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Posts Tagged ‘Judy McGrath’

Carole Radziwill on Her New Book and Dueling With Bravo’s Delusional Diva

LunchAtMichaelsWhen I first made my date to have lunch with Carole Radziwill some time ago, I was looking forward to talking to her about her first novel, The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating (Henry Holt) as well as her astonishing best-selling memoir, What Remains, in which she chronicled the aftermath of her husband’s death in a deep, affecting and intricately personal way. It was fascinating to me to see that she had approached the earth-shattering event of losing her husband, Anthony Radziwill, from two diametrically different perspectives and chosen to write about young widowhood twice. While her memoir came first, published six years ago, Carole told me the novel was ten years in the making. “It started percolating around that time, but I wasn’t in that state of mind. The novel was written in a much more whimsical state of mind.” But she made headlines in the tabloids this morning for another reason — a fellow castmate of The Real Housewives of New York City, Aviva Drescher, wrongly accused her of hiring a ghostwriter for What Remains, detonating the requisite explosion (this one dubbed “Bookgate”) that fuels the Bravo squawkfest, which Andy Cohen clearly lives for.

Carole Radziwill and Diane Clehane

Carole Radziwill and Diane Clehane

Here’s a primer on “Bookgate.” If you’re not a regular viewer, try to follow along: When Carole joined the show last season, Aviva could not have been more fawning, going so far as to tell her that What Remains inspired her to look at her own life differently. Fast forward a few episodes and this season, Aviva and Carole have become full-fledged enemies (the women didn’t know each other before the show), mainly because Carole deals in what is actually going on, while Aviva seems to be hell-bent in doing whatever it takes to stay relevant on Housewives. In this case, Aviva first asked Carole to vet a ghostwriter she was going to use on her book (and now denies she even used one) and then somehow turned the whole thing around by telling the other women on the show that “word on the street” was that Carole used a ghostwriter for What Remains. Said Carole: “There’s always one housewife on every show that’s completely contrived and that’s her. Everything she does, she does for the show.” And then of the subsequent blow-up: “If I’ve helped Aviva sell books, I’m sure my thank you note is in the mail. This is supposed to be a reality show, so I’m interjecting some reality here. I’m honest about my life.” Got it?

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Snowden’s Empty Seat | Deen’s First Interview | McGrath Joins Sony


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Journalists Tracking Edward Snowden Tricked Into Flying to Cuba (TVNewser)
Since NSA leaker Edward Snowden apparently left Hong Kong, journalists have been trying to track his whereabouts. He supposedly flew to Moscow, Russia (though no reporter saw him there) and Russian state media reported that he would be flying to Cuba, before moving on to Venezuela and likely Ecuador. A slew of reporters, believing the Russian media report, booked tickets on the Aeroflot flight to Havana. When they boarded, it became clear that Snowden was not going to be joining them. The Washington Post / WorldViews More than two dozen reporters and photographers reportedly tried to board that Aeroflot SU-150 from Moscow to Havana on Monday morning. It’s not clear how many of them made it on, but they made clear in a flurry of tweets as the plane pulled away from the gate that the man they were after wasn’t on the plane. Reuters All eyes were on seat 17A as a planeload of journalists strapped themselves in for an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Cuba with former U.S. intelligence contractor Snowden. Their first disappointment was that Snowden didn’t show up. The second was that it was a booze-free flight — all 11 hours and 35 minutes of it. HuffPost / The Backstory For years, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald has argued that journalists in Washington often seem too cozy with the political figures they’re supposed to hold accountable and too quick to amplify the government’s perspective on national security. Meet the Press host David Gregory’s suggestion Sunday that Greenwald “aided and abetted” Snowden, his source for a series of bombshell stories, only seemed to validate that viewpoint. NYT Until he re-emerged this week as an ally for Snowden, Julian Assange looked like a forgotten man. WikiLeaks had not had a major release of information in several years, its funds had dwindled and several senior architects of its systems left, citing internal disputes. Assange himself is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he fled to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual abuse. Read more

Anne Sweeney Tops THR’s ‘Women In Entertainment Power List’

Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney is the most powerful woman in Hollywood according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s 19th annual “Women In Entertainment Power 100” list. It’s the second year in a row she’s topped the list.

The rest of the Top 10:

2. Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
3. Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment
4. Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Studios
5. Abbe Raven, president and CEO of A&E Television Networks
6. Stacey Snider, co-chairman and CEO at Dreamworks
7. Donna Langley, co-chairman of Universal Pictures
8. Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment
9. Dana Walden, chairman of 20th Century Fox Television
10. Judy McGrath, chairman of MTV networks

Kinda surprising to see Oprah at number 4, considering she was named the third most powerful woman in the entire world this year by Forbes.

Fortune Recognizes Media Mavens On 50 Most Powerful Women List

ann_moore.jpgIt’s no surprise that some media movers and shakers made their way onto Fortune‘s 50 Most Powerful Women List.

Oprah Winfrey, who topped ForbesWoman‘s list of of the most influential women in the media earlier this summer, was the top media leader on Fortune‘s list as well. The Harpo chair ranked sixth after just five other powerful businesswomen including PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi (number 1) and Avon’s Andrea Jung (number 5).

Other female media and entertainment leaders to make the list include Anne Sweeney of Disney (number 16); MTV Networks‘ chairman and CEO Judy McGrath (number 20); Time Inc. chair and CEO Ann Moore (number 21 — pictured right); Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black (number 46); Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick of NBC Universal (numbers 47 and 48, respectively) and Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal (number 49).

“In 1998 when we premiered our list of the Most Powerful Women in Business, just two of our honorees ran Fortune 500 companies. This year, 13 do,” Fortune said in the introduction to the list. “When it comes to milestones, we say, Keep ‘em coming!”

Fortune‘s 50 Most Powerful Women

Related: Oprah Tops ForbesWoman‘s List Of Media’s Most Powerful Women

Amy Poehler, Rachael Ray And MTV’s McGrath Headline Gracie Awards

gracies.jpgLast night in New York City, the Foundation of American Women in Radio & Television presented their 34th annual Gracie Awards honoring the top women making entertainment for women.

The night’s biggest winners were Amy Poehler, who took home the 2009 Dove Real Beauty Award, Tribute Award winner Rachael Ray and MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath, who was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. And the red carpet was graced by more media celebrities who won or presented awards throughout the evening, including Suze Orman, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Ann Curry, Bob Schieffer, New York Housewives Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, LuAnn de Lesseps and Alex McCord, Oprah‘s BFF Gayle King and Maya Angelou.

Photo: Host Niecy Nash, reality star Ruby Gettinger, Kathy Griffin, Orman and Ray. Courtesy Larry Busacca/Wireimage. Check out some photos from inside the Gracies here and here.

Read on to find out who we talked to inside the Marriott Marquis ballroom

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Lunch: Why So Glum, Anna Wintour & Ralph Lauren?

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was standing room only at Michael’s today with a head-spinning assortment of movers and mavens doing some serious table-hopping between bites. We were brightened to see there was a dash of celebrating between all the intense conversations that were going on all around. It’s the holidays, remember?

I was lunching today with Gerry Byrne, senior vice president of The Entertainment Group at Nielsen Business Media. One of the truly good guys in the industry, Gerry has had an amazing career in media that started after he served as a United States Marine Corps Officer in Vietnam, when he took a job at The New York Daily News working in business development. You name an important showbiz publication, and chances are Gerry has been at the helm. He was president and CEO of Stagebill, served as group publisher and president of Variety and Daily Variety (and launched the Gotham edition), started Electronic Media (now Television Week) and Crain’s New York Business. He was consulting for Nielsen when they lured him back into corporate life earlier this year with his current gig. “I never expected to be back doing this, but I’m having a great time,” says Gerry. He’s keeping busy overseeing the company’s entertainment properties and exhibitions including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Backstage, Kirkus Reviews, The Bookseller and expos like ShoWest. Whew!

We had a fascinating conversation about the state of the entertainment and media industry, with Gerry offering some valuable insights. “It’s all about brand management and creating new partnerships,” he told me. “More people than ever are willing to listen to new ideas about partnerships.” That, says Gerry, is good news for everyone willing to acknowledge what’s in the past is gone and it’s a brave new world. So buck up, all you naysayers, put your thinking caps on and get out there and reinvent yourself. Speaking of reinvention, I asked him to weigh in on NBC’s decision to offer Jay Leno a nightly show on their prime time schedule. “They’re protecting their franchise. Jeff Zucker made a dramatic statement.” The “game-changing” move is sure to change the face of television, says Gerry, who noted, “It couldn’t have been done 10 years ago.” Timing is everything, isn’t it?

The scene spilled over into the Garden Room where Today‘s executive producer Jim Bell and David Gregory were seated. The newly-minted host of Meet The Press gave us a big hello and a smile as he made his way to the back, but slipped out early before we could ask him about his new gig. mediabistro.com’s founder Laurel Touby was a few tables away with metacafe’s CEO Erick Hachenburg and SVP Jack Rotherham and Michael A. Vorhaus of Frank N. Magid Associates. So take that, all you strivers — power is where you find it!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. There were plenty of fireworks: Jerry Inzerillo, Paul Grucci and some lively fellows who were celebrating some big news with champagne

2. Judy McGrath and a gent we didn’t recognize…

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with a trio of interesting — and enterprising — women: Democratic booster Maureen White, Sarah Rosenthal and Cynthia Brill, who told me the Clear Card biz we chatted about some months ago for this very column is going great guns. The brainchild of Cynthia and her husband Steve, ‘The Easy Pass of airports’ designed to help users ‘fly through airport security,’ is now in 21 airports and coming soon (in ’09, she says) to LAX. We’re all for anything that will improve the hellish experience of surviving a stay in that confounding maze.

4. Frank Gifford and Ron Kanecke

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MTV’s Bloody Valentine

mtv_green_logo.jpgMore on those MTV job cuts:

It would appear even BFFs are not safe: “An insider tells us that at the top is Salli Frattini, senior vice president of production and — more notably — best friend to MTV prez Judy McGrath. It’s Sally who was behind big events like the VMAs and Movie Awards. She’s also been there since Day One, a tattler tells us. And now she’s gone, as is everyone under her. So too is Kathy Flynn, the SVP for production events, and her staff. Elsewhere, in a shock to even the most cynical staffers, we hear executive VP of programming Paul DeBenedittis is also out the door. No matter that he’s best friends with MTV programming president Brian Graden.”

Gawker on the global guillotine: “MTV World — which includes Chinese-American themed MTV Chi, South Asian-themed MTV Desi and Korean American themed MTV K — has completely folded.”

VH1 Classics? That too.

UPDATE, DEVELOPING: We hear that MTV’s Total Request Live may be, ahem, dead.

EARLIER:

  • I Want To Embed My MTV