It’s only fitting that the cool kids have returned to 55th & Fifth today. Summer’s over and it’s time to get back to business! “Everybody is back from camp!” declared general manager Steve Millington as he presided over the bustling dining room filled with lots of familiar faces sporting their fresh-from-the-Vineyard tans. Media mavens, television titans and money men broke bread and tucked into their Cobb salads with gusto as they plotted their next big move. I chatted with Today show publicist Lauren Kapp and Amy Rosenblum, who is busier than ever gearing up for her new gig as producer of the show’s fourth hour, while watching the crowd file in. The ladies could barely contain their excitement about Today 4.0 (my title, not theirs) which debuts next Monday. In case you haven’t heard the ever-expanding edition will be helmed by Ann Curry, Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb, as well as a rotating roster of “surprise” guests on the crowded couch. Read more about my conversation with Amy and the new Today hour on TV Newser…
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Brad Grey and Viacom’s Philippe Dauman.
2. Peter Brown and Michael Holtzman.
3. Terry Allen Kramer (loved those hipster pants!) and two blonde gal pals.
4. Norman Pearlstine
5. Stanley Shuman and John Josephson.
6. Kate McEnroe, Susan Mercandetti, Diana Taylor (Mayor Bloomberg’s ladylove) and Sherry Westin. Kate stopped by the bar to chat with me and told me her pals referred to their ladies’ lunch as “The Jane Austen Book Club.” Seems these tireless gals get together to pick a tale to read and talk about. Today’s pick: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, which chronicles a Chicago socialite’s clandestine and fictional affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Kate, who once helmed AMC and WE Entertainment, also told me that she’s keeping busy these days as a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton and doing activist work for refugees. In her spare time she ferries her squadron of kids back and forth “I spent the morning at the Department of Motor Vehicles getting learner’s permits!” Whew!
7. Manolo Blahnik’s George Malkemus.
8. Sony’s Steve Mosko.
9. Jerry Versace (a distant relative of the late designer, so we’re told) and Betsy Perry.
11. Henry Schleiff, looking quite Ward Cleaver-ish in a navy sweater vest and white shirt. Seems the Hallmark Television honcho is really taking his crusade for restoring family values to cable to heart. Loved the Observer piece! Note to our pal Henry: some of the Michael’s crowd — yours truly, at least occasionally does watch your network. Where else can you find an episode of Little House on the Prairie anytime you need it?
12. Lauren Kapp and Amy Rosenblum with Broadcasting & Cable‘s Marisa Guthrie.
14. A serene-looking Phylicia Rashad, who passed the time waiting for Gerald Schoenfeld by surveying today’s lunch crowd with a bemused smile.
15. Dan Wassong.
16. US editrix Janice Min.
17. Billy Kimball.
18. Randy Jones.
19. We couldn’t see…
20. Estee Lauder’s Sally Susman.
21. Quest‘s Chris Meigher.
22. The greenery at the bar blocked our view…
23. Tina Johnson, editor-in-chief of Women’s Health and the title’s Publisher, Mary Murcko. They had lunch with Marlene Kahan of the MPA.
24. Jeffrey Toobin and former Fishbowler-turned-Huffington Post blogger, Rachel Sklar
25. Time Warner’s Ed Adler.
26. George Leeds.
27. Jeff Greenfield and Jerry Della Femina
28. We couldn’t see…
29. Missy Godfrey.
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.