Ana Marie Cox Comes Full Circle at ‘Radar’The founding Wonkette editor signs on to do irreverent political coverage for Maer’s magazine, another Charles Kushner associate goes down, and Andrew Cuomo noses around Dick Grasso’s package, in our daily roundup of news from the worlds of media, real estate, law, and finance.
Angelo Mozilo Just Wants to Help PeopleLAW
• After testifying in front of the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform last week about the gargantuan pay package he picked up while his company hemorrhaged money, Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo made Congress a nice little offer: “Mr. Mozilo said he had left a card in each Congressional office with a help line for constituents having problems with their loans. He added that if the number didn’t work, “call me— I take this very seriously.’” [NYT]
• Since the federal death-penalty statute was revived in 1998, New York federal juries have been reluctant to impose the death sentence. [NYT]
• You know those ads for legal firms in the Metro? Yeah, they’re really not all that effective. [Legal Blog Watch]
CEOs Fry at Congressional Hearing!Oh, not really. We’re just exaggerating. That’s what the media does, according to former Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, and former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal,all of whom who have all offered up the line that the media has “grossly exaggerated” the amounts of their compensation in their testimony in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today. “The reality is that I received no severance package,” said O’Neal. This is technically true: but he did recieve $161.5 million in cash, stock and stock options upon his “retirement” in October. Over at Portfolio, Elizabeth Olson is live-blogging the hearing, and she has reported that, among other things, Countrywide Financial CEO Mozilo looks “tan and confident,” but everyone looks totes unhappy. The day started out with a bang: Chair Henry Waxman, who called for the hearing, wondered aloud whether the “hundreds of millions of dollars [the CEOs] were given represent a complete disconnect from reality,” but Republican representative Tom Davis killed his joy by saying that they “should not degenerate into a sanctimonious search for scapegoats.… Punishing individual corporate executives with public floggings like this may be a politically satisfying ritual — like an island tribe sacrificing a virgin to a grumbling volcano.” Indeed. Also, who knew Davis was so creative?
Credit C.E.O. Comp Under Fire, IV [Daily Brief/Portfolio]
Angelo Mozilo Earned That Money, and No Commie Quack Is Going to Take It Away From HimAs you may know, Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, recently deposed Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal, and recently deposed Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince are scheduled to testify in front of the House and Government Reform Committee tomorrow, having been called by Representative Henry Waxman of California to defend the gigantic paychecks they received precisely as their companies were hemorrhaging billions of dollars in subprime investments. Muckraked got hold of a memo Waxman wrote summarizing the issue for his colleagues, and it is kind of awesome. “During the five-year period from January 2002 through December 2006, the stock of Countrywide, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup appreciated, and the three CEOs collectively received more than $460 million in compensation,” he wrote. Then, “Any alignment between the compensation of the CEOs and their shareholders’ interests appears to break down in 2007, however.” But the best part is an e-mail from October 2006, wherein Mozilo smacks down shareholders who suggest his $120 million compensation might be a little much.
Quoth the e-mail:
I appreciate your input but at this stage in my life at Countrywide this process is no longer about money but more about respect and acknowledgement of my accomplishments.… Boards have been placed under enormous pressure by the left wing business press and the envious leaders of unions and other so called ‘CEO Comp Watchers’ and therefore Boards are being forced to protect themselves irrespective of the potential negative long term impact on public companies. I strongly believe that a decade from now there will be a recognition that entrepreneurship has been driven out of the public sector resulting in underperforming companies and a willingness on the part of Boards to pay for performance.
That’s right, Angelo. You’ve got to fight those liberal bastards or else they’ll take away everything that is right and good in the world. Now go tell it on the mountain, friend.
[Muckraked via Salon]
CEO Astrology: Reading the Stars for Barry Diller, John Thain, Chuck Prince, and Steve SchwarzmanMany of you know celebrity astrologer Susan Miller as the uncannily accurate predictor of your fate. You’re in good company: She’s got A-listers like Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom paying her to do their charts and gets fifteen million page views a month on her Website, Astrologyzone. She’s asked to analyze the stars for actors, musicians, and starlets all the time — but when we got the chance to talk with her, we wanted to know what the future holds for a group of guys even nearer and dearer to our heart. Guys like embattled IACCEO Barry Diller, Blackstone CEO Steven Schwarzman, ousted Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, and Merrill Lynch newbie John Thain. After all, these people have much more power to wreak havoc in our lives if the stars choose not to shine on them. After the jump, read Miller’s uncannily prescient analysis (it would be more precise if she knew the times of day they were born) and learn what warnings these four financial powerhouses need to heed if they want to come out of 2008 on top.
O’Neal, Mozilo, Prince, the Principal Would Like to See You NowNot so fast there, boys. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair Henry Waxman isn’t going to let fired Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal and fired Citigroup CEO Charles Prince III waste away in Margaritaville just yet. He’s organizing a little field trip down to Washington February 7, where he’s holding a hearing as part of an “ongoing investigation into executive pay” related to subprime. The executives will be expected to answer questions about the massive pay and severance packages they received after making a mess of their companies and why they thought they could get away with armfuls of money while leaving the rest of America holding the bag. Yeah. Who do they think they are, anyway? “You collected tens of millions of dollars in payments and other compensation upon your departure from Citigroup,” Waxman wrote in a letter to Prince, according to the Financial News. “You should plan to address how it aligns with the interests of Citigroup’s shareholders and whether this level of compensation is justified in light of your company’s recent performance and its role in the national mortgage crisis.” Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo has also been invited along for the ride, since Bank of America announced they would acquire that ailing beast for $4 billion on Friday, and if Mozilo, thought he was going to go sailing into the sunset scot-free, well, we guess he’s got another think coming.
Congress Panel Wants to Grill Subprime CEOs on Pay [Reuters]
Vikram Pandit Will Always Be Daddy’s Little BoySome finance pundits may be giving newly installed Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit a hard time, but there’s one person who knows he can get the job done: his dad. “I am not apprehensive about his abilities,” Shankar Pandit, 84, told the Times of India last night. “I am confident he will do a very good job.” In his interview with the Times, Shankar, the former director of a pharmaceuticals company, talked about getting the phone call from Vikram about his promotion (“He told me in a calm but happy voice that everything had gone well”) and what Pandit was like growing up (“He was a brilliant boy. In school, he always stood first in his class”) and gave some insight into the man Vikram is now.
He is a very simple person at heart. He likes reading and reads on all sorts of topics; he even reads up a cookery book! He is a very good photographer and enjoys being with family. He derives pleasures from simple things in life, not playing golf etc.
Again with the golf! Apparently, during the months following CEO Chuck Prince’s departure from Citi, Pandit discussed the possibility that he might get the Citigroup job with his father. Like an Indian Fred McMurray, his dad told him that although he hoped he would, but he would still be proud of him if he didn’t. “I told him he was only 50 years old and had enough time ahead of him to prove his worth,” he said. Aw. Even Wall Street titans are just little kids to someone.
Vikram Has To Put In A Lot of Efforts, Says Dad [Times of India]
Earlier: Daily Intel’s Coverage of Vikram Pandit
Bill Keller: UnleashedMEDIA
• Bill Keller on Rupert Murdoch: “I don’t know Rupert Murdoch, he is a combative 76-year-old newspaper guy with a tabloid soul and more money than God. With those resources at this stage it looks like he will do whatever the hell he wants to do. I don’t think he is going to be constrained by some strategic planning consultant telling him what he can do. That makes him very hard to predict.” [Media Mob/NYO]
• Meanwhile, the Times gave Sam Tanenhaus still more power, expanding his purview beyond the Book Review to the halcyon halls of “Week in Review.” It’s hard to tell if this is Keller’s endorsement of Tanenhaus’s talents or just an absurd overselling of some serious cost savings. [Radar]
• Jon Stewart shows he’s a real mensch and begins paying his staff just like all the other late-night hosts (Even though Stewart is paid far less himself.) Daily Show staffers never even missed a check. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Gucci Would Prefer a More Flattering CutFASHION
• The Gucci family is up in arms over Ridley Scott’s biopic. They fear he’ll focus on the family scandals. You know, instead of making a movie about all the boring stuff. [British Vogue]
• Helmut Lang is opening a pop-up shop in the meatpacking district. Just what we need, another fabulous place to spend our money while we are drunk. [Fashion Informer]
• Kaiser Karl rocked the U.K. with a Chanel fashion show. [WWD]
Jon Stewart Suddenly Not Looking Like the Nice GuyMEDIA
• Is Jon Stewart really the only late-night host not currently covering the salaries of his laid-off, non-striking employees? [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• The key lines from the n+1 essay that helped convinced Choire Sicha and Emily Gould to quit: “The purpose of Gawker Media was always to improve on the print publishing business model. It was never, as the content of Gawker sometimes seemed to suggest, to produce critiques of the waste that model created. The content at Gawker, like most Condé Nast titles, is a service to the advertisers. … You could say that as Gawker Media grew, from Gawker’s success, Gawker outlived the conditions for its existence.” Joshua David Stein announced his own departure, due mostly to personal loyalty, on Saturday. [n+1, Media Mob/NYO]
• Meanwhile, Portfolio’s Jeff Bercovici proves that Condé and Gawker really are at the same level: “By the way, those who feel wronged by Gawker over the years can take some satisfaction in the uniquely terrible timing of the walkout for Denton, who is pumped full of painkillers after a recent back injury. Last week, the pain became so intense he needed an ambulance to get to the hospital. As he was being loaded into the ambulance, he says, his greatest fear was that he would be spotted by someone from Gawker, which is headquartered just down the block from his home.” [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Judith Regan: At What Price, America?MEDIA
• Jeff Bercovici wants to know: “What’s Regan’s price for selling out her country?” After all, if Regan’s info on Giuliani is that damaging, shouldn’t she divulge it in any case, no matter how much Uncle Murdoch is willing to offer? [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• Dan Rather’s lawyers are getting fed up with CBS nondisclosure agreements. “Who do these guys think they are? The National Security Agency?” [NYO]
• Intrepid Observer reporter spends 45 minutes staring through a window just to see who showed up to a lame Times party. Now that’s journalism! [Media Mob/NYO]
Al Gore: Cashing In on His Big YearFINANCE
• 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]
Kate Middleton Quits Fashion — Soon to Be Engaged?FASHION
• Princely girlfriend Kate Middleton quit her job at fashion chain Jigsaw, sparking rumors of an imminent engagement! [British Vogue]
• Daria Werbowy is doing a line of makeup for Lancôme that benefits a Brazilian children’s charity. Hot and philanthropic? Sigh. [Fashionista]
• Surprise, surprise: This holiday shopping season is gonna suck for retailers. [NYT]
Bill Clinton Made Rosie O’Donnell CryRosie O’Donnell burst into tears after Bill Clinton called her and apologized for being unfaithful to his wife. The guy who won the marathon said he did so by refraining from sex and eating pasta. Katie Holmes said her marathon run was “hard, but good.” (She also wore a velvet Hermès gown to a Museum of the Moving Image event honoring her husband.) Damien Hirst installed a bunch of dead sheep carcasses in formaldehyde tanks at Lever House. Ousted Citigroup chief Chuck Prince didn’t say hi to Sandy Weill at the Four Seasons. Annie Lennox gave a bunch of fans the finger. Governor Spitzer, Governor Corzine, and Nora Ephron went on a triple date to Cafe Boulud.
Todd Thomson Attempts to Vanquish an Already-Vanquished Chuck PrinceNow that Chuck Prince is out at Citigroup, everyone can say what they really thought of him. Todd Thomson, the former head of Citi’s wealth-management department, who was fired in January after a delicious spate of reports questioning his spending (his extravagant office was commonly referred to as the “Todd Mahal”) and his relationship with CNBC’s Money Honey Maria Bartiromo, jumps in first. Thomson told Reuters today that he suspected Prince himself orchestrated the “smear campaign” against him, because he was trying to divert attention from the issues at Citibank and also, perhaps, because he considered Thomson a rival. “There was a very significant rift between me and the now ex-CEO,” he told Reuters (click the picture to watch the video). “I’ve never been accused of having anything other than an appropriate relationship with Maria Bartiromo. And I do have an appropriate relationship with Maria Bartiromo.” Bartiromo concurs: “Something happened between Todd Thomson and Chuck Prince, and somehow I got wrapped up in it,” she told the Times the other day. “Clearly, there was another agenda going on.” An agenda! A rift! A triangle! It’s all so Shakespearean! These people have been wronged!
‘Times’ Editorial Chief Andy Rosenthal, UnpluggedMEDIA
• Incoming Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes may well spin off the company’s huge cable unit, but a sale of Time Inc. looks unlikely since the small potential proceeds (and big tax penalty) would little benefit a company of Time Warner’s size. [NYT]
• Times editorial-page editor Andy Rosenthal calls all executive editors, including Bill Keller and his own father, crazy. Sweet. [Radar]
• Rupert Murdoch is confirming to all his friends he plans to bring in Times of London editor Robert Thomson to become the Journal’s publisher as part of an “Aussie invasion” in the first few months of next year. [Guardian via Media Mob/NYO]
Wall Street’s Golden Idols All Have Feet of ClayFINANCE
• The struggle to find a successor at Merrill and Citi demonstrates another big flaw in the current culture of Wall Street: Do-or-die standards, and growing demands on public executives, have left firms with no succession plan and few capable of stepping in to take over. Both firms have been forced to turn outside for help: Laurence Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, has been approached about O’Neal’s old job, while Robert Willumstad and John Thain are in the lead to take Prince’s place. [WSJ]
• Why did Chuck Prince and Stan O’Neal fail? They took Gordon Gecko’s favorite maxim—”I create nothing, I own”—a little too seriously, and forgot the other part of banking is to sell, sell, sell. [NYT]
• Andrew Ross Sorkin dons his Miss Manners cap to explain the rules of corporate courting—and why Stan O’Neal’s worrywart parents, the Merrill Lynch board, were only looking for an excuse when they grounded him for asking Wachovia to “merge.” [NYT]
Goodbye, CharlieWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Chuck Prince has been on our—and everyone’s—about-to-get-axed list for about three years. Look, there he is right there, in this week’s magazine, with a little axe hovering over him! It’s been especially bad the past month or so, after Citigroup announced a $6.5 billion write-down, and everyone started openly talking about how Prince sucked and should leave, even though Rick Rubin and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal defended him. It sort of reminded us of when Lacey was on Rock of Love: Even when everyone in the house was hating Prince, when it seemed like there was just no way he was going to win, the board still had the hots for that crazy bitch and refused to kick him off the show. Of course, as with Lacey and Rock of Love, all things come to pass, and this past Saturday, the Citigroup tour ended for Prince. But we have to ask, why now, as opposed to back then? Did Stan O’Neal inspire Prince? Are the fourth quarter numbers just too heinous for him to stick around? Was he fed up, as the Wall Street Journal this morning suggests, with rassling with the mammoth bureaucracy that is Citigroup? Or: Was Prince merely afraid that if he stayed on a moment longer someone at the Journal would uncover his stash? In any case: Now that the floodgates have been opened, we’re looking at you, Cayne.
Citigroup Statement on CEO Prince [WSJ]
Related:Big Swinging Ax
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]
Things Get Hairy on Wall Street
With the sub-prime debacle, the barons of Wall Street have learned a lesson about risk. But there’s a chancy new fad on the horizon they might not be able to resist. Aaron Perlut, the co-founder of the American Mustache Institute, issued a warning in the morning’s Wall Street Journal:
“You’re definitely out on a limb when you grow a mustache, especially a flamboyant one, and if you do, you always run the risk that people will think you’re going too far.”
That’s right, folks! Tomorrow begins Movember, a monthlong Australian contest which encourages businessmen grow mustaches, or “mos,” in order to raise funds for prostate cancer. This is the first year that the contest has come to the U.S., but it seems that New York’s finance guys might be a little too uptight to, ahem, “sport a mo.” The Journal points out that none of the chief executive officers at the top-ten Fortune 500 companies have mustaches — although we imagined what some of them would look like if they did, above — “and for young professionals seeking to follow in their footsteps, growing one may seem like a step in the wrong direction.” Take the experience of Christopher Doyle, a 26-year-old audit assistant at Deloitte & Touche, who was given a “gentle reminder” to shave after only two days of work. Well, that’s Wall Street for you. Clean-cut at the office, drag and nipple clamps at home.
Growing Facial Hair for Charity [WSJ]
Movember [Official site]
Stan O’Neal: It’s the Final Countdown!What did you do this weekend? Oh, yeah? Well, Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal, whom we put on Deathwatch last week, spent the weekend negotiating his $160 million severance package. Nice payout, considering he, you know, was responsible for the biggest loss in the bank’s history. But can we just say it’s kind of amazing how fast this all happened? It was only a week ago that O’Neal announced his multi-billion-dollar write-off, and this morning, the Wall Street Journal reports he’s expected to resign this afternoon. Whereas we and the rest of the universe have had Citigroup’s Chuck Prince Deathwatch for like three years and still the dude is cozy in his Lexington Avenue throne. So, why has O’Neal gone down like a ton of bricks, while Prince is living large? Management Today suggests it might be because O’Neal is black. But we’re not so sure. (Also, not so comfortable with that headline, guys, considering O’Neal is actually a descendent of slaves.) But more likely it is just that he:
• Reported an $8 billion loss in the third quarter, which makes Chuck seem like he was being frugal for losing only $6 billion.
•Was super-competitive with Goldman Sachs, to the point where his staff avoided him during Goldman earnings because he was not nice.
• LOST $8 BILLION
• Was maybe talking to Wachovia about a merger behind the back of his board.
• Lost $8-fucking-billion
We think that about sums it up.
O’Neal Out As Merrill Reels From Loss [WSJ]
O’Neal Gets Merrill Lynched [Management Today]
Earlier: The Stan O’Neal Deathwatch
Bank of America’s Friends: One Is Silver and the Other’s GoldEmbattled CEOs like Citigroup’s Chuck Prince, whose departure has been rumored and longed for since he announced profits were down by 60 percent last month, and Merrill Lynch’s Stan O’Neal, who the other day announced they’d be taking $8.4 billion — that bears repeating: $8.4 billion — in write-downs, ought to take a cue from Bank of America’s Kenneth Lewis, who after reporting a 32 percent drop in third-quarter results decided to do like a smart despot and start executing his cronies before the people start marching him to the gallows. Last night, Lewis announced a restructuring of the bank, which includes the “early retirement” of B of A head of investment banking R. Eugene Taylor, above, a trader for some 38 years and a longtime tennis buddy of the CEO’s. He’ll be replaced by Brian Moynihan, a bright young thing who will move from Boston to New York to take over the division. But Moynihan has never run a capital markets unit before now, and honestly, with the Red Sox in the World Series, how popular will he be in New York?
BofA’s Wall Street Retreat [WSJ]
Related: The Hanger-on [NYM]
‘Times’ Laughs in Morgan Stanley’s Face (Well, Back)MEDIA
• Marcus Brauchli remains top editor at the Journal, but there’s a growing sense of inevitability that Robert Thomson, Sunday Times of London editor and Murdoch “old boy,” will challenge him for the position. (Related question: Does Murdoch have any “boys” who are not “old”?) [NYO]
• The Times’ third-quarter earnings almost doubled analysts’ expectations, giving the paper a chance to gloat about the big hit Morgan Stanley took a week ago by selling its stake in the company. [NYT, DealBook/NYT]
• Rick Reilly, previously the highest-paid writer in the history of Time Inc., will get $2 million a year for five years at ESPN. Who knew wussifying sports would pay so well? [NYP]
Who’s the Real Heir to Sandy Weill?FINANCE
• Citigroup’s Chuck Prince and Chase’s Jamie Dimon are battling it out to see who’s the real heir to Sandy Weill. With Citi crashing and Chase eking out a gain despite the credit crunch, it looks like Dimon, long prodigal, may be the true son. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
• Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson warned that we may see as many as one million home foreclosures before the end of the year. [NYT]
• Want to be a hedger and a do-gooder, work a trading floor and enjoy the peace of mind of a nonprofit? Join the World Bank like former Goldman exec Robert Zoellick, and you can manage $55 billion in assets. [NYT]
Air America Host Randi Rhodes Mugged?MEDIA
• Air America talk-show host Randi Rhodes was assaulted on Park Avenue last night while walking her dog? [Gawker]
• Jack Shafer investigates the billionaires behind ProPublica, the newly established New York–based investigative-journalism nonprofit led by former Journal managing editor Paul Steiger. Surprise, they’re big Democratic donors. [Slate]
• Howard Kurtz took the nonstop promotion of his gossipy new book to its logical conclusion, interviewing himself on his own CNN show. [HuffPo]
Citibank Shake-up Shakes Out for Vikram PanditGuess we know why Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit felt okay about buying that fancy $17.6 million apartment in the Beresford! Dude just got a promotion. Last night, embattled CEO Chuck Prince announced he was consolidating its investment-banking and alternative-investment groups and appointing Pandit as the king of both of them. Though Pandit has a reputation for being “calm,” “selfless,” and “not prone to ruthless acts,” as the Times puts it, the guys who were slated to be underneath him are none too pleased. Already two executives, Thomas Maheras and Randy Barker, have decided to leave the bank. Meanwhile, some people are wondering if Prince’s appointment of Pandit means that he’s going to resign? Deutsche Bank’s Mike Mayo thinks he should. But former Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin bet the Times $100 that Prince will have his job next year. And you know how much $100 is worth on Wall Street these days.
Big Shake-Up As CitiGroup Combines Two Units [NYT]
Citibank Cut to Sell By Deutsche Bank on Governance [Bloomberg]
Two Princes“The patience of shareholders is getting thin I’m patient, but enough is enough,” Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Citigroup’s largest single and occasionally, fabulously critical shareholder said back in 2006, when the bank reported lower than expected earnings. It came as a surprise today, then, after CEO Chuck Prince’s announcement that he expected profits this quarter to have fallen by 60 percent and the bank’s generally poor performance has had industry-watchers and analysts calling for his head for quite some time now, that Alwaleed did not take this opportunity to lay his smackdown on the CEO but held his arms open for a hug. “I’m backing the management of Citi and Chuck Prince. They have my full support,” he told the Journal this morning, referring to the loss as a “hiccup”. Which totally reminds us of how whenever Lindsay Lohan has to go rehab, her publicist says it’s “exhaustion.”
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]
All Is Not Well in Redstone LandMEDIA
• Sumner Redstone, the octogenarian CEO of CBS and Viacom, is trying to play all lovey-dovey with his spurned daughter Shari, but the succession to the $50 billion empire is nowhere near resolved. [LAT]
• With more than a 1,000 job cuts at Time Inc. behind her, Ann Moore, the CEO who rose from the back room to the boardroom, thinks there’s still plenty of fat to cut — she asked some McKinsey consultants to keep sharpening their knives. [NYP]
• ABC News has done gangbusters over the last year, leading nightly news and finally catching up in the morning, so why did their Disney overlords decide to shuffle management at the top? [NYP]
The Beef of the Century: Jim Cramer Disses Chuck PrinceThe war of words between 50 Cent and Kanye West is yesterday’s news — but it is ON between Jim Cramer and Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, whom Cramer thinks should be fired, like, now. Under Prince’s reign, “Citigroup has been at the cutting edge of everything that is bad,” Cramer told Farnoosh Torabi of The Street today.