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Posts Tagged ‘Sara Nelson’

LAT FOB: Publishing 3.0 Panel

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The Publishing 3.0 panel was moderated by the LAT’s David L. Ulin. Panelists were Sara Nelson formerly of Publisher’s Weekly, publisher Richard Nash, goodreads.com founders Otis Chandler and Vromans’ blogger Patrick Brown.

First off, Nash clad in a tie, sporting a British accent, speaks only in sound bites. It’s kind of awesome.

When talking about the media meltdown crisis. “Writing and reading are doing just fine.” Which met applause. “It’s the intermediaries that get these two together [that are struggling].” And,”The 20th century was about supply and the 21st century is about demand.”

Nelson, whom we last saw at BEA hosting the Lewis Black fundraiser concert, agreed with Nash,”The supply chain is broken.” She added,”In 20 years of covering the publishing industry every year someone will say, ‘Last year was the golden era of publishing’.”

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More Layoffs At Publishers Weekly

publishers-weekly-logo.gifPublishers Weekly suffered a painful round of cuts in January that included editor-in-chief Sara Nelson. Yesterday the magazine lost three more- managing editor Robin Lenz, associate editor Craig Morgan Teicher; and senior editor Dermot McEvoy. The layoffs were part of the 7% company-wide downsizing by parent company Reed Business Information, which also owns Variety.

On the LAT’s book blog Jacket Copy, Carolyn Kellog examines the upheaval at the book industry trade magazine.

The publishing industry may be smaller, but it’s facing challenges that are even more complex than Hollywood’s, what with questions of electronic publishing, e-readers, declining readership and inefficient models of distribution.

“The publishing industry needs an on- and offline forum where it can confer about strategy and direction,” said Richard Nash, former publisher of Soft Skull Press. “But it doesn’t appear as if [Publishers Weekly] is going to supply those needs.”

With these layoffs, Publishers Weekly has lost some very Web-savvy staff, particularly associate editor Craig Teicher. He was a go-to guy for electronic publishing and the Web; as a bonus, he also covered poetry. Firing him, Nash says, “does seem like a counterproductive development.” The staff cuts throw the company’s commitment to new media into question.

David Carr and Others Attempt to Spell for Charity

clmp-2009-spelling-bee.jpgOn Monday night (known across the land as the night before the election) the CLMP (Council of Literary Magazines and Presses) hosted its annual spelling bee fundraiser. The line-up of spellers showcased the spelling talents of some well known media types including Harper Collins’ Jonathan Burnham, the NYT‘s David
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, The New Yorker‘s Judith Thurman, Michael Musto from the Village Voice, and PW‘s Sara Nelson among others. The night was moderated by former Times Style Sectioner Bob Morris — sadly Alex Kuczynski was a last-minute no-show The Bee was held at Diane Von Furstenburg’s studio on west W 14th st, and in keeping with the theme all the words were related to fashion. It’s harder than you think!

Most of the pre Bee chatter appeared to revolve either around the next day’s election or everyone’s dependence on spell check, ourselves included. We fully admit to not being the best of spellers, and judging by how quickly the star line-up went down (“eyelet” was the first word to take someone out) we are not alone! Before being given his second word (crewelwork) David Carr took a moment to mention that his copy desk had had a good laugh that morning when they’d seen an invite to the event listing him as a “speller,” then he asked for a definition of crewelwork that didn’t include his job. Watch the video of what happened next after the jump. Oh yes, in the end Jonathan Burnham walked away triumphant after spelling “astigmatism” correctly.

*We stole this photo from Galley Cat‘s Ron Hogan who, we happen to know, is a very good speller!

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Lunch at Michael’s: Ralph Lauren Is Into Leather

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgFashion designers are a strange bunch. These arbiters of style often appear in some head-scratching ensembles that, if they were mere mortals, would land them squarely in “What were they thinking?” territory. We’re always on the lookout for the sartorially splendid during our weekly visits to 55th & Fifth, so we were really excited to hear Ralph Lauren was coming today. Imagine our surprise when the man who perfected WASP and western chic moseyed on into the dining room sporting what for all the world looked like leather-fringed chaps. A new fashion statement from his upcoming collection? We surely hope not.

We were even more intrigued when a little birdie told lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane it was likely the first time fashion’s $10 billion man was in the same room with biographer extraordinaire Michael Gross, who penned the deliciously dishy tome Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren. New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn praised the book in her review, saying it “hacks through the hype and half-truths” of Lauren’s far flung lifestyle empire. We’re pleased to report the two gentlemen remained on opposite ends of the room, keeping things oh so civilized.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

Table 1. Ralph Lauren and a table full of business types.

2. Peter Brown.

3. Attention parrot heads: An almost unrecognizable Jimmy Buffett — in a blue blazer and dress shirt! — with two guests. (Mr. Mayor, were art thou?)

4. Jeffrey Katzenberg. The DreamWorks CEO was sporting his signature California casual look (v-neck and T-shirt). He passed the time waiting (?!) for his guest by sipping iced tea and reclining back in his chair elbows akimbo. When a blonde gal in a black power suit finally arrived to join him, we recognized the face, but no one seemed to know her name …

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Lunch at Michael’s: Wesley Clark & A Model Mystery

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgWe missed Jane Fonda by a day. Today’s lunch crowd was lacking the star power we’ve come to expect on our weekly visits so while we were disappointed our usual perch at the bar had been usurped by an unidentified exec, we didn’t miss much from our less than stellar seat a few stools down. We were, though, happy to spot our pal Jack Kliger. Lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane chatted up the Hachette honcho about the latest celebrity implosion that’s got everyone buzzing — the Rosie O’Donnell trainwreck that left the station at Monday’s Matrix Awards and crashed and burned with today’s surprise announcement that she is leaving The View in mid-June due to a reported contract dispute.

Kliger was among the stunned crowd of media elite that had to suffer through O’Donnell’s profane performance as emcee of the event that had her soon to be ex-boss Barbara Walters laying her face in her hands from her seat on the dais alongside such luminaries as Hillary Clinton and Arianna Huffington. “It was absolutely disgusting,” he said, adding that the editors from Woman’s Day and other Hachette books at his table were equally sickened by the comedian’s performance. The veteran magazine executive, who knows a thing or two about working with celebrities (remember George?), says it was O’Donnell’s ill-fated stint helming her own magazine was the “turning point” against launching further titles with stars moonlighting as editors. “We’ve learned that you can cover celebrities without giving celebrities their own magazine.” For every Oprah, says Kliger, there are scores of over-inflated egos and Hollywood headcases that are deluded into thinking they can run a magazine. “I was getting at least a proposal week,” he recalls of those days when O’Donnell was still masquerading as “The Queen of Nice.” Everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Jane Pauley(“she was talking to everyone”) was interested in adding the title of editor-in-chief to their resumes — with no personal investment, of course, he recalls. Long before the 2,000 attendees of Matrix witnessed what seemed like O’Donnell’s latest effort at career suicide, Kliger told fellow publishing bigwigs they were crazy to tie their bottom line to the star. “She’s a time bomb.” No kidding.

The rest of the crowd:

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Lunch at Michael’s: All Hail Tina Brown!

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When a little birdie told us to switch our weekly reservation from Wednesday to Thursday so as not to miss the confab of publishing powerhouses that were expected today, we did so in a heartbeat. We’re happy to report today’s crowd didn’t disappoint. Where else could you see Newsweek honcho Jon Meacham bow down to Tina Brown at Mayor Joe Armstrong‘s table, or watch a gaggle of social swans fawn over Project Runway breakout star Tim Gunn while cooling their Jimmy Choos in the lounge? The worlds of substance and style collided today at 55th & Fifth.

The results kept us so busy gawking that we barely finished our salad nicoise:

1. Mayor Joe Armstrong presiding over one of his legendary lunches with a host of truly impressive guests. Tina Brown arrived looking every inch the power blonde in black leather and was greeted with great fanfare by all including an enthusiastic hug from neighboring diner and former Condé Nast colleague Shirley Lord. We can’t wait for Tina’s new book, The Diana Chronicles, due out in June from Doubleday with an excerpt to run in Vanity Fair. Word is she breaks big news about the People’s Princess. We can’t imagine what’s left to reveal, but we’re all ears! Joe kept the conversation flowing among pals Liz Smith, Newsweek‘s Jon Meacham, ABC News producer Kathy O’Hearn, Random House’s Susan Mercandetti (who edited Bob Woodruff‘s new book, In An Instant. The ABC newsman’s tale of recovery following his near-death experience in Iraq as written mainly by his wife will debut at number one on the Times bestseller list Sunday, March 16. Couldn’t happen to nicer guy!).

Always the gentleman, Joe took time out from keeping things lively to introduce lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane to two of his other guests, Vanity Fair correspondent Marie Brenner and Newsweek scribe Holly Peterson. We’ve been fans of Marie’s ever since she took on the tobacco industry in a piece that became the basis for The Insider. Joe teased that her upcoming expose on Guantanamo Bay for Vanity Fair will be even more explosive. We’re really intrigued by Holly’s new book, The Manny, — which earned her $1 million for the book and movie rights. (Not bad for a first timer.) The novel taps into the cultural zeitgeist by chronicling the fictional exploits of a male nanny who does more for Upper East Side yummy mummies than look after their kiddies. The sure-to-be-bestseller is also due out here in June from HarperCollins but is already selling like mad in the U.K.

2. Shirley Lord & Peter Brown.

3. Charlie Rose and Zoe Baird. The talkshow host looking more debonair than usual (the no tie look really works for you, Charlie) held Ms. Baird’s rapt attention throughout lunch — must have been a very intriguing tale …

4. ‘Entourage’ East: EMI president Charlie Walk with four black-suited young gents.

5. Herb Siegal.

6. Freddy Gershorn and Steve Swid.

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Lunch at Michael’s: Valentine’s Hangover

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It’s the calm after the storm. The biggest — and only — snow storm of the season couldn’t keep the movers and shakers away yesterday. On Valentine’s Day the bustling dining room was host to a “low-key” birthday celebration hosted by Sherry Westin for Mayor Bloomberg, who received kudos all around for the bang up job he’s doing. (The big question everyone was asking: is he running for president? Why not? Everyone else is!) We, not of the Town Car set, postponed our weekly visit a day so as not to slog it out with the elements. We’re pleased to report all is right with the world once again: regulars and boldface names mixed it up amicably over the hum of pleasant media conversation.

Here’s the rundown:

1. Blonde ambition: Liz Smith and Cynthia McFadden with a lovely looking lady we didn’t recognize. Note to Liz: we’re impressed by how neat your desk and office looks in the new Vanity Fair. Who knew orderliness was the secret to longevity!

2. A casually clad Henry Schlieff.

3. Five fashionable types (from Palm Beach, we’re told) including Iris Cantor and Larry Kaiser.

4. Hachette’s Jack Kliger with Jay Kriegel and Jim Abernathy.

5. Lou Cona and a bevy of female staffers.

6. Frederic DeNarp.

7. Author and radio host Lisa Birnbach and Alexandra Trower.

8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia and a petite blonde pal who passed the time waiting for DPC (“I couldn’t get a cab!”) by chatting with Kathie Lee Gifford.

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