Billionaires Have Bad Days, TooCarl Icahn is struggling with various projects, Sharon Waxman becomes the latest media lady to start a news-aggregation Website, and — it’s official! — most City Council members pay less rent than you do, in our daily roundup of finance, media, real-estate and entertainment news.
The Hamptons Get a Visit From LesbohanLindsay Lohan and her companion, Sam Ronson, had a fun weekend getaway. Plus, dish about Jeffrey Epstein, Alex Rodriguez, and Sean Avery, all in our daily column roundup.
Barack Is the New Brangelina!MEDIA
• Turns out Barack Obama’s underwear is more interesting to Us Weekly readers than Britney Spears’s custody battles. A Q&A with the Chicago senator in which he refused to answer the boxers-or-briefs question generated the some of the highest-ever traffic for a single article on the site, second only to news of Heath Ledger’s death [WWD]
• The Sam Zell bloodbath continues: The Tribune Co. owner axes 120 Newsday jobs. [NYP]
•Is Matt Drudge the world’s most powerful journalist? [Telegraph]
• The FBI isn’t happy with a recent Rolling Stone article on the Joint Terrorism Task Forces. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
About.com Chief Steps Down As New ‘Times’ Investors Eye Internet AssetsFINANCE
• Scott B. Meyer, the chief of About.com, said yesterday that he would step down next week, on the heels of news that Scott Galloway and his merry band of vagilantes were going to try to pressure its parent company, the New York Times, to change the way they handle internet operations. [NYT]
• Two former Wall Streeters take responsibility for insider trading. [WSJ]
Atoosa to Spawn!Rush Limbaugh is catching flak for using the phrase “anal poisoning” in conjunction with John McCain and his potential running mate, Senator Lindsey Graham. Heather Mills will represent herself in divorce court next week. Nicky Hilton couldn’t get into a Fashion Week party at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar, perhaps because owner Ian Schrager doesn’t like her or her sister. Woody Allen wants Scarlett Johansson to be like Meryl Streep and not go the “‘Page Six’–party route.” Also, he calls her “sexy,” which is gross. Former Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubenstein is expecting a baby in July.
Kent Brownridge Still Stealing Silverware From the House of WennerMEDIA
• Kent Brownridge picked a new fight with his old boss Jann Wenner, poaching ten-year Rolling Stone vet Joe Levy for the top spot at Blender. Brownridge already stole Men’s Journal editor James Kaminsky to take over Maxim. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• The OK! issue with the Jamie Lynn–pregnancy exclusive sold only 900,000 copies on the newsstand, well short of the roughly 1.5 million the mag had predicted. [WWD]
• Steve Cohn on the Condé shake-up following so fast on Steve Florio’s death: “It sort of reminds me of The Godfather. They go to the funeral and then they blow everything up.” [NYP]
Jann Wenner Has No Contingency PlanAs Rolling Stone celebrates its 40th anniversary (and celebrates, and celebrates), Business Week’s Jon Fine discovers that 62-year-old founder Jann Wenner has no plans for succession. “I haven’t thought about it all,” Wenner told Fine. Selling the company is “not inconceivable,” he says. But “it’s not on the table now.” In his column, what Fine finds inconceivable is the Rolling Stone’s own staying power. It “astounds” the media critic that a magazine with no emphasis on the Web and a baby-boomer focus manages to have such a cache with advertisers. But as Wenner ages, who will his mini-empire of RS, Men’s Journal, and Us Weekly pass to? A sale would sock Wenner and his estranged wife, Jane, with massive capital-gains taxes, Fine argues, so they’re unlikely to want to sell. In other words, what we expected all along will probably come to pass. Wenner will never let go of Rolling Stone until he is 90 years old and the magazine has to run shots of Bruce Springsteen’s grave to keep up its annual Boss cover quota.
The Last Tycoon of Print [Business Week]
Related: The Odd Couple [NYM]
Sarah Jessica Parker Doesn’t Hate All of Her CastmatesJames Mackenroth, a contestant on the upcoming season of Project Runway, may have been voted off in part because of a staph infection made worse by his HIV. Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Hudson filmed a scene for the Sex and the City movie together at the Carlyle Hotel, and SJP gave JHud a CD! A-Rod and Martha Stewart posed for photos together at Nobu 57. Contrary to a previous “Page Six” report, attendees at the Rolling Stone reunion in San Francisco actually did drink the Champagne that Jann Wenner sent. James Gandolfini pulled out of appearing at a John McCain fund-raiser in New York because of “scheduling conflicts.” Anderson Cooper thinks Britney Spears is underreported on.
No Band, Little Booze, But Good Food (for Munchies?) at Wenner PartyThere was one last big blowout to catch before Holiday Party Season 2006 wound down: The annual Wenner Media extravaganza. With the bank busted on Rolling Stone’s 1,000th-issue celebration in May, this year’s holiday gathering was less glitzy in the past, with no big-name musical act slated to perform. But that didn’t stop indefatigable party reporter Julia Allison. Her wrap-up — her final wrap-up of the season — is after the jump.