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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Burke’

Exclusive: The Dish on That Book About Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour

LunchAtMichaelsSchool is back in session for the cool kids and they showed up in droves at their favorite cafeteria at 55th and Fifth. Come on, it’s just like high school — but with better clothes. In attendance: NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer and Steve Burke, Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Tom Brokaw, Donny Deutsch and Showtime’s Matt Blank among the media mob scene. It seemed more than a bit ironic that Michael’s looked like an old boys club since I was joined today by Sheila Weller for an exclusive first interview about her new book, The News Sorority (Penguin Press), which chronicles the rise of Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour in television news. While the book’s press release paints the book as a thoughtful, “astute” guide to the behind-the-scenes goings on in television broadcast news and a paean to the accomplishments of these three incredibly ambitious women amid the “impenetrable newsroom boys club,” early reports have instead latched on to the more juicy tales of rivalry and the occasional missteps among the women. Shocking, I know. “It pains me that the news aggregators focused on the catfights,” Sheila told me. “It showed me the knives are out for women who succeed.”

Sheila Weller and Diane Clehane

Sheila Weller and Diane Clehane

What Sheila is referring to is the headline-grabbing items in the New York Daily News and The Daily Beast. The Daily News ran an item on the book for Father’s Day with the headline “Hate-y Katie” and an unflattering picture of her, which, said Sheila, didn’t exactly thrill her rep, Matthew Hiltzik. “I told him I didn’t plant any of it,” she told me. Lloyd Grove PM’d Sheila on Facebook asking: “What’s this book being passed around the networks like a crack pipe?” and then wrote a lengthy piece about the book for The Daily Beast, which recounted some of the more gossipy exchanges involving the women. “Once a book is sent to a media organization, you can’t control what happens with it,” said Sheila. “I was stunned by the Father’s Day item.”

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Fortune Throws a Book Party

Last night Fortune threw a party to celebrate the release of Tap Dancing to Work, Warren Buffett on Practically Everything 1966 – 2012, which was written/edited by Carol Loomis (pictured right) Fortune’s senior editor-at-large. The shindig was held at the fancy Lambs Club.

Those in attendance included Loomis, Buffett, John HueyLloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Brian Roberts, Steve Burke, Becky Quick, Meredith Whitney, Lally Weymouth, Don Graham, Andrew Ross Sorkin and more.

We love how even Buffett had to wear a name tag, as if people didn’t recognize him. “I love this book, but who’s that old guy double-dipping the cocktail sauce? Weirdo.”

[Photo: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Fortune]

NBCUniversal Gets Renewed Commitment From New York State; Upgrades for 30 Rock

NBC’s partnership with Rockefeller Center dates back to 1933, when the 30 Rock address was first called the RCA Building.

That long history will continue as NBCUniversal announced today a major investment in the infrastructure of its New York operations – committing roughly $190 million to a series of upgrades at the company’s 30 Rock headquarters, as well as at other NBCUniversal locations throughout the city.

 To kick things off, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke joined the co-hosts of Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates Cat Cora and Curtis Stone to knock through a wall, and start construction on the company’s new commissary.

The project, which is expected to wrap-up in the second quarter of 2014, includes the renovation of approximately 1.2 million square feet of space within 30 Rock, and upgrading the technical capabilities of its Manhattan facilities to best-in-class, state-of-the-art technology.  Plus, in keeping with the company’s “Green Is Universal” initiative, all aspects of the renovation will employ sustainable materials and processes.

“We’re delighted to announce that NBCUniversal is upping the ante in its decades-long relationship with New York,” Pat Fili-Krushel, executive vice president of NBCUniversal, says. “In addition to investing $190 million and contributing to making New York a greener city, we’re building on an 85-year history that stretches back to the earliest days of broadcast entertainment.”

Vanity Fair Releases its Annual New Establishment List

Vanity Fair has an updated New Establishment list debuting in today’s October issue, so we thought we’d share some of it with you. Once again, Mark Zuckerberg grabs the top spot in a gathering of 50 “buccaneering visionaries, engineering prodigies, and entrepreneurs.”

The New Establishment showcases the best and brightest innovators in the world, or as Graydon Carter describes it, “The Age of Information gives way to a burgeoning Age of Technology.” So no, the guy who invented the Ninja Blender isn’t on it, but there are plenty of others who deserve the recognition.

Here are a few locals who made the cut:

And here’s a bonus for you. After the jump you can check out the top five from Vanity Fair’s newest list, The Powers That Be. This list focuses on the people that shape our world. Again, the Ninja Blender guy failed to make it. Sorry.

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Will Comcast Buy NBC Universal From GE?

nbcu.jpgRumors, theories and conjectures have been swirling since The Wrap reported yesterday that a deal between cable provider Comcast and GE-owned NBC Universal “had already been completed at a purchase price of $35 billion.”

But reps from Comcast later told Bloomberg, “the report that Comcast has a deal to purchase NBC Universal is inaccurate.”

However, that same report revaled that “negotiations for Comcast to buy about 50 percent of NBC Universal have been under way for at least two months.” Such a deal would depend on whether French company Vivendi SA decides to sell its 20 percent stake in NBCU.

After the jump, what some people around the industry are saying about the possible deal.

Update: Our sister blog TVNewser has an email from NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker to employees. Of the future of Vivendi’s stake, Zucker said, “They have not yet made us aware of any final decisions about their future with us; should they choose to exit, there are a number of possible things that could happen.”

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