Ben Bronfman (or "Ben Brewer" as he previously known) is the son of billionaire media mogul Edgar Bronfman Jr., the husband of singer (and cheese lover) M.I.A. (they're the parents of an eight-month-old son named Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman), and the founder of the Green Owl, which is billed as the "Earth's first green music label" (and is backed by his father who happens to own Warner Music).
• The New York Times Co. reported a $35.6 million loss for the third quarter as ad revenue plunged 30 percent. But it was better than what Wall Street analysts were predicting, so the stock shot up 22 percent today. [NYT]
• New York magazine's chief says there are no plans to sell the magazine following last week's death of owner Bruce Wasserstein. [AdAge]
• Newsday plans to charge $5 a week to access to its website. [NYT, [E&P]
• Fortune is cutting back on the number of issues it publishes. And Time Inc., Fortune's publisher, is planning another round of job cuts. [WSJ]
• On the same day Sarah Palin's memoir is published, the Nation will release Going Rouge, an identical-looking book that mocks the ex-governor. [Politico]
• As if losing billions of family money wasn't enough of a punishment, France says it plans to put Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman Jr. on trial for insider trading in connection with the 2000 merger of Vivendi and Seagram. [NYP]
• Edgar Bronfman Jr. and wife Clarissa are putting down roots in London. The couple has picked up a "posh house" in Kensington and plan to relocate with their four kids by the end of the summer, although the Warner Music chairman/billionaire heir says he plans to divide his time between London and NYC. [NYP]
• Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has taken $60,000 off the price of his Westchester home. The five-bedroom Tudor in Larchmont, which went on the market for $1.635 in March, has been reduced to $1.575 million. He's since rented out the house for $7,500 a month so he can "wait until the real estate market rebounds a bit." [Luxist, HL]
• Russian communications mogul Timur Artemiev, who co-founded the country's largest mobile phone retailer, has picked up a New York pied-à-terre. Artemiev paid $1.39 million for a two-bedroom condo at the Chelsea Stratus on West 24th Street. [Cityfile]
The downtown Armory played host to the 37th annual Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards last night. A big bunch of celebs and designerswere on hand as Marc Jacobs was inducted into the foundation's Hall of Fame, including fellow award winners like Diddy and Paris, as well as Queen Latifah, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Dustin Hoffman and Lisa Gottsegen, Hilary Rhoda, Kendu Isaacs and Mary J. Blige, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, Harry and Laura Slatkin, John Demsey, Linda Wells, Doug Reinhardt, Tracy Reece, Nacho and Delfina Figueras, Kate Walsh, Samantha Harris, Tova and Ernest Borgnine, and Jacobs's fiancé, Lorenzo Martone. [PMc, WWD, Vogue UK, VF, NYO, Wireimage]
Jamie-Lynn Sigler is 28 today. Fox News chief Roger Ailes is turning 69. Chazz Palminteri is 57. Jasper Johns is 79. Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright is turning 72. Current Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is turning 61. The founder of Essence Communications, Ed Lewis, is 69. Sportscaster Dan Patrick is 53. Ahmet Zappa is turning 35. Brian Eno is 61. Former football player Emmitt Smith is turning 40. Learning Annex founder Bill Zanker is 55. And actor David Charvet, better known as the father of Brooke Burke's kids, is 37. Weekend birthdays—including that of Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Charles Kushner—below.
Edgar Bronfman Jr. has had a lousy few years—would you want to be running a music company these days?—but at least he can rest easier knowing that ex-Simon & Schuster CEO Dick Snyder won't be a thorn in his side any longer. A court today dismissed Snyder's $100 million lawsuit against Bronfman for helping to "conceive" of the plan to buy Warner for $2.6 billion in 2003. [Reuters]
The hip hop star MIA on marrying Ben Brewer, the son of Edgar Bronfman Jr.: "I've always had that f**k-the-system mentality, and his dad is so 'the system.' But then, they're the most liberal family—they bootlegged alcohol, for God's sake. They're rich because they threw big, illegal parties, so I don't mind." [Page Six]
♦ Edgar Bronfman Jr. has closed on the sale of his 8,000-square-foot home in Amagansett, which he originally purchased for $12.5 million in 2005 and listed for $15.8 million in 2006. The final sale price was just $12.67 million, which means after adjusting for taxes and inflation, Bronfman actually took a $1 million loss on the property. Photos of the home are here. [Page Six]
♦ Albert Hammond Jr. has reportedly gone into contract to sell his 1,200-square-foot co-op at 141 East 3rd Street, which he picked up for $770,000 in 2005 and put on the market for $1.199 million back in August. [NYM]
♦ Lisa Kerkorian, a former tennis pro and the ex-wife of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, has lowered the price of her Bridgehampton home. After more than a year on the market, it's been reduced from $12.7 million down to $7.995 million. [Newsday]
A few months back, M.I.A, the Brooklyn-by-way-of-London singer who derives her enthusiastically touted cred from her father's former existence as a Tamil Tiger terrorist, was thinking about abandoning our fair shores. Thank goodness she didn't, because we need brave cultural vanguardists like her to remind us that rich people are ruining the creative heart of New York! In an interview with artist Kehinde Wiley, M.I.A.—who also says she misses "being a real human," like when she lived in Sri Lanka "in the middle of a war and I was getting shot at"—bemoans the fact that "it's just become impossible for young, creative artists to live in New York."
Serial flipper Edgar Bronfman Jr. has sold his 11-room apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue for $21 million, according to property records published today. That's $1.5 million more than he paid for the place back in January of this year, but $3 million less than what he was originally seeking for the apartment when he first put it on the market. The buyer is Thomas D. Lehrman and his wife Marjorie. Lehman co-founded of the upstart Wall Street research firm Gerson Lehrman. A floorplan of the apartment after the jump. [Cityfile]
♦ Writer/producer Todd Komarnicki (Elf, Meet Dave) and his wife, Jane Bradbury, have paid $1.925 million for a two-bedroom, fifth-floor loft at 156 Franklin Street in Tribeca. [Cityfile]
♦ Edgar Bronfman Jr. and his wife Clarissa are at it again! This time they're paying $28.5 million for a 40-foot-wide townhouse on East 69th Street that was once owned by Muppets creator Jim Henson. [NYO]
♦ Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is in contract to buy a top floor spread in the Robert A.M. Stern-designed Superior Ink development on West 12th Street for $25 million. [NYO]
Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon has picked up Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s spread in the Carhart mansion at 3 East 95th Street for $20 million, according to the Post. (Bronfman paid $18.75 million for the property last year and initially tried to sell it for $24.5 million.) What did the man-eating stiletto mogul get for her money? The duplex is still unfinished, although there are plans to put "five bedrooms, four bathrooms, two powder rooms, six terraces, a 40-foot living room with 12-foot ceilings, a 22-foot formal dining room, maid's quarters and a solarium," into the 7,140-square-foot space. After the jump, photos and floorplans of Tamara's new digs.
The Post has spotted a new real estate trend: apparently quite a few people have paid more than $45 million for apartments and townhouses recently. This "new stratosphere" includes Harry Macklowe ($60mm), J. Christopher Flowers ($53mm), Phil Falcone ($49mm), Dan Loeb ($45.8mm), Jon Tisch ($48mm) and Len Blavatnik, who paid $50 million to acquire a 15,000-square-foot townhouse from "Seagram's president Edgar Bronfman Jr." Bronfman hasn't served as the president of Seagram for about a decade now. But let this slip-up serve as a lesson to us all! If you take over your father's immensely valuable liquor empire and then sell off the pieces to fund your misguided investments in the music and film industries—and lose billions of your family's money in the process—you may be forced to downsize.
Edgar Bronfman Jr. has one less thing to worry about. The Post's Braden Keil reports today that the heir and Warner Music CEO has finally gone into contract to sell the Amagansett property that has been on and off the market since 2006. The three-acre estate, which Bronfman purchased for $12.5 million in 2005, includes a six-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot main house as well as a guest house and pool house. A sale price hasn't been disclosed (yet)—it was last on the market for $14.7 million—but you can take a look around at the property after the jump.
It won't be quite as cheery as usual at Herb Allen's annual media mogul retreat, which kicks off today in Sun Valley. This time last year, the credit crisis was but a blip on the radar. Oh, how things have changed over the past twelve months. Without the billions on hand to close big deals, the economic downturn has made life pretty depressing for the master-of-the-universe set. But gather they will— the tennis and hiking must go on, damnit—and aside from the handful of players who were dropped from the invite list on account of their declining influence, all the media big shots are expected. Among those who will be cruising in on their company-owned jets: Rupert Murdoch (along with son Lachlan), Warren Buffett, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman, Les Moonves, Howard Stringer, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Jeff Bewkes and Dick Parsons of Time Warner, NBC's Jeff Zucker, Universal's Ron Meyer, Paramount chief Brad Grey, and Disney's Bob Iger.
- Chuck Prince is having a hard time selling his home in Greenwich. In the six months he's had the English-style mansion on the market, he's slashed the price by $300,000. The five-bedroom home on 2.4 acres (with wood-paneled library, exercise room, pool, sauna) can now be yours for $5.85 million. Prince shouldn't miss the manse much. The former Citigroup CEO and his wife Margaret spend most of their time at their expansive apartment at 550 Park Ave. [Bloomberg, Cleveland, Duble & Arnold]
It's nice to be the son of a billionaire media mogul—especially if you're trying to carve out a music career. Meet Ben Brewer, fiance of M.I.A., and son of Edgar Bronfman Jr. and one of the newest members of the Warner Music family. The aspiring rockstar doesn't sport his dad's famous last name—his mother is Sherri Brewer, the African-American actress who appeared in '70s movies like Shaft—but his father is Warner Music's chairman and, of course, heir to a multi-billion liquor fortune that he has squandered to the tune of billions over the past decade. To Brewer's credit, he's no newbie to the music scene; his band, The Exit, has been around for years. (And his dad has a history of handing out contracts to close pals, like Jimmy Dolan.) Whether or not The Exit is any good seems to be a matter of opinion: Roger Friedman, Fox gossip and Bronfman nemesis, described the group as "incredibly mediocre-sounding," and said they "sound like a Police cover band at a high school prom." You can judge for yourself on the band's MySpace page.
British/Sri Lankan songstress M.I.A, who's made a career out of critiquing American imperialism and namechecking the PLO, is reportedly marrying into the mega-rich, and Jewish, Bronfman family. She's engaged to Ben Brewer, the son of Edgar Bronfman Jr. and his first wife Sherri Brewer, and the guitarist for rock band The Exit. M.I.A.—or Maya Arulpragasam—recently announced that her visa was about to expire and she'd either have to marry an American or move to Canada. She's landed the triple whammy now: Her future father-in-law isn't only a billionaire, he's also the chairman and CEO of Warner Music, which means that a fresh record contract may very well come with the marriage and the Green card. And just think of how much more amusing Passover seder at the Bronfmans will be next year.