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Posts Tagged ‘Frank DiGiacomo’

Billboard Adds Chart-Topping Staffers

BillboardLogoThe sweeping hand of Janice Min is at it again. In a memo to staff, the Guggenheim Media Entertainment Group co-president and chief creative officer announced an impressive roster of Billboard hires.

Starting today, Rob Hewitt is the publication’s new design director. He comes to Billboard after three years with Conde Nast Traveler. Hewitt once worked with Min at InStyle and has also held positions at Premiere, GQ and New York magazine.

Joining Hewitt as Billboard art director is Frank Augugliaro, previously with Esquire, alongside several recognizable new reporter and editor names. It’s great for example to see Frank DiGiacomo back in the front-line entertainment journalism mix.

Full memo after the jump.

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RIP: Movieline

Actually, it’s not quite RIP. But if one goes by the information at the bottom of a recent Anne Thompson Indiewire blog item, it does not exactly inspire bookmarking confidence:

UPDATE: [Editor Frank] DiGiacomo writes in an email:

“Movieline is in the process of transitioning to an all-video site, probably in mid-April. The plan is for me to become PMC’s New York-based editor at large when that changeover occurs.”

In other words, just a few months after DiGiacomo’s west coast counterpart Jen Yamato parked her byline at Deadline (a development noted by Thompson and also something we have been noticing), what was once a beloved monthly LA glossy mag is getting ready to transform yet again. DiGiacomo’s update makes it seem like there will be lots of trailers and PMC YouTube embeds.

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Summer’s Social Swans, Kim Kardashian’s BFF and the Woman Behind Mad Men

1003_mockup.gifWhere else could you possibly find friends of reality stars (Come on, you can’t expect an A-lister sighting every week) and the last vestiges of Cafe Society all in one room? If it’s Wednesday, at Michael’s, of course. I couldn’t even begin to do justice to the head-spinning scene there today, so I’ll just let the roster of what passes for celebrity sightings these days speak for itself.

I was so excited about today’s lunch, because I was meeting the woman responsible for greenlighting one of my favorite shows, Mad MenChristina Wayne has had an amazing career  – she also is responsible for getting Breaking Bad on air — and I found her story fascinating. Had it not been for Christina’s spot-on instincts, Matt Weiner‘s script, which had been floating around for eights years at that point, might not ever have seen the light of day.  The former AMC senior vice-president of scripted series and mini-series is now president of Cineflix Studios and executive producer of the new BBC America series, Copper — but I’m getting ahead of myself.

A born and bred New Yorker who grew up on the Upper East Side, Christina decided to move back after 12 years in Los Angeles for personal reasons in 2005 (“There was no one left to date!”) and after receiving a call from a friend asking if she’d be interested in working with AMC. Up until that point, the network was pretty much airing nothing but old movies. “I had no idea what AMC was. I thought he was talking about the movie theater chain,” said Christina. Back then, the basic cabler was looking to develop scripted content; Christina signed on as a consultant as the net’s “creative voice,”  but didn’t want to tell her screenwriter friends since, at the time, working in television seemed like a step down and “an embarrassment.”

Diane Clehane and Christina Wayne
Diane Clehane and Christina Wayne

She started by calling everyone she knew in L.A. and wound up with the script for Broken Trail, a huge hit starring Robert Duvall that got the greenlight in eight days. When she read the script for Mad Men on a flight back from Los Angeles, she knew she had something special. AMC wasn’t able to get a studio to pick it up, so the pilot was self-financed for $3.3 million and the rest, as they say, is television history. Without a huge marketing budget, Christina attributes a lot of Mad Men‘s buzz to the nonstop coverage it received in The New York Times who covered the show from every angle possible. “The show was their lovechild,” she said. And still is, I’d say.

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Frank DiGiacomo Leaves Daily News

According to WWD, Frank DiGiacomo, a New York Daily News’ gossip columnist, is leaving the paper for a spot at Movieline, where he’ll be head of editorial operations.

DiGiacomo has been with the Daily News for the past two years. Prior to that he was a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, from 2004 through 2010.

DiGiacomo’s last day at the Daily News is July 23.

Manhattan’s A-List Turns Out for Harvey Weinstein’s Giants Pep Rally

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I’ve been covering  Wednesday’s at Michael’s for five years and have never seen anything like the head-spinning scene that unfolded there today. Harvey Weinstein and Steve Tisch threw a pep rally to end all pep rallies, and the media A-list all came out to cheer on their favorite team. Peggy Siegal and her minions descended on the place before the crowd rushed in with plenty of New York Giants paraphernalia, transforming the California cool decor into an indoor tailgate party.

By noon, I counted at least a dozen paparazzi staked out at the entrance, and they certainly weren’t disappointed. Drew Nieporent was the first to arrive (“What’s for lunch?”), and in short order the lounge was flooded with famous folks, including Brian Williams, Gayle King, Piers Morgan, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb (wearing newly identical red dresses and looking fabulous), former governor George Pataki, Matt Lauer and various members of the Tisch family.

Katie Couric and Harvey Weinstein
Katie Couric and Harvey Weinstein

Everyone’s mind was on the big game; conventional wisdom says the Giants will be this year’s Super Bowl champs, but it’s going to be a close one.  (All except Jerry Della Femina, who predicts the Patriots will take it 27-24.) “I think it’s going to be a squeaker,” offered Andrew Ross Sorkin. “At least I hope so because it will be a better game.”

Not surprisingly, Giants legend Frank Gifford, who will be watching the game from his home in Greenwich with family and friends, predicts a 30-10 win for his former team. “Eli Manning has really come into his own as a quarterback,” he told me. “But a quarterback is only as good as his team. They’re a great team. If you were playing for the Giants, you’d be a great quarterback.” Doubtful, but we appreciate the sentiment. Brian Williams, who’ll be going to the game, refused to speculate on the final score for fear of tempting the gods. ”You just don’t do that,” he told me.

Diane Clehane and Brian Williams
Diane Clehane and Brian Williams (Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris)

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