• The 2009 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced today. [Pulitzer.org]
• It's been six years since the release of The Da Vinci Code, but Knopf says Dan Brown's latest, The Lost Symbol, will hit stores in September. [AP]
• Hollywood agencies Endeavor and William Morris appear to have cemented a merger, although an official announcement is still forthcoming. [THR]
• With the radio business struggling, some commercial stations are now following the lead of public radio and asking for donations. [WSJ]
• 17 Again was No. 1 at the box office with a gross of $24.1 million. [THR]
• Fran Drescher says she's in talks to host a cable TV talk show. The program would cover politics, culture, and health issues, and she claims she's in discussions with MSNBC, PBS, and Oprah Winfrey's OWN. God help us. [USN]
We heard from a pretty good source that two Jossip-owned blogs—celebrity-focused Mollygood and black person-focused Stereohyped—are shutting down, probably due to the bad economy. And it's at least half confirmed, because Mollygood has just written a post confirming that she's gone [UPDATE: Now it's totally confirmed; additional goodbye post here]. They're both pretty decent blogs in their fields, so the appropriate response here is sadness. If you have more details we should know, feel free to email us; below, a small excerpt of Mollygood's goodbye [UPDATE 2: And a statement from Jossip boss David Hauslaib]:
What did the CEO of General Electric say about black people two weeks ago? The Black Corporate Directors Conference may have thought it was doing Jeff Immelt a favor by keeping his comments on race off the record, thus allowing him to speak more freely and so forth. But now that Immelt's statements to CNN's Soledad O'Brien and other conference panelists are the subject of damaging gossip, the hush-hush arrangement is keeping O'Brien and others from publicly denying anything. And that, fairly or unfairly, just lends the rumors more credence. Here's what a tipster told Jossip about Immelt's remarks:
Jossip put up their pictures of Jared Paul Stern's wife Ruth Gutman sleeping with Deane Benbenek! [NSFW, duh.] Or, uh, pictures of what looks like Gutman having sex with a chubby guy. Benbenek, who provided the photos, is a chubby guy (he's on the far right here), and JPS isn't, really. So there you go. We put some SFW headshots of maybe-Ruth right here in this post in case you are curious, and still at work. Full set: Jossip (NSFW)
You know whose life sucks? Jared Paul Stern. The man will never work in this town again after Page Six threw him out on his ass for allegedly extorting creepy supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle, and now Stern just sits around his house watching his defamation suits against Burkle and the Clintons get thrown out. Well. Now things somehow got worse. Because a guy named Deane Benbenek is pimping what is allegedly a video of him fucking Stern's wife to Jossip. Also: warrants and restraining orders! The facts of the matter: there is maybe an arrest warrant out for JPS's wife Ruth Gutman, "on charges of a little identity theft, computer trespassing, and fraud." All presumably based on a criminal complaint filed by Deane Benbenek. He says they started a business together in 2007, selling hand cleaner. According to Benbenek, Gutman filed papers with the state naming her sole proprietor, and then gave Benbenek forged papers calling them co-owners. Also according to Benbenek, in January of 2007, they had an affair. Benbenek says he videotaped them doing it. Jossip has seen... stills? Or something? They say: "And he offered us the photo evidence to prove it. By all accounts, it looks legit." Huh. Then post it! [Update: They did!] The only documentation available for your perusal so far is the restraining order Gutman filed against Benbenek. But! Here's some random Internet detritus! Ruth currently sells "Red Bear Hand Cleaner." A Whois search says she registered the domain in January of 2007. Benbenek's "Bear Paw Hand Cleaner" can be found, oddly, at Glennbenbenek.com, registered June of 2007 by Deane, and at bearpawhandcleanrer.com, registered by Deane last March. So Jossip's report is already confused-it looks like Ruth (and Deane) founded Red Bear together back in 2007. And then, when the partnership went sour, Ruth didn't so much "steal the formula" as Deane took it with him to Bear Paw. Deane's MySpace confirms!
Departing gossip columnist Ben Widdicombe's innuendo-laden items for the Gatecrasher column in the Daily News were always designed for two audiences: the tabloid's middlebrow readers, who weren't intended to get the joke; and the Australian gossip's counterparts, who could be expected to pick up on the camp subtext.
The tabloids are sick of the pantyless-Britney Spears-faux-British-accent-high-on-unknown-substances-bad-mother yarn. Easter just passed and resurrections are hot right now. OK!, People and Us Weekly have all given her cameo on How I Met Your Mother raves. And to be fair, they probably know more about TV than accident-prone New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley, who described Ms. Spears' performance as "a relief." [Jossip]
Even though no one should ever buy a blog, David Hauslaib is selling Jossip and his three other blogs, says the New York Post. There's a rumor Condé Nast thought about buying, though a source from the publisher's parent company says hell no. And of course Gawker Media doesn't buy blogs, it just poaches their editors.
So you're probably already glutted on bloggy inside baseball today, but we wanted to bring you this news anyway because it's relevant to anyone who cares about intertnet celebrity gossip: Molly Goodson, of the Hauslaib-owned MollyGood blog, is departing her almosteponymous site for Lisa Sugar's almosteponymous site, PopSugar. We're fans of Molly's writing and her nose for the news. We also sort of feel bad that her dog didn't do better in the blog pets poll. So we wish her the best in her new gig, and we worry about how the Jossip (cough) empire will carry on without her. Seriously, first Corynne Steindler and now this!!
Would it be Page Six without entirely gratuitous drama? Of course not. Jossip is reporting that former Sixer Ian Spiegelman, who is being feted tonight for his newly released novel, Welcome to Yesterday, managed to get his old colleagues banned from attending the party. How did he allegedly do this? It's complicated; follow closely. Spiegelman gave an interview for Simon Dumenco's Monday Ad Age column, and apparently he subsequently came to believe that Post editor Col Allan was miffed over some of the things he said. (It's unclear whether any actual miffage had occurred.) So Spiegelman sent Allan an aggressively defensive email, sort of apologizing for the misunderstanding but mostly not.
Our friends at Jossip are on location in Chicago this week, where naturally they're doing things they don't do on Broadway. Among those things: Watching Oprah at 9 a.m., its timeslot in Ms. Winfrey's home market. Today's big interview with Anderson Cooper won't air for another four hours here in New York, but little Jossie generously provides a sneak peak — from which we learn that, apparently, nothing interesting transpires.