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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Has Oprah lost her golden touch? For over 20 years, just about everything connected to Winfrey -- even coupons for KFC chicken -- has been guaranteed money in the bank. But her latest venture, the upcoming L.A.-based cable network under Discovery’s umbrella, the Oprah Winfrey Network, is going through tough times. OWN’s president Robin Schwartz resigned April 20 after only 10 months at the network. The launch date has been moved from 2009 to the first quarter of 2010. And it remains unclear whether Oprah will move her 'Oprah Winfrey Show' to OWN after its syndication contract with CBS expires in 2011. 'It has been a rocky start. But it’s hard to launch a network. Maybe they were a little too ambitious,” said a former Discovery executive, who requested anonymity. OWN declined to comment for this article; representatives of Winfrey’s Harpo Productions did not return requests for comment." (TheWrap)



"In an interview with the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawick, NBC's David Gregory confirmed what has been buzzed about for a few days - that he'll be hosting a one-hour weekday show on MSNBC .. The Gregory show, the hiring of Dylan Ratigan, and Andrea Mitchell's 1pmET hour shows NBC is continuing to put stock in the dayside operations of MSNBC by adding more well-known personalities. But will it work?" (TvNewser)



"Brooke Shields, Gay Talese, Bob Colacello, Nina Garcia, Candace Bushnell, and Harry Benson were just a few of the luminaries who attended a dinner hosted by George Farias at 21 Club in honor of Jay McInerney’s new collection of stories, 'How It Ended.' The collection is so raunchy that McInerney’s wife, Anne Hearst, recently warned Rudy Giuliani against reading some of naughtier stories (Does Giuliani stick to G-rated fiction?)." (Guestofaguest)



"Abrams doesn’t try to position himself as an auteur even though as a successful writer-director-producer, he obviously could. But he deliberately conveys the idea that he’s not worthy. 'All that stuff about being the new Spielberg, it's all just so silly and embarrassing,' he told the British paper The Telegraph in an interview published this week. But in his dealings in Hollywood, Abrams hasn’t exactly behaved as though he thinks the idea is all that silly or embarrassing. In 2006—with Mission: Impossible 3 still unfinished—Abrams went for a combined television and film deal so rich that a number of studios wouldn’t even consider it. He couldn’t get the whole thing under one roof, but wound up with a pair of deals said to be worth more than $55 million over five years. That included a lavish movie component at Paramount, which has already been renewed early. "M:I 3 was not an easy shoot," Grey says. "[Abrams] was being tested with a very large budget and a very big star. As I was watching the dailies, he was delivering on every level. With what he had done in television, I thought he would be the best bet we could make.' And Abrams wasn't satisfied with a lavish movie deal. He cut a separate deal for television at Warner so rich that industry executives in spontaneous accord described it as 'insane.'" (Kim Masters/TheDailyBeast)



(image via style)

"Jennifer Aniston's rear end is officially a marketing tool. The poster for Management, the star's latest (on-screen) romantic escapade, features co-star Steve Zahn with his hand resting oh-so-close to the Aniston posterior.... While Aniston was giving an interview, director Stephen Belber made (innocent) contact in an attempt to say hi. The actress whirled around, then conceded: "He's allowed—he wrote it.' Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger, who co-sponsored the evening, revealed that he might be looking to follow Zahn's character into the hotel business. 'We're seriously considering it,' he reported." (Style)



(Raffi with Susan Eisenhower via NYSocialDiary)

"Last night, at the Georgetown home of Leezee Porter, there was a cocktail party for her 'good friend' Raffi, visiting from his home in Canada. If you are a parent then Raffi needs no more introduction than his name. If not, you should know he is the wildly successful troubadour of charming children’s music – I know by heart the words to 'Baby Beluga' – who over the years expanded his influence into more adult global projects. One of them is called Child Honouring, which, according to his website, works to 'treat our young as the key to building a humane and sustainable world. It is a novel idea—organizing society around the needs of its youngest members.'" (WashingtonSocialDiary)



(image via nydailynews)

"MICHELLE Obama had one request at Tuesday night's annual Time 100 gala at the Time Warner Center -- no reporters. The six scribes invited to sit for dinner were all told beforehand, 'Do not speak to [Obama], she's just here to relax.' Not that they could get to her. The first lady was surrounded by Secret Service agents, sitting with Oprah Winfrey, Time editor Rick Stengel and Gayle King." (PageSix)

"Judd Gregg of New Hampshire had no part in the deal cut by fellow Republicans Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama to line up plum jobs for themselves on the Senate Budget and Judiciary committees in the next Congress. But he might have a say in whether the plan holds together. Gregg continues to be bombarded by senior Republicans eager for him to reverse his decision not to run for re-election in 2010. 'It’s coming from different people, including some in the leadership. They’ve got nothing else to say. It’s like saying, ‘Good morning.’ They don’t want me to retire,' Gregg said. Senate Republicans are hunting for ways to increase their 40-member caucus, especially now that Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has switched to the Democratic Party. For his part, Gregg said he has not been swayed but will continue to listen to the entreaties. 'I’m settled in. I’m comfortable with where I am,' he said. The Grassley-Sessions deal cleared the way for Sessions to succeed Specter as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee and allowed Grassley to stay in place as the ranking member on Finance for this Congress. But in the next Congress, the handshake agreement would allow Grassley to use his bumping rights under GOP caucus rules to become the top Republican on Judiciary, a move that would leave Sessions to succeed Gregg as the top Republican on Budget. Sessions is well aware that the efforts to persuade Gregg to run for re-election could upset that plan." (CQPolitics)



"Largely outside the public limelight, one of the world's most important elections has been taking place in Vienna. Its victor will become the next leader of the planet's so-called nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That agency has served as the world's guardian of peaceful nuclear power programs for more than 50 years, ensuring that countries do not abuse their 'right' to atomic energy by building nuclear weapons. It's (literally) Nobel Prize-winning work. But unfortunately, the IAEA's elections are a secretive and convoluted mess.
I'll explain why in a second, but first, some context. Iran might be on the verge of making weapons-grade uranium, and the IAEA and its outgoing director-general, Mohamed ElBaradei, have been thrust into the spotlight over their accounting of Iran's nuclear program. Many experts fear that if Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons, a cascade of proliferation will spill across the region, causing potentially irreparable damage to the nonproliferation regime. The stakes for the election could not be higher." (ForeignPolicy)



"Russian President Dmitry Medvedev took office a year ago dogged by perceptions he was a placeholder for predecessor Vladimir Putin. He marks his first anniversary today having carved out some zones of influence within Putin’s power structure. Medvedev’s presence in foreign affairs, anti-corruption efforts and promoting legal and political transparency gives him a foothold that may allow him to extend his authority, and his time in office, as he looks to the 2012 presidential election. 'Putin holds most of the levers, but Medvedev has identified his patch and is cultivating it,' said Dmitry Oreshkin, an independent political analyst in Moscow. 'He demonstrated a lot of activity in the international arena and then moved on to deal with regions.'" (Bloomberg)



"The fact that Mr. Mickey (sporting an ever so sensational sequined skull cap) was one of the hosts for the launch party for Clark's Botanicals Cellular Lifting Serum at Saks Fifth Avenue was enough to insure the liveliness of the evening. The night's event, co-hosted by Peter Davis, Maggie Rizer and Bonnie Morrison, was held in honor of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and both Matthew Reeve and Alexandra Reeve Givens attended, as well as (2009 Beautiful Person!) Francesco Clark, the founder of the skincare line." (Papermag)

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