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Posts Tagged ‘Les Moonves’

Jon Steinberg on The MailOnline’s Plans for World Domination, New Hire Piers Morgan

LunchAtMichaelsIt was a true media mashup at Michael’s today as the joint was jam-packed with famous faces (Katie Couric and Barbara Walters at separate tables; Natalie Morales) and moguls (David Zinczenko), while the usual suspects upped the volume to near ear-splitting levels. I had to lean in to catch every word uttered by Jon Steinberg, who joined me for lunch to dish about his new-ish gig as CEO of the Daily Mail‘s MailOnline.com, yesterday’s announcement that Piers Morgan was joining the site and his old guard inspirations in this new-media world.

Diane Clehane and Jon Steinberg

Diane Clehane and Jon Steinberg

I suggested Jon and I do “Lunch” after I interviewed him earlier this year for a Gotham cover story I was doing on New York City’s most powerful millennials, for which he talked about his role in creating  BuzzFeed as its president and chief operating officer. During Steinberg’s tenure, BuzzFeed became a global brand and went from a staff of 15 to more than 500. Turns out our chat was fortuitously timed. Days before the story was set to go to press in May, Jon announced that after four years at the helm of the social news and entertainment site, he was stepping down to pursue his next big adventure. “Having built this place with Jonah [Peretti, BuzzFeed’s founder and CEO] and the rest of the team, I want to go through that rush again, and there is a certain amount of freedom that I want,” he said at the time. Since when we spoke for the Gotham piece, he’d told me he believed “freedom and independence are the new status symbols,” I was eager to see what his next move would be. A short time later, he announced he was joining MailOnline as chief executive officer of North America. Today he arrived fresh off the set of CNBC, where he appears three times a week as a contributor on Squawk on the Street. Said Jon of his television gig: “I love it because they operate it like a startup. They had the idea for it and just weeks later, it was on the air. It’s a great team.” But clearly, he’s even more enthusiastic about his top spot at MailOnline. “I wasn’t the CEO before and that’s something I’ve always wanted. I get to make a lot more decisions now,” he told me today, between bites of chicken paillard. And he’s making plenty.

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Condé Nast’s Dawn Ostroff: ‘We Haven’t Even Scratched the Surface’

Former Lifetime, UPN and CW programming exec Dawn Ostroff is now the president of Condé Nast Entertainment, responsible for a prospective 100 digital series. During an appearance Monday at the Interactive Advertising Bureau MIXX Conference portion of Advertising Week New York, she colorfully framed how the audience-fragmentation writing was on the wall during her time at The CW.

In meetings with Les Moonves, Ostroff remembered that her boss would ask how it was possible that a show like Gossip Girl, on the lips of everyone, could have such mediocre Nielsen ratings. Ostroff would struggle to reply since DVR, social and Internet metrics were in their infancy. But, as she told IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg on stage:

“While I was at The CW, we single-handedly watched them [18 to 34-year-old viewers] migrate away from television on to other platforms. Legally or illegally, unfortunately.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Walters Signs Off | Abramson/NYT Fight Unfolds | FCC Approves Proposal

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Two Dozen Women of TV News, Barbara Walters’ Legacy, Join Her on Her Final View (TVNewser)
Thursday afternoon, the legacy of Barbara Walters came to life in the finale of her final The View, taped at ABC’s Westside studios and set to air Friday. Mediaite All 11 current and former co-hosts of The View turned up to send off Walters. In an emotional segment, the hosts shared their fondest memories of the program’s founding member and some of the advice that they said guides them in their present careers. THR / The Live Feed Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton were among the surprise guests who showed up to say goodbye. After more than 50 years in TV news, Walters is officially retiring, leaving her co-hosting gig on The View, but she’ll continue to serve as the show’s executive producer and contribute to ABC News on an as-needed basis. The Associated Press Walters brought the hour to a close with a heartfelt statement looking back with amazement on her career, then signing off with a pledge to “take a deep breath and enjoy my View.” But a more telling moment took place during a break, as the throng of women she had paved the way for posed with her for a group portrait. TheWrap The cadre of A-List media stars who gathered for the photo included Winfrey, Katie Couric, Joan Lunden, Robin Roberts, Connie Chung, Gayle King, Maria Shriver, Paula Zahn, Jane Pauley, Savannah Guthrie, Elizabeth Vargas, Lara Spencer, Tamron Hall, Diane Sawyer, Cynthia McFadden, Natalie Morales, JuJu Chang, Amy Robach, Deborah Norville and Hoda Kotb, as well as Walters’ co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Rosie O’Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Debbie Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, Star Jones, Jenny McCarthy and Meredith Vieira.

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Anna Wintour: ‘Even If I’m Completely Unsure, I’ll Pretend’

Shutterstock_AnnaWintourThe recently minted Condé Nast artistic director shared some leadership tips with moderator Les Moonves as part of the 2013 Women’s Wear Daily CEO Summit. And what better place, really, since it was after a talk by Karl Lagerfeld at the 2012 edition of this event that the whole idea of adding to Wintour’s Vogue responsibilities took root.

FishbowlNY’s favorite passed-along Wintour tidbit in WWD media reporter Erik Maza‘s write-up reads as follows:

“I think possibly what people working for one hate the most is indecision. Even if I’m completely unsure, I’ll pretend I know exactly what I’m talking about and make a decision.”

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Fortune Magazine Catches Up with ‘Ari @#$%ing Emanuel’

During that recent sit-down for Rock Center with brothers Rahm and Zeke, Ari Emanuel insisted that lots of therapy had helped him move away from Entourage-worthy volcanic eruptions. But of course, for Fortune magazine senior editor-at-large Adam Lashinsky and most other journalists, it’s impossible to resist the lure of those tales, still, for the purposes of an article lede about the William Morris Endeavor deal maker:

Sean Parker, the billionaire technology investor and onetime president of Facebook, will never forget being on the receiving end of an Ari Emanuel onslaught. It was 2009. Emanuel, the famous Hollywood agent, had been e-mailing Parker because a friend had suggested they connect…

The article is behind the Fortune paywall. If this content doesn’t spark a few more subscribers, then there is no hope for the future of print media.

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Lynda Carter Wraps Up Three-Day Stint at Catalina Bar & Grill

It was a heck of a kick-off Thursday at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar & Grill for Lynda Carter.

Among the more recognizable people in the jazz club audience for the first of the 61-year-old actress’ three 8:30 p.m. singing performances were Les Moonves and Julie Chen. Though Moonves was of course not head of CBS back when the network aired Seasons Two and Three of Wonder Woman, pretty cool nonetheless. Carter had also done The Talk with Chen the day before.

Our spies tell us actress Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue, The Line) was also there to enjoy the March 14 performance and got a nice shout-out at one point from Carter. Cover versions performed for Lawrence, Moonves, Chen and co. Thursday included Adele’s “Rumor Has It,” the Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love” and “Fever.”

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Phil Hendrie Bobbie Dooley Podcast Off to a Roaring Start

The name of Phil Hendrie’s latest hilarious enterprise sounds a lot like the sort of New York City nightclub Stefon might rave about on Weekend Update. It’s called Mmm Hmmm and really rolls off the tongue when Hendrie, as female alter ego Bobbie Dooley, pronounces those words.

The weekly podcast launched February 15 on the Sideshow Network, home of the Bravo-focused Watch What Crappens, George Lopez‘s Tell Me Your Story and more. The first episode with Patricia Arquette got 15,000 downloads in three days and the show continues today with Jay Mohr.

Other guests so far have been Joel McHale (like Mohr, a two-parter) and Sugar Ray Leonard. During the McHale interview, Dooley asked the Community and Talk Soup actor what advice he might give Hendrie about finally getting a TV pilot picked up. The pair quickly came up with a new pitch for Les Moonves involving Hendrie and McHale as cops who solve crimes committed by the latter’s character. “It writes itself,” McHale raved.

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CBS CEO Les Moonves on Angus Jones Fiasco: After Charlie Sheen ‘This is a Piece of Cake’

The CEO of CBS commented on the very public outburst from Two and a Half Men star Angus Jones. Les Moonves, speaking at a forum here in New York sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, said he wasn’t sure what was going to happen to the kid.

“I don’t know what our status is with him, we took this boy, who started with us when he was eight years old, and it seems to be what happens with child stars over the course of time,” Moonves said, adding dryly. “He is now making over $300,000 per week, which is not a bad salary for a 19 year old kid.”

He went on a religious channel and urged people not to watch his show because it is filth, “though he is still collecting his $300,000 a week,” Moonves added.

That said, he did not seem concerned as to what it meant for the program, which still has more viewers than every other comedy on TV, save for The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.

“We have other plans, I don’t think it has quite been resolved, but after going through Charlie Sheen, I think this is a piece of cake,” he quipped.

Mike Francesa ‘50-50’ on Renewing WFAN Contract in Two Years

Whether you call him arrogant, curt, opinionated, argumentative, abrupt, or intolerant, Mike Francesa agrees.

However, as we conclude our celebration of WFAN’s 25th anniversary, the longtime afternoon host was nothing but open and candid during our wide-ranging, sit-down interview.

Francesa, the station’s signature talent, an afternoon mainstay for 23 years, is starting to think about retirement.

“My contract will expire in two years from right now. For the first time ever, we’re not going to negotiate until a year from now,” Francesa admits to FishbowlNY. “… When we’re a year out, we will have a conversation, Dan [Mason, CBS Radio, president and CEO], Mark [Chernoff, WFAN operations manager]. Les Moonves [CBS, president and CEO], if he gets involves. He did last time.

“…Two years could be enough. It would be 25 years. I don’t know. It depends on a lot of things… Right now, I’d say it’s ’50-50,’ it could go either way.”

Francesa, 58, realizes that any decision about his future would be made for him once he stopped being a revenue generator.

“I am an economic realist. I’ve understood from the beginning this is a business,” Francesa says. “And that’s why I feel blessed that I’ve been able to be here in this position for 25 years.”

Of course, the bulk of those years Francesa shared, sometimes contentiously, with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. Their 19-year partnership ended suddenly in 2008 when Russo (“Mad Dog”) bolted for Sirius XM.

“I didn’t begrudge him leaving for one second. I never had an issue with that,” Francesa says. “It just wasn’t handled properly, which I think he now understands it and would readily admit.”

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Mary Higgins Clark, The Hiltons And The Media Mob

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– DIANE CLEHANE

The sweltering heat (wasn’t it just snowing last week?) didn’t keep the regulars away from Michael’s today. The dining room was jam packed with authors, agents and media mavens all deep in conversation about who knows what. From the looks of things, the power lunch crowd here is gearing up for a busy season of neworking that has to be crammed into a four-day work week now that those summer cottages are open.  Oh, the pressure!

I was thrilled to join Vi Huse and Kira Semler for lunch today. I met them almost five years ago when I first started covering the scene at Michael’s and was fascinated by these two attractive, fun loving gals who always seemed to have a grand old time at their monthly champagne lunch (and always ate dessert!). Turns out these two good friends have been keeping their Michael’s lunch date with each other for over ten years! “This is only the second time we’ve sat in the dining room,” Vi told me.  “We always sit at the bar and it’s just become our spot.”

Today, the three of us sat with the big kids in the dining room to celebrate Vi’s 23 years as owner of Kerygma, a gallery in Ridgewood, New Jersey specializing in contemporary American art. Vi just retired yesterday but tells me she will continue to work with artists like Peter Fiore, Gerald Doudera, David Lee and Jane Owen online. Kira, a jewelry aficionado and freelance bookeeper, was one of Vi’s first clients and the gals have been fast friends ever since. Cheers!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Mary Higgins Clark, Carolyn Reidy and a table full of pals. The indefatigable 83-year-old author was the subject of a glowing profile in The Wall Street Journal last month which chronicled her success: she’s sold 100 million books in the U.S. alone, and all 42 of her novels have been best-sellers. With I’ll Walk Alone, released in April, she’s keeping her winning streak going. We’re in awe.

2. Michael Holtzman (Peter Brown’s VP and right hand man, so we’re told.)

3. Joan TischCandace Leeds and Marcia Stein

4. The always distinguished Stan Shuman

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