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Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Grimes’

Sandra Lee Serves Up a New Magazine and Novel; Hoda Kotb Celebrates Book Number Two with Today Show Gang

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Every time I think it can’t get anyone more Fellini-esque at 55th and Fifth, another Wednesday at Michael’s proves me wrong. All that was missing today was a lion tamer and clown shot out of a cannon. There were so many ‘acts’ going on simultaneously I hardly knew where to look.

While I dined with Food Network star Sandra Lee (and tried my best to hear her over the roar of the crowd even though we were sitting next to each other), there was an intimate party of 20 for Hoda Kotb being thrown by her Today show co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.  The gals were celebrating the release of Hoda’s new book, Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives (Simon & Schuster).  Hoda and Kathie Lee, who spend more time together than most married couples, looked fresher than springtime in Crayola colored (sleeveless!) dresses and were the first to arrive for the noontime fete. Minutes later, the back corner of the front room was jammed with members of the Today show, as well as plenty of well-dressed gals who were there to toast Hoda. The gang was really whooping it up and, of course, a camera man was there to capture it all for posterity or, more likely, for tomorrow’s fourth hour of Today.

I arrived a few minutes before noon to meet Sandra Lee and she came right in the door behind me. After spending just a few minutes with her, it’s easy to see why the creator of the phenomenally successful Semi-Homemade brand is one of the Food Network’s biggest stars. She’s the in-the-know girlfriend who everyone wishes they had.  Within minutes, we were trading tips on our favorite places to shop for bargains. For cake decorating, hers is New York Cake & Baking  on 22nd and Sixth for the most divine sugar roses — “You can get a whole batch for under $10!”

Diane Clehane and Sandra Lee

She arrived laden with proofs for the next issue of her new magazine with TV Guide Magazine named — what else? – Sandra Lee. They’ve already published a Christmas issue, and the January/February “Love” issue is out now. EIC Sandra is in the midst of editing the Easter issue and told me she was trying to explain to a male staffer earlier today why birds’ nests made from shredded coconut should be dyed green instead of brown. It’s all in the details. As the faithful viewers of Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee (now in its 15th season!) know, no one does holidays like her. (“I am working on my latest Cher incarnation. Every Halloween I have to do Cher!”) The Emmy winner covers it all  from the recipes to the cocktails to her trademark ‘tablescapes’ (my personal favorite) to help viewers enjoy entertaining at home without the heavy-handed pretense, over the top expense or work intensive preparation that no one has time for anyway. When I asked her where he love of holidays came from she told me, “When I was a child we didn’t celebrate holidays so when I was 18, that was it. It was Halloween, Christmas and Easter every day.”

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Rachael Ray Finds New Editor-In-Chief For Every Day

In his Media Ink column for NYPost.com, Keith Kelly reports that Liz Vaccariello will fill the editor-in-chief post at Every Day with Rachael Ray.  Readers Digest Association’s North American affinities president Suzanne Grimes said Vaccariello edged out about 30 people for the position due to her solid relationship with Ray:

“They have nice chemistry on the air, she gets Rachael and her brand and she gets TV. We obviously wanted someone who was a great magazine editor who also had chemistry with Rachael.”
While Ray oversees her own brand by managing her daytime TV show and cookbook series,  Reader’s Digest Association supervises Every Day.  The magazine underwent some major staff changes this past summer when editor-in-chief Silvana Nardone and creative director Tracy Everding both resigned.  Nardone was at the helm during Ray’s rise to superstardom, however she apparently fell out of favor with Ray because of their lack of on-air chemistry.

Reader’s Digest Names New Integrated Sales VP

maureenpic.JPG Reader’s Digest Association is making good on its promise of major restructuring after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

Despite layoffs late last month, today the news is good at the Reader’s Digest publisher, with Maureen Polo announced as the new VP of Integrated Sales and Marketing for the company’s U.S. Affinities, replacing Mark Wildman as of November 9.

Before joining RDA in 2007, Polo worked in sales for Condé Nast Media Group, Domino and Self, and she started her career at This Old House.

Polo will be working in RDA’s recently created U.S. Affinities division, led by Suzanne Grimes, which combined the company’s Food & Entertaining group with a Home & Garden affinity last month.

Full press release, after the jump.

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Reader’s Digest Reorganizes, Shuffles Execs

Scan_RGB.jpgLess than one month after announcing plans to enter Chapter 11 in order to reorganize its debt, the Reader’s Digest Association has renamed and reorganized its U.S. business operations and shuffled its top executives around.

Suzanne Grimes (right), currently president of Food & Entertaining at RDA, will now become president of a new group called “U.S. Affinities,” which will combine the Food & Entertaining group with a Home & Garden affinity. Alyce Alston, current president of Home & Garden and Health & Wellness, will take over a new division called “Emerging Businesses,” which will oversee the development of new businesses for the company.

The “Reader’s Digest Community” division, which focuses on “growing and nurturing the Reader’s Digest brand, magazine and related products,” will continue to be led by Eva Dillon and will remain outside of the affinity structure, RDA said.

As part of the reorganization, Neil Wertheimer, the editor of RDA’s Home & Garden and Health & Wellness divisions will now become vice president and editor-in-chief, of Emerging Businesses and Content Development.

Grimes, Alston and Dillon will all report to CEO Mary Berner, who said the affinity structure first adopted by the company in 2007 “has helped the company grow advertising market share and build customer communities, strengthening relations with both consumers and advertisers.” All three presidents came to RDA in 2007 and came by way of Conde Nast — Grimes was VP of Conde Nast Media Group, Alston worked as group publisher for W and Dillon served as VP and founding publisher of Cookie

The full release after the jump

Earlier: Reader’s Digest Plans To Restructure Debt Through Ch. 11

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Gourmet Choice: Condé Names Names New Media VP

Amy_Churgin.jpgWWD suggested earlier today that Condé Nast was having some trouble finding a replacement for Suzanne Grimes, who was poached by her former boss and new Reader’s Digest chief Mary Berner. Well, they found one:

Amy Churgin Named Senior Vice President, Condé Nast Media Group

Amy Churgin has been named Senior Vice President of the Condé Nast Media Group overseeing Corporate Sales, it was announced today by Richard D. Beckman, President, Condé Nast Media Group and Chief Marketing Officer, Condé Nast Publications. Her appointment is effective immediately.

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