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Posts Tagged ‘Larry Hackett’

Jess Cagle Gets Two BIG Promotions

JessCaglePicWhen we spoke last spring with EW managing editor Jess Cagle, he was getting ready to juggle those duties with some 24/7 Sirius XM overseeing. A year later, there’s a whole lot more on this talented and well-liked journalist’s plate.

Per a report this morning from Capital New York’s Joe Pompeo, Cagle has been promoted to editorial director of EW and given the reins of sister publication People as editor. He replaces Larry Hackett:

The announcement was made this morning by David Geithner, president of Time Inc.’s style and entertainment group, and Norm Pearlstine, the company’s chief content officer, in a memo obtained by Capital.

It is the first sign of major rumblings that are expected to rock Time Inc. this year as the company prepares to be spun off from Time Warner.

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People Highlights Music and Hollywood Newcomers

People magazine, much like a semi-drunk uncle at a family reunion, wants the younger generations to know that it’s hip. That’s the reason for its new section, titled “Ones to Watch.” The New York Post reports that the feature is designed to highlight newcomers to the music and Hollywood worlds.

The inaugural Ones to Watch list includes some names that aren’t that fresh — like Andy Samberg and Anna Farris — and some that are, like Kacey Musgraves and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Larry Hackett, People’s managing editor, told the Post that Ones to Watch is ”a new franchise we’re launching, a way to celebrate new Hollywood.” Feel the excitement!

People’s Royal Baby Issue Expected to Sell 1.4 Million Copies

People stretched its weekly closing so that it could be the first gossip rag to publish a pic of the Royal Baby, and that gamble has paid off. According to The New York Post, the People issue featuring Prince William, Kate Middleton and George Alexander Louis on the cover is expected to sell 1.4 million copies.

That’s quite a jump from 971,668, which was People’s average newsstand sales for the second half of last year. Larry Hackett, managing editor of People, was pleased with the results. “Everyone knows the newsstand has changed forever,” Hackett told the Post. “In this environment, you certainly can’t be disappointed when you produce your best-selling newsstand cover of the year.”

Looks like People is already enjoying the summer of George.

People Gets Royal Baby Cover

People magazine has won the celebrity magazine Royal Baby coverage war. At least for now. The New York Post reports that the glossy held up production so it could put a photo of Prince William, Kate Middleton and — most important of all — the Royal Baby, on its latest cover. It’ll be the only gossip rag with the tiny person on the front.

Larry Hackett, managing editor for People, said that he gambled and held up the issue because his man in London was sure the baby would be revealed Tuesday. “The timing was perfect,” Hackett told the Post.

The wait will surely be worth it. The Royal Baby is a nameless blob of flesh endlessly soiling its royal diapers, but that guy is going to move magazines. Even an editor at a rival gossip magazine congratulated People, admitting that “It will be a big seller for them.”

Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch on Magic City‘s Second Season

1003_mockup.gifIt’s been a sizzling spring season at Michael’s with plenty of celebs (Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell and Tony Goldwyn to name a few) breaking bread with us over lunch, but today’s dine and dish session was one for the books. Joining me for an exclusive chat were screenwriter/director Mitch Glazer and actress (Drugstore Cowboy, The L Word) Kelly Lynch, in town from Los Angeles to promote the second season of  Magic City, the STARZ hit series which Mitch created and Kelly co-stars in as the cool, aristocratic Meg Bannock. Fresh off ringing the NASDAQ bell and an earlier red carpet appearance at a swanky fashion show in Times Square featuring looks curated by Magic City costume designer Carol Ramsey, the Hollywood power couple arrived shortly before noon (extra points for being early!) and were game for talking about pretty much anything.

Together 23 years and married for 20 which, in Tinseltown time is the equivalent of forever (“I was getting cranky waiting for him to ask me,” says Kelly), Mitch and Kelly have seemingly found the perfect project in which to work together in Magic City. Born and raised in Miami Beach, Mitch, who once toiled as a writer for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, tells me that the series is the most personal of projects as it allows him to recreate the Miami of his childhood by shooting on location and constructing a massive sound stage populated with full scale models of the iconic hotels (not to mention all those great cars) of this bygone era. ”Sometimes I look around and think, ‘This is like a Twlight Zone episode,’” he told me.

Kelly Lynch, Diane Clehane and Mitch Glazer

Before he began shooting the very first episode and after the final touches were put in place on Miramar Playa Hotel, the property owned by the show’s brooding, sexy Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Mitch brought his 91-year-old father, Leonard Glazer, who worked as an electrical engineer on the strip during the fifties, to the set. Mitch found the very same chandelier his father had installed all those years ago at The Eden Roc in a box at a Miami salvage store and gave it its rightful place of honor in the lobby of the fictional Miramar Playa. “My father took one look and said, ‘You built a hotel!” recalled Mitch, smiling at the memory. “There are so few things in life that you know better than anyone else,” he told me. “This world happens to be that for me, so I was very fortunate and it gave me a lot of confidence.”

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Shirley MacLaine Stops by a Birthday Party for Liz Smith

1003_mockup.gifI knew it was going to be quite the scene at Michael’s today when a little birdie told me that there was going to be a lunch for Liz Smith celebrating the grand dame of gossip’s upcoming birthday at Table One. Suffice to say I wasn’t disappointed. None other than Shirley MacLaine stopped by to say hello to Liz (more on why later), and I got to chat with the legendary actress about her guest-starring stint on Downton Abbey. While the entire restaurant swiveled in our general direction, I jumped up from my seat to ask about her experience on PBS’ smash hit and she couldn’t have been more gracious.

“I loved doing the show,” she told me. “Everyone was so welcoming and great about everything. I was amazed that no matter what the weather — because it rained a lot when we were shooting — they all went on as if the sun was shining. They were wonderfully professional.” Her character, Martha Levinson, appeared in only two episodes but left quite an impact on viewers — particularly when Martha sparred with Violet, the Dowager Countess played by the legendary Maggie Smith. “That was one of my favorite days on the set,” Ms. MacLaine told me of the scene where she and Ms. Smith sat for hours in a church pew waiting for the ill-fated wedding of Lady Edith to begin. “We spent eight hours talking about life, and we never ran out of things to say.” I bet. Before she dashed out the door — she only stayed long enough to say her hellos — I asked whether she’d be returning to the series and she said, “Yes. We start shooting soon. I’m looking forward to it.” So are we.

Liz Smith with her party pals and her armadillo cake

Now, back to Liz’s lunch (described as a “southern confab”), which Hearst’s Deb Shriver put together with scribe Julia Reed and ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong. Deb was putting the finishing touches on the table, which included a bouquet of yellow roses arranged in Joe’s Texas bronzed boot and a specially designed menu (fried chicken, collard greens and corn bread) featuring a photo of Liz at a year old. Liz and Joe have a long friendship that dates back to 1968 when Joe first arrived in New York and met the fellow Texan. They forged an unbreakable bond. “I didn’t know one person when I came here and found out she was raised a block from where my mama grew up in Fort Worth. She was the only person I met who I thought didn’t talk with an accent.” The two have been great pals ever since.

Shirley MacLaine stops by Michael’s

Southern belle Deb, who has written two fabulous books on New Orleans including the gorgeous Stealing Magnolias: Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard, surprised Liz with one of the most unusual birthday cakes ever served at Michael’s or anywhere else for that matter, and had a Brooklyn baker recreate the Steel Magnolias armadillo red velvet cake. Ms. MacLaine, as you might recall, was one of the stars of the 1989 film, and she arrived with the film’s screenwriter Robert Harling to jazz up the festivities. They departed before Michael’s staff paraded through the dining room with the life-size armadillo on a platter, raising  more than a few eyebrows. Clearly thrilled by the gesture, Liz was served the head of the baked beast while the rest of the guests dug into the ‘carcass.’ Mmm… yummy.

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Time Inc. Editors Sign on For More

Two big editors at Time Inc. are rumored to have signed on for more of the magazine life. According to The New York Post, Larry Hackett and Richard Stengel, the Managing Editors of People and Time, respectively, have each renewed their contracts.

Both contacts are for two years, which is less than the typical three year deal, reports the Post.

Hackett and Stengel have been at their positions since 2006.

ASME Changes Magazine Awards

The changes that ASME President (and People Managing Editor) Larry Hackett promised us back in June have officially set in. According to Adweek, Special Interest Magazines is now called Active and Special Interest, and the General Excellence categories have been revamped as well.

Last year there were six GE categories, now there are only five. They’ve been renamed to show how people look at those titles, too. Fashion, Service and Lifestyle Magazine category is now Women’s Magazines, and Literary Journal and Opinion is now Thought-Leader.

The Ellies have some changes as well. Tablet and mobile specific content is now eligible in a majority of categories, and there are new awards for websites.

The ASME is trying to satisfy people with these alterations, but it shouldn’t expect much reaction. As everyone knows, there’s always something to complain about, you just have to find it.

Glenn Close and Damages Cast Celebrate Season Four

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Before dashing off to their summer cottages in the Hamptons for the long holiday weekend, the media mavens and moguls were at their regular perches at Michael’s today for a bit of last minute networking. It was SRO at the bar and the dining room was jam packed, because the Garden Room was reserved for a party hosted by the cast of Damages, the water cooler legal drama starring Glenn Close as a ruthless Manhattan attorney.

Last year, FX cancelled the show after three seasons, but it got a stay of execution from Direct TV which will air the season four premiere on July 13. I caught up with the series’ co-creator and show runner Daniel Zelman (who happens to be Debra Messing‘s husband, in case you didn’t know) before the party to find out what he thought of the move. “FX was wonderful and terrifically supportive, and Direct TV has been great. We’re thrilled about their commitment to the show,” he told me, adding that Damages will be the first stateside television series to air exclusively on the company’s new Audience Network. (They also aired the beloved but viewer deprived Friday Night Lights, which they shared with NBC.)

I asked Daniel what ripped-from-the-headlines news story would serve as the inspiration for the upcoming season. “The privatization of  war industry,” he told me, saying that the new scripts are “loosely based” on those stories about for-hire firms like Blackwater who are paid to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. “The stories behind the for-profit companies involved in the war effort are very interesting. There is a lot to explore,” he said.  Last season’s scalding Shakespearean version of  the Madoff saga certainly made for very compelling human drama, and Daniel says that while there is no single larger than life figure this season, faithful viewers will be rewarded. “At the end of it, we hope they feel like they’ve been watching a 13-hour movie and feel satisfied with their investment.” With a stellar cast (all in attendance today) headed by Close, Rose Byrne (loved you in Bridesmaids!), John Goodman and Dylan Baker, we’re sure viewers will have plenty to chew on. We’ll be watching.

I had a lively lunch today with Self’s editor-in chief Lucy Danziger who arrived on her scooter with entertainment director Laura Brounstein. Rounding out our foursome was Huffington Post’s new women’s editor Lori Leibovich who is busy these days getting ready to launch a host of new verticals including ones devoted to parenting, baby boomers and pets.

Lucy just celebrated her 10th anniversary at Self , and she’s more energized than ever. She gave Lori and me a quick tour of Self’s July issue with cover girl Zooey Deschanel on the magazine’s iPad App which featured videos of fashion spreads with Cobra Starship set to music and stop action video demonstrating the exercise moves in the fitness features. This being ‘The Music Issue,’ Lucy and her team came up with some clever ways to get readers’ heart rates up, including playlists designed to motivate and slim them down. “Music is scientifically proven to be a powerful fitness tool,” she says. Just ask May’s cover girl Gwyneth Paltrow.

It was clear from seeing Lucy zip her way around her iPad during lunch that she has completely embraced her magazine’s digital doppelganger (which just launched in April with cover girl Kim Kardashian hosting live chats) and sees it as a way to connect with her readers like never before.  ”The print magazine is great. It refreshes a reader’s commitment on a monthly basis,” she explained. “But we can reach the same reader every day with something new with our App. We refresh our content every day and are constantly coming up with new ways to make our readers feel more involved. We had three million uniques last month and, in the digital world, we can reach those readers 24/7.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1.  Lucy Danziger, Laura Brounstein, Lori Leibovich and yours truly

2. Peter Brown

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Sherrie Westin

4.  PR scion Steve Rubenstein

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New ASME President Promises Changes

Larry Hackett, the Managing Editor of People, is also the new President of The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). After he was elected Hackett told the other ASME members – who were at Remi for their annual meeting – that changes needed to be made to ASME’s award categories and to the Ellie award ceremony. Adweek reports:

‘I think in some of the categories there could be a sense of, Which of these are not like the others?’ he [Hackett] said. ‘We want to take a look and see if we might sharpen it a bit.’ As for the timing of the event itself, he was more definitive: ‘That just can’t happen again.’

That’s bound to be music to the ears of everyone in the industry. The Ellie categories put magazines that didn’t belong together in the same bunch (People was paired with Fast Company) and the ceremony lasted until almost midnight. Now, if Hackett can just do something about that halibut.

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