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Posts Tagged ‘Rod Blagojevich’

Lunch: A Smiling Anna Wintour, Hungry Brian Williams, & A Tasty Mogul Stew



They were dishing like it was 1999 today at Michael’s where it was SRO at the bar and in the lounge and filled with movers and shakers of every stripe in the dining room. I got a serious case of whiplash trying to keep track of it all. Between keeping an eye on Anna Wintour, who seemed to swoon over Vivi Nevo‘s every word, and watching Brian Williams and Universal honcho Ron Meyer tuck into their lunch with unbridled gusto, I found the scene even more fascinating than usual. Another intriguing phenomenon was the steady stream of suits that poured into the restaurant until it nearly overflowed. Was there a noontime shuttle from Brooks Brothers? Or perhaps, in some circles, the expense account in making a comeback. Here’s hoping…

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. A casually clad Charlie Rose, who explained why he was wearing Chuck Taylors with his pinstripe suit: “I worked out earlier this morning.” The PBS talk show host was with two mystery guests.

2. Anna Wintour and Vivi Nevo. The Vogue editrix seemed completely enraptured by the Israeli venture capitalist. Whatever could have made her smile so much?

3. Hollywood casting agent Bonnie Timmermann with Law & Order SVU star Richard Belzer and literary agent David Vigliano. Belzer entertained his pals throughout lunch by reading stories aloud from a pile of old issues of Star magazine. I’m thinking Richard is considering writing a book based on some tabloid tales. Sounds interesting.

4. Glued to his Blackberry throughout the first half of lunch, a tie-less Harvey Weinstein with James Neaderlander and another business type. The group all gave Bonnie Timmermann a big ‘hello.’

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Struggling Tribune Co. to Pay for Zell’s Lawyer in Blago Case

Sam_Zell_03_CMYK222.jpgDivorce yourself from the fact that the LA Times is melting. Don’t think of how the home of the late humorist, H.L. Mencken – the Baltimore Sun (also a Tribune Co holding) is now a shell of its former self.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Financially strapped Tribune Co. plans to pay the legal bills of Chairman and Chief Executive Sam Zell, who has been interviewed as a potential witness in the federal corruption investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, according to a company filing Tuesday in bankruptcy court.

Sam Zell is a freaking billionaire! Billion. Billionaire. Tycoon. Mogul. Has money. Not broke. Not worried about his health care or 401K. Billionaire.

He can’t pay his own legal bills? Just this once? This time? Serious?

Morning Media Menu With Todd Mason of Mason Media Group

mornmm.gifToday on the Morning Media Menu we’re joined by Todd Mason, CEO of Mason Media Group. We talk to Mason about the changing public relations industry — and how companies like his are adjusting to the trends. We also discuss how other outside factors, like the economy and new technology, affect the PR world.

And, not to be missed, we opine on Rod Blagojevich‘s blossoming reality star career, and whether a third party site that allows newspapers to charge for content could be a success. You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321. Coming up this week: PRNewser’s Jason Chupick.

Mediabistro Blog-Family Roundup


  • Wall Street Journal to charge more for online content- FishbowlNY

  • Literary agent Jarred Weisfeld on Rod Blagojevich‘s book deal- GalleyCat
  • STEP Inside Design and Dynamic Graphics magazine both fold- UnBeige
  • A conflict-of-interest-off between Dan Abrams and Jon Fine- WebNewser
  • Nancy Grace buys Girl Scout cookies for overseas troops- TVNewser
  • Morning Media Menu: February 4

    mornmm.gifToday on the Menu we are joined (straight off the set) by CBS’ The Early Show anchor Maggie Rodriguez, who interviewed former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and who is set to interview Hero of the Hudson, Captain Sullenberger, along with his crew and a number of survivors, next Monday. Rodriguez talks about how she prepared for both interviews (talk about opposite ends of the media spectrum!) and how it was necessary to dig for something different to offer her viewers.

    As for her time with Blagojevich Rodriguez says “in person everyone [at CBS] thought he was incredibly charming.” However! He’s also “an interesting case study in delusion and self-destruction.”

    We also discuss (once again) whether paid content is the future of the New York Times, and the DTV transition — 13 days and counting. You can listen to the podcast live every morning at 9amET on and call in at 646-929-0321. You can also subscribe to the iTunes feed of the podcast by clicking the “iTunes” button.

    Morning Media Menu: January 27

    mornmm.gifToday on Morning Media Menu — our audio podcast based around the Morning Newsfeed and blog network — Nightline‘s Cynthia McFadden joins us fresh off yesterday’s interview with Rod Blagojevich to talk about using expletives, whether Blago is fully aware of what’s happening to him, and the Hair! Also up for discussion: has the media jumped the shark over Obama.

    Today in Blagojevich: Tribune Co. Acknowledges Subpoena

    402007larsen.gifOh the travails of the Tribune Co. Here’s the latest. The company has confirmed that it has in fact received a federal subpoena as part of criminal charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The “close associate” of Sam Zell who was allegedly approached by Blago’s people for “help”, and is now being interviewed by the FBI, has been identified as Nils Larsen. According to the Chicago Tribune Larsen is the “38-year-old financial whiz who was instrumental in Zell’s takeover of Tribune Co.” A deal Zell now concedes perhaps wasn’t as well thought out as it could have been.

    Whether Larsen ever attempted to apply pressure to Tribune officials remained unclear.

    At the news conference announcing the arrests, U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald declined to say how far the effort went, “other than the person who was identified as a person to be fired was not fired and still works there today.”

    It should be noted that the Tribune Co. and Zell maintain they did nothing wrong and that none of the Trib‘s editorial members were fired.

    Chi-Town Huffpo Hits Pay Dirt


    Huffington Post launched it’s first local blog on Chicago in July of this year.

    Yes, it was obvious by June that local boy, former South Side ‘community organizer’ Barack Obama was the democratic nominee for president. But who could have seen all that was to come?

    First, shocker, Barack Hussein Obama actually wins the presidency of the United States. Yes, it was one of two outcomes – but no one saw it coming.

    So score one for Chicago local beat.

    Then angry hottie Congressman from Illinois’ fifth congressional district Rahm Emanuel gets tapped to be chief of staff.

    Chicago politics are then on the map. And about to pack up and move to DC.

    Then amazingly in the same week the Tribune Company (publisher of the Chicago Tribune) files for bankruptcy, the governor, Rod Blagojevich is caught red handed (er open handed) by another local hottie US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

    How perfect a pick for Huffington Post? So just as the most juicy national news was just about to be concentrated in one tiny specific region – that’s the test city for the first local edition for Huffpo?!

    We don’t believe in psychics – but we’d put money on their Super Bowl pick.

    Tribune and Tribune Co. Issue Blagojevich Statements

    43789308.jpgWe have to imagine this is just the beginning. Earlier today the Chicago Tribune released a statement which basically says it held back on reporting certain parts of the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich story at the request of the U.S. attorney’s office. Fine. This story may turn out to be the best thing that has happened to the Tribune. We shall see.

    Just now the Tribune Co. released its own statement saying “the actions of the company, its executives and advisors working on the disposition of Wrigley Field have been appropriate at all times.” Says Gerould Kern, editor of the Chicago Tribune: “No one within Tribune Company has ever complained to me about the positions taken by our editorial board, or attempted to influence our coverage of the governor in any way.” We shall see. But wow the Tribune Co. is having a crappy week. Full release after the jump.

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    Illinois Gov. Corruption Charges Involve Tribune Co.

    09illinois2-600.jpgThis stranger-than-fiction election year just absolutely refuses to die. Curious what people are referring to when they say “Chicago Politics?” Well looks like we are about to get a healthy dose, and then some. You may have already heard that earlier this morning Chicago Governor Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY-uh-vich) was arrested on corruption charges for possibly trying to sell Barack Obama‘s vacant Senate seat (and people here are freaking out cause our awesome Governor might give it to a Kennedy!).

    Apparently Blagojevich is on tape saying “Unless I get something real good s***, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying [a Senate seat] is a f***ing valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.” Which, you know, is probably true in every state just not something as governor you necessarily SAY OUT LOUD. But it gets better! And by better we mean the newly bankrupt Tribune Co. is involved.

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