Laura Linney turns 46 today. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is turning 48. Retired New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Sr. is 84. Writer/director Christopher Guest is turning 62. Baseball legend Hank Aaron is 76. Movie director Michael Mann is turning 67. Documentarian Errol Morris is 62. Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm, turns 51. Videogame pioneer Nolan Bushnell is 67. Former SNL stars Chris Parnell and Tim Meadows are turning 43 and 49, respectively. And Mr. Bobby Brown turns 41 today. A few people celebrating birthdays this weekend are below.
• The bad news for Condé Nast now that McKinsey has finished up its summer-long review: Editors and publishers at the company may be asked to trim their budgets by as much as 25 percent. The good news, according to one Condé insider: "This doesn't mean Anna Wintour is going to start taking the bus," nor is the company going to get all cheap "like Hachette." [Crain's]
• Jay Leno's new show debuts tonight on NBC. Will it be a success? A massive failure? Only time will tell, but the stakes "couldn't be higher." [LAT]
• Oprah's ratings are down. And Barack Obama is to blame, apparently. [AP]
• Ratings are down for Project Runway, too. Barack is not to blame. [WWD]
• According to a poll of newspaper publishers, 51 percent think they can successfully get their readers to pay for content online. Optimistic! [PC]
• As if newspapers and magazines don't have enough to worry about these days, a new survey finds that the percentage of people who think journalists are increasingly "inaccurate and biased" is on the rise. [AP]
New York City's unofficial first lady, Diana Taylor, is celebrating her 54th birthday today. Hope Mike got you something nice! Others celebrating: Tom Brokaw is turning 69. Former Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove is 54. Henry Blodget is 43. Chef Marc Murphy is turning 40. Axl Rose is turning 47. Journalist/author Michael Pollan is 54. Natalie Cole is 59. Rich Astley is turning 43. And Zsa Zsa Gabor is 92. Weekend birthdays after the jump.
Peggy Siegal invited a media-heavy crowd to the Oak Room last night to watch the Super Bowl. Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonell was in attendance (apparently, budget cuts prevented him from flying to Tampa in person); and some folks, such as former HarperCollins chief Jane Friedman, left, even donned 3-D glasses to fully appreciate the commercials. Others on hand for the festivities: Richard Johnson, Ron Perelman, Dan Abrams, Dave Zinczenko, Joanne Lipman, Charlie Rose, George Rush, Richard Meier, Cece Cord, Kate Betts, Gay Talese, Rocco DiSpirito, Chuck Scarborough, Francine LeFrak, Andrew and Nancy Jarecki, Ron Delsener, Ken Auletta, Larry Gagosian, Lewis Lapham, Steve Kroft, Lloyd Grove, Morgan Entrekin, Ann Dexter-Jones, Harry Smith, Liz Smith, Cynthia McFadden, and Felicia Taylor. [PMc, NYO, GoaG, Fox 411]
• Not surprisingly, nearly every major network is planning "longer and more exhaustive" coverage of the inauguration compared to years past. [NYT]
• Ugly day at Time Warner: The company is reporting its annual first loss in six years and is writing down $25 billion in the fourth quarter. [BN]
• Is Dick Parsons in line to become Commerce Secretary? [B&C]
• Forbes laid off 19 people yesterday. [ATD]
• People's Jess Cagle is taking over as managing editor of EW. [NYP]
• Michael Hirschorn thinks it's possible the New York Times will go bust in the next year; the Observer says Times boss Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is the "media mensch of the year." Go figure! [Atlantic, NYO]
• Lloyd Grove's 4,100-word article on Sumner Redstone is online. [Portfolio]
• If a cable news doctor can be Surgeon General, we probably shouldn't be surprised to see that Joe the Plumber is now a war correspondent. [NYP]
What is it about Ivanka Trump that rankles journalists so? She had the Times' Ruth La Ferla all but calling her a harlot last December, and today on the Portfolio website she is irritating an openly exasperated Lloyd Grove. Theory: She's got (nearly) the looks of Paris Hilton and the mouth of a flack. Hilton is obnoxious but palatable to the media, since she acts out and constantly gives regrettable quotes. Trump was summa cum laude at Wharton (undergraduate), which makes it a touch harder to hate her for her privileged life. Grove seems to be trying, at least:
Internet publishers Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown may both be foreign transplants to the U.S., but there's little question which of the two fifty-somethings has more fully assimilated her site to the democratic rough-and-tumble of American Web culture. It was Huffington who offered blogs to five virtual strangers over the course of two days, as documented in the New Yorker earlier this month, including "the Asperger’s-afflicted teen-age son of a radio d.j." and "a woman, dressed exclusively in green, who was trying to stop insecticide spraying." Brown, in contrast, has lent her Daily Beast a distinctly royalist feel, as one might expect from a Commander of the British Empire. And the former New Yorker editor played the snob angle for all it was worth in a lengthy interview with Portfolio's Lloyd Grove:
As the CEO of a publicly traded company, Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes is, as he protested to Portfolio's Lloyd Grove, obligated to consider strategic acquisitions as they become available. So he had to say, when Grove asked, that he'd consider buying NBC Universal if GE decided to spin off the media company. But he didn't have to so mildly rebuke speculation he was "intrigued" by such a deal, or go on at such length about the possibility:
Everyone at the Washington Post loves the Grahams, the wealthy family who've owned the paper since the Depression. Specifically, they loved feisty Katharine Graham, who published the Post during the years when it was good and successful. But she died. Now she's been replaced by her granddaughter Katharine Weymouth (who is related to Tina Weymouth!), who recently replaced editor Len Downie with former Wall Street Journal editor Marcus Brauchli. Former WaPo gossip Lloyd Grove profiled Weymouth as she attempted to rescue the newspaper industry.
Former Daily News gossip hack Lloyd Grove has a lengthy interview with New York Observer owner and golden-boy-about town Jared Kushner out today, in which the 27-year-old Kushner yacks and yacks about his real estate holdings, his media holdings, and how the Observer's revenues are way up this year (although it's doubtful the paper has made him money yet). He's guarded, and talks a lot like a PR person. But one thing comes through quite clearly, just by his use of examples: this is a rich, rich young man. And maybe done dating Ivanka Trump? He won't say. Still, the time to snag this wealthy media baron is now!:
Pictured here, New York's Adam Moss, host of the Oscars party the magazine threw at the Spotted Pig, before ab-obsessed Dave Zinczenko unbuttoned his shirt. Moss, who used to run New York Times' Sunday magazine, is one of the most high-minded of modern editors. Which makes the magazine's web triumph last week all the more disturbing. New York claims 20m pageviews per day for the arty nudes it ran of drunken starlet, Lindsay Lohan. (Yes, jealous.) Moss says the traffic is "addictive". He's joking, for the moment. But wait. (In this week's New York sex diaries, an S&M-loving comedian.) After the jump, lovingly photographed by Gawker's Nikola Tamindzic: Emily Gould; Julia Allison; Alan Cumming and other British luvvies' media gays displaying affection; "Smash" from Friday Night Lights; Marlo's enforcer from cult HBO show, The Wire; and Jews eating piglet.
What was it they said about Nixon's fall, in the aftermath of the Watergate break-in? It's always the cover-up that gets you. A mildly embarrassing photograph of Hud Morgan in a poncy red scarf, which his boss didn't like, surfaced on the blogs. And word was bound to get out of the 28-year-old Men's Vogue writer's liaison with 17-year-old Leven Rambin from All My Children. Not a big deal, until the thin-skinned gossip columnist very publicly berated his snap-happy blogger friend, Julia Allison, at the Beatrice Inn; and vaguely threatened a former colleague at the Daily News for exposing the affair with the barely legal actress. Something about the item coming back to haunt him. George Rush, from the New York tabloid, is unlikely to be much disturbed. Fruitini-loving Morgan used to fetch for Lloyd Grove, Rush's overpaid internal rival. The column, Rush & Molloy, has just updated its item with new details, of one of Leven's other older admirers, this one much older, whom she had to bar from her apartment building.
At last night's launch of the Fox Business Channel at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, (more on that later), we saw Portfolio blogger Lloyd Grove roaming about the grounds of the Temple of Dendur. Talk about relics! (We kid!) What has our favorite Daily News ankler been doing since he left his gossip column behind almost exactly a year ago?
As some of you might know, I am returning to New York from Washington, DC, where I've spent the last year-and-a-half not leaving my apartment. I turned to this insightful interview with former Washington Post columnist Lloyd Grove—who made a similar move in 2003—for advice on what to expect upon my arrival. Because New York is different, in so many ways. It's bigger, and it has Donald Trump! And people are always trying to give you things, like booze and clothes and the Gawker book.
It's a pleasant surprise, but we actually love Lloyd Grove's profile of New York Post editor-in-chief Col Allan in this week's New York. Allan, a saucy Aussie if there ever was one, comes off as a pugnacious tyrant who is driven by a desire to win at all costs. Also, he likes a drink every now and again. Mostly now. Read the whole piece: There's a ton of detail, and Grove's knowledge of the tabloid industry may not have saved his job at the Daily News, but it is put to good use here. Our handy highlights follow.