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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Media-Whore D'oeuvres



"For much of the first half of 2012, Rupert Murdoch struggled with a decision he knew would affect his legacy as a media mogul: to split or not to split the far-flung entertainment and publishing empire he had built for six decades. Investors, analysts, bankers and some of his own executives repeatedly had pitched the idea as a way to unlock the value of Murdoch's TV and film assets without the drag of his cherished but more challenged newspaper businesses. After the 2011 phone-hacking scandal at his U.K. papers, which the mogul called "the most humbling [experience] of my career," voices grew louder. But Murdoch, 82, wasn't ready to chop up a family business he grew from an Adelaide, Australia, paper he inherited from his father into a conglomerate with a market capitalization of about $75 billion -- especially when critics would link it to the scandal. Then, after revisiting the idea during a May 2012 visit to his ranch in Carmel, Calif. -- sources say News Corp. president, COO and deputy chairman Chase Carey and CFO David DeVoe were key advocates -- Murdoch finally changed his mind. On June 28, News Corp. will be cleaved into 21st Century Fox, which will hold the film and most TV businesses, and a new News Corp (no period), home to newspapers, books, education services and Australian TV channels. Wall Street observers say the fate of the new companies will help define Murdoch and his closest lieutenants in the wake of the hacking scandal, which Murdoch called 'a major black eye.'" (TheHollywoodReporter)



"At this very early point in the 2014 race for the U.S. House, small Republican gains — as in, less than five seats — look likelier than a similarly small gain for Democrats. That’s because the Republican targets just look a little better than the Democratic ones. While it would be foolish to rule out any outcome, there is no indication at this point that the Republican House majority is in jeopardy.  That’s obvious from our recent tweak of our Crystal Ball U.S. House ratings. Chart 1 shows the changes we’ve made since our last update (April 4), and Chart 2 shows the ratings overall. The House, which after last week’s special election of Rep. Jason Smith (R, MO-8) is now at full strength, has 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats. That means Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to grab the majority." (CentyerforPolitics)


"I went down to Michael’s for the Wednesday mass-lunch. Star Jones was at the table just inside the door, lunching with Dr. Holly Philips; next door Deb Shriver of Hearst was lunching with writer Pamela Keogh (news hadn’t got out yet about the window washers getting stuck on the 44th floor of the Hearst Tower when their scaffolding collapsed — rescued by the NYFD — everyone was reportedly very calm throughout). I was lunching with Laura Slatkin, founder and CEO of the fabulously successful Nest Fragrances (100% increase in sales, five years in a row). NEST’s client list includes more than 50 world class brands such as Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Restoration Hardware, Estee Lauder, Anthropologie, Tory Burch, D. Porthault, Jonathan Adler, Vera Wang, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. In the bay at Table One Diane Clehane was lunching and interviewing Kelly Lynch and Mitch Glazer who are in town promoting Magic City, the STARZ hit show created by Glazer and starring his wife (Ms. Lynch). Next door: Gerry Byrne of Penske Media. Next to them Terry Allen Kramer with Alana Stewart, and just beyond Nikki Haskell and Catherine Saxton. Next to them: Charles Grodin and Sandi Mendelson, literary publicist (Hilsinger-Mendelson). Moving on: Alice Mayhew of Simon & Schuster with political pundit Joe Conason who must be writing a book; super-agent Boaty Boatright with Jay Cantor ..." (NySocialDiary)


"In this excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Mo’ Meta Blues, the Roots drummer and Jimmy Fallon’s bandleader shares the albums that defined him, from his years growing up in a musical—and increasingly religious—family, to the day he landed his first record deal ... 1971:
Sly and the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On
My sister was giving me a bath, and soap got in my eyes. I went running downstairs, and it just so happened that 'Just Like a Baby' was playing in the background. Anytime I hear it now, I wish I had Johnson’s No-Tears ... 1981:
The Time, The Time / The Jacksons, The Jacksons: Live
There was a kid in sixth grade whose mom allowed him to bring his boom box to the cafeteria. When 'After Hi School' came on, I tripped over the cord and knocked his boom box over. 'You owe me money,' he said. I knew that my dad kept at least $4,000 hidden in the library. I figured I’m just going to take a twenty. I took $25 instead. I had gotten whippings throughout my life, but when he found out I had taken the money, it was that and then some. That set the course for our relationship. If Joe [Jackson] hadn’t given his kids all those whippings, then they never would have made the record, and I never would have gotten my whipping." (NYMag)


"Ethiopia's initiation of a dam project on the Blue Nile has quickly drawn the ire of Egypt, which is critically dependent on it as a source of much of the country's freshwater needs. As Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said June 9 following Ethiopia's refusal to halt construction of the dam and ahead of his trip to Addis Ababa to discuss the project, Egypt will not give up a 'single drop of water from the Nile.' 'No Nile, no Egypt,' he said.  While Egypt has struggled to attract diplomatic intervention on its behalf to thwart Ethiopia's dam construction, tensions have reached the point where Egypt has suggested the use of force to keep the dam from potentially lowering the Nile's water levels downstream to unacceptable levels. There will be serious international pressure to keep the dispute over the dam in the realm of diplomacy, but there are also fairly significant constraints on the physical possibility of an Egyptian military solution." (STRATFOR)


"Art.sy co-founder Dasha Zhukova hosted a dinner at the Kunstmuseum Basel during Art Basel last night, to honor Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates. The event was co-hosted by Daphne Guinness and Tina Brown, who interviewed Gates at the event. Guests included Vladimir Doronin, Larry Gagosian, “homeless billionaire” Nicolas Berggruen, Stephanie Seymour, Simon and Michaela de Pury, Vito Schnabel, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and Jean Pigozzi. Spies at the Credit Suisse-sponsored bash said many Basel VIP attendees were worried about getting out of town because of an Air France strike, and had booked private jets to fly the coop from Switzerland late last night." (PageSix)


"On a Thursday night in April, Sydney Reising hosted a party at the W Hotel, 57 floors above Times Square. Solange Knowles was deejaying, and in a back room, girls in heels danced on the beds until the pillows exploded, tiny feathers pluming out of their cases. Other attendees hoisted phones to Instagram and tweet about the scene. It was a bunch of downtown kids partying in the heart of Midtown at a big-brand event. But as long as the barrage of social media mentioned W Hotels, it was perfectly fine to trash the suite. W Hotels is not the first serious client to partner with Sydney Reising Creative, the 25-year-old publicity star’s newly founded company. Supreme, Everlane, Illy Coffee and, as of last month, Toyota have all placed their fates in the hands of Ms. Reising in exchange for her edgy cachet. To her clients, Ms. Reising represents a bike lane toward hip-dom, as she translates stale slogans and corporate-speak into new-school language, promoting each brand with a torrent of often hilarious, ever-charming blasts across social media feeds. 'I’m so glad you could make it,' Ms. Reising told The Observer when we arrived at the W. There was an intimidating line outside the suite, but Ms. Reising simply sashayed down some strange corridor. Like magic, we were inside. Cam’ron was now performing while the model Hanne Gaby Odiele shot video of the rapper and his Dipset entourage. Chelsea Leyland, the deejay and socialite, danced nearby. We asked Ms. Leyland for a quote. She snatched our notebook, ran to a corner and began writing." (Observer)

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