Starting Feb. 27, former The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson will be back in the daily talk business. On a more intimate medium, SiriusXM, occupying an earlier and longer weekday time slot (6:00-8:00 p.m. ET.)
From today’s announcement:
“This is premium quality drive-time entertainment,” says Ferguson. “It’s like Game of Thrones in your car without pictures. Also, given recent events on earth, I wanted to return to a daily show without the restriction of wearing pants or shaving [anywhere]. I look forward to working in an environment that has zero censorship and zero network interference. The melon-farmers at SiriusXM told me to say that.”
Ferguson told Variety’s Cynthia Littleton that SiriusXM has built a studio at his Los Angeles home. The program, set for the Comedy Greats channel (#94), will feature a mix of celebrity guests, correspondent segments, news commentary and calls from SiriusXM subscribers. Via Twitter Wednesday, the comedian teased today’s announcement in style.
If only there was a way to do a daily show of some kind without dealing with executive douchebaggery or leaving the house…hmmn
— Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) January 26, 2017
West Coast editor Krista Smith dialed into Vanity Fair’s weekly Little Gold Men podcast to chat with Katey Rich about the latest annual Hollywood Issue.
Along with a collection of astounding clothing for the 11 featured actresses to choose from and an “overwhelmingly positive” vibe, Smith says there was notable immediate connection between Amy Adams and Natalie Portman. The shoot with Annie Leibovitz took place on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood. Smith notes that for VF Hollywood Issue “nerds,” none of the actresses on the second and third fold-out panels this year have previously appeared on the Hollywood Issue cover.
A lot of fun was had on the set. For the sideline video feature “Secret Talent Theatre,” Emma Stone got back on a pogo stick while Adams, who was raised amidst a group of “football-loving men,” proves she can throw a pretty mean spiral. A little-known fact is that one of those men, her brother Eddie, worked as Harvey Levin’s personal assistant during the earliest days of TMZ.
High-end coffee machine maker Jura Inc. has been partnered with tennis superstar Roger Federer since 2005. The Swiss company, which has U.S. offices in Montvale, N.J., recently re-upped with Federer through 2020.
Federer is already a blue-chip brand ambassador. But on Sunday, he will also be competing in the Australian Open final at the astounding (tennis) age of 35. If he wins, against either Rafa Nadal or Grigor Dimitrov, Federer will add an 18th Grand Slam title in Melbourne, tying on the larger professional-sports spectrum Jack Nicklaus.
Either way, it’s an ace right down the middle for Jura and Federer’s other sponsors Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Moët & Chandon, Wilson and NetJets.
When Jura and Federer renewed their partnership for a second time in 2015, company CEO Emmanuel Probst praised Federer’s “trustworthiness and authenticity.” Ponder those words for a moment; they are about as good as it gets for an advertiser.
Meanwhile, Andre Agassi, the previous oldest men’s tennis Australian Open finalist at age 32 in 2003 (and who also at age 35 faced Federer in a U.S. Open final), talked to Australia’s Herald Sun about this miracle Down Under:
“Roger has gotten me to stop predicting anything, quite frankly,” Agassi said. “Because I never in a million years would have thought that he could sort of look and be at the level you can see that he’s at [at 35, after injury]. So it is remarkable and he might do it for a number more years and he can win more slams, not just one.”
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Roger Federer Is Attending the Oscars!
As part of the reconfiguration of golf.com, columnist and Sports Illustrated senior writer Alan Shipnuck has a new vertical called The Knockdown. Shipnuck has been doing Golf magazine podcasts for a while, but has now essentially relaunched that side of things with first guest Phil Mickelson.
From golf.com executive editor Alan Bastable’s The Knockdown introductory note:
“Years ago, Dan Jenkins summed up Alan in a single, perfect word: fearless,” Alan’s friend and SI colleague Michael Bamberger told me the other day. “He is, and I’m not even referring to the time he hid out in the powder room of Butler Cabin in pursuit of Bubba Watson, newly jacketed Masters champ. But as a reporter and writer-and man-fearless is only Alan’s starting point. Whether he’s analyzing Dustin Johnson or Kevin Na, Augusta National or Chambers Bay, Olympic golf or the Honda Classic, Alan writes (and tweets and podcasts and…) with unparalleled insight, humor and incisiveness.”
The Mickelson podcast was taped at the golfer’s one-bedroom apartment at The Madison Club in La Quinta, Calif. Here’s how Shipnuck describes the walk from the main room of the clubhouse to the golfer’s private, built-in lair:
The hallway was covered, floor to ceiling, in a grid of 8 x 10 photographs in identical black frames. Mickelson’s entire career was captured in one short walk: trophy presentations, stolen moments with his college sweetheart Amy, boozy celebrations in various Ryder Cup team rooms, the loving embrace of his three kids, candid snaps with two generations of friends and rivals between the ropes.
And per the graphic below, Shipnuck’s hour-long conversation with Mickelson touches here and there on other topics besides golf.
First of all, how great is this photo?
A photo posted by Posture Magazine (@posturemag) on Dec 20, 2016 at 9:15am PST
The portrait of New York nightlife trailblazer Susanne Bartsch was shot by Mike Ruiz and styled by Phil Gomez for a recent issue of Posture, a bi-annual LGBT print magazine. Winter Mendelson’s publication is one of three highlighted in a solid piece by NBC Out.
For some, the following statement may be obvious with regards to how the Internet connects to the recent resurgence of handsomely presented niche print magazines. But there’s no doubt for us that today, reading a magazine is a compressed version of the broader pleasure of unplugging while on vacation:
“There is so much trash and regurgitated content online that the result has created a desire for high quality content that can be consumed off-screen in a meaningful way,” Mendelson said. “People are willing to pay for content that has value rather than click on a meaningless story with no merit.”
The other magazines highlighted in the NBC Out piece Ryan Fitzgibbon’s Hello Mr. and Khary Septh’s The Tenth. Mendelson and a team of dedicated NYC volunteers put out the third issue of Posture in December.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
The Tenth Magazine Releases Third Issue
When the ESPN assignment desk last fall tweeted a request to Patriots fan Bill Lacey to use footage of Tom Brady wrapping up a four-game NFL suspension with an Under Armour commercial shoot at Milton Academy, this was Lacey’s response:
— Billy Lacey (@BillyTLacey) September 30, 2016
It was the same story more recently when ESPN queried another Patriots supporter for permission to share a photo snapped on the Nantucket ferry of coach Bill Belichik napping alongside girlfriend Linda Holliday:
— Adam Markopoulos (@AdamMarko) January 9, 2017
These and many other Patriots fans blame ESPN for over-inflating the Deflategate controversy and keeping the story front and center. Sort of like the way the mainstream media treated Donald Trump during the Republican primaries.
All of which, suggests NESN’s Mike Cole, will add up to a lot of New England chuckles when the new issue of ESPN The Magazine, featuring the cover line “Brady’s Revenge,” circulates this weekend. As in, “How do you like them particular-set-of-skills apples, ESPN!?!”
Talk about timely! I couldn’t wait to dish with this week’s Lunch date now that we’re living in the age of “alternative facts.” I was joined today by “recovering journalist” Scott Conroy, co-creator and executive producer of the new digital series Embeds, now streaming on go90.com and available on the free go90 app. The series was inspired by Scott and Peter Hamby’s lives as embed reporters for CBS and CNN on both Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns in 2008. “When I was covering Sarah Palin, I thought we’d seen the most insane [presidential] election we’ll ever have,” Scott told me. “Boy, was I wrong.”
Scott is also the co-author of the bestseller Sarah From Alaska. His next book, Vote First Or Die—a book about the New Hampshire presidential primary which will be published in April by PublicAffairs.
In light of the barrage of nonstop news of President Donald Trump’s continuous and escalating feud with the press, I was eager to get Scott’s insider take on things. “Sarah Palin is the Rosetta Stone for all of this,” he began. “I don’t think a lot of people know that Steve Bannon was her consigliere. He latched on to her.” Scott first met Bannon in 2011 when he was the mastermind behind her exploratory campaign for a possible presidential campaign run. When Palin decided not to make a run for the White House in 2012 Scott was “surprised” but, he said, “Bannon regrouped and found his guy — Trump.”
Bannon, said Scott, was smart enough to recognize the Tea Party rhetoric about crony capitalism and ‘draining the swamp’ that resonated with Palin supporters had struck a nerve among a certain segment of voters that weren’t going away. “People used to thinks of Republicans as the wealthy country club set, but Bannon basically crafted a new identity for a disaffected working class, a voting block that was enough to carry Trump to the White House. Bannon realized this and executed his campaign strategy for Trump brilliantly. He’s an ideologue to a degree, but more than anything he’s an operator. He knows exactly what buttons to push to fire up the base.”
And one of those well-worn buttons is selling voters on the idea that the media is the enemy. “Palin did that with the ‘lame stream media,’ but Trump took it to a whole new level,” said Scott between bites of Cobb salad. Trump’s tendency to point out individual reporters like Katy Tur to the crowds attending his rallies was clear evidence that he has “no shame” in his dealings with the media. “I heard him tell supporters at a rally in Fort Worth he’d like to change the libel laws to make it easier to sue journalists. The crowd loved it.”
We both agreed that the bitter irony is that a largely acquiescent media and its 24/7 coverage played a huge role in Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency. “I think the coverage is getting better,” said Scott. “In the last few weeks it’s gotten more aggressive, but it’s too little, too late.”
In today’s reality-show nation, said Scott, “There is a direct line from The Apprentice in 2004 to Jeff Zucker to Sarah Palin and Steve Bannon to Trump,” he said. With the presidential playbook out the window, it’s not just journalists and citizens that are trying to figure out what the “most unpredictable president in history” is going to do at any given time. “I can just imagine the Chinese ambassador preparing for his first sit-down with Trump being told, ‘The first thing to do is to praise The Apprentice,” said Scott.
With Trump threatening to ‘hand-pick’ which outlets he’ll talk to, the media needs to thrown down the gauntlet, warned Scott. “They need to get away from ‘access journalism’ because access journalism in the Trump era is a fool’s errand.”
During an appearance last week on The Daily Show, Scott told Trevor Noah that the media needs to break away from the “spoon fed” spin that comes out of the White House press room. “The political media needs to get outside the bubble. Instead of adding another body to White House press room, they should send young hungry reporters that have been embeds to a swing states outside the context of the election to report on the Trump presidency instead of having them in the White House listening to Sean Spicer spout off lies.”
Scott has spent more than his fair share of time outside of Washington — and that’s what makes Embeds so intriguing. The half-hour scripted comedy, which was shot mainly in Iowa (except for one episode shot in Los Angeles), focuses on five recent college graduates working as embedded reporters for various national news organizations on the presidential campaign trail. Scott and Peter (now Head of News at Snapchat and host of the political show, Good Luck America) spent almost a decade covering presidential campaigns — of which makes for plentiful fodder for Embeds.
“Peter and I had an idea about writing a show about a presidential campaign but then we thought, instead of focusing on the campaign, we would write about us.” They wrote the pilot in 2012 and began shopping it around. “In spite of shows like Veep, it’s hard to do politics,” he told me. He gave the script to his book agent Alice Martell (“She’s the best!”) and she showed it to CAA’s Bruce Vinokour. Another “big shot” at CAA, Matt DelPiano, showed it to his client Megyn Kelly and, said Scott, “She wanted to get involved, too.”
Besides contributing a female reporter’s point of view (“That was very important to me,” said Scott) Kelly (who got an executive producer credit) made another important contribution to the show. James Caan, a “huge fan of Megyn’s” came on board and appears in the series’ fourth episode. “Per his request the credits for the episode actually say, ‘For the love of Megyn Kelly … James Caan.” Teeny bopper alert: Austin Swift — yes, brother of Taylor Swift — appears in the fourth and sixth episodes.
The series is executive produced by three-time Academy Award-nominated producer Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Moneyball, Captain Phillips) and Lucy Kitada. Other executive producers include Bryan Haas, who developed the idea with Scott and Peter and oversaw production; Kevin Mann, Brendan Bragg, and Jordana Mollick for Haven Entertainment; and Justin Killion and Cory Stern for Complex Networks’ Seriously.TV. Danny Jelinek directed all six episodes. Todd Waldman serves as showrunner and executive producer.
All of it came together in record time, said Scott, who was working at Vice on the launch of the network’s nightly news show on HBO when the series got picked up. “That was a Thursday and I quit my job the next day. Monday I was in the writer’s room. A month later we were in production and two months later we were in post-production.”
Complex Networks, formed from the joint acquisition of Complex by Verizon and Hearst, is the studio which funded the project. Last night they sponsored a press screening in Dumbo at the Made in New York Media Center by IFP with a panel discussion moderated by Katy Tur with the cast. Next week, Scott is doing an event at his alma mater Georgetown at the university’s Institution of Politics with some embedded reporters and Scott’s mentor Robert Draper. Whatever will they talk about?
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Hollywoodlife.com’s Bonnie Fuller and Penske Media’s vice chair Gerry Byrne hosting Megan Murphy, editor in chief, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Quentin Schaffer, EVP Corporate Communications, HBO, Jim Rich, former editor in chief, NY Daily News, Maia McCann of LittleThings.com, Page Six TV’s Kathleen Rajsp, Lauren Kern, executive editor, New York Magazine, Paul Wahlgren, CEO/ COO, Bio Mimetic Laboratories & Erasa Skincare, Stacey Bossard of Hirepurpose & Task & Purpose, Hilary Smith, SVP Corporate Communications, NBCUniversal and Nicole Kerr of FRANK PR.
2. Dan Abrams with Vicky Ward who is also keeping quite busy these days writing for Town & Country and Esquire.
3. Eva Mohr
4. Freddie Gershorn and Linda Janklow
5. Jim Abernathy
6. Andrew Stein
8. PR maven Norah Lawlor
9. Legendary lenswoman Pamela Hanson
11. Barry Frey
12. Meryl Gordon presiding over a very full table of pals
14. Jack Marshall
15. Producer Larry Spangler
16. Alicia Volk
17. Ferragamo’s Vincent Ottomanelli
18. LAK PR’s CEO Lisa Linden
20. Larry Hackett
21. Michael Christenson
22. Ira Akselrad
24. Joannie Danielides hosting a birthday luncheon for Donna Hanover (whose birthday is actually in February, but why wait to celebrate?) Among the media mavens in attendance: Gayle King, Paula Zahn (long time no see!), Linda Stasi and Cathy Black.
25. Steve Forrest
26. David Baum
27. Scott Conroy, Complex’s SVP of communications Jennifer St. Clair and yours truly
And what was going on in the Garden Room? I spotted several red carpet photographers — Sonia Moskowitz and Robin Platzer — among them headed that way for an off-duty confab. The new ladies who lunch perhaps?
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 latter program had debuted that fall and by just the eighth episode, a major plot turn was being enacted. From the book Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted:
Rhoda and Joe (David Groh) walked down the aisle in a two-part special that brought Mary, Georgette, Phyllis, Murray and Lou to New York for the nuptials. [Fred] Silverman‘s prediction came true; the episode went through the roof… More than 50 million Americans tuned in, which represented more than half of the total audience watching television that night. Monday Night Football host Howard Cosell, as he called a game on a different channel opposite the broadcast, cracked that he hadn’t been invited to the wedding.
Time famously panned the debut episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But four years later, in an article titled “Rhoda and Mary: Love Laughs,” the magazine was declaring that stars Moore and Valerie Harper amounted to a ‘neatly balanced show business cartel.’
TMZ broke the news of Moore’s death today at age 80. More Adweek coverage here. RIP.
Cover, illustrated by Jim Campbell, courtesy: Time (click to enlarge)
For a success-themed January 2017 special issue, GQ India editor Che Kurrien penned a piece about his own professional journey. Washington Square is a long way from Mumbai, but that’s where it all started for Kurrien, who studied journalism at NYU around the time of 9/11.
The article is crowned by a photo of Kurrien’s former downtown apartment building, shot during a recent return visit. The edifice remains unchanged. From the piece:
I had some savings from working a deadbeat market research job in New Jersey, which I used to pay for my tuition at NYU, and to rent out an apartment in the East Village that I shared with four students from the Tisch film school. Most evenings were spent on the roof drinking 40s of Miller High Life, then devouring $1 hotdogs at the no-frills Gray’s Papaya.
The day’s plan was determined by serendipity: One night my roommate Dean discovered that Ziggy Stardust was playing on 70mm at a fading cinema on Houston Street, and bought us tickets. I entered the dark, cold hall not knowing what to expect–and left two hours later bewitched and transformed forever. A few days later, I witnessed 70-year-old reggae master Burning Spear give the most hypnotic performance, the air in the Edwardian theatre rife with songs of revolution and smoke from the kindest bud.
Adding to the fun of the piece is that fact that 15 years later and back in New York, Kurrien enjoyed much fancier digs at the Andaz and Park Hytatt hotels. Not to mention some fellow lodgers much more well-heeled that those of his old NYU days.
As is Keith J. Kelly’s wont, the New York Post media critic fired off several impressive scoops at the near-end of a weekday evening, in this case just ahead of Wednesday’s print editions. One involved Vice Media reportedly telling Jann Wenner no, thanks re: US Weekly; another was about the long-delayed repayment of a Forbes family loan; and the third involves Salon Media.
According to Kelly’s sources, Salon is finalizing a deal with Spear Point Capital:
It won’t take much cash for Spear Point to buy a controlling stake in Salon. The 22-year-old digital publishing enterprise, which has been plagued by high-level turnover on the executive and editorial side—as well as declining revenue—has a market capitalization of only $6.1 million and a stock price of 8 cents a share.
At its IPO in 1999, its stock was $10.50 a share with a market cap of $105 million.
Spear Point chief Ron Bienvenu declined to comment to Kelly specifically about interest in Salon Media. Lots more good stuff in the article. Read the rest here.
One is a major American art dealer. The other, a major American art critic. The two come together beautifully in a piece written by Schachter for the U.K. edition of GQ magazine.
A photo posted by Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) on Nov 3, 2016 at 5:12pm PDT
Schachter has personally known Jerry Saltz and Saltz’s wife Roberta Smith, who write respectively for New York magazine and The New York Times, for over three decades. With that comes deep personal knowledge:
What’s less known is that Saltz’s father operated a lingerie company after emigrating from Estonia and his mother committed suicide by jumping out of a window when he was only ten. With no female presence whatsoever-he’s got two brothers and two stepbrothers-there were no sisters, aunts or even grandmothers to mollycoddle him, which surely colored the outlook of the man we know today: a walking, talking figurehead for all that’s good, bad and ugly about art, artists and the art world. And which may go some way to explain his ubiquitous pornographic provocations and obsessions (more on that to follow).
Schachter retraces Saltz’s recent ascension to reality TV stardom and Instagram provocateur, before tackling topics like the critic’s objection to vertiginous prices paid for works of art. Schachter turns many a colorful phrase and paragraph when describing his friend:
Saltz is the anti-critic critic, making critic-art out of the whole cloth of himself. Saltz is human Xanax; always “on”, he’s forever cheerful, an antidote to life’s chores and routines, maybe shying from his family history of despondency. I can’t remember ever seeing him grumpy or imagine him out of character, even in the midst of pillow talk with Smith.
Schachter also writes regularly for Artnet News. Check out for example his recent piece about a fire that ravaged his London home.
Kahanne Cooperman, the longtime former executive producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and, more recently, co-curator of 2016 Amazon series The New Yorker Presents, has a date with the Academy Awards. Her film Joe’s Violin is among this year’s nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject.
— Joe’s Violin (@JoesViolin) January 19, 2017
Here’s how the short was pitched on Kickstarter, where just under $50,000 was raised:
A Holocaust survivor donates his violin to an instrument drive, changing the life of a 12-year old girl in the Bronx.
The origins of the film connect actually to another medium, radio, as The New Yorker reminded last fall:
In the spring of 2014, Cooperman was driving to work, listening to WQXR-FM, the classical-music station, when she heard a promotion for a donation drive: the station was collecting used instruments to be given to schoolchildren. The promo mentioned one violin in particular that had been donated by a 91-one-year-old Holocaust survivor. “There weren’t any more details than that,” Cooperman, said. “But my curiosity was piqued immediately.”he set out to find out more about this old man and his violin.
The man, she discovered, was Joseph Feingold, who had made his donation after hearing a similar segment on WQXR. A retired architect who was born in Warsaw, he moved to the United States in 1948 after spending six and a half years in a labor camp in Siberia.
The Instruments Drive is a relatively recent addition to WQXR’s outreach efforts. The station, based in Newark, is the country’s most-listened-to classical music broadcaster. One of Cooperman’s two co-producers on Joe’s Violin is Doc NYC executive director Raphaela Neihausen.
Not too many photographers can pitch themselves on the side as professional announcers of the events they cover. But that’s the case with Lindsey Wyllie (pictured), a rodeo photographer and rodeo announcer.
Wyllie recently won, for the sixth consecutive year, Photographer of the Year honors from Your Competitor News, the leading rodeo magazine published in the western U.S. The magazine is bi-monthly during spring, summer and fall, and monthly in the winter.
Speaking to hometown Oregon newspaper the Blue Mountain Eagle, Wyllie highlighted his most memorable shot of the past year:
Wyllie’s personal favorite cover photo last year, a picture of young cowboy John Barry Rose, a Burns resident, competing at the Burns Junior High Rodeo, holds a special meaning to him. The photo appeared on the June 2016 edition of Your Competitor News.
“John Barry had not reached his 16th birthday this year when his life was taken in an auto accident,” Wyllie said. “He was well on his way to greatness and had enjoyed being at the top of his game, competing with the big guns in the NPRA and ICA world.”
The talented young Rose passed away in November. Wyllie’s first rodeo photography event this year will be the High School Rodeo in Eugene Feb. 24-26.
Photo via: Facebook