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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"On Saturday afternoon, Vladimir Putin announced that he would finally sync reality with formality and become Russia's actual president yet again. Once the initial sting wore off -- Putin seems on track to rule as long as Stalin -- cooler heads began to prevail. This will bring clarity and end the schizophrenia of the tandem contradicting itself, the thinking went. Putin was talking like he understood reform was necessary -- and even doubters had to admit that he was the only person with the political capital to accomplish it. Just two days later, however, the ground shifted yet again. Dmitry Medvedev, coming off a couple of really bad days, very publicly fired the finance minister, Alexei Kudrin: perhaps the one person in the Russian government whom Western investors see as credible, the one who saved Russia when the bottom dropped out in 2008, the one holding the Russian government back by the scruff of the neck from total economic disaster. Kudrin's abrupt firing stunned everyone and completely destroyed the thesis that Putin's announcement would calm down Russia and its uneasy economy. Everyone knew there were power struggles going on behind the curtain, but rarely have there been so many elbows and knees jutting through, and, in recent weeks, actual people flying out.  What is going on? In short, no one really knows. But one thing is clear: Putin's return is not going to usher in a new reign of stability. If anything, the system is as unstable as it's ever been, and no one can tell when -- or into what form -- it will settle." (ForeignPolicy)



"President Obama said statistics that show his administration is on track to deport more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration are misleading.Obama explained that enhanced border security has led to Border Patrol agents arresting more people as they cross into the country illegally. Those people are quickly sent back to their countries, but are counted as deported illegal immigrants. He said his administration has focused on deporting illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes. 'Our enforcement priority is not to chase down young people who are following all the other laws,' he said.  The online talk was hosted by Yahoo, MSN Latino and AOL Latino/Huffington Post Latino Voice. Users submitted their questions online for the president." (TheHill)


"Last night CNN feted its newest anchor, Erin Burnett, at Robert restaurant at The Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle, just a few hundred feet from CNN’s NYC headquarters. Overlooking Columbus Circle and the southwest corner of Central Park, guests watched the city fade into night, while clips of Burnett preparing for her show played on a loop on TV sets spread throughout the space. Just after 7:30 PM, CNN/U.S. executive VP Ken Jautz and CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker made some brief remarks. Jautz commented that Burnett is extremely passionate about news, and that anyone expecting a curt reply when asking her what she is working on is in for a long conversation. Burnett then addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support. Her agent John Ferriter was in attendance, as was her fiancee David Rubulotta. Jautz and Whitaker got shout-outs, as did CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton and CNN ad sales chief Greg D’alba, both of whom were working the room." (TVNewser)



"The Autumn social season has begun again. I was going through invitations to openings, to cocktail receptions, to kick-offs, to galas, to museum dinners, filling up the October calendar many times over. For some reason October 5th is a popular moment, with seven different events on my calendar. Although September has had a bit of a respite this last week (after UN Week), things are already stirring. Last night between 6 and 8 at the Palm Court at the Plaza, Evelyn Lauder, honorary hostess, and Liza Minnelli, Hamish Bowles, Harold Koda and Shane Krige, General Manager of the Plaza, hosted a reception to celebrate the publication of Glamour Icons; Perfume Bottle Design by Marc Rosen, the dean of fragrance packaging and design ... Later on this month’s calendar, the 28th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, this one themed 'Hollywood Glamour' will take place on Tuesday, the 25th of October at the Waldorf-Astoria. This year Somers Farkas will be honored with the Rita Hayworth Award. Led by Founder and General Chair, Rita’s daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, along with Gala Chairs Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst McInerney hosted a kick-off cocktail party this past Monday night at Yasmin’s apartment." (NYSocialDiary)



"After two highly rated airings, Fox’s new comedy series New Girl is getting an early back-nine pickup — which in this case is a back-11 pickup — bringing the order to the show starring Zooey Deschanel to 24 episodes. The 20th TV/Chernin Entertainment series, which gave Fox the elusive first live-action half-hour comedy hit in a decade, launched with a big 4.8 rating among adults 18-49 last week. Last night, it logged a 4.5, topping all Tuesday competition in the demo both weeks. New Girl was created by Liz Meriwether who is executive producing with Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and helmer Jake Kasdan, who directed both the pilot and last night’s second episode." (Deadline)



"PAPER hosted our 7th Annual Nightlife Awards ceremony last night at Hiro Ballroom and we're still reeling from all of the fun. The evening featured a performance from the inimitable Mary J. Blige, who's on the cover of our upcoming October nightlife issue and who performed her new single "25/8" as well as classic jams 'Real Love' and 'Family Affair.' There were celebrity presenters on hand including Swizz Beatz, Estelle, Andrew WK, Michael Musto, Patricia Field and Paul Iacono, and we even had a real-life crasher who jumped on stage to plug her album or something. Pretty fancy! Of course, let us not forget amazing mistress of ceremonies Wendy Williams, who told the room full of nightlife bigwigs, newcomers and general freaks,'You're my people.' It was a fantastic night and we want to congratulate everyone who won and everyone who was nominated. You're all big deals in our book and make going out in New York fun." (Papermag)



"News Corporation's iPad-only newspaper the Daily, the first of its kind, lost about $10 million in its opening quarter, and over half a year later it's less than one-fourth of the way to making money. Bloomberg reports today that the iPad app averages about 120,000 weekly readers, but that figure does not differentiate those who pay and those who don't under the publication's two-week free trial. 'They won’t tell us how many paying subscribers, but that’s how many uniques the Daily is getting,' said an advertising executive who works with the paper. For some perspective, Bloomberg notes, 'Newspapers with circulation of about 120,000 include The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, and the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation.' News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch said at launch time that the project would need 500,000 subscribers to break even, with each week of work running the company about $500,000. News Corp. chief digital officer Jon Miller said back in February that the hope was to have a '50-50' revenue split between paid readers and advertisers." (NYMag)

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