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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The European Union’s astonishing fumbling over Cypriot banks has both immediate and longer-term implications. On March 21, when the banks are due to reopen, the question is whether a run will destroy the Cypriot banking system. If that can be avoided, the next question will be what’s left of the EU’s plans to reform its system of bank supervision -- and what happens the next time an EU bank gets into trouble. The danger of a run is real. This past weekend, the government of Cyprus and its financial backers, the EU and the International Monetary Fund, settled on a bailout formula for troubled Cypriot banks that included a 6.75 percent levy on insured deposits. The ensuing outcry prompted a revision to the deal that will curb or eliminate this provision before the banks reopen. But the message has already been sent: In the EU, insured deposits aren’t safe. One can only marvel at this turn of events. Earlier in the financial crisis, Europe’s governments recognized that stronger deposit insurance was a vital part of shoring up their banking systems. They agreed to guarantee deposits of as much as 100,000 euros ($130,000). Last weekend, with the IMF (unbelievably) on board, they decided to renege on that commitment." (Bloomberg)


"Al Jazeera is coming to America. And when you have the backing of the Qatari royal family, there is little reason to do anything small. Since launching its American outpost in January, the deep-pocketed network says it’s received 18,000 résumés for 170 open positions. By the time Al Jazeera America, as the new cable network will be called, launches in July, it will have 600 to 700 staffers on the editorial and technical side. But in order to make a dent in the saturated American airwaves, it will take more than eager anchors filling those chairs. The network needs a star. 'It would be very helpful for us to have a couple of names that have been recognized and people say, ‘Oh, they have gone over to them. I should give it a look,’' said Bob Wheelock, executive producer for the Americas for Al Jazeera English. 'Americans like to know who is on at what time. We need to find people who are known, but we want them to be known for their journalism, not for their celebrity, not for their past failure, not for their messy divorce.' Al Jazeera paid an estimated $500 million to Al Gore’s old cable network, Current TV, in order to launch Al Jazeera America. The new network will have nearly a dozen domestic bureaus and will rely on content from more than 70 overseas bureaus. The company is reported to be looking at prime New York real estate—in no less a bastion of American journalism than the former New York Times building—for its new headquarters. Executives at Al Jazeera say they are planning to compete with CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News on the belief that Americans crave substantive, deeply reported cable news, including foreign coverage." (TheDailyBeast)


"More than a decade after Survivor altered the TV landscape forever, reality TV continues to be a potent weapon for broadcasters: Last week, the top-rated shows on ABC, Fox, and NBC were all unscripted series. But here's what's not so great: Those three shows — The Bachelor, American Idol, and The Biggest Loser — were all conceived during or before George W. Bush’s first administration. There's nothing wrong with enduring franchises. But while cable seems to invent a new reality phenom every other month, the Big Four haven't launched an unscripted success since 2011, the year of the Idol-inspired The Voice (NBC) and The X Factor (Fox). CBS's last breakout reality hit was 2010's Undercover Boss, and ABC has been unable to come up with an unscripted game-changer since 2008's Wipeout, though 2009's Shark Tank has grown into a solid success over time. (ABC's newest attempt, the celebrity-diving competition show Splash, debuts tonight.) So what's behind what one network insider concedes is a 'crisis of confidence' for broadcast reality? Vulture talked to multiple reality producers and executives; based on what they told us, we came up with five factors that may be contributing to the dry spell." (NYMag)


"Last Week was St. Patrick’s, as everyone in New York knows unless they’d left town ... Nevertheless, palaver aside, last Thursday night, Jean and Martin Shafiroff hosted a party at their New York home to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You know Jean, don’t you? If you don’t, you haven't been looking at NYSD Party Pictures (that’s okay, there will be more). Martin is her congenial investment banker husband who can almost keep up with his wife ... Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and shamrock-shaped treats. Guests wearing the green included Sharon Bush, Felicia Taylor, Kathryn Chenault, Erik Bottcher, Flo Anthony, Randi Schatz, Dr. Amelia Ogunlesi, Alex Donner, Dr. Frank Weiser, Maggie Norris, Marc Rosen, George Gurley, Ike Ude, Chiu Ti Jansen, Roy Kean, Madame Mayhem, Victoria Wyman, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Michele Gerber Klein, Bill Sclight, Cheri Kaufman, Ann Rapp, Michael Gross ..." (NYSocialDiary)


"Bad blood between Kelsey and Camille Grammer keeps boiling over well after their divorce — and Camille recently sent movers to get her bed back so Kelsey and his new wife Kayte wouldn’t be able to sleep in it, sources exclusively tell Page Six.  Kelsey and Kayte decided this year to move back into the Holmby Hills home the “Cheers” star once shared with Camille, and which he’d been trying to unload for $16 million.  But soon after Kelsey got back in with his new bride and their baby, Faith, in January, they were greeted by movers sent by Camille to take back much of the furniture, including the king-size bed he was sharing with Katye. Kelsey blew a gasket, a spy said, yelling at the movers not to take the marital bed. The crew was accompanied by Camille’s assistant, armed with a list from the couple’s recent divorce settlement which clearly stated Camille was entitled to the furniture, including the Michael Taylor-designed bed. Kelsey and his new family had been living for eight months in a more modest Beverly Hills abode he bought for $6.5 million. But they headed back to his old address, which he’d been renting out for $30,000 a month, when they decided their place wasn’t private enough. Camille told The Post's Richard Johnson: 'It was in the settlement that I got the bed. He got everything he wanted, the whole book collection. But he was living somewhere else. He didn’t want the bedroom furniture. He never liked the bed. He gave it up. It was really his oversight.' Of Kayte, she sniffed: 'Wouldn’t she want her own furniture?' Camille, who has a huge canopy bed in her current Malibu home, for sale for $17.9 million, said she won’t use the old bed till she moves to a smaller house. Kelsey’s rep countered, 'We don’t talk about what Camille does or doesn’t do. We all have better things to do.'  Kelsey and Camille split in 2011 but didn’t settle their disputes over custody, three homes and a reported $60 million in assets until last December." (PageSix)

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