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Richard Parsons

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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]

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]

Obama Comes to Time Warner Center, Shares Banal Secrets

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Time Warner hosted another in its series "off-the- record" conversations with big-shot newsmakers yesterday, and this time the guest was Barack Obama, who really ought to know that if he wants something to remain off the record, you shouldn't say it onstage in front of about 200 movers and shakers, many of whom are journalists. But, of course, he does know that, which is why no one at these events ever says anything interesting or controversial enough to merit being off the record. And our spy tells us that was the case at yesterday's event. The spy reports that Obama criticized John McCain's management skills and said Iraq, health care, and energy would be his top three priorities. The spy says Barbara Walters asked a question about terrorism and Jeffrey Toobin asked one about the Supreme Court. (Remember, guys: off the record!) Obama said he's only on chapter five of Harry Potter, according to our spy, who also said he offered his interviewer, Time Warner chief Dick Parsons, a Republican, his vice-presidency, if Parsons would take the pay cut. Is the spy telling the truth? We think so, but it's all off the record, so you'll never know. See pictures and quotes of Barack Obama, Mariska Hargitay, Norman Pearlstine, Gayle King and others from the party. [NYM]

Dick Parsons Continues to Maybe Plan to Run for Mayor

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You might have seen yesterday's news that Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons, speaking at the Reuters Media Summit, did not explicitly reject the possibility that he might run for mayor in 2009. ("[W]hile saying he was not running for the job, he suddenly sounded a lot more like a man who wants to keep the option open," is how the Times put it.) You might also have seen Cindy Adams told-you-so-ing that "I told you this months back, at which time Mr. Parsons said no-no-a-thousand-times no." We'll just quickly point out that Ms. Adams's item, from April 19, merely said "Time Warner big mouths … [were] salivating over boyohboyohboy what a shot this African-American multimillionaire businessman would have." And we'll further point out, while these told-you-sos are being told, that Geoffrey Gray reported in August 21 issue of New York, that "[i]nsiders say that it's all but official: Richard Parsons, Time Warner's chairman and CEO, will run for mayor." That's all. Business Chief Hedges, a Bit, on Running for Mayor [NYT] A Movie Star Goes for Moore on B'Way [NYP] Is Parsons the New Bloomberg? [NYM]