Whole Foods to Alter Brooklyn PlansPoor undertrafficked, overcharitable Ikea! Poor Slopies thinking only poor people have public sex! (Not!) So many people to feel sorry for in today’s rainy, weepy boroughs report.
End Is Nigh for Whole Foods ChiefFINANCE
• Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has been asked to resign following the discovery of anonymous postings he authored on investment message boards. [NYP]
• Leon Black, the secretive founder of Apollo Management, will be worth more than $3 billion when he sells part of the firm. [NYP]
• Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal promoted one of his top aids, Rosemary Berkery, to the position of vice-chairman and general counsel, making her a likely successor. [MarketBeat/WSJ]
Ceci N’est Pas un Sac en Plastique
We have no idea why people would line up outside a grocery store — in the rain! — to buy a fancy shopping bag. (Which, mind you, back in our day used to be something you got for free, in your choice of paper or plastic.) But people did, inexplicably. And, just so you know, this is what the things look like.
Related: Welcome to Whole Foods Market Bowery [WholeFoodsMarket.com]
Dow Jones, Mediabistro Play ‘Let’s Make a Deal’MEDIA
• The Dow Jones board approved Murdoch’s bid, but two of the four Bancrofts on the board refused to take part. The family is expected to meet Monday to begin deliberations. [NYT]
• Jupitermedia bought Mediabistro.com for $23 million, causing critics to smell a tech bubble. [NYT]
• The new issue of Portfolio will be out soon, and rumor has it that editor Joanne Lipman is ignoring Condé protocol by poaching other books’ staff. [WWD]
Couric Will Stay at CBSMEDIA
• CBS News president Sean McManus denied that Katie Couric will leave CBS Evening News before the end of her five-year contract. [AP via Fox News]
• CNBC and the Financial Times plan to join forces and share content in case Rupert Murdoch’s Dow Jones bid goes through. [WSJ]
• TV Guide is moving into The New Yorker’s old offices on West 43rd Street. [NYP]
Did You Hear the One About the iPhone Nano?FINANCE
• A JP Morgan analyst got canned for writing a report about a fictional Apple product, the iPhone Nano. [Apple 2.0 via DealBreaker]
• Using the screen name Rahodeb, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey posted on Yahoo Finance bulletin boards to bash competitor Wild Oats. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
• The SEC tries to reclaim authority over hedge funds by writing rules allowing the agency to sue for misleading investors. [Bloomberg]
in other news
Whole Foods Chief Is Organically Nuts
New York’s crush on Whole Foods may only grow with the revelation that the organic-grub juggernaut is run by a complete nerd. The Journal’s Website uncovered, and today’s Times reports, the dark, dark secret of company co-founder John Mackey. Mackey, it turns out, has spent the last seven years hanging out on the Yahoo Finance message board anonymously talking up his own stock. Even better, Mackey used the same forum to talk smack about a rival under the login name Rahodeb. Here’s a sample: “OATS has lost their way and no longer has a sense of mission or even a well-thought-out theory of the business.” Um, oh, snap? Best of all, though, is that the board’s other users appeared to know Rahodeb’s identity and were merely humoring the guy. Mackey hasn’t yet been caught shilling on Citysearch or running up the Amazon ratings for Cooking the Whole Foods Way, but we assume that’s forthcoming.
Whole Foods Executive Used Alias [NYT]
Robin Givhan Drinks Like a Tough Dame Name: Robin Givhan
Job: Fashion editor for the Washington Post in our New York bureau, recipient of the Eugenia Sheppard Award at today’s Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Holden Caulfield and the person who cynically responded to the Disney-fication of Times Square by asking: “Why should Times Square be safe for children?” I think it was Fran Leibowitz.
Welcome, Whole Foods Backlash!With a brand new Whole Foods on Bowery (and, seemingly, everywhere else), will neighborhood organic markets wither? Indie rocker Jason Trachtenberg, who leads the Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players when he’s not stocking shelves at the all-volunteer 4th Street Co-op, fears losing customers to the giant supermarket. “They’ve completely oversaturated the organic market, and they’re not even all organic,” says Trachtenberg . What did Whole Foods say in its defense? Find out about the benefits of foot traffic over on Grub Street.
Bowery Whole Foods: An Effing Steamroller? [Grub Street]
in other news
When Did Big Companies Turn Into Big Companies?
As a natural and somewhat hilarious result of the sixties values trickling up to the boardroom, our leading goody-goody megabrands are suddenly, and seemingly all at once, beset by crises of conscience. JetBlue is spraying mea culpas and defying its own industry’s lobbyists by hastily jerry-rigging a customer bill of rights. The weekend brought a soul-searching memo from Starbucks chairman Howard Schulz, bemoaning, of all things, the “commoditization” of his brainchild. (As we already noted, wasn’t that the whole point?) Today, to complete the trifecta, the Times is ringing the alarm over the perceived “straying” of Whole Foods.
UES Just Says No to Norman FosterBedford-Stuyvesant: Fledgling Bed-Stuy–Bushwick landlord launches (highly f**ckin’ profane) blog. [A Landlord’s Life via Curbed]
Dumbo: Just in time for coldest winter week thus far, the barge swimming pool due to open this summer is spotted on Pier 2. [Curbed]
Flushing: Butt-ugly new housing flushes Queens nabe’s charm right down the toilet. [Forgotten NY via Streetsblog]
Lower East Side: Whole Foods makes its workers gather petition signatures to get permission for a liquor store next door to its imminent new Bowery branch. [Polis]
Park Slope: There’s finally a name for the no-man’s-land at the juncture of Park Slope, Red Hook, and Carroll Gardens at the F train’s Smith-9th stop. It’s the Notary District! [423smith]
Upper East Side: Landmarks committee to Sir Norman and Aby Rosen: Take that 30-foot glass tower off that art gallery! [Curbed]