Decades ago, the building at 1000 Dean St. in Crown Heighs, Brooklyn was a place where people brought their Studebaker cars to be serviced. Soon, it will be where A&E puts together wing-tipped digital content.
Per an item by Crain’s New York Business reporter Daniel Geiger, A&E Networks has signed a 10-year lease to house at this Brooklyn location its new digital content agency 45th & Dean. The agency is named in honor of, yes, the forthcoming address as well as the network’s main New York headquarters at 235 East 45th Street:
45th & Dean will focus on creating branded content for the network’s advertisers as well as digital content for A&E. Most of the work it will produce for the network’s channels will be short-form, such as content for its websites, apps and social media, according to Steve Cohan, president of international and digital media.
“Let’s say you go to the History channel’s website and there’s a piece on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, that’s something this office will handle,” he said.
A rep for one of the building’s owners says A&E has a lot of existing employees who live in Crown Heights. The proximity to the Williamsburg offices of Vice, in which A&E has a stake, was apparently not a major factor. A&E staff will occupy the first and part of the second floors. Move-in is slated for early 2017.
Rob Reiner needs men ages 18 to early 60s to portray newsroom journalists for his latest project Shock and Awe, which begins shooting in The Big Easy Oct. 5. For anyone, unemployed journalist or otherwise, interested in this background assignment, all that’s needed is business attire and availability for all days (Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 23-26).
From Scott’s item:
Shock and Awe, which Reiner has been developing for several years, is based on a true story, focusing on a team of investigative reporters with the Knight Ridder newspaper chain who countered the Bush administration narrative linking Saddam Hussein to the al-Quaida terror network – and to weapons of mass destruction – leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Reiner is shooting from a script by Joey Hartstone, who also wrote the screenplay for the filmmaker’s forthcoming political drama LBJ, which will be the opening-night selection at October’s New Orleans Film Festival.
Toplining the movie are Alec Baldwin and Tommy Lee Jones. Shock and Awe reunites Reiner with Jorva Productions, which financed his 2015 drama Being Charlie, co-written by the filmmaker’s son Nick.
P.S. Presumably, there will also be female journalists featured in the film’s fictitious newsroom. It’s not unusual for extra casting calls to be broken out, separately, by gender.
Logo via: jorvaproductions.com
This is turning out to be an eventful week for matters related to the late poet Langston Hughes.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that thanks to a successful fundraising campaign, a Harlem home on East 127th Street where Langston lived for several decades is to be transformed into a cultural center. And today, in the print edition of The The New York Times, there is a full-page reprint of his 1926 poem “I, Too.” Although the fact that this print version immediately follows the unrest in Charlotte is purely coincidental, it is a powerful juxtaposition nonetheless.
— Pamela Paul (@PamelaPaulNYT) September 22, 2016
The poem is not a paid ad but rather part of a special section in the paper about the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Smithsonian’s 19th museum opens this weekend in Washington D.C.
A Times rep kindly passed on to FishbowlNY the backstory for today’s unusual poetry presentation. “Alicia Desantis in our graphics department, who also happens to have a Ph.D. in 19th century American literature, was part of the conversation about the headline for the section and recalled the phrase from the Hughes poem, “I, Too, Sing America.””
“Our Culture desk settled on that as the headline for the digital presentation that published last week. Wayne Kamidoi, who was designing the print section along with Fred Bierman, was pondering the back page of the section and wanted to do something simple and fitting. He thought of the poem and presented the idea, which the editors loved.”
Separately today, on the Smithsonian website, David C. Ward offers some great analysis of the featured poem’s language and imagery:
There is a multi-dimensional pun in the title, “I, Too,” in the lines that open and close the poem. If you hear the word as the number two, it suddenly shifts the terrain to someone who is secondary, subordinate, even, inferior.
Hughes powerfully speaks for the second-class, those excluded. The full-throated drama of the poem portrays African-Americans moving from out of sight, eating in the kitchen, and taking their place at the dining room table co-equal with the “company” that is dining.
Langston died in 1967. Click on the link below to hear him read “I, Too.” The poem was also read by Denzel Washington in the 2007 film The Great Debaters.
H/T: The Huffington Post
Alex Connock turns a number of memorable phrases in his look-back for London’s The Spectator.
A tour in 1990 of the finest suite at Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal hotel and casino in Atlantic City delivered an aesthetic that ‘was Aladdin meets Donatella Versace’s underwear drawer.’ The reincarnation of Cleopatra with an Amex gold card would not have caused quite the same level of excitement among hotel staff as the sight of Michael Jackson, then at the peak of his musical and performance powers.
And Connock, who covered the opening of the Atlantic City resort for an American weekly, punchlines Trump’s PR wizardry as follows:
Jackson retired to his suite. I later heard a rumor that he’d been spotted disguised as an old woman, playing the slots with a plastic bucket full of quarters. Meanwhile, Trump got on energetically with the marketing — an Olympics of superlatives with only one contestant. Biggest, greatest, most expensive, finest, pure class, high-rollers, helicopters and gold. And that was just his hair.
Ha ha. On the second day of the Taj Mahal junket, Connock wound up on a private plane with Trump and Jackson, headed in Indianapolis. At one point during the flight, Jackson chatted with Trump about the fact that the latter was on the front page of the National Enquirer. To find out whose jet it was, and why this gang traveled to the Heartland, read on.
Photo via: trumptaj.com
There’s plenty of negative stories out there right now, so let’s cast a tiny bit of light into the darkness with this Women’s Running cover.
That’s Rahaf Khatib, a runner who created the Instagram account Run Like a Hijabi to inspire people who cover to stay fit and to help cast aside stereotypes about Muslim women.
According to Women’s Running, Khatib is the first Hijabi woman to grace the cover of a health or fitness magazine in the United States. That’s pretty f-ing cool.
Politico reports that Vice Media has named Carl Franzen managing editor of its tech site Motherboard.
Franzen comes to Vice from Popular Science, where he served as online director. He previously served as The Verge’s news editor.
Franzen is succeeding Adrienne Jeffries, who now works for Josh Topolsky’s upcoming site The Outline.
Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round we have The New Yorker taking on GQ.
The New Yorker’s latest has an illustration of Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, which means he’s likely days away from a season-ending injury.
GQ, meanwhile, features Lin-Manuel Miranda looking great as always. Perhaps if we buy this magazine his genius will rub off on us? It’s worth a try.
So readers, which cover is better? You can vote, comment, or do both.
The third paragraph of a recent New York Times article about Donald Trump’s wavering public and private statements regarding a tax-cut plan for small businesses reads:
Call it the trillion-dollar lie: Both assertions cannot be true.
Today on NPR’s Morning Edition, the paper’s executive editor Dean Baquet discussed the paper’s recent decision to use that L-word terminology. In very short order, Minnesota Public Radio’s Bob Collins, on his NewsCut blog, was breaking down the conversation:
That was a fascinating segment on NPR’s Morning Edition today when an NPR host, who works for an organization that steadfastly refuses to say that Donald Trump lies, quizzed the boss of the country’s most influential newspaper, who works for an organization that has no such qualms.
“It would almost be illiterate to have not called the birther thing a lie,” Baquet told NPR’s Steve Inskeep.
Read between the lines on that one. That’s Baquet likely calling NPR “illiterate.”
Baquet had some equally interesting comments when Inskeep asked him if Hillary Clinton lies.
Self has revamped Self.com to be faster, cleaner and more easily packaged around one editorial theme.
The site’s relaunch content is focused on the many aspects of wellness and self-care.
“Self is a wellness brand, and our ultimate goal is to help you feel great,” wrote Self executive digital director Carolyn Kylstra, in a post. “We’re known for our expertise in fitness and nutrition, and providing trusted guidance on how to achieve your goals. But wellness is such an enormous category that expands so far beyond workouts and healthy eating. And we’re acutely aware that wellness, and self-care specifically, looks different to everyone.”
Fortune’s annual 40 Under 40 List, which tracks the most influential young people in business, has Bechtel Group’s Brendan Bechtel in the number one spot. CEFC China Energy’s chairman Ye Jianming is the runner-up, followed by Hillary for America’s senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan.
Here’s the top 10. For the full list, click through.Brendan Bechtel, CEO, Bechtel Group Ye Jianming, Chairman and Executive Director, CEFC China Energy Jake Sullivan, Senior Policy Adviser, Hillary for America Emmanuel Macron, Former French Economy Minister Thomas Saueressig, CIO, SAP Jeff Lawson, Co-founder and CEO, Twilio Daniel Kan and Kyle Vogt, Co-founders, Cruise Automation Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, Co-founders and Co-CEOs, Atlassian Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager, U.S. and Canada, Uber Bill Ready, SVP, Global Head of Product and Engineering, PayPal
A couple Revolving Door items for you this morning, involving CNN and Reuters. Details are below.Jon Ostrower, most recently an aviation reporter at the Wall Street Journal, has joined CNN aviation editor. Reuters has shifted Mike Stone from mergers and acquisitions to “coverage of the military industrial complex, the business of war and its intersection with foreign and national security policy.”
Does a canny move by a chain of popular tourist attractions qualify as news? For media outlets with an unlimited amount of web space to fill, the answer is, hell, yes.
Following the news that has shocked celebrity watchers worldwide, we can confirm we have separated Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s figures. pic.twitter.com/2juLFaZJED
— Madame Tussauds (@MadameTussauds) September 21, 2016
We can’t even begin to enumerate the major-outlet news coverage generated so far today by Madame Tussauds’ decision to separate the wax figures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, at all locations. Google it yourself, if you care to.
One interesting aspect, from a media watcher’s perspective, is that this is bit of fluff is the perfect premise for a quick-hit, short video. A.k.a, the currency many media outlets are trumpeting as the future of the business.
When we poked around on that front, we got a chuckle out of the fact that Reuters, at the YouTube end, had disabled the embed option. Suggesting they are not quite all-in on this end of the breaking news equation. But have no fear. The London Evening Standard’s video is pretty much identical to the one Reuters made and can be enjoyed below.
With virtually all of the East Side shut down this morning, it was quite a slog getting to Michael’s today. I waited behind the barricades at the corner of 55th and Fifth for about fifteen minutes until Vice President Joe Biden emerged from The Peninsula Hotel and was whisked away in a 10-car motorcade. When the coast was clear (with the street still lined with police cars), I made my way to the restaurant wondering of anyone else would even make it there today.
Luckily, my ‘Lunch’ dates arrived at the appointed hour. I was joined by Tony Cointreau, heir to the Cointreau liquor fortune, whose new book, A Gift of Love Lessons Learned From My Work and Friendship with Mother Teresa, was feted last night in this very dining room. Tony was accompanied by his partner of 50 years (!?) Jimmy Russo (“We like each other and we laugh a lot”) and PR maven extraordinaire Judy Twersky, who arranged our get-together.
It wasn’t too long into our conversation that it occurred to me that Tony’s life story makes a pretty interesting book of its own — and did in his memoir Ethel Merman, Mother Teresa …. and Me . His life reads like a Judith Krantz novel (I know, I’m dating myself). Tony grew up in the lap of luxury shuttling between a Park Avenue apartment and châteaus in France. Eager to escape his unhappy childhood, from a very early age he ran with international socialites like Lee Lehman, wife of Lehman Brothers’ head Robert Lehman, who “adopted” him and treated him like a son for the rest of her life. “She was the first of my three mothers,” he told me. He had a lifelong friendship with Ethel Merman (more on that later) and together with Jimmy, became one of her closest confidants. His singing career was launched by designer Pierre Cardin at Maxim’s in Paris and Tony spent the next decade performing for sold-out audiences throughout Europe for the next decade. See, I told you it was one for the books.
Tony has compiled the 10 most important lessons learned from Mother Teresa during the most transformative period of his life in a new book, A Gift of Love: Lessons Learned from My Work and Friendship with Mother Teresa. From that life-changing experience, the idea for his book was born. In the foreword of the book he writes: “If I can reach just one person who is flailing around in panic and fear while trying to help a loved one at the end of their life, my journey will have been worthwhile.”
When I asked Tony what compelled him to go to Calcutta in 1990 and spend the next 12 years volunteering at Mother Teresa’s home for destitute men dying of AIDS in Greenwich Village, his eyes welled up with tears at the memory. “I was looking through a magazine,” he said while wiping his eyes. “I saw a picture of a volunteer holding a dying man in her arms and I knew, I knew, I have to go and do this.”
During his time as a volunteer in both Calcutta and New York, Tony told me he did everything from wash floors to sing to patients — and offer comfort to the dying. Over 100 AIDS patients died in his arms.
He visibly brightened when he described his relationship with the recently canonized saint. He told me that he and ‘Mother’ spent hours sitting on the terrace of the Mother House of the Missionaries Charity in Calcutta. “Sometimes she’d ask me to sing, so I would sing for her. You don’t say ‘no’ to Mother.” He laughed when he recalled her “great sense of humor” during one of their earliest exchanges. When Tony first arrived in Calcutta he “didn’t want to lower my standard of living” and checked into “a marble palace.” After visiting him at his hotel Mother Teresa asked him how much he was paying for his suite. “I told her and then she said, ‘No, not by the week, by the day.’ I told her it was the day [rate]. She said, ‘You didn’t take a vow of poverty, you took a vow of luxury.'”
I wondered if during his years as a volunteer, he’d ever seen Mother Teresa and Princess Diana together. “Princess Diana met Mother only once,” he said. “[Their relationship] has been built into this thing that never happened, but they admired each other.” We all agreed that it was still a bit spooky that the two women died within days of each other in 1997.
That led to a spirited conversation (funny, right?) about how those we love remain close to us after death. “It’s very comforting to know that [the people we love] stay with us. That’s beautiful,” said Tony. He told me that he “talks to Mother all time” — especially during the writing of his new book. “I sat down at the computer and said, ‘Mother will you help me?’ and I felt her presence on my right shoulder,” he said. “I wrote for about three hours and when I read what I had written I couldn’t believe it. I knew it was Mother helping me.”
When he finished the book, Tony asked for Mother’s help again. “I said, ‘What can we do to give this book a boost?’ The next day, the Pope announced he was canonizing her.” In a bit of fortuitous timing, said Tony, the canonization took place a few weeks ago on Sept. 4 — two days in advance of the book’s pub date. “I never said ‘No’ to Mother, and she’s never said, ‘No’ to me.”
Somehow, the conversation veered from Mother Teresa to Ethel Merman. Stay with me on this. Tony and Jimmy’s stories about their relationship with the late actress are jaw-droppers. “They actually have a lot in common,” explained Tony. “They were both very loving and very maternal. They were both mothers to me.”
Tony told me a dishy story about author Jacqueline Susann, who modeled the tough as nails Broadway star Helen Lawson in Valley of the Dolls on Ethel. “The truth was Jackie was in love with Ethel. She came to Ethel’s hotel room banging on the door at two in the morning,” said Tony. When she was turned away, Helen Lawson was the author’s revenge. “That was really Jackie’s lowest moment.”
Tony and Jimmy, who split their time between their homes here in New York City and Palm Beach, say Ethel, who passed away in 1984, is still very much in their lives today. The couple housed all of her showbiz memorabilia in a closet in their New York apartment for 32 years. The actress’ beloved table top Christmas tree, which she kept illuminated every day, has a place of honor in their home. “Once, the lights on the top went out,” said Tony. “I said, ‘Ethel, What do I do?’ And they went back on — and have stayed on.”
The urn containing the actress’ ashes — along with those of her mother, father, daughter and husband — were all in Tony and Jimmy’s apartment until recently. A few weeks ago, Tony insisted Ethel’s son come and retrieve the urns. “I told him he had to take them because we’re not going to be eternal,” said Tony. I’m not so sure about that.
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. New Form Digital’s Ed Wilson and pals
2. Lynn Sherr and Peter Price
3. Act One: Andrew Stein; Second Seating: British Heritage Travel’s CEO Jack Kliger and Luis Arteaga, CEO of Albion, an upscale tour company working with Jack to create luxurious tours for stateside Anglophiles.
4. Allen & Co.’s Stan Shuman
5. Sole man Steve Madden (Does he ever take off that baseball cap?) and gal
6. Legendary Broadway producer Fran Weissler and Sharon Bush. I wanted to go over and ask her who else besides ’41’ from the Bush family was voting for Hillary, but I ran out of time. Fran came over to our table to say hello to Jimmy and Tony, who gave her a signed copy of his book.
8. Harriet Moss
9. NBCUni’s Karen Horne
11. No reservations: Sir Harry Evans was a walk-in!
12. Bonnie Reiss
14. Jay Fielden and Robert Zimmerman. I stopped by their table to say hello and congratulate Jay on Town & Country’s renaissance (If you haven’t read the magazine lately, pick up the anniversary issue) and check in with Robert, who is the Democratic National Committeeman from New York, about the next week’s debates. He predicts Hillary Clinton will emerge victorious. When I told him I’ve noticed a flurry of new Trump bumper stickers in Westchester and Greenwich, he smiled and said, “It will be fine.” Alrighty, then.
16. United Stations Radio’s Nick Verbitsky
18. Armando Ruiz
20. Lynn Forester de Rothschild
21. Sony Music’s Richard Rowe
23. Mark Carbone
25. Steve Lando
26. Ken Chandler
27. Tony Cointreau, Jimmy Russo, Judy Twersky and yours truly
Faces in the crowd: Liz Wood dining solo and a few of New York City’s finest grabbing a quick bite at the bar. I know I speak for everyone who lives and works in the city when I say Thank you NYPD!
Diane Clehane is a FishbowlNY contributor. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.
The Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood is a place where nostalgia can come very close to what it used to be. The latest proof of that is a Harper’s Bazaar photo shoot and interview with Faye Dunaway, now 75.
Framing the actress’ career, Christopher Bagley writes:
Success came quickly: After a few acclaimed performances on the New York stage, she beat out Jane Fonda and Natalie Wood for the chance to star opposite Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde. The movie was a worldwide hit and earned Dunaway her first Oscar nomination at 27.
At the Paris opening, she was mobbed by scores of photographers and packs of girls wearing Bonnie-inspired berets, their hair styled after the character’s loose pageboy. Within a year Dunaway was on the cover of Newsweek in a black miniskirt and starring alongside Steve McQueen as the hotshot insurance investigator Vicki Anderson in The Thomas Crown Affair.
Interestingly, when Angelina Jolie appeared on the cover of Newsweek in 2011, she chose to emulate Dunaway’s sparse March 1968 approach. In the Harper’s Bazaar interview, Dunaway also reveals that she is planning to take an Improv class at The Groundlings. The actress attended the recent Telluride Film Festival, where she was spotted by a number of patrons and journalists.
Univision Communications has tapped Raju Narisetti to lead the Gizmodo Media Group, previously known as Gawker Media.
In this new role, Narisetti will oversee Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and Kotaku.
Narisetti most recently served as News Corp’s senior vp of strategy.
Narisetti will report to Univision’s chief news, entertainment and digital officer Isaac Lee, and Fusion Media Group’s president and COO Felipe Holguin.