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Conan O’Brien Reads, But Does Not Give Recipes to, ‘Good Housekeeping’

MEDIA •Yesterday the New York Post reported on Tiger Woods's new $65 million Hamptons pad. The only problem? He didn't buy the house. [Radar] • Good Housekeeping published Conan O'Brien's stew recipe in honor of Saint Patrick's Day. Except it wasn't actually his recipe. "I've never cooked anything in my life. I didn't send this to them; they completely made this up," he said, then added: "I love this magazine, I'm not mad or anything." [WWD] • After a year of bickering, Dow Jones decided it will no longer carry news from the Associated Press. [Reuters]

Natalie Bancroft Is Not Just Some Idiotic Girl

Bancroft
When pervy uncle Rupert Murdoch passed over more qualified members of the Bancroft family to appoint Natalie Bancroft, the great-granddaughter of Hugh Bancroft, to the board of Dow Jones this past fall, it's safe to say eyebrows were raised. Sitting board members included a former U.S. secretary of Education and the former prime minister of Spain. Natalie was a 27-year-old aspiring opera singer, the daughter of a model and a race-car driver, with no prior experience in business or in journalism. "I know that me as a choice was kind of scandalous," Bancroft tells writer Sofia Banay in Portfolio's March issue. But "I'm not just some idiotic girl in piggytails yodeling." Not just. Bancroft goes on to say that in between flying to Milan for voice lessons, she's taking a journalism class and "working her little butt off" to measure up to her peers on the board. Will she be getting an MBA?, Banay asks her. "In journalism?" Bancroft responds. Oh, no, honey. We bet you learned all you need to know about journalism just from doing this interview. Lady Sings the News [Portfolio]

Hillary Clinton Dismays Anna Wintour

MEDIA • Anna Wintour took Hillary Clinton to task for backing out of her Vogue photo shoot because she feared looking "too feminine." Wintour: "The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying." Ouch. [WWD] • The Directors Guild showed up the writers in striking, heh, fashion: After just one week of negotiations, the directors struck a deal with the studios that includes the all-important online-video money. The writers are cautious, though, since the last time they followed the directors' lead they got screwed on the home-video market. [WP] • Wal-Mart, responsible for 20 percent of all "newsstand" magazine sales, announced it would dump more than 1,000 titles from its shelves. Shocking twist: The New Yorker stays, but Boar Hunter Magazine is out! [NYP]

Hedi and LVMH: Together at Last!

FASHION • Hedi Slimane is back in talks with LVMH to launch his own fashion house. Everyone, commence jumping up and down. [WWD] • IMG is behind Bravo’s new model show but won’t be giving the winner a contract. [Fashionista] • Not even Cavalli can rev up H&M’s sales. [NYP]

Rupert Murdoch Already Wriggling Around ‘Journal’ Restrictions

Murdoch

There's something fishy about the role of incoming Wall Street Journal publisher Robert Thompson. It's not just that he's the former editor of Rupert Murdoch's Times of London (and therefore not someone with experience from the business side of a paper). It's that he gives Murdoch an interesting loophole to get around the editorial-independence clauses that were set up at the request of the Bancroft family when he took over the Journal. Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici reports:
Tom Bray, chairman of the five-person committee charged with overseeing compliance of the agreement, notes that it explicitly delineates the authority of the managing editor and editorial page editor but does not do so for the publisher. A change in the publisher's duties, therefore, lies outside the agreement's purview.

Some Lawyers Are Sad

LAW • Know a troubled lawyer? If you work in the law, you probably do — some estimates put the ratio of depressed attorneys at 20 percent — and a few new Websites are trying help them out. [Law Blog/WSJ, WSJ] • How not to get out of your marijuana arrest: When the judge lets you off easy, pull out a driver's license covered in pot. [New York Law Journal] • So just how lame was Cadwalader's Wild Wild West holiday party last night? Wildly. [Above the Law]

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]

CEO Rich Zannino Quietly, Kindly Resigns From Dow Jones

Zannino
So Rich Zannino announced, as was expected, that he is resigning his post as CEO of Dow Jones. From the Journal itself:
Mr. Zannino's resignation, which is expected to be the first of a series of executive departures from Dow Jones, highlights the dramatic change about to sweep through the company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and Dow Jones Newswires. News Corp's acquisition of the company, expected to be approved by Dow Jones shareholders at a meeting next Thursday, ends more than a century of control by the Bancroft family.
Look at all that excited verbiage in there. After the jump, we have Zannino's sweet "I Got a $30 Million Severance" good-bye e-mail to his colleagues.

Ben Bradlee Believes in Rupert Murdoch

MEDIA • Legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee on Rupe's play for the Journal: "I think Murdoch is a better journalist than the rest of you do. … Well, I think because he's smart, and he's not going to fill it up with pussy stories. And he's going to get good reporters. I think he does not want to fail on this." [Radar] • Ted Kennedy sold his memoir to Grand Central Publishing for $8 million, but the deal first has to be cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee. Something tells us the chapter on Chappaquiddick won't be too long. [NYT] • The Times bagged their first refugee from the Journal, though it's not a very big catch: John Harwood, the veteran CNBC Washington correspondent and occasional contributor to the Journal, will now take his part-time work to the Gray Lady. [NYO]

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]

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]

Bear Stearns Execs Cashed Out Before Stock Dropped

FINANCE • James Cayne and three other top Bear Stearns execs cashed out $57 million in stock before the bank took a nose dive, pawning off $16 million in losses on regular investors. [TheStreet.com via DealBreaker] • With Ellyn McColgan's departure, Fidelity president Rodger Lawson has gone from new guy in town to likely successor. [Boston Globe via DealBook/NYT] • Blackstone raised $21.7 billion for its latest private-equity fund. Apparently drumming up the last $6 billion was pretty tough. Cue the violins! [Deal Journal/WSJ]

Jeffrey Goldberg Wants a Pony

MEDIAAtlantic owner David Bradley sent ponies to Jeffrey Goldberg's kids to help lure him away from The New Yorker. Seriously. [WP] • Just before the Dow Jones deal went through, the Bancrofts voted to double this quarter's dividend for themselves [NYP] • Murdoch and Ailes's next move? All-out war? (Wait, they're not at war with everyone else already?) [Newsweek]

It's Expensive Being Rupert Murdoch

MEDIA • Did Dow Jones cost Rupert Murdoch an extra $1 billion just because he’s Rupert Murdoch? [Slate] • Rik Hertzberg to blog for The New Yorker. From YearlyKos. And without fact-checking. [WWD] • Doug Henwood feels guilty about enjoying The Nation’s cruise. Because liberals always feel guilty. [The Nation]