Lizzie Grubman Rises AgainThe PR guru takes on a managerial role, Dina Lohan goes house hunting on Long Island, and Kathie Lee Gifford makes people uncomfortable in the bathroom. That and more in our daily gossip roundup.
Bruce Willis Acts Like Liz Smith Was Born YesterdayBruce Willis says he’s dating a model because she’s pretty on the inside. Plus, Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling go on a date, as do Silda and Eliot Spitzer, in our daily roundup of the juiciest bits from New York gossip columns.
Graydon Goes on the Model DietAlso, Julia Roberts makes out at the Waverly Inn, Chuck from the Greatest Show of Our Time gets crunk, and Katie Couric is a plagiarist — all in today’s roundup of the dish from the city’s gossip columns.
white men with money
CEO Astrology: Reading the Stars for Barry Diller, John Thain, Chuck Prince, and Steve SchwarzmanMany of you know celebrity astrologer Susan Miller as the uncannily accurate predictor of your fate. You’re in good company: She’s got A-listers like Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom paying her to do their charts and gets fifteen million page views a month on her Website, Astrologyzone. She’s asked to analyze the stars for actors, musicians, and starlets all the time — but when we got the chance to talk with her, we wanted to know what the future holds for a group of guys even nearer and dearer to our heart. Guys like embattled IAC CEO Barry Diller, Blackstone CEO Steven Schwarzman, ousted Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, and Merrill Lynch newbie John Thain. After all, these people have much more power to wreak havoc in our lives if the stars choose not to shine on them. After the jump, read Miller’s uncannily prescient analysis (it would be more precise if she knew the times of day they were born) and learn what warnings these four financial powerhouses need to heed if they want to come out of 2008 on top.
PETA Causes a Ruckus in the House of Donna KaranA PETA protester accosted designer Donna Karan inside her Central Park West apartment after an assistant mistakenly let her in. Kyle MacLachlan and his wife are expecting a child. Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Moore, and a host of other stars all turned out for Madonna’s “Raising Malawi” (Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not, however, after learning that the event was sponsored by Gucci). Rachel Zoe came to Fashion Week with eight suitcases, two of which were for accessories. R.E.M. played a series of impromptu shows on the Lower East Side earlier this week.
William Kristol Has the Gray Lady’s Knickers in a TwistMEDIA
• Both Times public editor Clark Hoyt and former Times conservative standby William Safire have panned Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger’s decision to foist William Kristol on the editorial page. Among the other conservatives considered and passed over: Charles Krauthammer, Ross Douthat, Max Boot, and a bunch of other Weekly Standard stalwarts. But at least Judith Miller approves: “[I]t’s an appointment that’s a long time coming. The page needed balance.… [But] an unabashed neocon without remorse is unacceptable to Times people.… He’s not kosher in that sense.” [New Republic]
• New York Observer president Robert Sommer nailed his MSNBC interview: “We like to view our readers as some of the smartest, most insensitive — most… Some of the most brightest readers in the country and especially New York.” [NYO]
• David Blum goes through his fifth sex columnist in little more than a year, firing his latest hire at the New York Press after she stole questions from Dan Savage. Some might call that slutty! [NYO]
Hillary Clinton Is Going to Get So Busted by Anna WintourMEDIA
• Hillary Clinton pulled out of a Vogue shoot this past fall because she was afraid of looking too feminine, and editor Anna Wintour subsequently wrote an editor’s letter about how disappointed she was. Now, Hillary’s in Bazaar’s February issue, wearing a miniskirt and platform heels! (That bears repeating: A miniskirt and platform heels.)* Anna’s going to be pissed. [WWD]
• Sam Zell has ordered that the Tribune’s Internet content filters be removed. “I do not see how a member of the Fourth Estate, dedicated to protecting the First Amendment, can censor what its own employees and partners can see,” he writes. “You are now exposed to the dangers of YouTube and Facebook. Please use your best judgment.” Also, apparently if said judgment compels you to send internal communications to Romenesko, so be it. [Romenesko]
• The WGA took two big demands off the table — unionization for animated movies and reality TV — and negotiations may now finally focus on paying writers for digital content. [LAT]
Celebrities Skipping Out at SundanceHey, have you noticed how the celebrity supply in New York has been depleted these past few days? (Thankfully, we still have Tom Brady wearing a boot in the West Village.) It’s because all of the actors and directors are at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. But it seems like even in the celebrity fustercluck that is Park City right now, planners still can’t get enough star power to fuel their events. Apparently, Sundance schedules are so jam-packed with appointments, parties, and swag-suite visits that it’s no wonder they don’t make half the events they (well, their publicists) say they will.
Of course, some no-shows you can see coming: Robert De Niro and Quentin Tarantino “expected” at a dinner for 50 Cent sponsored by VitaminWater? Um, sure. And we look forward to seeing Paris at the poetry reading.
white men with money
Merrill Lynch CEO Asks Jeff Kronthal to Bring It Oh no he didn’t! In what looks like a fuck-you to his predecessor, new Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain has announced he is hiring back Jeff Kronthal, one of six top trading executives former CEO Stan O’Neal fired back in the summer of 2006, reportedly after they resisted his directive to increase risk-taking by underwriting mortgage-backed securities. O’Neal, of course, was fired himself this past November for precisely that — his enthusiasm for the subprime poison apple left Merrill with record losses. Awesomely, Kronthal’s new role at Merrill will be fixing the mess his old boss made; he’s been hired, according to Merrill co-pres Gregory Fleming, to “advise on the firm’s fixed-income business and risk management.” The job is temporary — Kronthal has his own hedge fund launching in mid-2008 — but the gesture is still meaningful, as many have said that had Kronthal and the other sacked fixed-income veterans not left, the bank might not be in the shape it is today. According to the Journal, Kronthal received a standing ovation when he appeared on a Merrill trading floor yesterday. Basically, it’s kind of like the second half of that seminal film Bring It On, after high-school cheerleading squad the Rancho Carne Toros are embarrassed by their spirit-fingers performance, and Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) takes control back from Courtney and Whitney and leads the squad to victory with an original routine. Go Merrill!
Kronthal to Return As Merrill Advisor [WSJ]
Howard Stern Thinks Imus Will Make You HurlMEDIA
• Carson Daly is going scab! Good thing he doesn’t have any viewers, and unlike Ellen isn’t actually a member of the Writers Guild. [NYT]
• Howard Stern gets all collegiate about Don Imus’s return: “At this point, I don’t think he’s very relevant. People will tune out within a week. I defy you to listen. See how long you can keep listening. Time it. You’ll throw up. You’ll get sick. You’ll die.” [AP via Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• Knicks reporters — even bigger whiners than regular reporters. Daily News vet Frank Isola: “It used to be fun here. Now, there are some nights when you’re trying to talk your boss out of sending you here and maybe lie and tell him you’re sick or something.” [NYO]
No Potatoes Dauphinoise for You!Famed midtown French restaurant Brasserie LCB was shuttered by the Health Department after the chef got into a spat with inspectors. Lindsay Lohan performed a stripper routine at the Box, and the crowd went wild. She also rebuffed a karaoke come-on from former flame Wilmer Valderrama. Richard Johnson and wife Sessa von Richthofen gave birth to a baby girl. Tom Brady and Gisele dined at the Spotted Pig on Saint Patrick’s Day. Hillary supporters with $2,300 to burn can go biking with Bill Clinton on the Upper West Side as part of a fund-raising effort.
Fab, Kirsten, and the Arcade Fire
Our review of the Arcade Fire’s first sold-out show at Judson Memorial Church last night is brief: The sound was muddy, the crowd’s energy was better than usual, the new songs were more introspective than the old ones and therefore less fun, and the experience of seeing a concert in a church wasn’t all that special, though the stained-glass windows were cool. But that’s all beside the point. The big story we have from the evening came while we were waiting on line for a beer. We noticed a guy — tight black jeans, a scruffy chin, looking slightly familiar — and, yeah, we were checking him out. We eavesdropped as he told the sound guy about how he’d been to McDonald’s recently and was disappointed by soggy burgers. “It’s never as good as you remember.” Our thoughts exactly! We stared longingly. And then we realized who he was: Fabrizio Moretti. And we noticed a cute blonde in a hoodie next to him: Kirsten Dunst. Now, we’re not saying that we saw them engage in any couple-y behavior. They were clearly there together. Maybe they’re just friends. But we couldn’t think of a situation in which their social circles might overlap, unless it involves that Strokes song that was on the Marie Antoinette trailer. All we’re saying is that we saw them together and we thought it was odd, and that we cursed Kirsten Dunst for ruining our game. —Jada Yuan