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Rupert’s Fingers Already Closing Around the Heart of the ‘Journal’

• 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]

• Turns out the new second in command at Citi is a knight! That’s Sir Winfried W.F. Bischoff to you. [DealBook/NYT]
• A hedge-funder who made a 53 percent return buys two giant totem poles made out of golf bags. Yep. [DealBreaker]
• Scrooge McDuck topped Forbes’ annual list of the fifteen richest fictional characters, largely thanks to soaring gold prices. First non-mammal to hit No. 1 also likes pearls, gems, and other “hoardables.” [Forbes]

• President Bush released his end-of-year pardon list. It cuts short the sentence of one crack dealer, but there’s no mention of poor Scooter. [Above the Law, CNN]
• A new Senate bill may finally give federal judges a big enough raise to lift them above the salary of first-year associates. [Law Blog/WSJ]
• Fried Frank, who stood out in its bonus announcement by tying payouts to performance, is now scrooging on some lazy associates. [Above the Law]

• Anne Valérie Hash is doing a kids’ line. Because even little ones need couture. [WWD]
• Iman is designing an accessories line inspired by her travels and, yes, her hubby. [British Vogue]
• Cathy Horyn wishes Esteban Cortezar well. How … nice. [NYT]

Rupert’s Fingers Already Closing Around the Heart of the ‘Journal’