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Posts Tagged ‘Lucy Danziger’

Judy Collins, Woody Allen’s Singing Writer and the Dish on the Definitive Bob Hope Biography

Lunch At MichaelsThe usual head-spinning Wednesday scene at Michael’s got an added boost of adrenaline today as Michael McCarty and his indefatigable staff presided over the jam-packed dining room while preparing for this evening’s main event. The famed eatery is celebrating 25 years in New York and to commemorate the impressive milestone, McCarty is throwing himself a party tonight. The guest list boasts 550 of his nearest and dearest A-list pals dropping by for air kisses and cocktails. We’ll be covering the festivities. (It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.) Look for a special “evening edition” of this column tomorrow.

Richard Zoglin and Diane Clehane

Richard Zoglin and Diane Clehane

I was joined today by Time magazine’s longtime theater critic and author Richard Zoglin, whose just-released book, Hope: Entertainer of the Century (Simon & Schuster), chronicling Bob Hope‘s 70-year career and extraordinary life, has garnered rave reviews. Kirkus Reviews heralds it as “the definitive biography” of the legendary comedian, People magazine recommended the 565-page tome as a must-read, and both Tom Brokaw and Dick Cavett have praised Richard’s exhaustive reporting. Our mutual friend, the tireless and terrific Cindy Lewis, introduced us and was the perfect hostess for today’s lunch. Fresh off his first author event last night, where he took questions from a “packed house” at his neighborhood Barnes & Noble on the West Side followed by a reception for friends and family at Martha Nelson‘s apartment, Richard told me he’s been heartened by the response the book has received from industry insiders and “civilians” alike. “I believe that Bob Hope was the most important entertainer of the 20th century,” he told me. “And I’m thrilled to see that there’s so much interest in his career now.” When I asked him why he decided to do a book on Hope, who, until now, had not been the subject of a major book, he explained: “When I did my last book [Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America], I asked every comic from George Carlin to Jerry Seinfeld who influenced them and everyone mentioned lots of people like Lenny Bruce, but no one mentioned Bob Hope. He’d fallen off the radar. The generation who remembers Vietnam didn’t take him seriously as a comedian.” So why go against the grain? “My contention is Bob Hope invented modern stand-up comedy.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Adds McGrath to Board | Gifford Pens Today Musical

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Amazon Adds Former MTV CEO Judy McGrath to Board (Re/code)
As Amazon continues its push into becoming a big creator of online TV shows, it’s adding some serious media expertise to its board. The company said on Friday that it had elected longtime former MTV CEO Judy McGrath to its board of directors, effective Oct. 1. Deadline Hollywood As an incentive to stay, she received rights to 2,520 shares convertible at a rate of 840 a year over three years beginning August 2015. Variety Since June 2013, McGrath has been president of Astronauts Wanted: No Experience Necessary, a digital-content joint venture between McGrath and Sony Music Entertainment. She had run Viacom’s MTV Networks from July 2004 until May 2011, and had been part of the startup team that launched the music cabler in 1981. THR McGrath was also appointed to the Leadership Development And Compensation Committee at Amazon, according to a Friday SEC filing. On Friday, Amazon’s shares were trading at $308 each. Amazon launched a streaming music service called Prime Music earlier this year, and it said a week ago it will be spending $100 million on original content this quarter to beef up its Prime Instant Video Service, which competes with Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video services. Forbes The appointment makes McGrath the third woman out of 10 current directors to sit alongside CEO and chairman Jeff Bezos, joining Patricia Stonesifer, CEO of non-profit Martha’s Table, and Jamie Gorelick, former deputy U.S. Attorney General.

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Former Self Editor Lucy Danziger Joins Penguin Random House

lucy danziger GLucy Danziger, who served as Self’s editor-in-chief for more than a decade, is joining Penguin Random House’s Ballantine Bantam Dell division as an editor-at-large.

Danziger was a casualty of Anna Wintour‘s desire to shake up Self. Danziger and Self’s publisher — Laura McEwen — were both bounced from the title in April. Wintour chose Joyce Chang to replace Danziger and Mary Murcko to succeed McEwen.

At Ballantine Bantam Dell, Danziger will serve as a part-time scout while working closely with Jennifer Tung, Ballantine’s VP and editorial director of nonfiction, and Marnie Cochran, Ballantine’s executive editor.

Danziger is also launching her own company — 10Points Ventures. The New York Post reports 10Points “will be involved in creating digital affinity groups in the fitness and well-being space.”

Mary Murcko Named Self Publisher

The Self upheaval is complete. Condé Nast just announced that Mary Murcko has been named vice president and publisher of the magazine. Murcko was formerly the Gannett Company’s president of national sales. She also previously served as a VP and group publisher at Rodale. 

Murcko’s appointment comes a day after Lucy Danziger and Laura McEwen were sent packing. Danziger was replaced by Joyce Chang, and Murcko is McEwen’s successor.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to cultivate one of Condé Nast’s most dynamic brands,” said Murcko, in a statement. “Reaching the Self audience is more important to marketers than ever before – and creating those opportunities through print, digital, mobile and experiences is truly exciting.”

Murcko’s appointment is effective May 1.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Letterman to Retire | Mozilla’s Eich Resigns | Fusion’s TV First

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David Letterman to Leave Late Show (TVNewser)
During the taping of Thursday’s Late Show, David Letterman announced next year will be his last on the show he’s hosted for more than two decades. The news was first reported on Twitter by R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, a guest on the show, just after 4 p.m. ET. Letterman, who turns 67 next week, signed a contract extension in October. Adweek The duration of the new deal seemed a sure sign that the clock was ticking on Letterman’s late night tenure. Two years prior to signing the extension, the host had agreed to a two-year deal. NYT Letterman said he had informed CBS president Leslie Moonves of his intention to step down from The Late Show at the end of his current contract, which has about 16 months left. A specific end date has not yet been set. Letterman is considered by many to be the most original voice in the late-night format, and Moonves has been steadfast in his assurances in recent years that he would never ask Letterman to retire, saying at one point, “You don’t do that to a television legend.” Mashable Letterman hosted Late Night on NBC from 1982 to 1993 before starting Late Show on CBS in 1993. In 2013, he surpassed Johnny Carson as the longest-running late night talk show host in television history. He has been part of more than 6,000 late-night broadcasts. USA Today It’s unclear how CBS will replace Letterman, and when, precisely. Craig Ferguson, who hosts the Letterman-produced Late Late Show, is not being considered as a replacement, insiders say, even though his contract technically promises it. Moonves is known to have been interested in The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart over the years, but in the past Stewart has said he is not interested in a network talk show. Stewart’s Comedy Central partner Stephen Colbert is seen as a more likely candidate, and is available sooner: His contract with Comedy Central expires in December, though Stewart is free in 2015. Chelsea Handler also announced plans to leave her late-night E! show this year.

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Lucy Danziger and Laura McEwen Out at Self

Lucy Danziger and Laura McEwen, editor-in-chief and publisher of Self, respectively, are both leaving the magazine. Danziger had been editor of Self since 2001; McEwen joined as publisher in 2010.

Joyce Chang, most recently executive editor of Cosmopolitan, is replacing Danziger. Before working at Cosmo, Chang served in the same role at Marie Claire. McEwen’s successor will be named soon.

Unsurprisingly, Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s artistic director, had something to say about Chang coming aboard. Wintour has been revamping Condé titles in her vision, and has been cutting editors who aren’t up to her standards.

“Her [Chang's] diverse resume of experiences has taught her the power of a strong and intelligent woman,” said Wintour, in a statement. “I’m excited to see the new direction she will bring to Self.”

Chang takes over May 1.

Bonnie Fuller, Jill Zarin and Why Jeff Greenfield Skipped This Year’s State of the Union Address

LunchAtMichaelsYou’d never know hell had officially frozen over if you’d been at Michael’s today. The forsythias were in bloom, a few intrepid media mavens were barelegged (I kid you not) and the power-lunch scene was firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately, my date was detained in the studio shooting a popular television show, but I soldiered on into Manhattan, bundled up in my long-forgotten fur coat (No judgment, thank you) that makes me look like Yogi Bear’s wife to make my appointed Wednesday rounds. And it’s a good thing I did. At Table One, Hollywoodlife.com’s Bonnie Fuller had assembled a particularly interesting roster of media types (including CNN’s Christine Romans, AOL’s Brian Balthazar , ”Mayor” Joe Armstrong and our own Chris Ariens among them) as well as the requisite reality-show refugee who, in this case, was Jill Zarin. A little birdie told me the former Real Housewives of New York City cast member is getting the Where Are They Now? treatment from none other than Oprah Winfrey for an upcoming episode. The fickle finger of fate has quite the sense of humor.

Lunch at Michaels

Meta moment: Does a power lunch at 55th and Fifth count if no one’s there to see it? I think we know the answer to that one.

Before the overflow crowd sat down to discuss Justin Bieber‘s latest contretemps and why Madonna looked like the love child of the Quaker Oats man and Mae West at the Grammys, I spent some time mingling with the crowd. Bonnie introduced me to her 23-year-old daughter Sofia Fuller who was “helping out” at today’s luncheon since Bonnie is currently without a publicist (but not for long, I suspect). Clever Sofia told me that she is “definitely” interested in a career in media and has her heart set on landing something in e-commerce.

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Jann Wenner’s Father-Son Pow Wow and Moguls on the Menu

1003_mockup.gifAfter weeks of Wednesdays full of Hollywood heavyweights (culminating in our Table One sit-down with Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch last week) there were more moguls (William Lauder, Jimmy Finkelstein) than celebrities at Michael’s today. However, the talking head contingent was represented by regulars Star Jones and MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart. Today’s most intriguing table was the one where Jann Wenner was sitting with his son, Gus Wenner. Discussing the finer points of the power lunch, perhaps? Or maybe just tossing around some ideas for the website the 22 year-old publishing scion is now running. No matter — when dad’s the boss, I’m sure there’s plenty of room on that learning curve regardless of the subject.

I was joined today by Laurel Kamen and Christine Irvin, co-founders of  The Alloro Collection, a new ready to wear and accessories collection designed for women who have had breast cancer. I was surprised to learn that the collection, which does not sacrifice fashion for function, is truly the first of its kind since there was clearly a need for such an innovation for so long. The idea for the collection came to Laurel on the evening before her own breast cancer surgery a year and a half ago. After being diagnosed with cancer in her left breast, she elected to have a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of a recurrence, a decision which ended up saving her life. When Christine got the call from her longtime friend to tell her about the idea, she was all in. “She could have asked me if I wanted to go in on starting a car wash in Pittsburgh that night, and I would have said yes,” quipped Christine, “but, clearly, this idea was one that was about creating something for women with breast cancer where a real need existed and was a chance to help women restart their lives.”

Christine Irvin, Diane Clehane and Laurel Kamen

The Alloro Collection, whose name comes from the Italian pronunciation of Laurel’s name, was launched at a trunk show in Washington, DC, in March and immediately garnered extensive coverage in The Washington Post with a full page story by Robin Givhan and in WWD and W with pieces by Susan Watters. The 20-piece signature collection of tops, dresses and accessories which range from $160 to $250 is designed by Laurel’s cousin, New York-based designer Roedean Landeaux, whose own mother died of breast cancer. (There is also a more afford ably priced line of pieces under $50.)

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Bravo ‘Newlyweds’ Alaska and Kim Dish on Reality TV Instafame

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While it was a bit more subdued than usual at Michael’s today with some of the glitterati off to Cannes and a few others up in Greenwich watching Prince Harry play polo (our invite must have gotten lost in the mail),  the usual mix of editors (Anne Fulenwider, Lucy Danziger) and media moguls (David Zinczenko) were in full power lunch mode celebrating each other’s successes and hatching their next big deals.

I was joined today by Kimberly Cherebin and Alaska Gedeon, stars of the new docu-series Newlyweds: The First Year, which premiered May 6 on Bravo. Also in attendance were the network’s PR marvels, Jennifer Geisser and Julia Nietsch, as well as the happy couple’s manager, Camille White Stern. The show is a hit, having snagged over 1 million viewers for the first episode. With Kimberly stuck in traffic en route from the studio where she was styling Justine Skye‘s new video, I got a chance to chat with Alaska first. I asked him what in the world would possess anyone to allow cameras to follow them during their entire first year of marriage. He told me he’d been absolutely opposed to doing the show at first, and Kimberly asked him “about six or seven times” before he finally agreed. Looking back on the experience (shooting wrapped earlier this year), Alaska said having the details of your daily life play out for all the world to see “forces you to raise the standard of who you are: how you treat others and especially how you treat your wife.” He then added brightly, “It’s like a mirror and like therapy.” So did he like everything he saw reflected back at him? “I just don’t think I’m that big of a jerk,” he said with a laugh. (After meeting him, I’m inclined to agree). “My sarcasm doesn’t always read well on camera.” He also told me that it wasn’t until after he viewed the scene where he and Kimberly discussed their bi-coastal marriage that he realized just how “heartbroken” Kimberly was at the prospect of their separation.

Alaska Gedeon, Kimberly Cherebin and Diane Clehane

When Kimberly arrived, I asked her why she was so enthusiastic about  doing the show, and she admitted that she didn’t exactly know what she was getting into. “At first, I thought it was one of those David Tutera>-type ‘planning your wedding’ shows, and I thought that would be fun, but it was nothing like that,” she explained. Once she did understand that she and Alaska would be agreeing to 10-hour shooting days over the course of year and be required to use their ‘Couples’ Cam’ on each other to capture intimate moments (not that kind, silly), she remained undaunted. “It seems like when you see marriages on TV you either see these fairy tales or something pretty terrible. We have really ‘extreme’ careers, and this was a chance to show how you balance it all.” 

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The Truth About Rachel Uchitel’s Tweet and a Birthday Party for Ed Rollins

1003_mockup.gifWhen it comes to Wednesdays at Michael’s, the early bird might not always get the best table, but today it did land me something of a timely scoop. Some time before noon, I spotted Rachel Uchitel, the woman whose texts to Tiger Woods helped bring down the golf legend and launched a thousand tabloid headlines in 2009. I half expected her to bolt when I identified myself as a reporter, but she was gracious and downright chatty when I asked about the countless reports that her recent “Everyone deserves a second chance” tweet was a thinly veiled reference to Tiger and Lindsey Vonn‘s joint announcement on Facebook that they were dating.

“Everyone in the media immediately thought it was about Tiger,” she told me exclusively. “I still have not talked about him and never will. I haven’t told anyone about this, but the tweet was about my 94-year-old grandfather, Sam Lionel, who is getting married. His fiancee is 52 and there has been some family drama about it, so that’s what I was referring to. I’m even throwing her a bachelorette party.” Rachel, who just moved back to New York from San Francisco, told me that The New York Post approached her about writing an article about the recent turn of events but she turned them down flat. “First of all, check your facts, thank you very much,” she said referring to their reporting about her tweet. “And also I’d never write anything about that.”

Rachel told me these days she is “totally obsessed” with her 10-month-old daughter Wyatt Lilly who took her first steps yesterday. (Dad is husband Matt Hahn.) “I love that she wants a big kiss just from me sometimes. It’s the first time that I really have come to understand just what unconditional love is. You think you can get it from a man, but this is so different. She is my whole existence.” Being a mother, says Rachel, has given her a sense of peace and satisfaction that had previously eluded her, but she still is sorting out where she wants to go from here. ”I don’t want to be away from her and miss anything.” Still, though, she’d like to find “meaningful work.” Says Rachel, “For the past three years I have struggled with my identity. I used to be a journalist, but since 2009 it has been difficult to find a job because of the baggage attached to me.” She’s been offered several reality shows and did a stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, but has turned them all down. “It’s hard, but now that I’ve moved back to New York, I’d like to find something interesting to do.” For the woman whose tear-stained face made the cover of The New York Post when she first lost her then fiancé on 9/11 (a tearsheet hangs in the Smithsonian) and then went on to become the poster girl for one of the biggest celebrity scandals of the decade, life in recent years has been a series of headlines. That’s a pretty attractive quality in an employee in certain circles is this town, isn’t it?

Emilio Romano and Diane Clehane

I had a fascinating and enjoyable lunch with Emilio Romano, (pictured, right) president of Telemundo Media and the network’s vice president of corporate communications and public affairs, Michelle Alban. The charming and dynamic Emilio joined the company in 2011 and in his current position runs Telemundo’s broadcast network, its 15 owned stations, as well as the company’s entertainment division and Telemundo Studios, which is the No. 1 producer of original Spanish language primetime content for Hispanics in the United States. He also oversees the news and sports divisions, Telemundo’s digital media group and the company’s sales and marketing arms. I’ve talked to plenty of media titans in this dining room over the years, and I can say without question I found Emilio to be one of the most engaging, genuine and interesting executives I’ve ever met. While telling me about all the exciting things happening at Telemundo these days, he chatted easily with the wait staff about where they were from and asking them in Spanish what they watched on television and why.

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