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Monday, August 31, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

Mrs. Astor holding court in her mansion on Fifth Avenue.
Twenty years ago — more than a century after Mrs. Astor and McAllister drew up their “400” list — Quest introduced a “400” list. "Twenty years ago — more than a century after Mrs. Astor and McAllister drew up their “400” list — Quest introduced a “400” list. In 2015, when reviewing the “400 list” we introduced in 1995, it was interesting to note the differences between then and now. There are no private ballrooms like Mrs. Astor’s to reference, and no hostesses sitting like a monarch on a throne to greet her guests. (As The Mrs. Astor did, dripping in diamonds -- they called her the human chandelier.)  The social scene had expanded commensurately with the population of New York. Society had become more democratic in the long run and has become even more so in the past two decades. Our method of identifying those individuals and families for the earlier list was non-scientific." (NYSD)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Ron Mwangaguhunga Tumblr

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The issue of succession is a difficult matter not just for family-run businesses but for the families that run them. Take the Murdochs, for instance. Or the Binghams, the Kentucky newspaper clan that imploded in the 1980s. Historically speaking, transitions in the Sulzberger family, which has run the New York Times for 119 years, have not gone all that smoothly. During the paper’s early days, patriarch Adolph Ochs agonized over which heir should follow him: his nephew Julius Ochs Adler or his son-in-law, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. (His daughter, Iphigene, was never considered.) The competition took a toll on all involved. In 1932, Sulzberger suffered a stress-induced heart attack, which crippled his left hand; a year later, Adler had a nervous breakdown and spent six weeks in a mental institution. Ochs clung to the notion that maybe they could share the crown. “There can be only one head to a business,” Sulzberger replied. Ultimately, Ochs punted on the decision. When he died in 1935, his will essentially left it to Arthur, Julius, and Iphigene to work it out among themselves. Iphigene, being the deciding vote, supported her husband, thus cleaving a fault line in the family that was never repaired. The Adlers and Sulzbergers stopped speaking. In 1959, the final Adler was forced out of the paper. Now, three generations and 80 years later, Ochs’s descendants are confronting a similar dilemma: Multiple capable family members from different branches want the top job. The House of Sulzberger is made up of four families, all descendants of Ochs’s daughter, and each harbors its own ambitions and grievances. The central rivalry is between the two most powerful wings: the Goldens and the Sulzbergers. But the outcome is not just a matter of family politics; the next publisher of the New York Times will be responsible for preserving the independence of the country’s greatest newspaper in an increasingly challenging media environment. In recent months, I spoke with more than 65 current and former Times executives and journalists, plus Sulzberger-family members, advisers, and friends, to learn how the company is grooming its short list of potential successors. Three finalists have emerged ..." (NYMag)

5 businesses murdoch loved lost

"On Sunday night Murdoch put out word, through his personal Twitter account, that "it's time" for Bloomberg, a fellow mogul who completed a third term as New York City mayor in 2013 and now runs Bloomberg LP, the financial data and media firm he founded decades ago.The tweets were intriguing not just because Murdoch seemed to be publicly drafting Bloomberg, but because Murdoch was sharply critical of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump earlier this summer. Murdoch seemed to soften his stance against Trump as the candidate soared in the polls. Now the comments complimenting Bloomberg call that into question. Murdoch framed it this way: "With Trump becoming very serious candidate, it's time for next billionaire candidate, Mike Bloomberg to step into ring. Greatest mayor." A little while later, seemingly responding to Twitter users' complaints about Bloomberg as a micro-managing "nanny state" mayor, Murdoch wrote: "Agree much about Bloomberg, nannystate, etc, but still a great philanthropic executive who, with Guiliani [sic], made NY the greatest." A couple of hours later, he followed up again with: "I did not say I would vote for him! Just a friend I admire." Notions of a Bloomberg bid for president come and go, but Murdoch's tweets are sure to trigger more such talk." (CNNMoney)

Helen Gurley Brown in her office in 1982. Credit Harry Benson/Contour by Getty Images.

"The Sunday papers. There was an interesting real estate story in the “Fashion and Style” section of yesterday’s Times Who Owns Helen Gurley Brown’s Legacy?” by Katherine Rosman. The center of the piece, the elephant in the living room, is the  quadriplex apartment tower in the Beresford that belonged to David and Helen Gurley Brown. David died at 93 in February 2010, and Helen followed him in August, 2012 at age 90. The issue in the Times piece is centered around the apartment which some brokers today say could go for $50 million. It seems that the apartment, like everything else that belonged to the Browns, has been taken under the wing of Hearst Corporation and a woman named Eve Burton, who is a Hearst vice-president as well as co-executor of Helen’s will. In fact the officers of the foundation and trustees of the copyrights on Helen’s material are all Hearst executives. They believe that Helen Gurley Brown and the “brand” (as Burton refers to it in the article) are one and the same. This is not so remarkable since the Browns died with no next of kin or close relatives, so their entire estate went into foundations and on to charities. The board of the Beresford co-op, however, want the apartment sold. It is very unusual for an estate with no heirs but charities to be held off the market for more than six months. It is very unclear why Hearst and Ms. Burton have not sold the property and added the proceeds to the Browns’ foundation. William Zabel, probably the most important and influential lawyer in New York in the matter of rich estates, was quoted in Rosman’s piece saying “This is a strange, strange story. There is no good reason for keeping an apartment more than six months.” For me it was firstly the reminder that as long as I knew the Browns, I was never in their apartment, nor were many of their close friends. Although they were very social they rarely entertained. If they did indeed have people over, it was seldom, and I never knew of it. It didn’t strike me as odd, however, as they, being a working couple, tended to either prefer a quiet dinner at home, or be out with friends.  " (NYSD)