Citigroup Posts $2.5 Billion LossA lot of big news at the banks today — but there’s also crazy stuff going down with Jeff Zucker, Dan Rather, Brooke Astor (from beyond!), and Barack Obama, in our daily industry roundup.
Charlie Gibson’s ‘World News’ Reaches an All-Time LowBut it WAS over the holiday weekend, so we forgive him. Plus, another dude climbs the ‘Times’ building, Lehman considers Jersey, the Plaza has a big flip, and summer associates get down on their knees, in our daily industry report.
Fox News Sicced Bill O’Reilly on NBC’s Punk AssThin-skinned media bigwigs trade insults, Microsoft and Yahoo continue to make eyes at each other across the boardroom table, and a mysterious, rich felon moves into the Plaza … all in today’s roundup of media, finance, law and real-estate news.
Naked Pictures of Gisele and Carla Bruni Sell for Big BucksWhich one of these models is worth nearly $100,000 more than the other naked? What recently divorced Romeo is already trying to get his new lady knocked up? And did the tabloids miss out of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s wedding because they couldn’t get pictures? Or are they racist? All this and more in our daily gossip roundup.
There Goes the SchneighborhoodRichard Gere has put his apartment in Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi on the market, private-equity execs come down to earth, Sam Zell continues to be wacky, and Jeff Zucker and Harvey Weinstein fight like a couple of queens over ‘Project Runway’ in our daily roundup of real-estate, finance, media and law news.
Karl Rove to Finally Profit From Professional Secret-KeepingMEDIA
• Here come the NBC News pay cuts: Jeff Zucker plans to slash anywhere between $20 and $40 million, including an entire level of MSNBC management. And thanks to the writers’ strike and fears of recession, future cuts may only get worse. [NYP]
• Karl Rove may be offered $3 million for a memoir, in which we may find out how much he got in exchange for his soul. [NYP]
• At least one person thinks the press did a heckuva job in reporting the lead-up to the Iraq war — former top White House communications adviser Dan Bartlett. [NYO]
Heath Ledger Has a Supermodel in His SightsHeath Ledger has been stalking Gemma Ward around town and also tried hitting on (taken) Heather Graham. The server who brought Chelsea Clinton the wrong appetizer at Irving Mill may or may not have been fired. Calvin Klein is vandalizing his Houston Street billboard for the opening of the New Museum on the Bowery. NBC honcho Jeff Zucker doesn’t want the strike to end because retail advertisers have already bought up ad space, and now production costs are zero. Kimora Lee Simmons was overheard saying that the reason she invited Russell Simmons’s new girlfriend, Porschla Coleman, to meet the “major players” at Simmons’s birthday last month is because she “wants this stupid bitch to get a clue.” Seagram heir Edgar Bronfman Jr. just bought an $18.75 million condo in the Carhart mansion on East 95th Street.
Calvin Klein and Donna Karan’s Bentley Accident: Hilarious!Donna Karan rear-ended Calvin Klein’s Bentley while in her own Bentley. And get this, she was actually driving herself! Don Imus will have a co-host for the first time in his career when he returns to the air on December 3. Bryant Park charges the crew of Sex and the City $100,000 for each day they film there. (Also, the film’s ending is supposedly not yet written.) NBC Universal Jeffrey Zucker bought Kitty Carlisle Hart’s East 64th Street co-op for $12.3 million, “Page Six” reports, making us happy to see that they’re catching up on two-month-old Daily Intel posts. More Secret Service guards have been hanging out on Barbara Bush’s West Village block, perhaps because Janeane Garofalo gabbed on Bill Maher’s show that she’s Bush’s neighbor. Downtown promoter Ivy Supersonic spent a night in jail after being accused of stealing $7,000 by the owner of the Plumm. ‘Mocialite Kristian Laliberte hosted a party with BlackBook magazine for Carlos Campos at Upstairs in Soho.
Editors Give Zinczenko Bombast an ‘F’MEDIA
• Participants at the American Magazine Conference revolted against “The Magabrand Revolution,” the ostensible theme name cooked up by Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko. One editor commented, “I usually have to use ‘magabrand’ with a modifier in front of it, and that modifier starts with the letter ‘F.’” [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• Jeff Zucker can’t stop denying those NBC sale rumors. Wethinks the lady [Reuters]
• When they ran into each other at the Jessica Seinfeld book party, Rupert Murdoch asked Arianna Huffington how many hits HuffPo was getting. Huffington told him 3 million a month; Murdoch politely noted that MySpace, which he owns, ran closer to 70 million. [Fortune]
Rupert Murdoch and the ‘Journal’ Eye WashingtonMEDIA
• Murdoch’s WSJ plans to take on the Times’ Washington bureau. What’s next, Hollywood? [NYO]
• Jeff Zucker and NBC bought Oxygen, the cable network for bored housewives, at the bargain-basement price of $925 million. [NYT]
• CNN’s Rick Sanchez has one big skeleton in his closet. After drinking a little too much at a Dolphins game, the eight o’clock anchor did a hit-and-run on a pedestrian who later died from his injuries. “It could have happened to anybody There were probably a lot of other people leaving the stadium that had had a couple of beers as well.” No wonder he was nicknamed Miami’s “Least Credible News Personality.” [NYO]
Jeff Zucker Snaps Up Kitty’s Old Place
The Upper East Side home of legendary actress Kitty Carlisle Hart, who died last April of pneumonia at the age of 96, has found a buyer after just 43 days on the market. According to the Stribling.com Web listing, the unsurprisingly stately eleven-room on East 62nd Street, which has five bedrooms, four baths and a library, has a “contract signed.” (It was snapped up in August.) The site has pics of the apartment, in which you’ll see that when they say “apartment,” they mean “well-appointed palace,” and by “library,” they mean, “bowling alley.” The spread is in Madison Avenue’s fabulous Verona building, a luxe palazzo only containing 20 apartments. The rumored future owner of this rare real estate gem? NBC chief Jeff Zucker and his wife, Karen, who’ve been looking since 2005, when they sold their sprawling co-op on Central Park West, says a source. The new place is just a hop skip and a jump from Rockefeller Center, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing Zucker walk to work in the mornings! Okay, no, you should still be surprised. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
Stribling.com [Official Listing]
How Clean Is Your Company Cafeteria?MEDIA
• The cafeteria at Bloomberg LP got a bad score from the city Health Department. Hearst and Condé Nast were much more sanitary. [Radar Online]
• Serendipity exists for online newspapers as well as print, thank you very much. [WSJ]
• Despite what former GE boss Jack Welch had to say about him recently, Jeff Zucker is getting a promotion at NBC. [LAT]
Donald and Graydon: Hair Fight!“Without Si Newhouse,” Spy punching bag Donald Trump says, “Graydon Carter would be just another overweight editor with bad hair.” Eliot Spitzer will likely choose one of four people to replace embattled State Comptroller Alan Hevesi: a Latino, a woman, a banker, or a guy who donated a kidney to his daughter. Both Britney Spears’s family and the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services are disturbed by her recent pantyless partying. Did Augusten Burroughs pull a James Frey? The crazy family depicted in Running With Scissors says so. John Mayer made a script suggestion to Kiefer Sutherland regarding 24. Sex blogger Jessica Cutler pulls out of a panel on blogger book deals because she is currently being sued. Pam Anderson and Kid Rock are hosting rival New Year’s Eve parties in Las Vegas. NBC honcho Jeff Zucker and the L.A. Times disagree on whether he’s about to promote someone. A model confused Charles Barkley with Gnarls Barkley. Wyclef Jean visited Haiti again, wants to open a resort there. Terrence Howard is one of the few black guys who support Michael Richards. East Hampton hotspot Star Room is on sale for $4.25 million. “Page Six” was name-checked on Law & Order. Da-dum. Liza Minnelli recently attended a perverted rock musical. Liz Smith really likes Dreamgirls. Cindy Adams really likes Barack Obama.