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Aaron Charney

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Katie Couric Must Really Hate Goldfish

MEDIA • Katie Couric's YouTube channel provides real service journalism: While chitchatting with Joe Biden, the CBS anchor recommends viewers tune into her favorite viral video — the one where a little girl watches her goldfish get flushed down the toilet. [HuffPo] • The New York Times op-ed columnists can't endorse political candidates. This "isn't a problem" for Maureen Dowd because she doesn't "do a partisan column." [NYO] • Vegas, take note: Big Apple broadsheets are front-runners in the race for the Pulitzers. [E&P]

Pandit and Willumstad to Share the Ultimate Power?

FINANCE • The newest Citigroup rumors suggest a "tag team at the top": Financial whiz Vikram Pandit will take over as CEO, while the more socially astute Robert Willumstad handles chairman duties. We're just not sure "tag team" means the same thing for us as it does the Times? [DealBook/NYT] • Morgan Stanley issued a full recession alert for the U.S. economy today in the oh-so-subtly titled "Recession Coming." Meanwhile, a recent Journal poll of top economists puts the risk of recession at 38 percent. [Telegraph, WSJ] • Thirtysomething Blackstone real-estate guru Jonathan Gray is getting rather comfortable in the top tier of the young establishment. [DealBook/NYT]

Did ‘The New Yorker’ Rip One of Its Cartoons Off ‘The Far Side’?

MEDIA • OMG, plagiarism in The New Yorker's cartoon issue? [Gelf] • Washington Post chief Don Graham has 300 Facebook friends. Poke away! [Washingtonian] • Fox 9's license is up for renewal, and a bunch of incensed New Jerseyans are fighting the station for failing to live up to its Jersey-side obligations. After all, the channel is based out of Secaucus but bills itself as "My9 New York." [NYT]

Al Gore: Cashing In on His Big Year

FINANCE • Al Gore, venture capitalist? The Nobel laureate and Apple board member is taking a hands-on role at Kleiner Perkins, the leading Silicon Valley venture firm. His goal: Save the world. And annoy GE's Jeff Immelt as much as possible. [Fortune] • Harvard picked Robert S. Kaplan, a former Goldman Sachs vice-chairman, as the new steward for the $35 billion endowment. Something tells us his kids won't have any trouble getting in. [Reuters via NYT] • A few management consultants with nothing better to do gave the Times its newest buzzword: CEO version 3.0. With the departures of Stan O'Neal, Chuck Prince, and Richard Parsons, it's now time for leaders "who can assemble a team that functions as smoothly as a jazz sextet." Because, as James Cayne showed, the old CEOs were way too bebop. [NYT]

The Bancroft Family High Jinks: Ongoing!

MEDIA • The Bancrofts are so dysfunctional that they missed the deadline for choosing their representative to the new Dow Jones board. Murdoch then vetoed two family nominations before agreeing to Natalie Bancroft, a 27-year-old opera singer and journalism neophyte. Family member Crawford Hill concluded: "This entire, sad and pathetic final episode is a fiasco. No wonder we lost Dow Jones!!" [WSJ] • With the Times hiring former sex writer Susan Dominus as the newest "Metro" columnist, will the section be heading toward the look of "Sunday Styles"? [NYO] • Nora Ephron: Blogging makes us better writers. Hey Nora, can you call our boss? [Mixed Media/Portfolio]

Did Aaron Charney Only Get 100K From Sullivan?

LAW • Will Aaron Charney ever have to work again? More than likely — he may not have gotten more than $100,000 in his sexual-harassment settlement with Sullivan & Cromwell. [PrawfsBlawg via Above the Law] • Should law schools be more like business schools? One law prof thinks so, and he looks a little like Justin Timberlake, so he must be right. [Law Blog/WSJ] • Do Cravath's two rounds of bonuses signal Big Law strength and more money for associates, or is the firm just hedging so they aren't locked in to paying the same amount next year? [NYT]

Will Dick Parsons Pull a Bloomberg?

MEDIA • Rumor has it that Richard Parson's will announce his departure at Time Warner as early as this week. Jeff Bewkes, longtime No. 2, is set to take over as CEO. Does this mean a Parsons run for mayor? [Times of London] • Radar cooked up a clever quiz: Fox News anchor or porn star? You decide. Wait, no, Murdoch decides. [Radar] • Jim Cramer matched Rupert Murdoch's legendary subtlety: "We have a competitor now in Fox and it is really important to destroy and mutilate them." [Broadcasting & Cable]

Tony Blair Sells Out Rupert Murdoch

MEDIA • Tony Blair sold his memoir for $9 million to Knopf, something of a surprise since Blair has long been tight with Murdoch, known for offering advances so big they resemble campaign donations through HarperCollins. [Media Mob/NYO] • A democratic member of the FCC requested an investigation of Murdoch's Dow Jones deal, arguing the merger consolidates too many powerful outlets in one less than trustworthy hand. [B&C] • Bloggingheads, everyone's favorite lo-fi insider-y political fight club, reached a content-sharing agreement with the Times. [HuffPo]

Topshop Signs a Lease in NYC?

FASHION • Breaking rumor alert: After months of hinting, Topshop has possibly, maybe signed a New York lease. Anglophiles and Kate Moss–ophiles, rejoice! [Fashionista] • First he’s out as the designer of Dior Homme. Now, Hedi Slimane’s been replaced by none other than BFF Karl Lagerfeld as the photographer of the ad campaigns. Oh, cruel fashion world! [WWD] • Giorgio Armani’s raking in the dough. The designer sold back a 5 percent stake in his company to Giorgio Armani SpA for about $110 million. [British Vogue]

So Who Will Run Viacom?

MEDIA • Sumner Redstone is feuding with his daughter, leaving the future of Viacom in doubt. [WSJ] • Forbes is putting its historic Greenwich Village building on the block. [NYP] • Countdown With Keith Olbermann referred to a Louisiana senator's wife as a ho. Imus again? [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

Who Will Catch the ‘Redbook’ Traitor?

MEDIA • Will the $10,000 that Jezebel paid for an unretouched Redbook cover be enough to feed the sure-to-be-fired leaker? [WWD] • Houghton Mifflin will acquire Harcourt from rival Reed Elsevier for $4 billion. [NYT] • Rolling Stone publisher Tim Castelli has left the magazine to be New York sales director for Google. [Ad Age]

Scarborough Takes Imus's Slot

MEDIA • Joe Scarborough picks up Don Imus's coveted MSNBC morning slot. [Radar] • The Dow Jones editorial-independence agreement with News Corp. stipulates that disputes will be aired on the Journal's editorial page. [WSJ] • News Corp. bought two Bronx weeklies, expanding its weekly neighborhood newspaper holdings. But how well will Murdoch papers go over in Greenpoint and Williamsburg? [NYT]

Charney’s Lawyers Toss Around Casual Nazi References

LAW • One of Aaron Charney's lawyers accuses Sullivan & Cromwell of having "adopted Dr. Mengele's techniques to torture the facts and law of this case." [Above the Law] • More than twenty lawyers filed an objection against the $125-apiece BAR/BRI settlement. [National Law Journal] • Summer associates at Pillsbury Winthrop practiced researching things in books this week. Next week: writing briefs by hand. [Law Blog/WSJ]

Happy Eccentric Executive Day!

FINANCE • Steve Schwarzman's chef spends $3,000 each weekend on food; Schwarzman makes his employees wear non-squeaky shoes, and at five-foot-six, he attributes his success to "little man" complex. [WSJ] • "Page Six" is on the trail of an investment banker who wears kimonos and eyeliner. [NYP] • If you're a CEO, you may well be a lousy father. [Fortune via CNNMoney]

Bonus Season, Already?

FINANCE • Investment bankers' bonuses could break records again, with one recruiting firm predicting 10 to 15 percent increases. [DealBook/NYT] • Ben Weston, the chief of Merrill Lynch's hedge-fund development group, stepped down after two years with the firm. [Bloomberg] • Is "back pain" the new euphemism for buyout deal? The CFO of Palm might know. [Deal Journal/WSJ]

The Charney Conspiracy

LAW • Aaron Charney filed his long-awaited amended complaint against Sullivan & Cromwell. His new suit contains allegations of emotional distress and conspiracy. [New York Law Journal] • Things are getting ugly at the Harvard Law Review — the new president has a "decidedly fascist approach to leadership," complains one staffer. [Above the Law] • Australia's Slater & Gordon is the world's first publicly traded law firm. [Law Blog/WSJ]

Will Imus Return?

MEDIA • Is Imus's planned $200 million lawsuit a ploy to get back on the air? [NYP] • The final bids for Dennis Publishing are due next week, and it's shaping up as a showdown between Kent Brownridge and Ron Burkle. [AdAge] • Jeff Bridges will play Graydon Carter in the film version of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. [WWD]

Murdoch Makes a Move on Dow Jones

MEDIA • News Corp. made an unsolicited offer of $60 a share for Dow Jones today, sending the share price up 58 percent on the news before trading was suspended. [CNBC] • GQ auctioned off a one-month internship in its marketing department on eBay. The winner paid $30,200 — likely more than a marketing assistant makes in a year. [eBay via Media Mob/NYO] • Contrarian Christopher Hitchens called the Virginia Tech shootings a "non-story" at the annual ASME board meeting yesterday. [Fishbowl NY/Mediabistro]

Is Naked Brooklyn Law Student a Natural Blonde?

LAW • The Brooklyn Law School student who appeared naked in a Playboy video is neither blonde nor brainy. Discuss. [Above the Law] • Is David Lat at Above the Law siding with Aaron Charney over Sullivan & Cromwell? Disclosures aside, the site's commenters are suspicious. [Above the Law] • Claims from victims of one fraudulent attorney could put the New York Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection in fiscal jeopardy. [New York Law Journal]

My CEO Can Beat Up Your CEO

FINANCE • Lehman CEO Dick Fuld, nicknamed the "Gorilla" on the Street, didn't do so well when he picked a fight with another father at his son's hockey game. [Trader Daily via DealBreaker] • Paul Wolfowitz promotes his girlfriend at the World Bank, and his colleagues want him out. [CNNMoney] • The world's top earner in the financial sector: reclusive ex–Enron trader John Arnold, who netted almost $2 billion shorting natural gas. [The Guardian]