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Posts Tagged ‘Walter Isaacson’

Walter Isaacson, Harvey Weinstein and Johnny Weir I Linda Fairstein Emcees Authors In Kind

LunchAtMichaelsHallelujah! What better way to celebrate the first day when it actually felt like springtime in the city than to dine and dish at two jammed packed Manhattan power lunches. This being Wednesday, we of course made our weekly pilgrimage to Michael’s to observe the famous and fabulous in their natural habitat and then hot-footed it over to The Metropolitan Club for the Annual Authors in Kind Literary Luncheon, benefiting God’s Love We Deliver. At 55th and Fifth, the joint was jumping with plenty of media mavens (David Zaslav, Henry Schleiff), talking heads (Joe Kernen, Jim Murphy and Star Jones), serious scribes (Walter Isaacson) and the random celebrity of the week — none other than Johnny Weir. I wished I’d gotten to talk to Johnny about his oh-so-messy divorce. Heaven knows what he would have said. Oh well, next time.

Johnny Weir, Bonnie FullerUptown at the Metropolitan Club, I joined Michael’s regular Mickey Ateyeh (“Oh my God! I didn’t realize this was on a Wednesday!”) for the Authors In Kind Luncheon, which was emceed by another Michael’s pal Linda Fairstein (we’ll be dishing for this column about her next book, Terminal City, in June). Having never been to this event before, it was truly a memorable afternoon. Before lunch, the authors slated to speak at the luncheon — Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Anthony and Robin Cook — signed books they generously donated to the attendees. Spotted in the crowd:  60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl and Grand Central Publishing’s Deb Futter. Before everyone sat down to eat, I chatted with Assael’s Lawrence Lewis and Mickey. Angela Cummings for Assael, was one of the event’s sponsors along with CH Carolina Herrera, so it was quite the elegant affair. But behind the glitz and glamour that went along with the swanky surroundings, the inspiring and uplifting tone to the event, which was set beautifully by God’s Love We Deliver president & CEO Karen Pearl, carried the day. Karen shared the stories of several clients whose battles with life-altering illnesses were made more bearable to them and their families because of the organization’s nutrious meals and personalized care. She thanked the volunteers who prepare and deliver them (I was seated next to one such “angel,” Douglas Elliman’s Peter J. Forsman, who was delightful company) and introduced a video that highlighted their work. “Food is medicine,” explained Karen. “And love is the special ingredient.”

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Walter Isaacson, Barry Diller and Dylan Lauren Go Hollywood

LunchAtMichaelsIt was the usual head-spinning scene at Michael’s today as the decibel level rose to epic levels in every corner of the dining room throughout lunch. But all was tranquil (at least for the moment) when I arrived shortly before noon. There, I was greeted with the sight of two minions from Bonnie Fuller‘s office at Hollywoodlife.com who were arranging seating cards and ordering Pellegrino for Bonnie’s monthly schmoozefest. The power gals-in-training stayed just long enough to change into their high heels and shepherd the overflowing group of media mavens and social swans (and Dylan Lauren!) into the lounge for a round of air kissing before they finally settled into their perch in the bay window at Table One. Oh, to be young and ambitious.

I was joined today by two of my favorite Michael’s regulars who I met, of course, in the dining room many moons ago: producer and Democratic booster Joan Gelman and Robert Zimmerman, founder and partner of Zimmerman/Edelson Long Island’s leading public relations and marketing firm, who somehow also finds time to appear on CNN, Fox and MSNBC as a political commentator. On-air (and in conversation, of course) Robert offers well reasoned arguments against the extremists on both sides. “Too much attention focuses on being quotable, not credible. Too many commentators operate in a fact-free environment. Ann Coulter has become the Larry Flynt of political literature. Both live in a world of exploitation and filth,” said the Democratic National Committeeman (now in his 13th year in the position). Come on Robert, tell us how you really feel.

Robert Zimmerman Diane Clehane and Joan Gelman

Robert Zimmerman, Diane Clehane and Joan Gelman

I always look forward to our bi-annual Michael’s lunches because besides being two of the nicest – and funniest people in the room — Joan and Robert can always be counted on for some tasty dish on what’s really going on in any number of social, business and political circles in New York.

While some of the juiciest dish is off the record, we did cover a lot of ground on the current political scene. I had to ask Robert what he thought of the two biggest headaches plaguing the Obama administration that are getting plenty of media coverage. On the Obamacare website woes, Robert offered this: “If it were up to my Republican friends, we would have given up on NASA, Social Security and Medicare because each of them had difficult launches. Medicare took six years to establish after President Roosevelt it signed into law. The website will be fixed. The bigger issue will be if people are getting a better deal in terms of cost and coverage. That will determine the future of Obamacare and, to a large extent, Obama’s legacy.” Read more

Simon & Schuster to Launch Ebook Program With New York City Public Libraries [UPDATED]

Simon & Schuster, among the slowest publishing houses to sell its ebooks to libraries, has finally launched a one-year pilot program making the digital titles available to New York City’s public libraries.

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The New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries will have access to bestsellers like “The Great Gatsby,” “Lonesome Dove” and “Steve Jobs,” starting April 30, the company said in a press release on Monday.

The latter example there, Walter Isaacson‘s blockbuster biography of the late Apple boss, perfectly illustrates the snail’s pace at which Simon & Schuster’s relationship with public libraries has adapted to the digital age.

Simon & Schuster has remained the only of the Big Six publishers to not make its ebooks available to libraries.

In a piece last December on the “Wild West” of digital licensing, NPR interviewed Brian Kenney, the director of the White Plains Public Library, about the unavailability of ebook offerings. The anecdote he recalled? A guy trying to download “Steve Jobs.”

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Aaron Sorkin: Steve Jobs Biopic Will Consist of ‘Three Scenes’

During today’s portion of the Newsweek/Daily Beast Hero Summit in Washington D.C., Aaron Sorkin provided a tantalizing preview of the script structure he is relying on to adapt Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography.

Per a report by the publication’s TV critic Jace Lacob, here’s what Sorkin told Tina Brown:

“I hope I don’t get killed by the studio for giving too much away,” Sorkin said, “but this entire movie is going to be three scenes, and three scenes only, that all take place in real time.”

Each of the three scenes will run 30 minutes in length and Sorkin said they will be “all set right before three major product launches.”

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2012 Gerald Loeb Award Winners Announced

Below are the 2012 Gerald Loeb Award winners, via Talking Biz News. The Loeb’s are given for excellence in business journalism. Congrats to all.

Large Newspapers

Medium & Small Newspapers

Magazines

Commentary

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Time Rushes Commemorative Issue to Newsstands as Tribute to Steve Jobs

Less than 48 hours after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died, Time magazine is rushing to the presses with a special commemorative issue paying tribute to the visionary.

The special issue, hitting newsstands and tablets tomorrow, features Jobs on its cover and 21 pages dedicated to the man behind the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

Time‘s special edition includes a six-page essay by Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, a historical report on Jobs iconic career by Time technology reporters Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a photo essay by Diana Walker, who has been shooting Jobs for Time since 1982.
 
“This is Steve’s seventh Time cover, which puts him in the category of Presidents and other world leaders,” Time editor Rick Stengel says. “No one has tracked Steve’s life better than the man who used to have my job, Walter Isaacson. Walter writes that Steve was the modern creation myth writ large and that he revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing.”

The magazine is increasing its print run for this special issue, which will be available worldwide.

Excitement For BusinessWeek Deal At MPA Conference

MIS.jpgYesterday, we spent a few hours at the Magazine Publishers of America‘s Magazine Innovation Summit. In between panels and interviews like The New York TimesDavid Carr‘s Q&A with Ken Auletta of The New Yorker (right), we got a chance to catch up with some of New York media’s movers and shakers and pick their brains.

First, we asked Carr what he thought of Bloomberg LP’s acquisition of BusinessWeek. The media columnist was practically giddy with excitement. “It’s great news for people like you and me,” Carr told us, complaining that the media industry has been sorely lacking in fun deals to report on. “I couldn’t help but get involved in Stephanie’s story,” he said referring to the article about the deal he co-bylined with Stephanie Clifford for the Times yesterday.

Carr’s excitement was mirrored by BusinessWeek.com‘s John Byrne, who interviewed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings after lunch.

“There was a little activity at BusinessWeek this morning,” Byrne said. He then went on to say how happy he was to be going to work for Bloomberg, remarking that it was a “great place” for the business magazine to be.

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Lunch: What Recession? Michael’s Keeps Buzzing with Walter Isaacson, John Sykes & The Gang

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The power lunch lives! While budgets are being slashed all over town, if the media mavens at the top are feeling the pinch, they’re determined not to show it. For the past several weeks, I’ve noticed that Michael’s is back to its pre-Great Recession level of buzz with a packed dining room. The regulars were out in force today along with an impressive array of captains of industry who were no doubt doing a lot more than catching up with old pals.

I was lunching today with Andrew Heyward, who I got to know during his tenure as president of CBS News. Andrew is busier than ever these days consulting for a full slate of companies including Monitor Group and NBC News. I asked him how he felt when the New York Supreme Court’s appellate division threw out Dan Rather‘s $70 million lawsuit against CBS last month. “I’m gratified by the appellate court’s unanimous decision to dismiss the case,” he told me. “I hope this is an opportunity for everyone involved to move on once and for all.” Not everyone seems to share that sentiment. Dan’s lawyer, Martin Gold, told TVNewser he plans to appeal.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Producer Nick Simunek with, we’re told, a table full of showbiz types including the fellow who wrote Love At First Bite.

2. Peter Brown, Shirley Lord, and two other distinguished gentlemen we didn’t know.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Glamour editrix Cindi Leive. Second seating: ICM’s president Chris Silbermann.

4. Showtime’s main man Matt Blank and attorney Alan Grubman. I caught up with Matt on the way out, and we chatted about Toni Collette‘s Emmy win for The United States of Tara. I also asked about one of my favorite shows, The Tudors. Matt tells me they just wrapped production and the show promises to deliver plenty of royal drama in its final season. We’ve been hearing rumors that Showtime’s next dysfunctional dynasty to receive the star treatment will be the Borgias. We can’t wait!

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Back to the Future: Isaacson and Sulzberger on the Future of Online Journalism Circa 1995

crystal-ball[1].jpgZachary Seward at the Nieman Journalism Lab has dug up a 1995 transcript from a panel about “The New Economics of Journalism,” which included Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and (he of current micropayment fame) Time Inc.’s then editor of new media for Time Inc. Walter Isaacson. A few highlights (the entire 18,000 word transcript is here).

Here is Sulzberger on how the Internet might change the newsroom:

You know, newspapers generally offer a broad top-level view of the world to their readers, and very few get too deep into any one area. I mean, there are specialties, but it’s that — I suspect that the Internet, that this whole new electronic format is going to force us to create much more of a newsletter mentality. Yes, we will still have to play that essential role of offering broad news at the top across a wide spectrum of human endeavor, but that we’re going to have to get much more detailed, much more detailed, much more in depth in those categories that we think are important to the readers that we’re trying to attract.

And that’s going to add substantial cost to the newsroom. It’s also going to add substantial benefit to our readers, and I think that this, if the technology is driving us any one way, it’s driving us journalistically that way.

Which is fairly prescient when you think about it, of course you could argue that fourteen years ago no one could have foreseen that this transition was going to be accompanied by a historic financial crisis.

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It’s Official: Newspaper People Don’t Have Any New/Viable Ideas

This is Charlie Rose‘s show about the future of newspapers.

Joining me now is Robert Thomson. He’s the managing editor of “The Wall Street Journal.” Also, Mort Zuckerman. He is owner and publisher of the New York “Daily News” and the editor in chief of “U.S. News & World Report,” a magazine he owns. With me in Washington is Walter Isaacson. He is president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He’s also the author of this week’s cover story in “Time” magazine called, “How to Save Your Newspaper: A Modest Proposal.” I should also suggest that Walter was formerly the editor of “Time” magazine.

Walter Isaacson had a piece in Time, posted it on Huffington Post – now he’s on Charlie Rose and he’s yet to say anything interesting or helpful about the future of newspapers.

Part of the problem is that they collectively dismiss ‘bloggers’ as citizen journalists and think that their relationship is with only the reader. The fact is that blogs, you’re reading one now, should be the one’s asked to subscribe to newspapers. Like a wire service. They use the original reporting – why not financially contribute to it? It’s not going to solve everything…but it’s better than wishing ‘the iPod model’ will fly.

You can’t save print newspapers by only reading print newspapers.

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