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Lunch: Les Moonves, Barry Diller & Kathleen Turner

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Forget the lazy days of summer. Class is back in session as the cool kids returned to the cafeteria today in force. The scene at Michael’s was a tasty stew of moguls and media mavens with a side order of the random celebrity sighting — Kathleen Turner cooled her heels at the bar with her face buried in a newspaper until her pals arrived. And in true Michael’s media-centric style, a photographer from The New York Times was on hand to capture it all for Frank Bruni‘s review due out soon. We can’t wait, can you?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Kathleen Turner, Felicia Taylor, Margo McNabb, Sommers Farkas, Terry Allen Kramer and a very late arriving Peggy Siegal who joined the festivities just in time to be included in the pics for the Times. David Patrick Columbia dashed in just before coffee to grab a few quick shots of the gals for New York Social Diary. You’re no one if you’re not getting your picture taken, darling …

2. Showtime’s head honcho Matt Blank with Holly B. Newman. Loved the leopard skirt!

3. Liz Smith with Jonathan Van Meter. The grand dame of gossip, looking sunny in yellow, told me she was being interviewed for New Yorkfor another anniversary issue.

4. Les Moonves sipping chardonnay with Leon Black


5. Barry Diller who passed the time surveying the bustling dining room until he was joined by a young, unidentified bespectacled gent. I’m fascinated by these anonymous fellows (I’ve noted a few over the past year or so) who would dare to keep this captain of industry waiting. Who are you guys?

6. A very nervous looking Mike Ovitz who arrived after three other ‘suits’ that seemed to have big doings on their mind …

7. My pal producer Beverly Cahme with World Business Forum co-organizer Susan Copperman and a charming young gent we didn’t get to meet. Beverly told me that she found her trip to the Democratic National Convention a “transcendent” experience. She had a front row seat to all the backstage goings on which included Senator Ted Kennedy‘s nervous handlers who were fearful how the ailing ‘Lion’ would do at the podium since he was being treated for an undisclosed kidney stone in addition to cancer treatment at the time of his speech. Well, we all know how that turned out. And, according to Beverly, if you think it was a barn burner on television, you should have been on the floor of the hall. The Kennedy legacy lives on in a new generation, says Beverly. “You couldn’t help but make the association.” And, for the record, she says, all the supposed disgruntled Hillary supporters weren’t making a fuss after all …

8. Today‘s executive producer Jim Bell with his lovely wife Angelique. When I asked him what he was doing with a ‘civilian,’ he laughed. “It’s like taking her to the zoo!” Fresh off NBC’s runaway success with the Olympics (Jim’s old stomping ground), he says “It will be hard to top it, but we’re on to the next thing!”

9. Star Jones — sporting long locks again — with Amy Davis. Star tells me she’ll be making the scene at Fashion Week and plans to be in the front row for Yigal Azrouel‘s show. See you there!

11. Lynn Goldberg

12. The Imber gang: Jerry Della Femina, Dr. Gerry Imber and pals.

14. Casting director Bonnie Timmerman and Gerald Schoenfeld

15. CBS spin meister Gil Schwartz

16. Betsy Perry, Joe Versace and, we’re told, assistant to the Prince of Wales — a Ms. Cinnamon Coe. Just thought you’d like to know…

17. Bruce Wssserstein with his daughter Pam. They stopped by Les Moonves‘ table on their way out.

18. Peter Brown

19. Carol Weisman

20. My pal Joan Gelman who introduced me to her friend Cynthia Kayan. Joan is famous for her campaign buttons (Her greatest hit this year — the conversation starter with the image of Bush and McCain hugging with ‘Four More Years’ atop the image — but with a discreet question mark. Today she was giving out ones with a big red slash across the word ‘Whining.’ Good advice for one and all, wouldn’t you say?

21. Gerry Byrne

22. Jason Rapp

23. Bob Barnett

24. Sir Harold Evans. Where’s Tina? We’re dying to ask her about The Daily Beast.

25. Tom Goodman and Kassie Canter, formerly of Oxygen Media.

26. Jamie LeFrak

28. Livia Marrotta

29. Pamela Keogh and Joe Montebello (who wins top honors for being the best dressed man in the dining room today). Pamela and I chatted about our mutual obsession with Mad Men — which is the best new show the general public isn’t watching. Come on, how much reality television can you people take? Tune into something intelligently written for a change! Pamela told me she’s just penned her first piece for Oprah‘s magazine about how the show’s picture perfect 1960′s housewife Betty Draper (played by the lovely January Jones) is the new Grace Kelly. Agreed. The show’s costume designer Katherine Jane Bryant has done an absolutely brilliant job creating stunning period looks for all the characters, including the drop dead gorgeous and deeply mysterious mad man with a secret past Don Draper. Jon Hamm plays television’s most interesting guy and he’s being feted tonight at Michael’s by Best Life for his appearance on their September cover. Congrats to editor Steve Perrine for landing the guy many people are heralding as ‘the next George Clooney.’

In the Garden Room: Literary agent Jason Allen Ashlock of The Marianne Strong Literary Agency with my new pal Patty Watt.

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.

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