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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Beckman’

Eliot Spitzer, a Party for Angela Cummings and the Story Behind the New Bernie Madoff Documentary

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In keeping with the usual head-spinning weekly scene that is Wednesdays at Michael’s, the joint was jumping today. It was SRO in the front dining room and at the bar where producer Beverly Camhe was holding court with fellow producer Marc Altshuler and writer/directors Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek in celebration of their upcoming documentary In God We Trust Who Pays for His Crime on the Bernie Madoff scandal. The film will debut in the highly coveted Friday night slot at the Tribeca Film Festival next week.

Bev tells me the tickets for the highly anticipated film sold out in ten minutes when they went on sale at with American Express last night, and they are currently looking for a theater to handle the overflow. For those of you who missed the boat entirely, there’s always pay per view. Bev says anyone who sees the film should prepare to be shocked. “Don’t believe what you’ve heard. You’ll be surprised to know who knew what and when they knew it.” For the record, Bev believes that both Madoff sons, the late Mark Madoff and Andrew Madoff, didn’t know anything. I would have loved to have explored that very topic myself when I spotted Mark at Michael’s last spring, but he bolted before I could ask him anything about their father’s massive Ponzi scheme. “Bernie was a bi-polar sociopath, so it’s entirely possible he was able to keep it from them,” says Bev.  I asked Marc if they’d heard from any of the Madoffs or insiders since they began production, and he told me, “They’ve been oddly quiet. I’m surprised they even stayed in New York.” Some people have no shame.

Mickey Ateyeh and Angela Cummings

Not all the action was in the main dining room. I was invited to the swanky lunch held in the Garden Room for Angela Cummings today celebrating the launch of her new collection with Assael. Mickey Ateyeh, Angela’s long time BFF and business partner gathered 24 New York power gals – the ladies who never eat lunch who actually lunched today – for an intimate gathering.  The first to arrive was Liz Smith followed by a veritable who’s who in New York social and business circles, including Paula Zahn, Linda Fairstein, Jackie Leo,  Barbara Taylor Bradford, Christy Ferer, who is in hot pursuit for her company’s next CEO (Anyone?), Fern Mallis, DuJour‘s Cindy Lewis and Judy Licht

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Sharon Waxman Paints Ugly THR Picture; Janice Min Responds

In the wake of Richard Beckman’s exit from Prometheus Global Media and replacement by Dottie Mattison, TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman digs into the finances of the east coast firm’s main media holding, The Hollywood Reporter. According to her unnamed sources, it’s not pretty:

TheWrap spoke to two individuals with knowledge of the company who say that The Hollywood Reporter will lose $6 million in 2012. That is not hard to believe, given the thin number of ad pages that populate the magazine most of the year.

To be sure, Hollywood likes the magazine, and credit goes to editor Janice Min for making it a lively, attractive read. But with only 12,000 paying subscribers – according to several insiders – out of what they claim is a circulation of 70,000, the business model is not working.

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Richard Beckman Ankles THR Parent Company Prometheus

It makes sense that an outlet owned by Prometheus Global Media would break news of a significant though not altogether unexpected boardroom shuffle. On this lazy summer afternoon, perhaps in a deliberate bit of PR timing, first word of CEO Richard Beckman’s departure belongs to Adweek:

“I came to Prometheus with a strategic vision for the company and, having been fortunate to work with a group of talented individuals on these storied brands, I am proud of what we accomplished here over the last two and a half years. I wish them continued success in the future,” stated Beckman.

“Richard was an important part of our brands’ success in these past years, and we wish him all the best in the future,” stated James Finkelstein, chairman of Prometheus Global Media.

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Eliot Spitzer on CNN’s Identity Crisis: ‘There’s No Objectivity in Network News’

1003_mockup.gifIt was the usual Wednesday mix of moguls (Jon Tisch), media men (Richard Beckman, Mike Perlis) and television honchos (Henry Schleiff) today at Michael’s. With this Type A crowd, summer vacations are for slackers — at least until August. From the looks of things, there were plenty of deals being done (or at least pitched) between bites.

I was joined today by Eliot Spitzer and Lisa Linden. The last time the three of us had lunch, New York’s former governor was headlining his own show on CNN, In The Arena, which replaced the short-lived Parker Spitzer which he launched with co-host Kathleen Parker in 2010. About a year ago, CNN boss Ken Jautz cancelled In The Arena in a shakeup of the network’s primetime lineup. “I’m very happy with the show we did and the ratings we got, which were good to compared to what they’re getting now,” Eliot told me.  Not surprisingly, he says he prefers and is better suited for Current TV’s politically charged environment. “Current has an ideology. There’s no pretense; we’re open about it. CNN tries very hard to position itself as an non-ideological news network, but there’s no objectivity in network news. It would be better for all of us if we just accepted that.” Therein lies the major issue with his former employer’s rating woes, says Eliot: ”CNN has a serious question of what it is and they’ve got to answer that.”

Having stepped in seemingly hours after Keith Olbermann was booted from Current TV, Eliot took to the airwaves with the aptly titled Viewpoint in Olbermann’s old time slot with no promotional campaign or PR machine to attract viewers (although Olbermann’s own campaign to get his side of the story out gave the fledgling network plenty of attention). But the show does have co-founder Al Gore‘s support (he’s been a guest on Viewpoint) and Eliot says Joel Hyatt is very involved in the “day-to-day” running of the network. “They have been great. I’ve known Al since 1999 and I like him very much. He’s a great guy.” (BTW you can see what Joel had to say about all those supposed dust-ups with Olbermann in this Mediabistro interview.)

Eliot Spitzer and Diane Clehane
Eliot Spitzer and Diane Clehane

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Richard Beckman Denies Sale of Prometheus

Early today The New York Post ran with a rumor about Prometheus Global Media – the company that publishes Brandweek, Mediaweek, Adweek, The Hollywood Reporter and others – being sold.

The report stated that the investors behind Prometheus were looking for a 50 percent premium on the initial price paid for the company. As with any rumor, there were conflicting views, as a spokesperson for the investing company told the Post that the company is not being sold.

Now, Richard Beckman, CEO of Prometheus, has spoken up on the issue via a company-wide memo, which was obtained by The Cutline.  Not only does Beckman deny the sale, he states that it is looking to expand.

It’s wise to view anything Beckman says with a bit of skepticism. The guy’s nickname is Mad Dog, and as we can all remember from college, things named Mad Dog shouldn’t be trusted.

Hollywood Reporter Owner Discounts New York Post Story

The parent company of the Hollywood ReporterPrometheus Global Media, takes its name from the Greek god who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. This week, THR editor-in-chief Janice Min and now parent company chairman-CEO Richard Beckman (pictured) have been busy trying to put out separate “exclusive” media fires.

In an internal email sent out this morning to Prometheus employees, Beckman refutes today’s New York Post story by Claire Atkinson (posted online Thursday), which alleges that 15 months after paying $70 million for the Reporter and other name brand media properties, one of the backers, Guggenheim Partners, is desperately looking to bail.

Full text of Beckman’s email after the jump. A week ago, the Reporter trumpeted huge Web traffic gains for the month of February, coming in ahead of The Daily Beast and other competitors with a unique visitors total of 3.5 million.

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Hollywood Reporter Parent Company ‘e5 Global Media’ Rebrands

Only 10 months ago, the business consortium e5 Global Media came together to purchase the popular b2b mags The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, and Mediaweek from Nielsen. They promptly made huge changes, particularly at THR, where they replaced Elizabeth Guider with Janice Min as editorial director and have made plans to turn the mag high-class glossy. Now, Paidcontent is reporting, e5 is rebranding themselves “Prometheus Global Media”– a name which will carry “more weight and gravitas in the marketplace” according to CEO Richard Beckman. The name change will officially go down tomorrow.

We like what we’ve seen from this group so far. We here at FBLA love hiring sprees, which is what’s been happening at THR since e5 took over. So here’s hoping the whole Prometheus thing works out for them. Not so sure we’d want to be named after a mythical Greek figure who gets his liver eaten every day by a big vulture. But, to each his own.

Elizabeth Guider Leaves Editor Post At The Hollywood Reporter

Although the writing has been on the wall for months, Elizabeth Guider made it official today as she stepped down as editor from The Hollywood Reporter

Guider’s fate was sealed back in January with THR‘s takeover by e5 Global Media CEO Richard Beckman and subsequent appointment of former Us Weekly editor Janice Min as new editorial director.  The magazine is heading in a new direction and will depart from the five-times-a-week publication to print one weekly magazine.

According to THR‘s announcement, Guider stepped down for “personal family issues” and cited a “desire to finish a book.”  Guider joined The Hollywood Reporter in 2007 following a stop as executive editor of Variety. 

During Guider’s tenure, THR launched a daily New York edition with morning distribution to New York subscribers as well as communities in major East Coast cities.  THR‘s Premier Edition is available on Manhattan newsstands each weekday morning.  Guider will continue to contribute to the magazine on a freelance basis.

Michael Wolff of Vanity Fair Named e5 Global Media Editorial Director

Known for his combative style of journalism, Michael Wolff, the Vanity Fair columnist and co-founder of Newser.com, is ready to pick some more fights in the industry.  According to The New York Times, Wolff has signed on as an editorial director with e5 Global Media. 

The new role will put Wolff in charge of a number of publications, most notably Adweek,  Mediaweek and Brandweek.  Wolff has no plans for softening his usual abrasive methods and believes that ”one fight makes you one hundred friends.”

He certainly has the support of e5 chief executive, Richard Beckman, who referred to Wolff as “controversial” and went on to say that “If you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs.”

Wolff will continue to work as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, however he will now write longer-form articles in place of his previous media column.

Chris Matthews Stops by Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Now that summer is unofficially over and the glitterati have shuttered their cottages in the Hamptons, the regulars have begun to trickle into Michael’s for catch-up power lunches. Things weren’t exactly operating at full tilt today, but there were enough media mavens and moguls scattered around the dining room to signal that the city’s busy social season is upon us. So, pack up those summer whites and buckle down. It’s back to business.

I was joined today by jewelry designer Lisa Salzer and my good pal Miriam Driot, who is handling international public relations and marketing for Lisa’s line of vintage costume jewelry, Lulu Frost. The gals were all abuzz about Lisa’s first-ever Fashion Week presentation with live models at MAC & Milk Studio next Monday. Lisa says the show will have an “elegant, fifties feel” and feature Mad Men-inspired period clothes from Amarcord. Despite the frenzy going on in showrooms all over town, this afternoon Lisa was the embodiment of Grace Kelly cool. “It’s the calm before the storm,” she joked.

In just six years, Lisa went from being a Dartmouth college student who sold jewelry out of her dorm room to respected talent whose vintage pieces are carried in Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and overseas in Paris and Japan. “It’s my passion,” she said. She also told me she inherited her love of all that glitters from her grandmother who ran an antique estate jewelry firm in England.

When I asked her how her business has been affected by the lingering recession, she said: “We’ve been lucky. Things have been very good. Because the collection is costume, women are still buying the pieces they love. It’s much different than selling apparel.” I’ll say. In fact, Lisa is so optimistic about her clients’ bling obsession that she’s planning to launch a fine jewelry collection next year.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Diana Taylor and Susan Mercandetti

2. Terry Allen Kramer and James Nederlander

3. Women’s Day‘s Carlos Lamadrid

4. Public relations scion Steve Rubenstein

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