Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out

(image via Indiana.edu)


In: Roger Friedman Versus Pat O'brien. So, The insider Pat O'brien has no immediate plans to run for Governor of South Dakota. (The Corsair strolls across a peopled room, exhibiting an air of haughty impatience). He's still facing some stiff opposition from the likes of serial feuder and social metaphysicist, Fox 411's Roger Friedman, who snarks:

"I feel for 'The Insider.' The producers obviously have the problem of overlapping with 'ET' when it comes to running 'exclusive' Hollywood stories.

"'Access Hollywood' and 'Extra,' which run together in most markets, already have that problem.

"And of course, real 'insiders' know that most of the content on all four of these shows is supplied by publicists. At various times during the 7-to-8 p.m. hour in New York, the shows are all running their own versions of the same Hollywood story, and it's usually from an electronic press kit.

"But 'The Insider' has caught my eye. If they're going to go in this direction ? sort of a daily Weekly World News ? I will gladly tune in. What fun!"

Meow. Your turn, Pat. Retract your claws first.

Out: The Contender. What can we say? Stallone's officially a jinx. He should have had his ultraviolet-tanned ass cheeks "read" by his "rumpologist" mom (link via Gawker), but no. He had to strike while the reality show genre irons were hott. According to Drudge (who may or may not know a thing or two about Rambo-ing ass cheeks), "TKO!: NBC 'Contender' -- most expensive reality show ever produced -- crashes and burns in debut, finishing last in time slot; boxing (competition) falls flat with weak 5.6 rating/8 share, in overnights, wipe out... Fox 'Idol' stays top of night with 16.1 rating/ 23 share, CBS 'CSI Miami' scores 15.9/24..." Gee, tell us how you really feel Matty.

In: Sir Howard Stringer, Gaijin. After 30 years at CBS, and 8 years at Sony, Sir Howard Stringer (sniff , sniff) becomes the first gaijin Chief executive and chairman of the venerable Sony. (The Corsair offers Stringer a thousand studied bows and curtsies) It should be interesting to see if the British aristo can surmount the Hokusai-sized learning curve of heading up such an important Japanese organization. Marketwatch writes:

"'I think that where he might face resistance culturally, is when he tries to lay off employees, do restructurings, et cetera,' says Usha Haley, professor of management and international business at the University of New Haven.

"'There will need to be some of that; there probably is a lot of slack in that company,' Haley went on to say. 'And the Japanese are promoted on loyalty. That is the basis for their advancement in the organization.'

"A number of managers at Sony probably resent the notion that a non-Japanese person is taking over the company, said Hal Vogel, president of Vogel Capital Management.

"This resentment could be exacerbated, Vogel added, by the fact that Stringer will have to 'knock heads' to force the company's engineers to come up with an answer to Apple Computer's iPod, which has dwarfed Sony's portable music platform."

Hollywoodreporter observes that Stringer will attempt to merge content and technology out of the gate. To be continued ...

Out: Alessandra Facchinetti. Big changes at The Gooch. According to Fashionweek Daily:

"Gucci announced today the departure of women?s ready-to-wear designer Alessandra Facchinetti?who worked under Tom Ford for three years?and the appointment of current accessories head Frida Giannini as overall creative director, where she will oversee both divisions. Facchinetti left, according to a release issued by Gucci Group, due to 'a disagreement with management.'

" .. This appointment has come at a very crucial time for Gucci. Gianni is credited with the enormous success of the accessories collections, including the cruise Flora pieces, which overall have contributed to accessories accounting for approximately 80 percent of company sales. In addition, rival Fendi?owned by LVMH?is speculated to have helped speed up Gianni?s appointment, having apparently tried wooing her to lead their company makeover."

What we've learned today: The best way to affect advancement is a robust wooing by a rival suitor.

In: Bill Clinton. We've been hard on him, but that doesn't erase our fondness for "the first African-American president." Here's a statement form the office of Bill Clinton (link via Drudge):
"Former President Bill Clinton will be undergoing a medical procedure this week to remove fluid and scar tissue from his left chest cavity. The procedure, which is a recognized, occasional consequence of open-heart surgery, will take place Thursday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and he will remain in the hospital for three to ten days.

"The procedure is known as a decortication, and will require general anesthesia. The scar tissue developed as a result of fluid and inflammation causing compression and collapse of the lower lobe of the left lung. The surgery will be done either through a small incision or with a video-assisted thoracoscope inserted between ribs. The fluid buildup and lung collapse has caused the President some discomfort in recent weeks, but he has otherwise been in very good condition, recently passed a stress test and is walking up to four miles a day near his home in Chappaqua, NY.

"The risk of the procedure is low, and once fully recovered, President Clinton is expected to resume his work without limitations."

The Corsair wishes good health and good luck to the former President.

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