Rupert’s Fingers Already Closing Around the Heart of the ‘Journal’MEDIA
• Rupert Murdoch won’t officially take over the Journal until tomorrow, but he’s already dipped his tentacles deep into the paper. Rumor has it the Journal will dismiss two or three dozen people, to be replaced with Rupe’s cronies, and then go on a hiring spree. Oh, and apparently Murdoch briefly considered dropping “Wall Street” from the title. Tells you something about where the paper’s headed. [NYT]
• Sadly, Jane Pratt won’t actually be starring in a reality-TV show titled American Ugly, as we reported yesterday. C’mon Jane, don’t you love us? [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• New York Post “Metro” editor Dan Colarusso, whom Col Allan praised as “a quintessential New Yorker,” walked out of the newsroom and quit yesterday. No word on why, but seems pretty quintessential to us. [Runnin’ Scared/VV]
Jane Pratt Is ‘Uglier’ Than Brandon Holley and Atoosa RubensteinOh, how the mighty have fallen. Today in his column on Portfolio’s Website, Jeff Bercovici tells us that former Sassy and Jane magazine editor Jane Pratt only got the lead in her new VH1 show, American Ugly after Brandon Holley, who was hired to replace her at Jane, and Atoosa Rubenstein, her former Sassy intern, turned it down. Yeoch. We bet she was all “Victory is mine” after that. We couldn’t reach VH1 to see when the show, a sort of reality version of Ugly Betty in which Jane and co-star mustachioed nineties stylist Phillip Bloch “advise unfashionable women on how to run a fashion magazine,” was coming out; but according to the MySpace blog of an Australian girl called Cherie Lucas, who sounds like she was a contestant, it’s already wrapped: “To say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement … I got to work with amazing people, we had a beautiful set and a wardrobe to die for … hahahah!!! they put me in some crazy stuff! all in the name of reality TV!” Indeed. Our question: Does Pratt + Bloch + 2008 + a weird premise + hyperventilating Australians = a sucky show or an awesome one? “I got to meet Gloria Gaynor (I will survive/amazing singer and writter),” Cherie writes on her blog. “She sang for us then we sang for her! she blew me away!” We’re starting to think maybe awesome?
Mixed Media [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Cherie Lucas [MySpace]
Update: Boo, Jane is not going to be on the show, after all.
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]
This Is the House That Jane Sold
Is Jane Pratt leaving New York? Lately it’s been rumored she is starting a magazine with Gwen Stefani, who lives in L.A., and according to the Wall Street Journal, she sold her Greenwich Village townhouse this week, which, from the listing, looks like the sort of place you would want to hold onto unless you have a really good reason to leave. (Or, like Jane, you get over your $3.65 million asking price, close to double what you paid for it. But still.) The broker, Brown Harris Stevens, describes 58 Downing Street as a “fantasy home” “decorated by one of the world’s top designers” with twelve-foot ceilings, two fireplaces, turn-of-the-century woodwork, one of those cool basement kitchens, and a landscaped garden, “the perfect space for relaxing with a book in the dappled sun.” That’s so Jane! It’s also so us! Just saying.
Magazine’s Pratt Sells NYC home[WSJ]
58 Downing Street [Brown Harris Stevens]
Is Murdoch Starting to Sweat?MEDIA
• With the deadline set for 5 p.m. tonight, the Bancrofts’ vote on the Dow Jones deal remains too close to call. [WSJ]
• Jimmy Fallon is apparently the lead contender to take Conan O’Brien’s place once Conan jumps to Leno’s time slot. Yikes. [Broadcasting & Cable]
• Is Jane Pratt’s new project a Gwen Stefani magazine? [Fashionista]
• Late-night talk legend Tom Snyder is dead at 71. [AP via NYT]
Gay Slur at the ‘Times’!The top photo editor at the New York Times allegedly called a co-worker a faggot during an office party, and now she may lose her job. Jane Pratt showed up for a Playboy Bunny audition; she was told her tan wasn’t good enough. Campbell Brown is leaving NBC for CNN. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony pride themselves on being “normal.” Hustler may publish the names of 30 politicians who frequented the D.C. madam. Natalie Portman wants you to know she does not get naked during Goya’s Ghost. Shakira wants her fiancé to sign a prenup. Calum Best played strip truth-or-dare with a “gorgeous, straight, black male” while Lindsay Lohan was in another room.
No Vindication for Jane PrattMEDIA
• Jane Pratt doesn’t feel vindicated that Jane was killed but does feel bad for its employees. [Radar]
• Kevin Reilly, the former chief programmer for NBC, was picked up by Fox after losing his job to Ben Silverman. [NYT]
• The Nation asks its readers to chip in for “The Great Postal Crisis of 2007.” [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]
Gore and Sting, BFFAl Gore hung out at Sting’s apartment on Central Park West after the Live Earth concert. Roger Clemens got his hair highlighted for $120 at the Pierre Michel Salon. Jane Pratt feels vindicated now that Jane magazine has folded. Newly IPO’d billionaire Stephen Schwarzman and his wife dined at Club 55 in St. Tropez. A movie starring Alec Baldwin is set to hit theaters, even though he doesn’t want it released because he thinks it’s so bad it’s “unrecognizable.” Jon Bon Jovi took a helicopter to Ron Perelman’s party in the Hamptons. Teri Hatcher acted like a diva at Eva Longoria’s wedding. A clubgoer caught Paris Hilton smoking pot.
‘Sassy’ Girls on ‘Jane’ Closure: People Don’t Care About Mags AnymoreJane magazine — the un-women’s-mag-like women’s mag founded by Jane Pratt in 1997 after her previous effort, Sassy, folded — is dead. Just a few months ago, Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer published How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, which was a love letter not just to the mag but also to its founding editor. (Pratt left the magazine two years ago and was replaced by Brandon Holley.) So what do two Pratt fans think about her more recent project’s failure? “You could argue that Jane was the only mainstream women’s magazine that spoke to a less mainstream woman,” Jesella told us today. “The slightly off-the-cuff, individualist tone for an independent, twentysomething woman wasn’t seen in a lot of other magazines,” Meltzer said. Jesella continued: “People don’t feel as strongly about magazines as they used to. I think there’s a quote from Dave Eggers that in the nineties, it felt like a magazine could change the world. People don’t feel that way anymore. With Jane, it was the one magazine with a real slash factor: People either loved it or hated it, but it was one of very few that people felt really passionate about.” But not anymore. —Emma Pearse
Jane Pratt Spurns Hagiographers, Disses AtoosaJane Pratt can’t seem to take a compliment. Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer are the authors of How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, a just-published 128-page mash note to the dearly departed title founded by the precocious Pratt in 1988. They sent a galley copy to Pratt and might have hoped for a few kind words. Didn’t happen. “There has been no ‘good job,’ or ‘I love the book,”” says Jesella. “She spoke to our editor. And she did have a bunch of [factual] changes that we eagerly changed. And then there were some matters of, um, opinion. Which we did not change.” But Pratt did make one thing clear when she was interviewed for the project: She — and not former Sassy intern and Seventeen topper Atoosa Rubenstein, whom the authors dub “Jane Pratt #2” — was the younger editor-in-chief. “[Pratt] would note that she was only 24 and Atoosa was, what, 26?” said Meltzer. And another onetime Sassy editor is quoted noting that Rubenstein “was rejected for every position” she applied for at Sassy. Now you know. —Emma Pearse
He Blew His Nose, and Then He Blew His MindKeith Richards snorted his father’s ashes. Ed Koch still hates Rudy Giuliani, now via e-mail. Paula Zahn and Richard Cohen have filed for divorce. Insiders blame the “Pale Male and Lola incident.” Cynthia Nixon rooted through a trash can in Riverside Park last week. Felix Rohatyn had an enthusiastic love life in his office at Lazard Freres, says a new tell-all about the firm. Julia Child didn’t care for the gays, according to a new biography. Kate Moss probably won’t make FHM’s sexiest-women list, but Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller are expected to rank high. Don’t forget, Jane Pratt had sex with Drew Barrymore.