “Who the hell knows what this all means?” said one shell shocked Obama supporter of the midterm election results. His friend wearily replied, “It’s over. The president is in for it now.” An interested party across the room offered this assessment: “The Republican Party may think this is their time, but they’ll shoot themselves in the foot. You’ll see. ” Another friend told me, “Until we stop thinking of ourselves as a red nation or blue nation and figure out this is a red, white and blue country, we’re screwed.”

At my table, we avoided politics and stuck to dissecting the latest moves in media. My good friend Andy Amill, who this summer got a much deserved promotion and is now Vice President of Weight Watchers Media Group overseeing all print and digital media, is feeling pretty optimistic these days. And he’s got reason to be. It seems celebrity pitch woman Jennifer Hudson, who sensibly shrunk down from a size 16 to a svelte size six on the tried and true program, has been a home run for the brand. “The impact of Jennifer Hudson has been phenomenal,” Andy told me. “We’ve seen an increase in membership at meetings and on-line and an increase in magazine sales.” And, unlike the usual blink-and-you miss-’em celeb endorsement deals, Andy reports that the divine Ms. Hudson will be sticking around to spearhead some top secret programs the company will unveil in 2011.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The Early Show: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer. Second seating: My pal, attorney Suzanne Bracker, and Dan Wassong.

2. Peter Brown and Michael Holtzman

3. Fortune‘s Patricia Sellers — whose cover story last month on Oprah‘s next act still has people buzzing – and, we’re told, John Needham.

4. Felicia Taylor with another chic blonde gal we didn’t recognize.

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Ellen DeGeneres to be New Idol Judge


We love Ellen DeGeneres. We just love her. However, American Idol is not comedian friendly. The last comic on that show was Brian Dunkleman, if anyone remembers. The first season had two hosts. One was the unknown local Star 98.7 chatty cathy Ryan Seacrest and the other was comedian Dunkleman who was (ahem) voted off. Never to be heard from again. No he didn’t go Jennifer Hudson and go on to better things. Nothing.

So American Idol has a horrible comedic track record and Ellen has a perfect one. Could be interesting. More likely not…

Lunch at Michael’s: All Hail Tina Brown!

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When a little birdie told us to switch our weekly reservation from Wednesday to Thursday so as not to miss the confab of publishing powerhouses that were expected today, we did so in a heartbeat. We’re happy to report today’s crowd didn’t disappoint. Where else could you see Newsweek honcho Jon Meacham bow down to Tina Brown at Mayor Joe Armstrong‘s table, or watch a gaggle of social swans fawn over Project Runway breakout star Tim Gunn while cooling their Jimmy Choos in the lounge? The worlds of substance and style collided today at 55th & Fifth.

The results kept us so busy gawking that we barely finished our salad nicoise:

1. Mayor Joe Armstrong presiding over one of his legendary lunches with a host of truly impressive guests. Tina Brown arrived looking every inch the power blonde in black leather and was greeted with great fanfare by all including an enthusiastic hug from neighboring diner and former Condé Nast colleague Shirley Lord. We can’t wait for Tina’s new book, The Diana Chronicles, due out in June from Doubleday with an excerpt to run in Vanity Fair. Word is she breaks big news about the People’s Princess. We can’t imagine what’s left to reveal, but we’re all ears! Joe kept the conversation flowing among pals Liz Smith, Newsweek‘s Jon Meacham, ABC News producer Kathy O’Hearn, Random House’s Susan Mercandetti (who edited Bob Woodruff‘s new book, In An Instant. The ABC newsman’s tale of recovery following his near-death experience in Iraq as written mainly by his wife will debut at number one on the Times bestseller list Sunday, March 16. Couldn’t happen to nicer guy!).

Always the gentleman, Joe took time out from keeping things lively to introduce lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane to two of his other guests, Vanity Fair correspondent Marie Brenner and Newsweek scribe Holly Peterson. We’ve been fans of Marie’s ever since she took on the tobacco industry in a piece that became the basis for The Insider. Joe teased that her upcoming expose on Guantanamo Bay for Vanity Fair will be even more explosive. We’re really intrigued by Holly’s new book, The Manny, — which earned her $1 million for the book and movie rights. (Not bad for a first timer.) The novel taps into the cultural zeitgeist by chronicling the fictional exploits of a male nanny who does more for Upper East Side yummy mummies than look after their kiddies. The sure-to-be-bestseller is also due out here in June from HarperCollins but is already selling like mad in the U.K.

2. Shirley Lord & Peter Brown.

3. Charlie Rose and Zoe Baird. The talkshow host looking more debonair than usual (the no tie look really works for you, Charlie) held Ms. Baird’s rapt attention throughout lunch — must have been a very intriguing tale …

4. ‘Entourage’ East: EMI president Charlie Walk with four black-suited young gents.

5. Herb Siegal.

6. Freddy Gershorn and Steve Swid.

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Jennifer Hudson-Vogue Oscar Outfit Spat Ignites Couture Catfight

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The Oscars might’ve ended early Monday in New York, but the backstabbing, name-calling, trainwrecking cattiness among those known for that sort of thing was just beginning.

Newly-minted Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson might have been awarded the coveted gold statuette for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Dreamgirls, but she came up the evening’s biggest fashion loser, thanks to her style mentor Andre Leon Talley of Vogue. Now the former BFFs are in the middle of a couture catfight that could become a public relations nightmare for the fashion bible.

BFFs? Barbs tossed on Today? Anna Wintour? This has all the makings of a perfectly incestuous, media-crossed fashion flap — enjoy!

  • Vogue‘s Talley vs. ‘Dreamgirl’ Hudson in Couture Catfight [mediabistro.com]
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