Ellen Dethrones Oprah, Finally Has a Real Reason to DanceMEDIA
• Ellen beat Oprah as the nation’s favorite TV personality, dethroning the Queen of Talk who held the top spot for five years. [HR]
• Will Schwalbe quit Hyperion after seven years as editor-in-chief. His decision seems to have come as something of a shock, and the publisher has no immediate successor planned. Schwalbe, co-author of Send, the recent guide to e-mail etiquette, won’t divulge his own plans. [NYO]
• Christopher Hitchens quits smoking! Really, we’re excited and interested! [Radar]
Where Lou Reed Peed: Remembering the CBGB Toilet
At the end of today’s Times feature on the “punk house” — those big, cavernous sticker-encrusted warehouses, in which punks from Brooklyn to Nebraska hold shows and bake and digest soy casseroles — is a small but touching paean to an underappreciated facet of now-defunct club CBGB: The toilet. “The be-stickered, be-fliered and graffiti-emblazoned black hole” was a modern icon, the Times says, and none other than Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore agreed. “That’s the one thing that sears itself into your memory,” he told the paper. “It’s that toilet.” Shudder. Something tells us the contractors working on the John Varvatos store would agree.
Anarchy Rules, the Dishes Stay Dirty [NYT]
white men with money
Did Cayne Miss Yesterday’s Conference Call Because He Got High?So, yesterday Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne announced the investment-banking firm’s first quarterly loss in its history, on the tail of announcing a $9.1 billion write-down. He was apologetic, sort of: He said the results were unacceptable and declared that neither he nor his management team would be taking bonuses this year. Then he then proceeded to entirely skip the conference call with investors. “You’d think the circumstances might have merited a show of contrition,” noted The Wall Street Journal today. Yeah. Especially since, the other day, Charlie Gasparino reported “sources” were saying the Bear Stearns board has been talking about a successor for him. We can’t, er, bear this idea: We’ve grown fond of the Jimster, he’s like our pot-smoking, bridge-playing, possibly pervy uncle. Which is why we have to assume that Cayne skipped the conference call not because he didn’t feel bad, but because he couldn’t deal with all that bad energy.
Bad News for Bear Stearns [WSJ]
Christopher Hitchens Is Bad SantaAre you hating this Christmas season? Feeling Scrooge-like, or just fat? Well, then, you might enjoy this uncomfortable-making video in which Christopher Hitchens, smooth-balled author and proud heretic, entertains the crowd at Reason magazine’s “Secular Christmas” party Monday night. The Hitch arrives with a Santa hat perched on the large decorative gourd that is his head, but he’s drunk and he clearly hasn’t brought any presents. So, he entertains them the best way he knows how — with song. Click the image to view.
Kanye West and His ‘Bazaar’ Angel MuralMEDIA
• Kanye West says Harper’s Bazaar “pissed me off” when they reported the rap star’s L.A. home features a giant mural of himself with angels. “That made me so mad. Because who would want to hang out with a guy with an 8-foot picture of an angel of himself?” Too bad Harper’s got almost every detail right, and Kanye is indeed featured in the painting. [WWD]
• CBS News writers voted to authorize their own strike. Watch out, Katie Couric! [NYT]
• Did Star really pull on an online poll because Ron Burkle, the billionaire investor the mag flattered with a recent photo spread, wasn’t doing well enough? Star claims they’re just planning to publish the results in the next issue — plenty of time to stuff the ballot box. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
white men with money
740 Park: Ladies Love Chris DoddHuffington Post’s FundRace 2008 feature, which lets you track individual campaign contributions by name or address, continues to be a reliable source of stalkerish joy. Today we decided to check up on how 740 Park Avenue, with its plentiful dollar, votes. What we found might shock you.
Facebook Exerts Yet More PowerFINANCE
• Kathleen Corbet, the president of Standard & Poor’s, agreed to step down after her company failed to accurately rate subprime bonds. Deven Sharma, an executive vice-president at S&P, will take her place as president. [Bloomberg]
• An angry Facebook group convinced HSBC, Britain’s largest bank, to stop charging interest on overdrafts by recent grads. You see, interest rates are so Web 1.0. [Times of London via DealBreaker]
• With few big M&A deals on the horizon, it may seem like investment bankers could just stay in the Hamptons for the rest of the year. But the backlog of big deals from the halcyon days of last spring should keep them plenty busy — as long as the deals don’t fall through. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
Investment Banking: More Stressful Than IraqMEDIA
• The New Yorker thinks men are funnier than woman — running more than eight times as many men as women authors in “Shouts & Murmurs.” But what about cartoonists? [Radar]
• The Gawker-Observer conveyor belt switches directions yet again: associate editor Doree Shafrir set to go legit and start covering “ideas” for the curiously pink paper. [Gawker]
• Mark Deuze, the author of a new book on the media industry, claims that workers in media are the “most likely to accept exploitative labor practices.” Duh! [I Want Media via Mixed Media/Portfolio]