Harbinger Capital Founder Pays $49 Million for Pool Full of Gooch Juice Philip Falcone, the man behind Harbinger Capital Partners, one of the activist hedge funds that recently acquired a large stake in the New York Times, has outdone his partner, noted vagilante Scott Galloway. Falcone and his wife have officially purchased the Guccione mansion, the Post tells us today, for $49 million. In cash. The townhouse, which is on East 67th Street between Fifth and Madison, has 27 rooms, including a massive full-floor master bedroom with a study, a solarium and private terrace, a theater, a wine cellar, a “dance” room, a garden with a greenhouse, a sauna, servants’ quarters, eleven bathrooms, eight fireplaces, and, according to the Observer, a “massive, shimmering Roman-style pool.” Still, “It’s odd to talk about houses like this,” the Corcoran agent who previously handled the listing told the Observer, “but that house had an odd energy to it … Whenever people brought in children, they were ready to leave.” Well, yeah. Think of the things that must have gone on in that pool.
THE $49M TOWN HOUSE [NYP]
Bob Guccione’s Old Mansion, Despite ‘Odd Energy,’ Closes for $49 M. [NYO]
Bob Guccione Jr. Writes Us an E-mailFriendly neighborhood Discover magazine owner and Penthouse scion Bob Guccione Jr. objects to our recent characterization of his actions in the item “Bob Guccione Jr. Prefers Backdoor Approach to Firing,” so he sent us the following letter last week. Though we called the magazine offices while writing the item, which we stand by, and later spoke with a publicist who did not issue an official statement, Guccione would like to say his piece, and who are we to stop him? Since we’re all about reader feedback (and self-flagellation), we’re reprinting it for your edification:
I just want to point out that your reporter’s half baked attempt to get ahold of me (or anyone else apparently) hardly constitutes a real, journalistically professional attempt to verify facts. And I think it was particularly incumbent on him to do so, since the item was fixed on me personally and obviously designed to ridicule me.
in other news
Bob Guccione to ‘Discover’ What the Shaft Feels LikeRemember when we told you about Bob Guccione Jr.’s oddly unscientific ideas and his unorthodox human-resources management at Discover magazine? Well, apparently all that caught up with him, and his own financial backers ousted him as CEO of Discover Media. Keith Kelly reports that Guccione didn’t provide the growth he promised when he took over, so other shareholders pressured him out (he’ll remain as an owner and board chairman). “I want to find another media company to turn around,” he told Kelly. “I feel I’ve done 90 percent of what I set out to do to revitalize this magazine.” That’s all well and good, but here’s what we’re wondering: Like his fired employees, did the Gooch have to find out his job was up for grabs by reading about it on Mediabistro?
Guccione Jr. goes from Penthouse to the outhouse [NYP]
Earlier: Bob Guccione Jr. Prefers Backdoor Approach to Firing
Bob Guccione Jr. Prefers Backdoor Approach to FiringImagine having a job post on Mediabistro.com forwarded to you that fit your skills exactly, and looked for just your level of qualifications. It would be splendid, right? But when that happened recently to Tina Wooden, the managing editor of Discover magazine, it wasn’t so sweet. The listing turned out to be for the job she currently had. We hear Wooden only found out that she was about to lose her editorship when her boss, Discover owner Bob Guccione Jr., started openly advertising for a replacement. Upon learning this, Wooden cracked to a co-worker, “After a year at this job, I’m glad to finally see in writing what my job description is!” Oh, job-ending subterfuge can be so hilarious. This isn’t the first time Gooch’s employees have found out that they were getting the can through Mediabistro — he did the same thing to a marketing exec a few months ago, a source told New York. You never know what you’re going to get with Gooch, apparently. The Spin founder (and son of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione Sr.) acquired Discover in 2005 and since then has cut a swath through the experienced staff there. He’s also taken to suggesting covers about questionably scientific topics like stigmata and UFOs, we hear. A call to Discover was not returned today, but if you’re looking for a job, they seem to still be taking résumés!
Related: Gooch in Space [NYM]