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Posts Tagged ‘Judith Regan’

Tales From a True Downton Abbey Thoroughbred

LunchAtMichaelsAfter being felled by a brutal bug (which I picked up in my doctor’s office while waiting for my flu shot) last week, I was glad to be back at 55th and Fifth today where I embarked on the second leg of my own personal trifecta of reporting on every aspect of my television obsession, Downton Abbey. I interviewed cast member Lesley Nichol two weeks ago and am planning a very special Downton lunch for December (No spoilers here! It’s top secret for now). Today I was thrilled to dine and dish with Harry Herbert, the second son of the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, who was in town on a whirlwind three-day visit to New York to meet a few Upper East Side swells and talk to them about his glamorous and highly successful racehorse syndication business, Highclere Thoroughbred Racing. As the company’s founder, Henry puts together racing syndicates — small groups of people with deep pockets — to share in owning a racehorse. So what’s Harry’s Downton Abbey connection, you ask? Harry’s ancestral home is none other than Highclere Castle, the stunning setting — and very much its own character — on Downton Abbey. I kid you not.

Alistair Morrison, Diane Clehane and Harry Herbert

Alistair Morrison, Diane Clehane and Harry Herbert

If you’re like me and have watched the specials that have aired on Highclere on PBS and HG-TV, you’ve seen Harry’s sister-in-law Fiona, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon, who is married to his brother George, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, giving behind-the-scenes tours of the great house and talking about what it’s like to have your home taken over by the cast of one of Britain’s most popular television programs. (They actually live in another home on the sprawling estate) Harry painted a fascinating picture for me of the real life cast of characters who have populated Highclere, worthy of their own PBS series. It turns out his parents’ love story mirror the one which plays out on Downton between the elder Grantham’s British-American union. Harry’s mother, Jeannie, was 19 years old when he journeyed from her home in Wyoming to England to visit friends and met his father, Henry. When she went back to the states, says Harry, ”He chased her to Wyoming and wound up marrying her.” Read more

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Meg Ryan and Judith Regan “Below the Radar” on Table One

1003_mockup.gifThe spring power lunch season has officially begun at Michael’s with plenty of famous faces and talking heads (Charles Grodin, Star Jones, Lawrence O’Donnell) mixed in with the usual suspects today. None other than Meg Ryan turned up with Judith Regan and slipped in practically unnoticed. Ah, but it’s my job to tell you these things.

In the ‘six degrees of separation’ world that is the dining room at 55th and Fifth, Judith and I grew up in the same hometown of Bay Shore on Long Island. Her mother was often my substitute teacher in high school, and we’ve always had interesting chats whenever our paths have crossed. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the famously fiery ex-book publisher and she told me she’s adapted a new approach of “staying well below the radar” while working on her Sirius XM show. “No one even knows where I live,” she said. I knew better than to question the strategy of staying out of the limelight by sitting at Table One on a Wednesday at Michael’s, so we talked about mutual friends and exchanged pleasantries about our families. When Meg showed up, she couldn’t have been nicer as we chatted about our daughters who we adopted from China the same year, are the same age and both wear glasses. (Sorry, but it’s all OTR.) Later, on the way out, we talked a bit more and I suspected she had plenty more to say on the subject but didn’t want to get caught it the crush of folks lining up for their coats. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

I was joined today by Stu Zakim, public relations vet and “transformational executive” (How’s that for a title?) Mike Berman. Stu, a veteran marketing guru who has helped shaped the image of Showtime, Universal Pictures and Wenner Media, struck out on his own in 2010 with his own firm, Bridge Strategic Communications. His current clients include the Montclair Film Festival, now in its second year, and Mike, a turnaround specialist and business blogger who dispenses straightforward strategies on his blog, Berman Means Business. Stu has been working with Mike since last fall to extend the reach of his no-nonsense messaging espousing a holistic approach to building businesses. With recent headlines on media mash-ups and corporate meltdowns, we had plenty to talk about. Since Mike penned his first piece for CNBC’s website entitled “Five Turnaround Tips for Ron Johnson, JC Penney and Others” earlier this week, I thought a discussion about JCP’s embattled CEO was a good place to start. In a nutshell, says Mike, Johnson “was set up to fail — he can’t fix Penney’s.”

Mike Berman, Diane Clehane and Stu Zakim

He explains, “What’s happening with Ron Johnson is a metaphor for what’s wrong with business today. You can’t hire a rock star as if he’s just come down from the mountain top with the solution to every problem. No one person is able to do what he’s saying he can do.” According to Mike, Johnson’s first mistake was expecting an already beaten down team to buy into widespread change without first stabilizing the organization and clearly articulating a long term vision for the future. Letting 10,000 people go among a shell-shocked workforce didn’t help matters, either. “In the classic turnaround, you can be a hero by coming in and reducing staff, closing under performing stores or factories for the short-term, but in the long-term that doesn’t create value and kills the economy. Executives have to ask themselves, ‘How can I make sacrifices for the benefit of the entity?” Because so many companies rely on the slash-and-burn strategy as an immediate solution to stem the bleeding of their bottom line, Mike tells me he no longer works on “classic turnarounds” because he finds them “totally souless.” Now there’s something you don’t hear every day.

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Roger Ailes Accused of Asking Judith Regan to Lie to Feds

Can’t wait to see how Fox News spins this:  Judith Regan, formerly with Harper Collins, supposedly has a recording of Roger Ailes telling her to lie to federal investigators back in 2006 about her affair with then city police commissioner Bernie Kerik,  in order to protect Rudy Giuliani and his bid to become president. Imagine, someone at Fox News trying to hide the truth!

Regan, who was fired from Harper Collins – which is owned by News Corporation -  subsequently sued them and received a big settlement. A settlement that might have been sped up by Ailes’ knowledge of the recorded conversation.

The infamous phone call is only now becoming public because of a separate wrongful termination lawsuit filed against Regan by the very lawyers that pursued the charges against News Corp. years ago.

And get this: That call would still be hidden from everyone, but someone forgot to file the proper paperwork with the State Court, so the affidavits with Ailes’ name are now completely out there.

Of course, News Corp.’s Spokesperson Teri Everett told The Times that the company has a letter from Regan, “stating that Mr. Ailes did not intend to influence her with respect to a government investigation.”

If that’s the case then this will die quickly, but if not, things are about to get intense. The mastermind of Fox News, Roger Ailes, and Rudy Giuliani, a man who probably still has presidential aspirations, might both be destroyed by a missed task on someone’s to do list.

Morning Media Menu: December 15

mornmm.gifToday on Morning Media Menu — our newly-launched audio podcast based around the Morning Newsfeed and blog network —
‘s Patrick Gavin joins us to discuss David Gregory Meeting the Press, Politico meeting Reuters, and Judith Regan‘s promise to meet Michael Wolff…in court. You can listen live every morning at 9amET on and call in at 646-929-0321.

LAT In 90 Seconds

33775771-13232419.jpgRegan-omics: Former publisher Judith Regan filed a $100-million defamation lawsuit against News Corp., saying she was told to lie to the feds to protect Rudy Giuliani’s presidential bid.

33765680-13102017.jpgFCC Playing By New Rules? The FCC is considering lifting a ban on media cross-ownership — a move the Tribune Co. needs in order for its deal with Sam Zell to go through. FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, who proposed the move, is getting criticized by groups who, you know, want to preserve the facade of democracy in this country. But when has democracy ever gotten in the way of a good business deal? Congrats, Sam.

33752457-12124640.jpgDoctor Without Discipline? Dr. Jan Adams, the celebrity doc who performed plastic surgery on Donda West before she died faces the loss of his license for three convictions for alcohol-related offenses.

Mickey Book Author: News Corp. Decision To Not Publish Was ‘Un-American’

mickey_author_7.jpgPeter Golenbock, author of 7, the controversial Mickey Mantle book due this week which along with O.J.‘s If I Did It got Judith Regan canned, says he was surprised by the firestorm the book created and thinks that the decision not to publish both his and O.J.’s book was “un-American.”

Golenbock who says Mantle was “funnier than Chris Rock,” tells the “Mr. Media” podcast he doesn’t understand all the fuss. Some excerpts:

ANDELMAN: Did you ever anticipate the negative storm that has come up around this book?

GOLENBOCK: Well, I didn’t anticipate that Judith Regan would get fired. I knew when I wrote it that some people would really love it, some people would like it, and there would be a small majority and probably a vocal majority who would resent it, “Oh, how can you say such things about Mickey, my idol, Mickey?” So I knew it wasn’t going to come into the world quietly. On the other hand, I had no idea that the Daily News was going to spend three days telling people that my book should be thrown in the garbage can and spending three days trying to get Judith Regan fired. That was a surprise.

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Brown Family Slams Goldman Family On Release Of O.J. If I Did It Book

nymag-regan-cover.jpgSome recent updates to the If I Did It saga. First, the family of Nicole Brown Simpson sent an unsolicited statement to FishbowlNY (perhaps because of our previous coverage of the family’s threats against New York magazine over its Judith Regan article) slamming the family of Ron Goldman for their desire to collect on Simpson’s If I Did It now that a judge has ordered its publication.

While we understand the Goldman’s position to collect on the judgment, allowing a ‘manual on murder’ to resurface into the general public is an inappropriate approach. The Goldman’s sudden reversal of positions to justify the auction of these rights and subsequent publication and that ‘the book’ is Simpson’s confession is transparent to their true motive which is to collect money. Everybody knows Simpson did it; we don’t need his written confession. This overzealous pursuit to collect on the judgment does not morally justify a means to the end. In our opinion, ‘the books’ re-circulation will ‘commercialize abuse’ and put other victims of domestic violence at risk.

Denise and the Brown family say they are mulling “all legal options.”

Meanwhile, via Variety, News Corp.’s HarperCollins has finally filled the staffing void left by Judith Regan‘s firing. Yesterday, they hired Lisa Sharkey, the former head of Al Roker’s production company, to mine “pop culture and the world of celebrity.” Sharkey won’t have her own imprint, though.

By the way, settlement talks between Regan and News Corp. appear to have broken off.


  • Nicole Brown Family Demands Retraction From New York Mag Over Regan Article
  • New York Responds To Brown Family
  • Naomi Campbell’s ‘South Street Sanitation Dept.’ Couture | Family Guy Sued By Burnett | 2008 MySpace President | Regan-News Corp. Talks | Is Viacom’s YouTube Suit Not Cool?

    • Judith Regan-News Corp. Settlement Talks: Break down. [Radar]
    • The Future President: Your friend on MySpace later this week. [NYT]
    • Family Guy: Sued by Carol Burnett. [Reuters]
    • Larry King: Back tonight, post-op. [AP via USAT]
    • Viacom’s YouTube Suit: Not cool? [NYP]
    • NBC Nightly News: Goes HD. [B&C]
    • First YouTube Awards: To include “most adorable video ever” category. [AP via MSNBC]
    • Naomi Campbell: Shows up for community service in heels. [Gothamist]

    Scary Boss Talk @ Because She Can Book Party


    Ex-Village Voice sex columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel reports:

    Downtown bar Manahatta was where 130 came out to celebrate former ReganBooks editor Bridie Clark‘s debut novel Because She Can. Among the literati at the party were Clark’s editor Karen Kosztolnyik and Warner publicist Laura Adams, along with staffers from other houses, including Harpercollins, Penguin, Rodale and Simon & Schuster.

    While Clark’s former boss Judith Regan‘s scandal still simmers, talk at the party was more about the attendees’ own scary bosses. Kostolnyik admits to having worked for such a tyrant-like superior, while Angela Polidoro, an editorial assistant at Rodale, said, “You realize how great your boss is when you hear about other people’s bosses from hell.” (For the record, her current boss is Leigh Haber, who’s launching a new imprint at Rodale.) Simon Spotlight Entertainment editorial assistant Cara Bedick wouldn’t cop to any evil bosses in publishing, but nodded enthusiastically at Polidoro’s statement.

    Read more

    Media Events: 02.12.07

    media_events_logo_sm.jpgParties, panels and other notable media gatherings

    MONDAY 02.12.07

    WHAT: “The State of American Democracy”
    WHO: Newark Mayor Cory Booker
    WHEN: 6:00PM
    WHERE: The New School, Tishman Auditorium, 66 W 12th Street
    WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Booker’s buzz has been quietly building — he was a panelist at Time magazine’s Person of the Year luncheon in November — and comparisons to Barack Obama abound.

    WHAT: John Marks Presents Fangland
    WHEN: 7:00PM
    WHERE: Barnes and Noble, 4 Astor Place
    WHY YOU SHOULD GO: A former 60 Minutes producer’s take on the classic vampire novel. Blood-sucking!

    WHO: Regan Book editor and author Bridie Clark
    WHAT: Because She Can book party
    WHEN: 7:00PM
    WHERE: The home of Marisa & Matt Brown
    WHY YOU SHOULD GO: To fete the former Regan Books editor and author Clark, and to ask Harper Collins CEO Jane Friedman, one of the evening’s expected guests, for her on-the-record take on sacking Judith Regan.
    NOTE: Private event.

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