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Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Anderson’

Caroline Manzo, Morgan Fairchild, Plus HarperCollins Fetes William Boyd

1003_mockup.gifOne of the things I love most about chronicling the Wednesday scene at Michael’s is the random celeb sightings that seem to come out of left field. On offer today: television stars of the past and present that represent the changing (and fickle?) tastes of the viewing public. When none other than Morgan Fairchild walked in (she’s even tinier in person), I had an eighties flashback to those great trashy nighttime soaps and damsel in distress Lifetime movies that were all the rage back then. A few minutes later, The Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s Caroline Manzo, today’s definition of a soap star, walked in. Funny enough, they were seated right next to each other but neither noticed the other. What can I say? This stuff fascinates me.

I was joined today by two PR mavens, Melanie Brandman, founder of The Brandman Agency, and Diana Biederman, managing director of Blackbird PR. After chewing over the week’s hottest gossip (Did Kim Kardashian do it for money? Has Kris Jenner no shame?), we had a good chat about Melanie’s latest luxury innovation, Travel Curator, which she describes as a hybrid online monthly magazine, diary and blog that shares the very best insider information on cities around the world.  Besides having exquisite taste, Melanie’s unrivaled experience in the hospitality industry and two decades of worldwide travel have given her quite an address book.

Table Seven: Diane Clehane, Diana Biederman and Melanie Brandman

“I’m constantly asked where to go to find the very best around the world and, since I love to share information, I thought this would be a fabulous way to do that.” The “content driven” site is absolutely gorgeous, including ‘The Spot” of the month. The native Aussie’s Sydney is the launch pick, followed by New York, London and Tel Aviv — all cities Melanie has called home. It also includes a fabulously fun section entitled “Tastemakers” where Melanie culls names from her Rolodex to offer their picks on shopping and travel in various locales. (Full disclosure: In an upcoming edition, I sing the praises of American Girl Place as the best place in NYC to spend a day with the special little girl in your life.) The site is getting great buzz; it was recently featured in Travel & Leisure and was the subject of two segments on Fox News. Right now, everything is being handled in-house at The Brandman Agency, and  it’s being circulated via subscription and by the agency’s extensive contact lists. So, before you pack for that next vacation, check out the site.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

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Lesser of Two Evils: Media Companies Explore Alternatives to Laying Off

soup liggne.jpgNot that long ago news that major media companies were mandating unpaid weeks off and significant salary cuts would have been greeted with outrage. These days, while not great news, one is tempted to breathe a sigh of relief: it’s better than being laid off! And it certainly seems like more companies are trying to figure out ways to avoid just that.

AllThingsD is reporting that New York is cutting the salaries of its writers. Says NYMag spokesperson Serena Torrey “Where we can find efficiencies in terms of limiting, say, freelance labor or hours worked, or by renegotiating deals, we’re certainly doing that.” Gawker is speculating that the cuts may be as much as 15%, though it will vary per writer. In somewhat related news Kurt Anderson has penned his last column for the magazine, due to his “busy schedule,” though he will still contribute periodically.

Meanwhile Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper publisher, is requiring all of its 30,000 employees to take an unpaid week off as a way to avoid laying off.

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Arianna Huffington is Media Person of the Year

ariaggna.pngI Want Media has named Arianna Huffington their Person of the Year, presumably based on your votes. As it happens the top three spots all belonged to women — Tina Fey and Rachel Maddow were the runners up. Says IWM about the choice: “Huffington had a big year in 2008, guiding her liberal-leaning news and blog site to record traffic during the U.S. election season.”

More fun, however, is the comments section which features the picks of some bold-faced media names. Perez Hilton voted Sarah Palin. Tina Brown voted Tina Fey. David Carr voted Mayhill Fowler. And both Frank Rich and Kurt Anderson tapped the Laid-Off Journalist as media person of the year.

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