Charles Gasparino Is a Good TipperName: Charles Gasparino
Job: CNBC’s hunky on-air editor. Also, author of the recent bestseller, King of the Club: Richard Grasso and the Survival of the New York Stock Exchange.
Age: 40s. (How’s that for a hedge?)
Neighborhood: Stuyvesant Town
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
My dad. The last man I knew to have such a distinct, New York accent that he used to pronounce the words toilet “terlet” and oil “earl”
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Spaghetti with cherry tomatoes at San Pietro.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Scream at sources to get stories, scream at producers to put them on CNBC, and then scream at editors to get more time for stories that I’m writing.
Hillary Clinton Dismays Anna WintourMEDIA
• Anna Wintour took Hillary Clinton to task for backing out of her Vogue photo shoot because she feared looking “too feminine.” Wintour: “The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying.” Ouch. [WWD]
• The Directors Guild showed up the writers in striking, heh, fashion: After just one week of negotiations, the directors struck a deal with the studios that includes the all-important online-video money. The writers are cautious, though, since the last time they followed the directors’ lead they got screwed on the home-video market. [WP]
• Wal-Mart, responsible for 20 percent of all “newsstand” magazine sales, announced it would dump more than 1,000 titles from its shelves. Shocking twist: The New Yorker stays, but Boar Hunter Magazine is out! [NYP]
Steve Tisch, Billionaire Baller?Newly divorced billionaire and New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch might be dating women on both coasts. Martha Stewart created a special Christmas tree for Sirius Radio’s office, complete with Howard Stern cookie ornaments. Former NYSE head Dick Grasso left CNBC’s Charles Gasparino a creepy “merry Christmas” message on his answering machine, despite the fact that Gasparino’s new book takes Grasso to task for the $190 million kiss-off he took after leaving the Exchange. John Mayer has had a crush on Ricki Lake for two years (Ed. note: WTF?!), and actually got her digits at the wonderfully successful Sunshine Sachs Christmas party. Lance Armstrong picked up the tab for dinner with former flame Sheryl Crow. Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera hung out together at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year party. Andy Samberg, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers had lunch together.
Will Dick Parsons Pull a Bloomberg?MEDIA
• Rumor has it that Richard Parson’s will announce his departure at Time Warner as early as this week. Jeff Bewkes, longtime No. 2, is set to take over as CEO. Does this mean a Parsons run for mayor? [Times of London]
• Radar cooked up a clever quiz: Fox News anchor or porn star? You decide. Wait, no, Murdoch decides. [Radar]
• Jim Cramer matched Rupert Murdoch’s legendary subtlety: “We have a competitor now in Fox and it is really important to destroy and mutilate them.” [Broadcasting & Cable]
Walters Says Greenspan Always Gave Bad AdviceFINANCE
• Alan Greenspan’s old flame Barbara Walters complained the G-man never gave good advice, insisting back in the seventies that she avoid an apartment on Fifth Avenue because it was a “bad investment.” [NYP]
• Henry Kravis got a little egg on his face thanks to the collapse of the $8 billion Harman buyout. Steve Schwarzman gets bragging rights or an excuse to back out of his own impossibly huge deals. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
• With computers taking over, the NYSE plans to cut the trading floor down by half from its historic high. The famous Main Room and “the Garage,” opened in 1903 and 1922 respectively, will remain open. [NYT]
The British Aren’t Coming, and Neither are the IPOs
The August issue of Fortune takes a panoramic look at the bloodless battle royale between New York and London. You know, kind of like we did in March. Except, being Fortune, it’s more concerned with the fiscal side of things: is there any truth to London’s progressively louder claims that it has overtaken us as the world’s financial capital? “The short answer is yes, in some ways,” writes Peter Gumbel, “but in other ways, not at all.” So helpful. Fortune’s best insight is into the IPO race between New York and London. London gets more IPOs because it’s more omnivorous and culturally open. London actively courts Middle Eastern and Russian investments and its stock exchange, reflecting that, is far more eager to list companies from those parts than the still somewhat isolationist NYSE/Nasdaq. Even so, Londoners are realistic about how far they can take this approach. “I don’t expect Goldman Sachs to close down in New York, and I don’t think properties in the Hamptons will plunge in price,” says the dean of the London School of Economics. Well, of course they won’t: with the pound worth $2.03, the damned Brits will snatch them up.
Related: Our valiant, doomed insurgence against Little Britain.
Hedge-Fund Managers Have Ostentatious HobbiesFINANCE
• Young hedge-fund managers play in cover bands but instead of sticking to local bar gigs, they fly to London and rock out there. [BBC via DealBreaker]
• The only humans left on the NYSE trading floor are tourists. [NYP]
• Bank of America is sued for racial discrimination after five black current and former employees claimed that white employees get all the lucrative clients. [NYT]
the morning line
How Now Dow Jones?
• The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,089 yesterday, leaping past the 13K mark on a 136-point rally — and, no doubt, giving yet another batch of small investors the tragic impression that they, too, can be Jim Cramer. [NYP]
• With all the money floating around City Hall (the surplus is now even larger than estimated — $4.4 billion), Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants a tax credit for renters to match Bloomberg’s proposed property-tax rebate. The mayor’s not sold. [amNY]
• Al Gore (“the world’s hottest leading man,” per Bloomberg’s press-conference remarks) is in town to open the Tribeca Film Festival. If he were running for office, last night’s gala would sure feel a lot like a Dem fund-raiser. But he’s not, so it didn’t. [WNBC]
• Corzine walks! New Jersey’s governor took a few steps for the first time since the car crash that broke half the bones in his body. He also felt up to taking a phone call from … President Bush. [NYT]
• And Condi Rice apparently wields major power over New Yorkers’ consumer habits. After she endorsed a beef stew at Brooklyn’s Sea Tide Gourmet Fish Store (huh?), it’s supposedly been flying off the shelves. The story feels planted, but by whom? The store or Condi? [NYDN]
‘Times’ Gay Mafia Underground Even to its MembersMEDIA
• Ben Brantley, identified by Out as part of the Times’s “gay mafia,” claims he didn’t even know some other colleagues listed were gay. The first rule of the gay mafia [WWD]
• Ed Bradley wins a posthumous Peabody Award for his 60 Minutes pieces on the Duke rape case. [Peabody Awards]
• Larry King wants to keep going for another ten years and then pass his show along to Ryan Seacrest. At which point it might actually get softer. [NYT]
A Last-Minute Bid for TribuneMEDIA
• L.A. Billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad jumped back into the Tribune contest, offering $1 per share more than Sam Zell. [NYT]
• After Joy Press left for Salon, new Voice editor Tony Ortega rehired former editor Brian Parks to edit the arts and culture section. [Eat the Press/HP]
• Former Times public editor Dan Okrent appears in the upcoming film The Hoax, playing a publishing exec engaged in fraud. [WWD]
NYSE President-To-Be Better Watch His BackFINANCE
• In the ongoing war between man and machine at the NYSE, incoming Exchange president says he doesn’t want “five guys named Vinnie” completing his trades. [NYP]
• Operation Spamalot: SEC suspends trading on 35 stocks promoted in recent spam campaigns. [NYT]
• Ivan Boesky slated to appear in the can’t-believe-it’s-not-out-already sequel to Forrest Gump. [/Film via DealBreaker]
It’ll Always Be Brian Williams’s ShowMEDIA
• NBC to fire Nightly News exec producer John Reiss. But is it for ratings, or does Reiss not get along with anchor Brian Williams? [NYT and LAT]
• Tunku Varadarajan moves from an editorial-page writer to an assistant managing editor at the Wall Street Journal, only the third time in 50 years someone has jumped that divide. [NYO]
• Bellevue Hospital starts its own imprint; wannabe Ken Keseys hope for literary success. [NYT]
the morning line
But How Does He Feel About Trans Fats?
• In the no-brainer firing of the year, the Health Department has divested itself of the inspector who gave a passing grade to the famously ratty KFC–Taco Bell. The shuttered place, meanwhile, became a locus for some fun public art. [NYT]
• Underreported amid the possible culprits of yesterday’s Wall Street carnage — China, Cheney — were horrendously timed technical glitches at the NYSE: At some point, trades were done via paper tickets. [NYP]
• Add a federal investigation to the list of JetBlue’s headaches: The U.S. Transportation Secretary is calling for an official look-see into the recent snowstorm stranding of passengers on the JFK tarmac. American Airlines will get its own probe for a similar incident in Austin. [amNY]
• The Thurmond-Sharpton Roots-on-acid miniseries continues to play out: The senator’s biracial daughter, Essie Mae Washington Williams, is reprimanding the reverend for “overreacting,” saying “[my father] did many wonderful things for black people.” [NYDN]
• And meet Gerard Mortier, new director of the New York City Opera, whose farewell production on his previous job was a staging of Die Fledermaus with cocaine, incest, suicide, and Nazis. Welcome!!! [CBS News]
Sullivan & Cromwell Bleeds AssociatesLAW
• Sullivan & Cromwell lost about 30 percent of its associates in 2004 and 2005. It might take more than a raise to fix that. [WSJ]
• Don’t despair, associates! Where Simpson Thacher goes, Milbank Tweed, Sullivan & Cromwell, Paul Weiss, Cleary Gottlieb, and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft are sure to follow. [Above the Law]
• Long Island lawyer Gary Berenholtz, who once exposed a corrupt Brooklyn judge, stole money from clients and his partner’s widow to fund fine dining and finer vacations. [NYP]
• The New York Stock Exchange will trade almost exclusively electronically by the end of today; investment firms will continue to lay off floor traders. [WSJ]
• The New York City employees’ pension fund is the lead plaintiff in a suit against Apple Computer Inc. for overcompensating executives with illegal stock options. [Reuters]