The ‘Times’ Touches Upon Checkbook Journalism — With Two Fingers, Of Course

MEDIA
• "OK!, the celebrity magazine, could not possibly have purchased all the attention it enjoyed in late December after it got the scoop that Jamie Lynn Spears, the younger and until then less sensational sister of the troubled pop queen Britney Spears, was three months pregnant. Or could it?" [NYT]
• Josh Stein isn't actually leaving Gawker; Emily Gould will write for Jezebel; Choire Sicha will continue contributing columns; and recently departed Wonkette editor Ken Layne returned after just a few months off the job. Can anyone escape the tentacles of Nick Denton? [HuffPo]
• The Writers Guild plans to picket Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan O'Brien as the three late-night hosts return to the air. Letterman gets off easy since he struck a deal with the writers and may get a big boost since big stars (like Robin Williams, natch) won't have to cross the pickets to go on his show. [NYO, NYT]

FINANCE
• Snowbirds to the rescue! Armed with Social Security checks and big war chests, Warren Buffet, Kirk Kerkorian, and Carl Icahn, average age 79, have been making huge deals while the rest of the economy stumbles. [NYP]
• Economists put the chances of a recession in 2008 around 50/50. Note: These are the same economists that blew the entire subprime call in the first place. [NYT]
• Merrill and Citi topped the banking league tables, proving once and for all that league tables are beyond meaningless. [DealBook/NYT]

LAW
• U.S. firms lost big ground to the Brits in 2007. Sullivan & Cromwell once again topped the deal-making list, but London-based Allen & Overy came in second, even though they weren't in the top ten last year. [DealBook/NYT]
• Chief Justice John Roberts stuck to his favorite New Year's tradition: asking Congress for a raise. [Law Blog/WSJ]
• Check out how well you can do on the year-end law-news quiz. [Law Blog/WSJ]

FASHION
• Valentino may be retired, but his awards keep on rolling in. [British Vogue]
• Bloomingdale's New York flagship store is finally breaking down and getting some work done. [DNR]
• Anne Hathaway is the face of Lancôme. Because anyone who needs a makeover in every movie she’s in should clearly be the face for something. [Fashionista]