TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Wolff’

David Zaslav, David Zinczenko and the Next Big Name in Fashion

1003_mockup.gifOn any given Wednesday, the Michael’s dining room is chock full of moguls (David Zaslav, David Zinczenko) and mavens largely known to faithful readers of this column, and today was no exception. Yet, every once in a while, I’m lucky enough to meet people who, despite their impressive accomplishments, have managed to keep a relatively low profile.

Today was one of those days thanks to David Thalberg, founder of The Thalberg Group, who introduced me to a fascinating woman. If you’ve never heard of Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Project Gravitas, trust me, you will. The Taiwanese-born, Ivy League-educated entrepreneur learned the ropes working at McKinsey & Co for 11 years, advising clients in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America on strategic issues for the firm’s global luxury fashion and beauty practice. And, it’s clear in talking to her, that the inspired ideas behind her new business have been percolating for a long, long time.

Armed with degrees in biology and political science from Yale and a lifelong passion for fashion, Lisa rose through the ranks to become McKinsey’s resident expert on the luxury and fashion markets. As such, Lisa gave plenty of keynote addresses at symposiums, including the American Express Luxury Summit. While living all over the world and developing her business acumen as her career progressed, she learned quickly that dressing the part was also a key strategy in building a successful career. Having been a size 22, size 8 and “now a proud size 12,” Lisa was determined to create a line of dresses that gave style-savvy women the fashion they craved and the self-assurance they needed. And that’s how Project Gravitas was born. “We are that dress,” explained Lisa. “The one you wear on the interview where you get that job, the one that inspires you to go to that party, the one that you slip on for that very important day. It’s the one you wear that makes you feel like, ‘Bring it on!’”

Lisa Sun and Diane Clehane

The collection of 10 ‘niche dresses’, available exclusively on Project Gravitas’ website, retail between $195- $295 with free shipping and returns (“By selling online, we can keep the retail price accessible”) and are manufactured exclusively in New York with fabrics from the finest Italian mills. Here’s the real secret ingredient that is sure to attract the attention of Spanx wearers everywhere: each dress is designed with built-in shapewear from high performance moisture-wicking fabric that is breathable and machine washable. Lisa told me, “I wanted to make the ‘treat me’ dress for the young executive who wants to trade up from Zara, the ‘super mom’ who wants to look good for date night. I think of these dresses as beautifully designed safety blankets.”

Read more

Michael Wolff: The NY Times Book Review Is Dying

Michael Wolff — the eloquent, if prickishly pugnacious media commentator — has forecast the end of yet another aging publication: The New York Times Book Review.

In his Monday column on The Guardian, Wolff forecast the demise of the last freestanding national book section, in much the way he has predicted the inevitable death of The New York Post tabloid.

“[W]hile the NYTBR has been at the very center of the book business in New York and has been the most influential voice in book culture for the better part of a century, it is surely hard to say quite what to do with this weighty history,” he wrote. “Not to mention, how to squeeze a buck out of it. The New York Times has other things to worry about.”

His news peg? The new editor, Pamela Paul, whose credentials he must consider laughable for taking over such an esteemed position.

Read more

Michael Wolff Says New York Post Will Die Before Rupert Murdoch

Michael Wolff doesn’t exactly believe in the New York Post’s future. In a scathing column, Wolff declares that the Post is slowly dying and that it will perish before Rupert Murdoch does. Grim! Here are a few things that Wolff says point to the end of the tabloid:

    • The upcoming News Corp. split. “As Murdoch gets ready to separate his newspapers from his richer entertainment holdings in a move that will force the papers to pay their own way, the Post’s day of reckoning nears.”
    • Even Rupert Murdoch is losing faith in the paper. It has become “an increasingly sclerotic and gothic enterprise, full of aging figures.”
    • “Robert Thompson, the Wall Street Journal editor, who will be the CEO of the new newspaper company, is openly contemptuous of Col Allen and the paper’s low-rent, cowboy atmosphere.” If Robert Thompson is mad at Col Allen, imagine how Robert Thomson feels about Col Allan!
    • The paper is losing a ton of money. Wolff says it’s about $80 million per year, but we’ve heard estimates as high as $110 million.

Joe Kernen Settles a Bet, Plus the Return of Michael Wolff

1003_mockup.gifThreats of yet another winter storm (We’re begging for mercy!) didn’t keep the faithful from Michael’s today. In fact, the dining room was even more crowded than usual as some of the city’s biggest hot shots cooled their heels at the bar and in the lounge as they waited to be seated among the power brokers and media mavens. There was plenty of air kisses and glad handing among the talking heads (Joe Kernen, Rosanna Scotto), television titans (Matt Blank, Henry Schleiff) and fashionable folk (Julie Macklowe). After all, what’s the point of having a power lunch in this town if the right people aren’t there to see it — or write about it? Happy to oblige.

PR maven extraordinaire Catherine Saxton, who has represented some of Manhattan’s most well known swells (and how do you think they got that way?) invited me to join an eclectic and energetic group for lunch today. I was seated between Khashy Eyn and Daniel Hedaya of Platinum Properties and nearly got whiplash as I listened to these real estate wunderkinds regale me with tales of their incredible success since launching their firm in 2005. (Khashy, the firm’s CEO and co-founder, is 31 and Daniel, the president, is all of 26.)  Khashy, who has been in real estate since he was a teenager, came to the United States from Iran when his family fled during the revolution. Daniel, who grew up in Great Neck, dropped out of culinary school before landing a job at a boutique brokerage firm.  Khashy and his sister, co-founder and COO Dezireh Eyn (“The brains of the operation,” says Khashy), launched the company and later tapped Daniel to join them.

(Left to Right) Daniel Hedaya, Diane Clehane, Khashy Eyn, Christian Giovanni Curato, Catherine Saxton and Vicki Downey

Daniel, who will appear in episode seven of  the new season of HG-TV’s Selling New York, told me high rollers and regular folk get the same stellar treatment from the firm.  ”Whether our company is working with a client looking for a $2,500 rental or someone selling a $50 million property, we provide the same level of service. It is very important to us that everyone of our clients receive the same high level of concierge service from us. Manhattan real estate is unlike other markets in the country where the agents handle so many parts of a transaction. Here, we sell or rent the property, negotiate the deal and turn it over to an attorney. But many of our clients want us to handle everything and we do.”

Read more

Report: Al Jazeera Finalizing Deal to Acquire Current TV

A few months ago, Michael Wolff wondered in the pages of USA TODAY - “Who Will Buy Al Gore’s Current TV?” He concluded that an Internet behemoth like The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed or even College Humor might make sense.

But according to a report this afternoon by New York Times media columnist Brian Stelter, the most interested party has turned out to be from far beyond our country’s borders, Web or otherwise:

Rather than simply use Current to distribute its English-language channel, called Al Jazeera English and based in Doha, Qatar, Al Jazeera will create a new channel based in New York, according to people with knowledge of the deal negotiations. The channel may be called Al Jazeera America. Roughly 60 percent of the programming will be produced in the United States, while the remaining 40 percent will come from Al Jazeera English.

Read more

Gawker Lists Its Own Writers Among ’50 Least Important Writers of 2012′

If you’ve already had enough holiday cheer (which means you haven’t had enough holiday alcohol), you’ll probably enjoy Gawker’s list of the 50 Least Important Writers of 2012. And we’re not saying that just because you’re in the mood to hate, but because Gawker included its own staff on the list. Well played, Gawker.

But does Gawker including its own writers on this list mean that the site actually considers all of these people the most important? After all, the fact that they’re listed means that they’re at least somewhat important. Either way, the list is a good waste of time, if you’re looking for one.

Here’s a few other writers that made the cut:

Sorry Mediaite.

Michael Bloomberg Is Maybe Buying The Not-For-Sale Financial Times

All the way back in February of this year, Michael Wolff speculated that Michael Bloomberg was considering purchasing The Financial TimesHowever, a spokesperson for the FT quickly shut the door on that, when he told us that the paper “is not for sale.” Then in October, more rumors about Pearson putting the salmon business paper on the block emerged. Now the New York Times is again bringing up the Bloomberg - FT connection.

Citing “three people close to Mr. Bloomberg,” the Times reports that Bloomberg — along with Reuters, which Wolff called as well — is weighing the pros and cons of buying the FT. Apparently Bloomberg has been caught appreciating the paper and its layout quite a few times, and in typical Bloomberg fashion, even joked about how he’s one of the few people who would even consider purchasing a newspaper in today’s digitally-focused world:

Read more

Leveson Report Suggests News Corp. Cover-Up

The phone hacking scandal report from Judge Brian Leveson, who examined an exhaustive amount of evidence, proposes that News Corp. actively covered up information about the incident. According to Bloomberg News, the 2,000 page report explains that when News Corp. was presented with the hacking claims, it didn’t do nearly enough to investigate them.

“Questions were there to be asked and simple denials should not have been considered sufficient,” explained Leveson, in his report. “This suggests a cover-up by somebody and at more than one level.”

If you’ve been following the phone hacking story, this will come as little surprise to you. But despite Leveson’s claims, it’s worth wondering if anything will change, and if anyone actually wants it to; at least the way Leveson suggests.

Read more

Michael Wolff on Tina Brown: ‘Blind to The Realities of the New World’

Michael Wolff debuts his new USA Today column by taking time to absolutely blast Tina Brown and Newsweek/The Daily Beast. It’s a tired subject, and it would’ve been nice to see something more interesting from Wolff. Oh, and let’s go ahead and take a moment to note the irony of Wolff attacking Brown and the quality of her publication in a USA Today column.

Okay, now for Wolff’s rants:

The most famous magazine editor of her generation is engaged in a desperate and operatic struggle, which almost no one anywhere believes has any chance of success…

“No one anywhere.” That about covers it. But there’s more:

Read more

Bloomberg and Reuters Rumored to Be Vying for Financial Times

Michael Wolff , writing for The Guardian, says that Bloomberg and Reuters are both competing to acquire The Financial Times. A ”senior executive” at Reuters told Wolff that FT had recently turned down an offer from Bloomberg, but it was “in clear discussions” with Reuters.

Wolff explains that gaining the paper would make sense for either company:

It is certainly true that neither Bloomberg nor Thomson Reuters need a newspaper — and yet it is true, too, that it could change the game were one of them to get a major financial news organ (so much so that each would probably do what is necessary to try to prevent the other from getting one — vastly enhancing the value of both the FT and WSJ). Indeed, while neither Pearson nor News Corp are ever going to turn the FT or WSJ into significant earners, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, with their back-end financial information resources, might be able to build a powerful and profitable financial news front end.

He does concede that because the talks are — according to his source — “at an informal level of discussion,” any deal might be far off.

UPDATE:
A Pearson spokesperson emailed us and denied the rumors. ”The FT is a very valued and valuable part of Pearson,” wrote the spokesperson. “It is not for sale.”

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>