Wasserstein Mourned

cityfile · 12/08/09 10:05AM

Hundreds of people gathered at Lincoln Center last night to attend a memorial service for Bruce Wasserstein, the legendary banker, CEO of Lazard, and owner of New York magazine who died in October at the age of 61. The guest list was a motley one. Billionaire raider Carl Icahn and actress Natalie Portman were among the attendees. [WSJ]

New York Rumors, Conde Cuts & SNL's New Low

cityfile · 10/15/09 03:56PM

• Is New York magazine up for sale now that Bruce Wasserstein has died? There's no reason to assume so, but that isn't stopping people from tossing around the names of some very unlikely "contenders." [NYP, AdAge, DF]
• Related: David Carr of the Times details how Wasserstein benefited the magazine; Daniel Gross of Slate focuses on his commitment to journalism; and New York's editors offer up their own heartfelt tribute to the mag's late owner.
• The cuts at Condé continue: Golf World felt the pain today. [Gawker]
SNL has cut a deal with Anheuser-Busch to stick beer ads into the show. "Maybe if we drink enough the show will actually seem funny." [LAT]

Kelly Bensimon Reflects

cityfile · 10/15/09 08:43AM

Bruce Wasserstein, the Wall Street titan who died yesterday at the age of 61, was a brilliant man, clearly, and the man who "helped pioneer the hostile takover in the 1980s and reshaped the mergers and acquisitions business into high art," as New York Times reporters Andrew Ross Sorkin and Michael de la Merced put it their excellent Wasserstein obit today. But how did he supposedly teach Kelly Killoren Bensimon of the Real Housewives of New York City to go against the grain and be her own person? We haven't the faintest clue. But we're going to venture to guess that if she can't spell his name correctly, she probably didn't spend much time in a Lazard conference room plotting hostile takeovers either. [Twitter]

Bruce Wasserstein: 1947-2009

cityfile · 10/14/09 12:21PM

Legendary investment banker Bruce Wasserstein has died, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are now reporting. The chairman and CEO of Lazard—and the owner of New York magazine—was just 61. [NYT, WSJ]

Anyone Have a Magazine to Sell to Mort Zuckerman?

cityfile · 10/07/09 08:23AM

Mort Zuckerman's latest attempt to expand his media empire has failed, it seems. Reuters is reporting the real estate developer and owner of the Daily News and US News has decided to drop out of the race to acquire BusinessWeek, possibly because he sensed execs at the mag's parent company, McGraw-Hill, are more interesting in doing a deal with Bloomberg LP instead.

Leno's Debut, The Sale of BW, Harvey's Latest Loss

cityfile · 09/15/09 01:26PM

• So how did Jay Leno's new show do? He hit it out of the park ratings-wise, roping in an estimated 18 million viewers. The reviews were all pretty lousy, though, so don't be surprised if it's all downhill from here. [AdAge, LAT, THR]
• The sale of BusinessWeek: Bruce Wasserstein has dropped out as a potential acquirer of the struggling mag. And it's cutting 20% of its staff. [BW, NYT]
• ABC News has apologized to the White House for Nightline anchor Terry Moran's tweet about Obama calling Kanye West a "jackass." [LAT]
• Speaking of the White House, Barack Obama will be David Letterman's guest on Monday night; it's the first time a sitting president has done the show. [NYT]
• Oprah's season premiere scored big thanks to Whitney Houston. [Wrap]
• The House of Harvey has sustained another blow: Harvey Weinstein's 70 percent stake in the home-video distributor Genius Products, once worth as much as $400 million, is now pretty much worthless. [NYP]
• Speaking of the film mogul, The Weinstein Co. picked up the rights to A Single Man, designer Tom Ford's debut film, at the Toronto Film Festival. [THR]

BusinessWeek's New Bidder; John Stossel Joins FNC

cityfile · 09/10/09 02:10PM

• It looks like there's a new frontrunner to take over BusinessWeek. Mayor Bloomberg's media company, Bloomberg LP, has bypassed Bruce Wasserstein as the leading contender to take over the McGraw-Hill-owned mag. [NYP]
• After close to three decades at ABC News, John Stossel is leaving the network to join Fox News and Fox Business Channel. [FNC, TVN]
• Not all magazines are closing down or trimming operations. Cesar Millan and IMG have launched a title for dog owners called Cesar's Way. [WSJ]
• There's been an editorial shakeup at O, The Oprah Magazine. [NYP, WWD]
• Will this season be the last for Oprah Winfrey's daytime talk show? [NYDN]
Graydon Carter appears to have been granted a pass. The Vanity Fair editor reports he hasn't been forced to sit down with the flock of cost-cutting McKinsey consultants now prowling the halls of Condé Nast. [NYO]
• A judge has tossed out a lawsuit by Missy Chase Lapine, the author who claims Jessica Seinfeld ripped off her cookbook last year. [AP]
• According to the Wall Street Journal, "Bonnet books," or Amish love stories, are "a booming new subcategory of the romance genre." Who knew? [WSJ]

Don Hewitt Dies; Condé Nast Under the Microscope

cityfile · 08/19/09 01:53PM

• Don Hewitt, the man who invented 60 Minutes, is dead at 86. [CBS, NYT]
• Those McKinsey consultants at Condé Nast have commenced their work. The first order of business: a review of Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler. [NYO]
• Related: Anna Wintour is "said to have told" Condé boss Si Newhouse that "she would welcome McKinsey to her offices." So welcome, guys! [WWD]
• Nine companies are said to be eyeing BusinessWeek, the struggling title owned by McGraw-Hill. The front-runner, according to the Post's Keith Kelly: financier Bruce Wasserstein, who also owns New York magazine. [NYP]
• Is Fox News going to fire Glenn Beck given all his insane comments and all the advertisers who have since abandoned the show? Alas, no. [DailyFinance]

Olbermann's Folly, Cuts at Condé, BusinessWeek Bids

cityfile · 08/04/09 01:27PM

Keith Olbermann took Times reporter Brian Stelter to task last night for reporting that News Corp. and GE had worked out a deal to tone down the rhetoric between MSNBC and Fox News. But he didn't disagree with everything Stelter reported. Conveniently, only the bad stuff about him was wrong. [NYM]
• More bad news for Olbermann: MSNBC now admits it made a mistake by not disclosing that Countdown fixture Richard Wolffe is a paid lobbyist. Naturally, Olbermann had absolutely no idea about any of this. [Politico, Salon]
• Condé Nast is shedding more staff. This time around it appears the media giant's receptionists will be paying the ultimate price. [Gawker, NYM]
• Reps for Bruce Wasserstein met with BusinessWeek execs yesterday to discuss a bid for the magazine. Joe Mansueto, the founder of Morningstar and owner of Fast Company, may be a potential bidder as well. [BW]

'Times' Earnings, The Tabloids & Twitter

cityfile · 07/23/09 12:19PM

BusinessWeek's Jon Fine reports that New York owner Bruce Wasserstein may be in the running to break out a dollar bill and buy BusinessWeek. [BW]
• ESPN banned New York Post employees from appearing on the network yesterday after the paper ran (blurry) pics of a nude Erin Andrews. [AP]
• Will will happen with McKinsey consultants now infiltrating Condé Nast? How should you behave if you work there? Some answers and tips. [NYM, Gawker]
Martha Stewart loves Twitter, doesn't particularly care for Facebook. [TDB]
• Kate Major, the Jon Gosselin-loving, publicity-seeking reporter for publicity-seeking Star magazine, has resigned from the junky tabloid. [Star]
• Ad revenue fell precipitously, but the New York Times Co. reported second-quarter profits of $39.1 million, up from $21.1 million a year ago. [NYT]
• Related: Is the Times Co. planning to hang on to the Boston Globe? [E&P]
• America's most trusted newscaster? That would be Jon Stewart. [Time]

Claude Wasserstein Is Now Making Home Deliveries

cityfile · 05/28/09 10:56AM

Claude Wasserstein, the ex-wife of billionaire financier Bruce Wasserstein, resides in a $34 million duplex on Fifth Avenue. But that doesn't mean she wouldn't be willing to drop off four mini-cheeseburgers for you to eat for dinner tonight for $12. Wasserstein has teamed up with three other women—Susie Cover, Marcia Mishaan, and Samantha Schlumberger—to launch a food delivery service called Susie's Supper Club, which promises to "give New York City families an alternative to standard take-out and delivery options." Like the dozen or so other companies that deliver freshly-cooked meals that you need to pop in the microwave for a few minutes before you pass off as your own cooking, customers get to pick and choose items from an online menu. Unlike other services, these dishes are prepared by a chef skilled enough to have once worked as personal chef to the Wasserstein family. Chew on that, ZoneChefs. The full press release is below.

Wall Street: Wednesday Morning

cityfile · 05/27/09 05:48AM

• Following a similar move by Morgan Stanley last week, Citigroup and Bank of America are raising base salaries for bankers. It's designed to make up for the new limits on annual bonuses (and won't make up for the difference, by any means), so don't expect shouts of joy at either bank today. [WSJ]
• Bank of America has scraped together another $5.9 billion, which means it's now 76 percent of the way toward filling its $33.9 billion capital hole. [WSJ]
• New York State Controller Thomas DiNapoli is cutting ties with 10 hedge fund managers as part of the state's pension corruption investigation. [DB]

Ron Perelman Does Not Tolerate Disloyalty

cityfile · 05/22/09 11:01AM

Don Drapkin was once one of Ron Perelman's closest associates. A former lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Drapkin spent 20 years working for Perelman's holding company MacAndrews & Forbes as his chief dealmaker and "strategic thinker." He was so close to Perelman, in fact, that the billionaire mogul once likened him to a brother. Until, that is, Drapkin jumped ship in 2007 and joined Lazard as the firm's vice chairman at the invitation of Lazard chief Bruce Wasserstein. The split seemed uncharacteristically amicable at the time—Perelman announced that Drapkin had "done a terrific job," and he'd "miss him." But the relationship seems to have taken a turn for the worse since then. Perelman just hit Drapkin with a lawsuit.