Ellen Dethrones Oprah, Finally Has a Real Reason to Dance

MEDIA
• Ellen beat Oprah as the nation's favorite TV personality, dethroning the Queen of Talk who held the top spot for five years. [HR]
• Will Schwalbe quit Hyperion after seven years as editor-in-chief. His decision seems to have come as something of a shock, and the publisher has no immediate successor planned. Schwalbe, co-author of Send, the recent guide to e-mail etiquette, won't divulge his own plans. [NYO]
• Christopher Hitchens quits smoking! Really, we're excited and interested! [Radar]

FINANCE
• What do people think investment bankers are doing all day? This. [Banker's Ball, FT]
• More rumors in the Merrill Lynch turd attack: Bond traders are convinced that the guy who dropped a load on the nineteenth floor of Merrill headquarters, then rubbed it into the floor, was an equity trader taking his revenge. And the bond guys are planning payback. [DealBreaker]
• Merrill CEO John Thain shouldn't have too much to worry about though — after all, he looks pretty badass as wrestling team captain in this awesome, Afroed high-school yearbook photo. [DealBreaker]

LAW
• When you've got an $18 billion write-down, another $14 billion in outside investment, who you gonna call? H. Rodgin Cohen! [Law Blog/WSJ]
• Justice Scalia made a funny: "Suppose — suppose I think that my neighbor next door is growing marijuana and I have probable cause to believe that, all right? So I go in and search his house; and sure enough, there is marijuana. And I bring it to the police’s attention, and they eventually arrest him. Is that lawful search? … Don’t dance around. Is it — is it rendered an unreasonable search by the fact that I’m not a law-enforcement officer at all?…" Attorney: "That's correct." Scalia: "That's fantastic." [Law Blog/WSJ]
• Big law-school loans? With interest rates dropping, now might be a good time to reconsolidate. [Above the Law]

FASHION
• Burberry is planning to open fifteen new stores next year. A tartan revolution! [British Vogue]
• Giambattista Valli is designing a line for Moncler. [Glam.com]
• Lancôme has signed Juliette Binoche to be the face of its Rénergie skin-care line. [WWD]