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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





"Sunday's shocking showdown between Breaking Bad's Walt and Hank was followed Monday by something nearly as stunning: News of a massive surge in the show's ratings. Per Nielsen, just under 6 million viewers tuned in for the final season premiere, exactly double the series' previous biggest audience and nearly four times the number of viewers who watched the 2008 series premiere. Almost immediately, in tweets and analyses, journalists who cover television identified Netflix as the reason for the boost: Breaking Bad's ratings have been on a slow upward trajectory, but the biggest gains have come since the series made its Netflix debut in September 2011, allowing viewers to easily, efficiently, and affordably succumb to proselytizing fans and get hooked themselves. To paraphrase Seinfeld, the Netflix effect is real, and it's spectacular … but it's not the only reason for the dramatic rise of Bad: Late surges have happened before, even in the days before TV on demand. It used to happen with the broadcast networks — and still could, if they take the bigger, old-school lesson from AMC about the ever-increasing importance of patience in the world of TV." (Vulture)


"I was the editor of Avenue for three years under Mrs. Price from ’97 to August 2000. JH came to work there the following year as my assistant. (We worked well together; we never worked in the same building at the same time.) In 2000, we left to launch the NYSD. Judy always has lots of information and stories from her travels and her (not so) new business, the National Jewelry Institute. She’s already published three or maybe it’s five great books on the history of jewelry, as well as staged several exhibitions. No moss grows under those feet. She also loves a good piece of gossip like most media folk. Mine was that her also once-upon-a-time editor, Michael Shnayerson, who writes for Vanity Fair, is going out with Gayfryd Steinberg, the beautiful and gracious widow of Saul Steinberg.  Michael’s (the restaurant) sounded like good news – all that noise of hundreds of boss-voices relishing the whole Noo Yawk Moment one way or another. In the center of the room, Bonnie Fuller, President and Editor-in-Chief of HollywoodLife.com, along with Gerry Byrne of Penske Media, presiding over a table of fourteen or sixteen. At Table One:  Maria Bartiromo, Gayfryd Steinberg’s step-daughter-in-law was presiding. Nearby: The LeFraks, pere et fils – Harrison, Jamie, and friend; Matt Rich with writer Ava Roosevelt; Fred Davis of Davis, Shapiro & Lewit ... the distinguished William vanden Heuvel, businessman, attorney, diplomat, author and also founder and director of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. It was Bill vanden Heuvel, force of personality that actualized (with a lot of help from a lot of friends) the FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. Bill is also the father of Katrina vanden Heuvel, owner/publisher of The Nation. Moving along: Ralph Destino; Barry Frey." (NYSocialDiary)


"The old girl groans and creaks as we tack time and again, the breeze right on the nose as we negotiate the turquoise coastline. She’s gaff-rigged and good upwind, the only annoyance being the ubiquitous speedboats driven by fat Greeks who come by for a look-see. From my porthole I see only green pines and olive trees with the light blue of sky and sea as background. My maternal house near Sparta is now a museum, the main square named after my grandfather who is among the very few public figures not to have robbed the place blind. Greek hacks are among the most illiterate in an illiterate profession, having mistaken me for another whose name sounds like mine but who doesn’t dress at Anderson & Sheppard and whose last mistress resembled latricoteuse ... In the meantime, I’m cruising and having the time of my life. My annual birthday party went off fine, the Greek royal family honoring me with their presence along with some very, very good friends. The less said about the hangover the next morning, the better.Weatherbird is full of ghosts. The first night the mother of my children as well as my boy saw a tiny figure in white walking through the cabins below decks. I didn’t believe them until I saw my five-year-old granddaughter sleepwalking in her little white dress; at least I thought it was her." (Taki)


"Journalist and screenwriter Rula Jebreal will marry entrepreneur and wealthy banking scion Arthur Altschul Jr. in a private ceremony in the Hamptons next weekend. The two are expected to say 'I do' in front of about 100 guests. We hear his best man will be longtime friend John Miller, the CBS correspondent and terrorism and intelligence expert who’s married to Arthur’s sister, Emily. Arthur’s other sister, Serena Altschul, is a journalist who worked for MTV for years. Page Six in May revealed exclusively that Rula and Arthur, the son of former Goldman Sachs partner, philanthropist and art collector Arthur Altschul, were engaged. This is the first marriage for Arthur; Rula has a teenage daughter, Miral, from a previous relationship, who will also participate in the ceremony. Rula previously dated artist and director Julian Schnabel. He is now engaged to model May Andersen, who gave birth to the couple’s first child, Shooter Sandhed Julian Schnabel Jr., in July." (PageSix)


"Of all the new careers one might expect for a 55-year-old former publishing executive, part-time record producer is not the most likely ... In just the last eight years, since resigning from his perch at Condé Nast, Mr. Truman has taken on a somewhat surprising array of projects. He is a creative adviser to Francis Ford Coppola on his wine business and growing hotel empire; with the hotelier André Balazs, he has been running an organic farm upstate called Locusts on Hudson, which supplies organic foods to the Standard Hotel; and with Sunny Bates, an entrepreneur involved in the TED Conference, he started a short-lived circus that Ms. Bates described as a 'kind of mashed-up TED, Burning Man and the circus coming into town.'  At one event, organized at Mr. Balazs’s farm, parents took their children to work with circus performers and presented what Mr. Truman called a 'very New Age-y circus.' There were no animals, so he bought 150 fake fur coats on eBay, the kids became the 'wardrobe masters,' and when the performance was to take place, their parents were dressed up like lions or zebras and escorted to a barn where they watched from atop piles of hay.  This is not the career trajectory Mr. Truman expected for himself when he was the crown prince of the publishing world. In fact, as he sees it, he doesn’t have a career at all, just interesting endeavors that keep him engaged and occupied. But in an era where more and more Americans find themselves cobbling together disparate and often part-time jobs, he has managed to unwittingly stumble on the zeitgeist yet again.The difference, of course, is that Mr. Truman is the rare person who seems to have chosen to do this while in his prime. And that is mystifying to former colleagues in the publishing industry, who cannot fathom why a man who loved magazines since he was a boy willingly gave up the keys to the kingdom — along with a seven-figure annual salary, a clothing allowance and a driver permanently at the ready. James Truman has occasionally been characterized as a kind of protoplasm of metrosexuality, a dandyish straight man at home with women and gay men — a perfect fit, essentially, for Condé Nast." (NYTimes)
 
 
 
"In August, New York tends to become a ghost town, its upper reaches deserted for the private beaches of the Hamptons or the rolling green acres of Connecticut. It’s rare to find someone whose name is over the door actually behind that door – except, of course, in the fashion world, where New York Fashion Week, which begins on September 6, dictates a different schedule.'Oh, I am here every August,' laughs the designer Carolina Herrera, who has built a billion-dollar business dressing those (such as Caroline Kennedy, the new US ambassador to Japan and a Martha’s Vineyard summerer) who go away. 'It’s the price of this job. But I actually like it. You can go anywhere you want and there are no lines.'Certainly there are no lines when we meet at Sant Ambroeus, an Italian café down in the verdant, genteel reaches of the West Village, the part of Manhattan dotted with regal-looking red brick brownstones and flowering pear trees. It is so empty, in fact, that I can’t help but wonder why we are there; why the designer most associated with dressing uptown society, whose offices are midtown in the heart of New York’s garment district, should have opted to come downtown for a meal. What does it mean? Is it about adding some edge (established designers always seem to be trying to add some edge)? Is she scouting locations for a new store? Is it a Garbo, vant-to-be-alone thing (Andy Warhol silkscreened Herrera, in Evita doppelgänger mode, in 1979, and she has been widely recognised ever since)? 'My daughter Patricia lives around the corner,' Herrera says, when I ask. 'We come here all the time. I hope you like it. I think it has a nice family feeling.'" (FT)

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