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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Media Whore D'oeuvres


"May was a busy news month, led by a devastating tornado in Moore, Okla., the Jodi Arias trial verdict, and a string of political scandals coming out of Washington, D.C. As we noted earlier this week, all the cable news networks except MSNBC were up for the month. Fox News had the top 13 cable news programs in total viewers, and the top seven programs in the key A25-54 demographic. HLN’s 'Nancy Grace' and CNN’s 'Anderson Cooper 360' also made the top 10 in the A25-54 demographic. 'The O’Reilly Factor' was the top program on Fox News and in cable news for the month in total and demo viewers, averaging 2.37 million total and 439,000 demo viewers. The 10 p.m. edition of 'AC360' was the top program on CNN in both total viewers and A25-54 viewers. Placing 19th overall in total viewers and ninth in the demo, 'AC360' averaged 803,000 viewers and 304,000 viewers, respectively. MSNBC’s top program was 'Rachel Maddow,' which averaged 717,000 total and 210,000 demo viewers. Maddow placed 23rd overall in total viewers and 25th in the demo." (TVNewser)


"Dear David, In the 1990s, when I went to work for Random House, there were still many employees who had worked with Truman Capote, most importantly editor Joe Fox.Truman was part of the Random House legend. Bennett Cerf, the founder, was long gone but his widow, Phyllis, was still around and she was protective of her place as Truman’s friend and champion. We proposed an actual "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" to announce the trust and the award which would be the largest in American Literary Criticism. Eleanor Lambert helped, as did Fernanda Gilligan(also old friends of Truman’s like Leo Lerman). Joanna Carson generously lent some of Truman's things including his credit card, scarves, pens, and letters. Tiffany displayed them in their second floor vitrines. The guest list was remarkable. We asked many of Truman’s friends, even those who had deserted him (this prompted a particularly nasty phone call from Jerry Zipkin). Authors came of course. So did actors and actresses — Patricia Neal, Mary Tyler Moore and Robert Wolders among them." (NYSocialDiary)


"The most influential woman in Italian fashion is also one of the smallest. In fact, when she enters Cipriani Downtown, the Italian restaurant that is effectively a New York outpost of Harry’s Bar in Venice, I don’t even see her until she is just in front of me, saying hello in a surprisingly throaty voice. Yet twice during our lunch various fashion folk stop by to pay obeisance, and just after she sits, two complimentary Bellinis materialise on the table. Word has got out that Franca Sozzani, the 63-year-old editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, is in the house, and a lesson in soft power is on the menu. Sozzani is celebrating her 25th year at the helm of Italian Vogue, which makes her one of the two longest-serving editors of any Vogue ever. The other is US Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who was hired the same month as Sozzani. However, while Wintour was elevated to artistic director of Condé Nast US this year, Sozzani has been editorial director of Condé Nast Italia since 1994, and also has direct responsibility for L’Uomo Vogue and Vogue Gioiello. Though Italian Vogue’s distribution of 120,000 is small when compared with US Vogue’s 1.3m, it has an outsized influence that is, ironically in the age of the end of print, growing. Thirty per cent of the readership is non-Italian, while the website has 1.86m users, with half the traffic coming from outside Italy. Alone among Vogue editors, Sozzani has a daily blog, which she writes herself. The blog, on Vogue.it, has taken on everything from eating disorders to the Italian government and the fashion world itself (recently deploring its tendency to gossip and spread rumours about who is taking over what house)." (FT)


"An ex-wife of Harold Robbins, once the world’s most-popular author with 750 million books sold, has written a book of her own dishing on his highly sexed demands for an 'open marriage' and affairs from Beverly Hills to Cannes. Robbins ... told third wife Grace Robbins as he wrote his 1971 best seller 'The Betsy,' 'I gotta have sexual gratification, especially when I’m away from you,' she writes.Grace recalls Harold telling her he’d need to travel for weeks on end for 'research.' 'These will be brief meaningless affairs,' she recalls being told. 'You know, sort of research.' But, her husband added, 'Now, darling, I don’t believe in double standards. While I’m gone, if you want a man to replace me, that’s OK,' she says. In 'Cinderella and the Carpetbagger' (Bettie Youngs Books) Grace writes that when Harold returned from his 'research' trips, 'He told me several stories I didn’t want to hear, very clinically, with all the sordid details, as if he were a doctor describing his latest surgeries.'
Grace details Harold’s subsequent affairs with a St. Tropez baroness married to an Interpol agent, and with the wife of an ABC television president whom Grace caught coming out of the shower at her husband’s office. Harold even invited a former junkie he met on the beach, whom Grace describes as a 'filthy little vagabond that resembled a drowned rat,' to live with them, she says. Grace had her own brief affair with Sammy Davis Jr. that began at a surprise birthday party for the singer. 'I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,' Grace recalls Davis telling her, and 'I did not have time to answer, for suddenly he whipped it out and was indeed showing it to me.' Harold was by then hosting orgies at home and coaxed Grace into bed with two more women, and was using 'pharmaceutical cocaine from his chiropractor.'" (PageSix)


"'Did everybody have a chance to put their data points in the ice bucket?' It was happy hour at the Thompson hotel on the Lower East Side, and Rachel Sklar — entrepreneur, networker, relentless promoter of women — was hoisting herself onto the bar. In one hand, she held a silver ice bucket; in the other, a glass of Champagne and an iPhone. About 40 women had gathered on a cool April evening to celebrate TheLi.st, an e-mail listserv and Web community that Ms. Sklar founded three years ago to help women in tech help one another. Thanks to an infusion of cash from the Knight Foundation and some angel investors, TheLi.st was about to become an actual for-profit business, a would-be cross between LinkedIn and Facebook for women who will pay for the chance to connect with others like them. Think binders not just full of women, but assembled and read by them.       
Throughout the evening, Ms. Sklar, 40, had asked the women to submit written notes on how TheLi.st had helped their careers, for a chance to win prizes (like bags full of cosmetics or T-shirts).
'TheLi.st helped me realize the significance of my company’s progress at an important time,' Ms. Sklar read from a torn bit of paper. 'Claire! Oh, Claire went for dinner. But she won a beauty bag.' In the world of Ms. Sklar, all women working in tech (or media, or politics) are winners, even if they have a problem with her. As long as they are succeeding, she can use them as evidence — data points, she might say — that women deserve to be more frequently hired, funded and featured on the supposedly meritocratic tech scene. 'All I need is for you to be awesome,' she said in a telephone interview." (NYTimes)


"The only man I know who belonged to more gentlemen’s clubs than Eddie Ulmann was the late Bobby Sweeny of amateur golf fame, who once pleaded poverty to me while signing checks to something like twenty clubs spread around the Western world. Eddie was the quintessential clubman. He cherished his clubs, took part in club activities until the very end, and was as popular with the members as he was with the staff of the various establishments he frequented throughout his life. Before I go into his sporting accomplishments, I want to take the time to tell you about Eddie’s “secret” life, that of a writer. I’d also like to pat myself on the back for discovering him. It was about fifteen years ago, and we were having lunch at the old Mortimer’s, and Eddie was criticizing some article that had appeared in 'Taki’s Top Drawer,' a section of the New York Press, a weekly that has since bitten the dust. As editor of the section, I realized that he was right. “So why don’t you write it?” I asked him. 'Oh, no,'  he said, looking shocked, 'my dear fellow, it simply wouldn’t do; club members might suspect me of being a secret ink-stained agent.' That’s when I had the most brilliant idea since Leopold Mozart sat his son Wolfgang down on a piano stool. Use a pseudonym, I said. If it was good enough for Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle), it’s good enough for you. Eddie was delighted by the comparison, and after couple of more stiff Bloody Marys, he agreed. So began a long run of more or less wonderfully droll and sophisticated essays by  'Classicus,' a name he plucked from the Greeks in my honor, or so he said. The owner of the New York Press, Russ Smith, a very good writer himself, soon wanted to know 'Who the hell is this guy?' I was not at liberty to divulge." (Taki)

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