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Monday, January 14, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





"The Economist, the shining star among weekly news magazines, sells more than 1.5m print copies but fully expects this figure to decline, said Tom Standage, the publication’s digital editor in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A session on Reddit. So far print circulation hasn’t started to fall, even as digital-only subscriptions grow, 'but it will,' Standage asserts. 'The important thing for us is to deliver distinctive content that readers will pay for; whether it's on paper or a screen, or in audio format, is not really the point,' Standage said. 'Our aim is to deliver our content in whatever form our readers want it; we are not wedded to print.' So far, The Economist has 150,000 digital-only subscribers, and a total of 600,000 people use the paper’s mobile apps each week. Seventeen per cent of traffic comes from mobile, and The Economist is 'retooling' its site to make it more mobile-friendly, Standage wrote, mentioning that 'we will be doing some slightly more daring stuff shortly.' The tablet edition has deliberately been built to look like the print edition 'because we know Economist readers are often creatures of habit who read The Economist in a particular order and we wanted them to be able to bring their print habits to digital,' said Standage. And this is exactly what the app allows, it is clean and straightforward, without a wealth of multimedia features, but does allow users to listen to the entire edition as well as read it, which is an advantage for those on the move." (EditorsWeblog)


"Proving that a boozy brawl does nothing to reduce your sex appeal, Monaco’s 'Prince' Pierre Casiraghi and his buddies involved in the 'Battle Royale' at Double SevenStavros Niarchos and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld — have been dubbed three of the world’s “Top 50 Bachelors” by Town & Country magazine. The self-described 'highly subjective' list also includes Vito Schnabel, artist Julian’s art-dealer son (who had a short-lived fling with Demi Moore after meeting her at a birthday bash for Naomi Campbell’s boyfriend Vladimir Doronin). Also making T&C’s bachelor list in its upcoming February issue are athletes Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow (although we’re not sure the quarterback’s appeal with the ladies will remain so high if he’s without an NFL job). Also making the hunky grade are Steven Spielberg’s son Sawyer Avery, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Taylor Swift’s ex Conor Kennedy and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. And, of course, the debonair king of bachelors everywhere, George Clooney." (PageSix)


"(Downton Abbey is) pure soap opera set in a private palace and jumps from plot point to plot point like a honeybee in a bed of roses. The aristos, all attractively turned out, speak with British accents and treat their social inferiors (servants) with a humanity, however restrained, that is not the way Dickens would have written it. But then, that was Dickens. Now in its third season, it is very popular, having got the biggest audience PBS ever got for a Sunday night Masterpiece serial. Last night Susan Fales-Hill, Peter Lyden and Joel Freyberg hosted a Downton Abbey Viewing Party in the Lambs Club Mezzanine level of the Chatwal on 130 West 44th Street. Dress code was Sunday Casual or Downton Chic. After cocktails and dinner the guests moved to the Stanford White Studio in the hotel, to watch the show. I missed the evening, uncertain if I wanted to watch (since I hadn’t developed the habit). Although watching it in a room designed by Stanford White, a man of that previous age, must have been an interesting slant to witnessing the show." (NYSocialDiary)


"His Highness Prince Karim, the fourth Aga Khan and 49th hereditary imam of the world’s 15 million Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, remains a paradox to many people. The Pope of his flock, he also possesses fabled wealth and inhabits a world of marvelous châteaux, yachts, jets, and Thoroughbred horses. To be sure, few persons bridge so many divides—between the spiritual and the material; East and West; Muslim and Christian—as gracefully as he does. Born in Geneva, brought up in Nairobi, educated at Le Rosey and Harvard, the Aga Khan has a British passport and spends a great deal of his time aloft in his private aircraft, but his base is Aiglemont, a vast estate near Chantilly, 25 miles north of Paris. On-site, in addition to a château and an elaborate training center for about a hundred of his Thoroughbreds, is the Secretariat, a modern office block that houses the nerve center of what might be described as his own U.N., the Aga Khan Development Network. A staggeringly large and effective organization, it employs 80,000 people in 30 countries. Although it is generally known for the nonprofit work it does in poor and war-torn parts of the globe, the A.K.D.N. also includes an enormous portfolio of for-profit businesses in sectors ranging from energy and aviation to pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and luxury hotels. In 2010 these generated $2.3 billion in revenue. The extent of these endeavors might not be so well known to the general public, since the Aga Khan usually shuns the press and stays out of the public eye. Though he has no political territory, the Aga Khan is virtually a one-man state and is often received like a head of state when he travels." (VanityFair)



"Key West has many unique features. There are few other places on earth where you can go down to the beach in the morning and reasonably expect to trip across treasure from Spanish galleon shipwrecks. Equally you could, as I have, sashay into a local pawn shop and you’ll be offered slabs of emeralds, supposedly from the Atocha ship. 'That’s worth sixty-thousand dollars,' the pawn shop owner said, fingering a green rock, 'But you can have it for thirty grand.' But then I heard a story, and it all began with a man walking into a bar. Key West was settled by pirates and wreckers and naturally, the wet town still attracts those with adventure in their blood. Just like Steve, Tennessee native and carpenter by day and treasure hunter the balance of his time. Time spent mostly under water in the Gulf of Mexico amongst the rotting wrecks and the dolphins and the sharks, with his trusty map in hand. A map he bought off a hungry, nervy character, the man who walked into the bar." (Christina Oxenberg)


"I just happened to spend New Year’s Eve on the spacious grounds of the old Ronald and Marietta Tree estate, Heron Bay. It is now owned by the British billionaires Lord and Lady Bamford. (He is one of England’s richest industrialists and owns a huge estate in Gloucestershire, England. The Bamfords’ billions come from construction cranes and heavy equipment and they also own the former John Kluge’s yacht, as well as one of the world’s largest helicopters.) I went to this very nice party in a 'gang' invited by the rising star of Blackstone finance, John Studzinski. I ran smack into my longtime Literacy Partners friend and helper, PR guy extraordinary Peter Brown, the ubiquitous Nicky Haslam who is still going strong internationally, and a beautiful blonde who I’ll discuss later. The grounds of Heron Bay are beautifully preserved from the days even before and after the socially adept Trees partied and lived there. (He was the influential Sir Ronald and she was the American-born Marietta Peabody, descendant of governors and liberal activists.  Her mother, Mary, wife of a Massachusetts governor, was proactive in the first '60s Florida sit-in on behalf of civil rights. (This led the Queen of England to greet Marietta once upon a time in Barbados and to bid her goodbye, saying, 'And ... congratulations, I do hope your mother gets arrested for her good work! ... I had quite a chat with Lady Bamford at her own party. She is the blonde Carole Gray Whitt and her pet thing is the production of organic foods, which makes her quite popular. We were sitting in a regular Versailles type garden with Palladian pillars surrounding us, tables laden with exotic food, champagne-circulating waiters and midnight fireworks over the ocean." (Liz Smith/NYSocialDiary)

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