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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Wasserman’

Lunch: Barbara Walters, Frank Langella & Kathie Lee Gifford

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was a tasty mix of media mavens, social types and the random celebrity (Frank Langella was in the house!) on the menu at Michael’s today: The dining room was so packed, they were shoehorning tables in everywhere. I was glad I got there early so I was able to grab some of the regulars on the way to their tables before they got down to some serious dining and dishing. Kathie Lee Gifford was one of the first to arrive, announcing, “Ah, springtime!” as she came through the door. She’s got plenty to smile about these days as her latest book, Just When I Thought I’d Dropped My Last Egg (Ballantine), hit the New York Times bestseller list. I just has to ask Kathie Lee what she thought about her pal Joan Rivers winning The Celebrity Apprentice, besting her arch enemy poker player Annie Duke and the nasty showdown the women had on the finale. “I was thrilled for her. Anyone that knows Joan knows she’s a friend to the end — and any time a 75-year-old wins anything, it’s good for all of us!”

I was lunching today with Alexandra Trower, Estee Lauder’s executive vice president of global communications. This consummate public relations pro has been with the company just over a year now, having made the switch from banking (she was SVP of media relations for Bank of America) to the beauty biz. This week, Alex scored a major hit with a front-page story on Estee Lauder’s new CEO Fabrizio Freda in WWD Beauty Biz. We had a terrific chat about the famous faces and captains of industry we’ve both come to know. It’s amazing what a small world Manhattan can be!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Today show twosome Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb with Kathie Lee’s right-hand gal Christine and Hoda’s chic pal Sunny

2. Literary lioness Lynn Nesbitt and Peter Brown

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong dining with Kerry Kennedy and her charming young daughter Michaela

4. Barbara Walters and Frank Langella

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

LA Times Festival of Books: The Writers

We ran into Steve Wasserman who was the editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review. And we also had a cup of coffee with Jerry Berrios who was on the SCV beat for LA Daily News. We also saw Bridgett Kinsella who was the West Coast Editor of Publishers Weekly.

Kinsella pointed out that this is how people have to be introduced now – with the qualifier “he was” or “she was”. It’s part of the current media conversation.

That and Twitter. Before every panel there was an announcement to turn off your cell phones but they want you to Twitter the event and even suggested the hashtag #latfob. We heard at least three people remark, “Why would I care about what someone had for breakfast?” Which lead to the inevitable discussion as to how Twitter is actually useful if you seek breaking news etc. Plus if you’re curious about others breakfast habits…

Anyway, we heard about Twitter angst than Kindle dread. We heard of only one author (there could have been many) that remarked that she wrote books – not whatever was on that thing [the Kindle]. Said author was a poet – so you know those people are up on (ahem) trends.

The ‘Philistine’ Prophecy: LA Times Chops Up Book Reviews

latimesbook.jpgPublishers Weekly writes:

According to a former staffer, the Los Angeles Times is folding its standalone Sunday book review section, laying off two dedicated book editors. The last standalone section will be the July 27 one. Steve Wasserman, a former editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review, sent out an e-mail Monday morning, protesting the changes at the embattled Tribune-owned daily.

Nancy Sullivan, executive director of corporate communications at the paper, would not comment on staff cuts at the paper or that the book review coverage will be placed in the Calendar section of the paper where it will share space with features. She did say that more definitive news would be issued next week and added that the paper “remains committed to book review coverage. What form that takes is what’s under evaluation.”

In his e-mail, co-signed by three other former Review editors, Wasserman said the elimination of the book review section will have an adverse effect on the paper, calling it a “philistine blunder that…will further wound the long-term fiscal health of the newspaper.”

We suggest changing the name of the paper from Los Angeles Times to LiLo and Britney Times. Supply and demand.

Steve Wasserman Joins Truthdig as Book Editor

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GalleyCat’s on the prowl for former LA Times book editor Steve Wasserman. Wasserman’s joined Truthdig, winner of the 2007 Webby Award for Best Political Blog, as book editor. Starting in October, he’ll edit a weekly book review column. He’s still got his day job, as managing director of the Kneerim & Williams literary agency in NYC.

He’d been a contributor to the site, writing most recently about Dean Baquet.

LA Times to Mash-Up Book Reviews, Op-Ed Sections

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LA Observed’s posts about the LA Times move to combine the stand-alone book review and the op-ed section made the SF Chronicle. Heidi Benson got this quote out of former book review editor, Steve Wasserman:

Despite all the seductions of the “infotainment industrial complex,” more people are reading and buying books, and more bookstores are thriving in Los Angeles, than ever before.

Because publishers aren’t at all part of the infotainment world. Or at least they weren’t on Wasserman’s watch, as Mark Sarvas, of The Elegant Variation, reminds us:

The core problem with Steve Wasserman’s tenure as editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review was writ large in his answer to a question I put to him at the recent Los Angeles Festival of Books. I used the occasion of the “Celebrating the Book Review” panel to inquire about LATBR’s propensity for tedious reviews. Wasserman responded that tedium was in the eye of the beholder, and the piece that he’d been proudest of running was a “6,000 word essay on the Spanish Civil War untethered to any existing book.”

Which might be one reason Wasserman isn’t at the LAT.

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