• ABC has offered George Stephanopoulos the job of Good Morning America co-host and "intensive negotiations" are now reportedly underway. [WP]
• More on how the deal to hand over control of NBC to Comcast came together; and more on how the deal will be viewed by regulators in Washington.
• Oprah won't be hosting her own show when her cable network debuts in 2011, but she will have a "significant presence" on OWN, reportedly. [NYP]
• The magazine graveyard: National Geographic Adventure is no more. [NYT
• Cuts: Thomson Reuters is laying off 240; Daily Candy is shutting down seven of its 12 editions and laying off half a dozen; and ALM is shuttering four titles.
• Town & Country is planning to sex up the magazine, apparently. [WWD]
• An unnamed former Forbes staffer is writing a tell-all about the mag. [DF]
• Lou Dobbs is a nasty, evil man. But you probably knew that. [TDB]
• Someone is paying "at least $100 million" for Friendster? [Reuters]
• This year's Grammy nominations were announced this morning. [LAT]
• Photos of Sacha Baron Cohen (as Brüno) and Alessandra Ambrosio from the new issue of British Marie Claire are now online, if you're interested. Or, if you prefer, you can take a gander at a nude Bar Refaeli on the cover of Esquire. [Marie Claire, Esquire]
• After many months of hemming and hawing, it looks like Roberto Cavalli has finally decided to sell a stake in his company. [WSJ]
• Vogue's André Leon Talley reports Anna Wintour was "thrilled" with how her "fabulous" 60 Minutes profile turned out a couple of weeks ago, you'll ubdoubtedly be pleased to hear. [FBNY]
• It's been a year since Barneys started looking for a CEO, which may be one reason why the company has had so many trouble as of late. [WSJ]
• Walt Disney reported that profits plunged 46% last quarter. [Variety, WSJ]
• Mort Zuckerman's plan to save newspapers involves bingo. Really! [NYM]
• The New York Times Co. has reached a deal with the unions at the Boston Globe, although it may take a few weeks to vote on the compromise. [E&P]
• NBC's Washington headquarters is contaminated with asbestos! [NYO]
• Tricky Dylan Ratigan isn't joining ABC after all. He's going to MSNBC. [Gawker]
• Michael Wolff may hate the New York Times, but if it weren't for the Times, he'd probably have nothing to rant about on his unknown website. [HP]
• Amazon unveiled its fancy, new Kindle reader today. [NYT, E&P]
No one will shed tears for Dany Levy. The Daily Candy founder made close to $25 million, by our calculations, on the sale of her email shopping newsletter to Comcast. But former AOL honcho Bob Pittman's Pilot Group took the lion's share of the $125 million windfall, after paying Levy and her family investors just $3.5 million for the privilege five years ago. Pittman's incredible return on investment has helped rehabilitate his tarnished image. But, despite her cheery public pronouncements, Levy must lose some sleep wondering whether she could have driven a harder bargain in the dark post-dot-com days of 2003. Perhaps, one tipster wonders, her thoughts turn to Andy Russell, Pittman's junior partner at Pilot Group, and the "close family friend of Dany since childhood" who is said to have advised her on the $3.5 million valuation.
Daily Candy, the email newsletter for women who like to buy things, was improbably successful. Former journalist Dany Levy founded it in 2000; it quickly became profitable, and she sold a controlling stake in the business to the private investment firm Pilot Group in 2003 for $3.5 million. Pilot Group sold the newsletter to Comcast last week for (an unbelievable) $125 million. But Levy, we hear, retained about a 20% interest in Daily Candy-which would mean that she walked away from the sale with $25 million. That would make her the undisputed internet cash queen of New York media. Take that, Laurel Touby!
Selling DailyCandy to Comcast for $125 million, Bob Pittman earned a 36x return on his 2003 $3.5 million acquisition of the company. Pretty sweet. But investors who bought into the company during its last funding round in 2006, and any employees who joined the the email newsletter for women since then, didn't do nearly so well. As VentureBeat reminds us, that round set DailyCandy's value as high as $140 million. Any shareholders who bought in then are going to lose money on the deal, unless they had a liquidation preference which allowed them to get their money back. That money, in turn, would have come out of the hide of employees, whose common shares would be diluted by shares issued to make the investors whole. So while DailyCandy's sale will renew respect for the one-time, one-eyed AOL boss Bob Pittman's dealmaking abilities — we heard Comcast wanted to pay just $75 million — working for him seems to be a suckers' bet.
In selling DailyCandy to Comcast for $125 million, Bob Pittman has notched a 36x return on the email newsletter he bought in 2003 for $3.5 million. We had heard that Comcast was trying to get it for $75 million, marking sharp dealmanship by Pittman to get the higher price. The long-rumored deal has done much to restore Pittman's reputation as a businessman after the disastrous AOL-Time Warner merger. [Silicon Alley Insider}
It is one of the wonders of America, that business celebrities like junk-bond salesman Michael Milken can be disgraced and then redeemed, often within the span of a decade. Tarnished former media mogul and social climber, Bob Pittman, has secured the first big payday of his new career as an internet investor: his Daily Candy, the email newsletter for women who buy handbags, has sold to cable giant Comcast for $125m, according to Silicon Alley Insider. That's more than had been rumored, and way more than Pittman in 2003 paid for his stake: $3.5m.
Former AOL boss Bob Pittman's Pilot Group Ventures is rumored to have sold its popular email list DailyCandy to Comcast for $75 million. We're not so sure. DailyCandy is for sale — we hear Pittman's lieutenants have acted like absentee landlords during site's redesign — but that if sold, "it would be for much much more." Gossips have also suggested Yahoo as a potential buyer — all of which may well be noise issuing from the Pittman camp, meant to extract a higher price from Comcast.
We heard last week that Daily Candy, the email newsletter for lady shopaholics, was about to be sold. Now digital PR man Adam Isserlis is floating the name of the rumored acquirer: Comcast, one of the two consumer-unfriendliest companies in America! The rumored price is $75 million, a bit below the $100 million+ controlling shareholder and former AOL second-in-command Bob Pittman has been seeking since 2006. But that's still not bad for an email list. The question is: Why Comcast? What the hell is a cable company doing buying a content play? Shouldn't the very presence of Bob Pittman, spectre of the darkest days of the failed AOL-Time Warner merger, remind Comcast of how ill-advised this sort of vertical empire building can be? Meh, Comast is on a roll and doesn't want to hear it.
Daily Candy, the email newsletter for women addicted to expensive handbags, has been on sale for more than two years. But word is that the highly profitable internet property-founded by Dany Levy but now controlled by former MTV and AOL boss Bob Pittman-is finally about to find a buyer. Details, anyone?
Will one-time AOL exec Bob Pittman sell email newsletter DailyCandy to Yahoo? That's what DailyCandy execs are said to have discussed over dinner last week at the Village Restaurant in New York. Ben Lerer, publisher of Thrillist, another online publication backed by Pittman, told us he's heard no talk of a sale. But, tellingly, he was very curious to know what we've heard. That's because while Yahoo might be a surprise suitor, Pittman's desire to sell DailyCandy is no secret. In 2006, the WSJ reported Pittman had put DailyCandy on the block, hoping to sell his $3.5 million investment for more than $100 million. If the dinner happened, it's surprising Pittman didn't clue Lerer in. Ben's dad Ken, a cofounder of the Huffington Post, was a close ally of Pittman at AOL.
Taking up an austere few thousand square feet on Madison Avenue are the offices of the Pilot Group, a shadowy private investment firm run by Robert Pittman, the poor sap who took the fall for the AOL/Time-Warner merger. Of course, they're not really shadowy, just secretive and private and investy, and Bob Pittman is anything but poor. The Pilot Group specializes in "control positions" (i.e. they like to top) on emerging new media and Internet companies. Most famously, the P-Group purchased a controlling stake in girly e-newsletter Daily Candy for $3.5 million in 2003, then put DC on the block earlier this year for $100 million. That sale ultimately didn't happen, as really — $100 million for an email list? Even so, Pittman and Pilot still managed to score an undisclosed minority investment to placate those other stakeholders who wanted their Bubble 2.0 money right now. Comes the rumor that Pilot has inscrutably made a deal for music blog Stereogum. (Perhaps this will console Stereogum's Scott Lapatine after last night's altercation with Jared Leto.) No doubt, you're asking yourself — hey, I have a blog, how can I get Robert Pittman to cover me in bags of filthy lucre? Know your quarry, after the jump.